Family-Friendly Traveling in Las Vegas

The bright lights of Vegas aren’t just for adults anymore. It is possible to plan an enjoyable and exciting trip to include the whole family. There is a world of family-friendly entertainment, sightseeing and attractions in Las Vegas. A family can spend a whole day sightseeing free and low cost attractions just on the Strip.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

Las Vegas, usually thought of as an adult -only destination, can be enjoyed by children of all ages with careful planning and consideration of their interests. Keep the kids in mind when planning your trip. Don’t go there thinking your days will spent at the slot machines. Casinos strictly forbid children inside the casinos. With the exceptions of walking through, stopping by the slot machines or tables is a big no-no.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

As you plan your trip, consider where you will stay. Many hotels are much more kid-friendly than others. Some hotels offer by the hour, on site childcare. Most also have at least a small arcade area. Bring the swimsuits and get the kids in the pool. Some kids may want to spend the whole day in the lavish hotel pools. Treasure Island, MGM, Circus-Circus, Mirage, Excalibur and New York New York are all great places to stay when you take the kids.�¯�¿�½

On our recent trip with our children ages ten and five, we stayed at Treasure Island. Our room was situated right above the nightly “Sirens of TI” show. We walked down to see the show close-up one night, but were able to enjoy the show right from our hotel window. The fireworks highlighted the night for the kids.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

Another great thing to do with the kids in Vegas is to take them to one of the many nightly shows. Most of the shows can be pricey, but it is a treat the kids will always remember. Before leaving for our trip we decided to take our kids to see Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo. Our kids left the show in complete awe. We were impressed by the appropriateness of the show. No bad language or skimpy costumes. Also, Burton loves to pull kids from the audience to help on stage. Our daughter felt so special when she was able to run up on the stage to assist. If you choose to take your kids to see a show, buy your tickets early. Many shows begin selling tickets three months prior. Our early buying paid off with front row seats.�¯�¿�½

Also consider the Blue Man Group at the Luxor. It might not be suitable for very small children because it does get rather loud. Older kids enjoy this show, which encourages audience participation. Look into seeing Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere featuring acrobats, dancers and musicians. Tournament of Kings at the Luxor is another great option for the family. It features a magical story about King Arthur and his the evil wizard Mordred. The ticket price includes dinner.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

Las Vegas is filled with plenty of low costs attractions that delight the whole family, too. Try Madame Tussand’s Wax Museum for a fun afternoon. The whole family will enjoy standing side by side with favorite celebrities and politicians. Discount coupons are readily available right outside the museum.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

Another interesting attraction is the gondola ride around the Venetian. Visitors can choose to ride indoors or outdoors. My kids loved outdoor ride and we felt it was worth the ticket price of $12.50 per adult and $7.50 per child. Indoor gondola rides are slightly higher. Request your favorite song and hear your gondolier serenade you as you glide by the simulated Venetian streets.�¯�¿�½

Although you can no longer see the famed Siegfried and Roy show at the Mirage, you can still view the tigers and elephants used for the show. The Mirage’s Secret Garden is just that, a breathtaking garden filled with beautiful animals including rare white lions, a black panther and a variety of leopards. Before heading into the actual garden, children are delighted by the dolphin habitat. They swim right up to the edge and perform jumps and tricks at their will. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 4-12 and children 3 and under are free.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

Looking for free stuff to do while in Vegas? You will not be disappointed. Drive only fifteen minutes away from the Strip in Henderson and visit the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory. Free daily tours take visitors for a first hand look at the inside workings of a real candy factory. Delicious samples finish off the tour. Outside the factory, take some time to walk through the 2-acre botanical cactus gardens. Kids will love looking for lizards along the path and posing in front of huge cacti.�¯�¿�½

Older kids enjoy the animatronics Fall of Atlantis show and the 50,000-gallon salt-water aquarium at Caesar’s Palace. Smaller children may feel frightened during show because of the low lights, loud sounds, fire and smoke. Just walking the Forums shops is an experience. Stop by the huge toy store, FAO Schwarz, and let your kids try out the “Big” piano or rock baby dolls in the toy nursery. It costs nothing to go into the store, but be prepared for the “gimmes” from your children! Before leaving the store, check out the huge Trojan horse at the entrance that breathes “fire” (mist).Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

Take your family to the Adventuredome at Circus Circus to see the free on-going acrobat show above the casino. Watch as the acrobats fly, flip and twirl from the ceiling. Also take advantage of the huge low-cost arcade at the Circus Circus. We found several “play til you win” carnival games and games for only a nickel.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

Stop in at the MGM and visit the three-story lion habitat inside the casino. The lions are featured daily and visitors can actually walk through the glass-encased habitat. Check the hours before you go. Trainers are often inside the habitat and children will enjoy watching them interact with the animals. Families can also view white tigers used in the Siegfried and Roy show inside The Mirage for free.�¯�¿�½

Don’t forget to check out the free after dark shows along the strip, too. After the sun goes down you can enjoy the fountains at the Bellagio. Choreographed fountains “dance” to lights and music. The volcano at the Mirage erupts every fifteen minutes or so after dark, and the Sirens of TI at Treasure Island entertain nightly. Try to arrive early and stake out your place. The spots around the shows tend to fill up quickly. Keep a hand on your kids because it does get crowded.

Whether you come to Las Vegas for a couple of days or for a week, don’t hesitate to bring your whole family. There are so many great attractions, shows and sightseeing there for the kids to enjoy, too. Plan carefully and keep the kids in mind when planning your trip and everyone will have a fabulous Las Vegas trip.

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