Las Vegas is known to many as an ‘adult playground’ where over 21’s can indulge in a number of hedonistic pleasures… but does that mean that the city of sin is completely unsuitable for children?
While I wouldn’t argue that Las Vegas is the best destination for a long family holiday, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to entertain youngsters for a few days without teaching them how to play poker.
Here are a few of my favourite family-friendly activities in Las Vegas:
1) Tournament of Kings. Las Vegas is famed for its shows, and this one is a child-pleasing extravaganza, complete with jousting, sword fighting and fireworks. In between cheering loudly for your chosen Knight, you are served up a three-course meal to be eaten in true historic fashion – with your hands! If your kids like getting loud and messy, I’m sure they’ll love the Tournament of Kings.
2) A day by the pool. I’ve seen how long a simple, rectangular swimming pool can entertain my young ones, so I can only imagine their joy at being presented with some of the massive pool complexes to be found in Las Vegas. Mandalay Bay Beach is the cream of these – 2700 tonnes of sand surround the 1.6 million gallon wave pool, with waves that reach up to 6 feet high. If you need to take a break from all the waves, you could always take a relaxing turn under the waterfalls on the lazy river. I do feel like I have to give special mention also to the Golden Nugget pool, with its flume that runs straight through the on-site shark tank.
3) Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Siegfried and Roy’s white tiger magic shows are amongst the most enduring images in Las Vegas’ history. No longer on stage, these glorious animals can still be found on the strip at the Secret Garden at the Mirage hotel. The Dolphin Habitat that makes up the other half of the attraction is home to a family of bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins here don’t perform on schedule, but are great fun to watch play!
4) Shark Reef Aquarium. Another great spot for spotting marine life is at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium. The aquarium is home to over 2000 animals, including 15 different species of sharks. It’s a beautiful aquarium to walk through with a unique ‘sunken temple’ theme, culminating in a very impressive 1.3 million gallon ‘shipwreck’ tank. For something extra special, you can book a number of feeding experiences. A further benefit of the Stingray Feeding is that you get the whole aquarium to yourself before it opens to the public!
5) Go to the Circus. Cirque Du Soleil is the largest theatrical producer in the world, and several of their shows are resident in Las Vegas. You may have been to the circus before, but not like this! As well as having themes or storylines to the shows (some more specific than others!), the production values on display are second-to-none, and the amazing skills of the performers will leave you gobsmacked. The seats tend to be comfier that I’ve found in pop-up tents too!
6) Ride the Big Apple Coaster. I avoided the Las Vegas rollercoasters like the plague because I’m a great big wimp, but if you or your kids are braver than I, there’s plenty of rides for Las Vegas thrill seekers! The Big Apple Coaster runs around the New York New York hotel but further up the Strip, Stratosphere also has a handful of terrifying rides!
Of course, if you manage to get away to Las Vegas without the kids, all these can be equally enjoyed by adults too!
From Kelly at Let’s Go Somewhere Nice.