Actually, it kind of is.
Last year, when my husband and I were mulling over Christmas experience gifts for our 10- and 11-year olds, Vegas was not on the top of our list.
However, once we started looking into the cost of various places and finding somewhere the whole family would enjoy, Vegas was the obvious choice.
Just a mere five-hour drive from the East Valley, Vegas offers some great entertainment for the kiddos. Not to mention, the lights are sure to be a hit for babies and toddlers.
Hotels on the Strip
I want to preface this section by letting you know most hotels/resorts on the strip are great places to stay with a family.
Most offer suites, plenty of restaurants, and pools your kids are sure to love. Below is a short list of our favorites.
Circus Circus – This hotel is made for families! While it might be the most luxurious of hotels, the Adventurdome, daily circus, as well as the Splash Zone are sure to make up for any pitfalls. This hotel has two pools, multiple waterslides, as well as a splashpad.
Excalibur– What kid doesn’t want to stay in a castle? While this hotel does not offer as many features as other family-friendly ones, they do have four pools that include a water slide. My kiddos loved the medieval like feel to the entire hotel and being able to see the whole place lit up at night.
Four Seasons Hotel– This is a great option for families who want to be just in a hotel- not in a casino. Which also means no one is smoking in the entire facility. Also, the Four Seasons offers one- or two-bedroom suites that work well for larger families or just having extra space. And if these weren’t fantastic reasons to stay here, they also offer complementary diapers, highchairs, baby bathtubs, and onsite babysitting services for a fee.
Mandalay Bay/ Delano- one word- POOLS! This hotel offers 11-acers of pools; with a wave pool, a beach, and a lazy river for your entire family to enjoy.
Restaurants in Vegas can be pretty expensive. So, finding a place that the whole family can enjoy without breaking the bank can feel like a feat.
Fear not, there are some helpful tools to keep costs low, or maybe spend some money so that you can have a good time.
Groupon– This is a lifesaver when it comes to saving money at restaurants in Vegas. You can find decent deals at sit-down places (or fast food type) for your whole family.
Buffets– Many hotels offer buffets, and even child pricing, to help you save on cost. These allow the whole family to eat what they want and however much they want.
Splurge– Sometimes eating at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub and Grill is worth the cost when your kiddos are excited to just be sitting in a restaurant owned by the famous, Gordon Ramsay. It is definitely a memory my kids will never forget; and hopefully this will be the same for yours.
Go Off Strip– If you’re willing to jump in the car and drive, not too far off of the strip are restaurants your family is familiar with, with prices you’re used to. All you need is a GPS.
Or, if you’ve booked a room with a kitchen, USE IT! Especially driving to Vegas, it’s easy to pack a cooler for quick breakfast and lunch options and then plan dinner out of the hotel room. Not only will this save money, but with little kids, who really wants to try to sit in a restaurant with them multiple times in one day?!
Adventuredome and The Midway- The largest indoor theme park in America is located at Circus Circus. With over 25 thrill rides and 200+ game arcade with prizes, this is a place your kids will want to be.
Big Apple Arcade and Roller Coaster– Located in New York New York, the Big Apple Arcade houses numerous arcade and video games, while also housing the Big Apple Roller Coaster (riders must be 54” tall to ride). This worked well for my family, as my 10- and 11-year-olds could ride the coaster while my 2-year-old and I played arcade games.
Gondola Rides- the Venetian offers both indoor and outdoor rides. Both have unique views of the resort while coasting down the Grand Canal. Bonus, the gondoliers also sing!
High Roller- The world’s largest observation wheel, standing at 550 feet tall, happens to be located right in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. This ride takes 30 minutes and offers 360-degree views of the entire Vegas Strip.
Shark Reef Aquarium- Located in Mandalay Bay, this aquarium offers over 2,000 animals (over 100 different species) with many different types of sharks. This aquarium has over 14 different exhibits including the loved touch pool attraction. Children 3 and under are free!
Thrill Rides – At the top of the Strat hotel lies a handful of thrill rides for anyone willing to brave the height. From the Big Shot, shooting you an additional 160 feet in the air to the X-Scream that teeters 26 feet off the edge of the hotel, your kids (and maybe even yourself) are sure to have a good time.
Blue Man Group– Even though the three blue men are silent, their show includes music on drums and pipes, comedy sketches, audience interaction, glow in the dark attire, laser shows, and much more. Ages two and under are free.
Mac King Comedy Show– Having been named the #1 comedy magician in the world by MAGIC magazine, this show provides the fun of magic and a lot of humor appropriate for kids of all ages.
Mystere by Cirque De Soleil– Offering the love of Cirque De Soleil acrobatics, this show has bright colors, vibrant lights, and constant motion that’s sure to keep your kids engaged.
Potted Potter– A fun spin from on the beloved Harry Potter series, this show gives you the characters you love, the stories from all seven books, and a ton of humor. It even has a real-life Quidditch match!
Tournament of Kings– Following the story of King Arthur, this show takes you into the medieval times and has a tournament of kings, dancing, epic battle scenes, and horses. No need to plan for dinner; your tickets also cover a full dinner experience! Kids under 3 are free if they sit on your lap.
Probably the most asked question for families with small children. Rest assured, it is possible to get around with minimal whining. The Vegas strip offers multiple public transportation options; The Deuce, SDX, and WAX buses, Las Vegas Monorail, and Las Vegas Tram. Additionally, many hotels either offer free parking or partners with other hotels to provide one fee for parking in any of their lots.
As for moving through the hotels, malls, and the sidewalks between hotels, utilizing a stroller when you have smaller children is a must. This allows for your children to keep up with you, not get lost in the crowd, and a spot to snooze when they need a nap.
What to Watch Out For
The strip is generally safe for you and your family. It is incredibly touristy and has MANY people walking around. The biggest downfall may just be having to walk quite a bit.
Don’t leave your children alone. While this might seem like a no-brainer, it is something that needs to be said.
The strip is not a safe place for unsupervised children- there are still people handing out adult only flyers to whoever is willing to take them, in addition to many other things.
Arcades may be a place you may think to leave your children; however, most have rules in place regarding child supervision. Make sure to read them ahead of time before making these decisions.
Furthermore, Nevada has a curfew law that imposes a steep fine for minors who are unsupervised at certain periods of the day.
Many casinos do allow children to walk through them. However, they do not allow children to stand near the gaming area even if they are with an adult. So be careful when attempting to get from one place to the next within the hotel- you may just get stopped by someone working there.
Our hope is that you take your family and truly enjoy a close-to-home, fun vacation. And don’t forget to stop at the Hoover Dam on your way back!
*These are short lists of entertainment for families on the Vegas strip. Keep in mind, there are many additional attractions and shows your family is sure to enjoy on and off the strip.