Should you visit Las Vegas with kids?
Once again on our US travels, we were faced with many people telling us Vegas just wasn’t a kid-friendly destination.
Much like they told us about Mardi Gras in New Orleans with kids. We went and had a great time. If a place has kids living in it, then usually you can find kid friendly attractions.
Sure Vegas is unsavory in many ways, but you can avoid that – and introduce an education at the same time.
You’ll be surprised at how many fun things to do with kids in Las Vegas there are, and kid-friendly hotels in Las Vegas for kids. We’re happy to share them with you. It’s not just all neon lights and casinos.
Our girls have visited Las Vegas three times now and absolutely love it!
They love the excitement of a big city and one that has a three-story M&M’s world and all you can eat buffets with loads of dessert options will inflate the heart of any child.
Wander the Strip & Casino Gawk
Again and again and again. Wandering the Strip and exploring the casinos is one of those Las Vegas attractions for kids won’t tire of.
I mean they get to visit Paris, New York, Rome, Venice and more along a four mile street.
Yes, the Strip is much longer than you realize and is packed with attractions, like M&Ms World, roller coasters, free shows and Ferris Wheels.
You could spend an entire day or two going from one casino to another (and all the cool side streets). Plan your time well. We recommend splitting it up and exploring a section at a time especially in hot weather!
We weren’t major fans of the northern section of the Strip, which is where you’ll find The Stratosphere and Circus Circus.
Middle of the Strip is our favorite region and where we most like to stay.
Wander through the casinos, take in some shows, eat a lot of food, and go shopping – that pretty much sums up life on the Vegas Strip. Short family vacations work well in this city!
If you stay on the Strip, we recommend taking breaks back at your hotel swimming pool. That’s why staying middle of the strip is handy for easy access.
It’s fascinating to check out the different casinos and their, sometimes extravagant, designs.
Kalyra and I had great discussions about the designs of casino floors purposefully done to trap and confuse people so they sit there all day and night donating their money to Casino bosses. I told you -so educational!
Although the kids will love watching the singing gondolas go by in the Venice canals – you may even like to ride on one.
Some Casino sights not to miss:
- The Flamingo has the Wildlife Habitat which has flamingos (of course) and other exotic birds, fish and turtles in its beautiful gardens. (this was one of my favorite casinos)
- The canals and shops of The Venetian.
- The Cosmopolitan has a modern art collection. The Wynn also has great art collections.
- The Bellagio Conservatory transforms a 14,000-square-foot floral playground into a showcase of the distinctive sights and colors of spring, summer, fall and winter. It’s spectacular!
- I absolutely loved Fiori di Como,” the colorful glass ceiling sculpture made of more than 2,000 pieces in Bellagio’s lobby. It’s a Chihuly masterpiece. We shared how much we loved his work in our post on Seattle with Kids and the Biltmore Estate. He’s my favorite artists and we’ve seen his work all over the country.
- Check out the 50,000-gallon aquarium in Caesar’s Forum with more than 300 saltwater fish
Catch a Free Show on the Strip
These free shows on the Strip are considered some of the best free things to do in Vegas with kids. It’s really quite mind-blowing how good a free show can be.
The Bellagio Fountains
Probably the most well known of all Vegas shows and attractions are the Bellagio Fountains. They are great to watch at any time of day or night.
It’s worth seeing it as many times as you can for the different perspectives and different dances to a wide variety of sings. Watching them dance to a Frank Sinatra song is an experience.
The fountains go off every 15-mins to an hour depending on time of the day.
Volcano Show at the Mirage
I was worried this would be a little kitschy but I was pretty impressed with the volcano light show out the front of The Mirage. It’s an explosion of fireballs and lights to a rocking soundtrack.
The Volcano is located outside the Las Vegas Boulevard Main Entrance of the Mirage. You can’t miss it.
The Volcano Show usually happens daily at 8pm, 9pm, 10pm. Get there early for a position as it gets packed.
Fall of Atlantis Show at Caesars Forum Shops
The girls loved this animatronic display of fire, water and nine-foot-tall talking statues that tells the story of the firece sibling feuds within Kingdom of Atlantis.
The show plays every hour on the hour, starting at 11 a.m.
Other Free Vegas Shows
- Circus Circus has a free circus show every hour from 11:30am to 11:15pm. Clown and acrobat lovers will enjoy it
- Harrah’s have live dueling piano shows every night, which we quite enjoyed watching! Paris and New York, New York also has them.
Eat at the Vegas Buffets
Be sure to compare notes later together at any one of the buffets in the Strip casinos! You’ll even find them off the Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas.
It’s hard to go past Vegas Buffets. If you want to enjoy more than one course, it can be better to eat at a buffet then an expensive restaurant. Depending on your style of course, but many Vegas buffets serve good quality food.
As we have a few dietary concerns, buffets don’t work well for us. Although, pre-dietary issues, Craig and I overindulged in the buffets on a couples trip to Vegas! The kids love them because of all the yummy desert options.
Do your research and choose well as there are many of them, all offering varying cuisines at different prices. Lunch times and weekdays are typically cheaper. Just choose one or two.
We loved the Bellagio and Paris buffet the most.
Parents, although I doubt you’ll be able to take full advantage of this, many of the buffets have $15 all you can drink deals. We have loads more tips on saving money in Vegas.
Ride the New York New York Roller Coaster
I choked more than a little at the steep $15 price ticket for the roller coaster that runs through the New York New York casino. It’s a pretty iconic thing to do in Vegas.
The girls went on with their friends and loved it. Once was all they got so they were told to soak up every hairpin turn and loop!
Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.
Would this be your child’s favorite Vegas family friendly attraction? A museum dedicated to their favorite Marvel Superheroes.
Our girls aren’t too excited about this, but I know yours may be!! Now that I have seen a few Avenger movies, I think I might like to do it when we return to Vegas.
It’s located in Treasure Island, where they did stay with Craig’s extended family. It’s free to guests.
As a new agent in training, you are given a mobile phone and badge to guide you through the interactive exhibits that explore history and scientific origins of The Avengers.
This attraction is included in the Las Vegas Sightseeing Pass
Hang out in the Casino Pools
Hanging out at a pool in Vegas for most of the day is the thing to do, especially in the hot summer months. Many of them will be closed during the winter.
The Sightseeing Pass also includes the Cowabunga Bay Water Park.
See a Vegas Show with Kids
One of the reasons Las Vegas is a popular place to visit is for the wide variety of shows, concerts and events you can attend. From big headliners like Celine Delione and Cirque Du Soliel to smaller magic and comedy shows, you will bound to find something to suit your family travel style.
Taking in these shows was one of the best things to do in Las Vegas with kids for us. They had a ball and will remember it forever.
Here are the two shows we watched.
Mystere Cirque Du Soleil
The girls also love gymnastics and acrobatics. Cirque Du Soleil is a show that I’ve wanted to see since they become Cirque Du Soleil in Vegas.
They have so many different version of the show at different hotels. We were told Mystere is the longest running. most popular, and best for kids.
We found the best deal on Vegas.com – thanks to Johnny Jet for that tip. It’s in Treasure Island Casino.
The theater is small enough to have good viewing seats no matter where you are. It was fantastic. The tricks and costumes were phenomenal as was the strength of the performers. It inspired me to do more core workouts.
No one seemed to have an idea of what the storyline was but it gave the girls and I a good opportunity for discussion and sharing our creative ideas.
We thought it was showcasing the cycle of life and the different acts represented earth, fire, wind and rain. Have you been? Do you have an idea?
As tumblers, the girls loved this act the best. The trapeze act was also good. And hey, who wouldn’t love a circus that uses NO live animals?
The Flex Premium Sightseeing Pass includes several shows in Las Vegas.
Magic Reinvented Nightly
So I’m not really a magic person. I kind of enjoy it at the time but I tend to drag my feet there for some reason. I dragged my feet yet again to Matt Franco’s Magic Reinvented Nightly at the LINQ Casino.
We went because it was a premium experience on our Sightseeing Pass and the girls love magic, especially what they see on America’s Got Talent. Matt won it in 2014.
It was the BEST experience we had in Vegas with kids!
I loved this show so much. The magic tricks were awesome, but his presentation was funny and heartwarming. His storytelling drew us in and made it an incredible experience.
What I loved the most was seeing the girls giggle the entire time, jump off out of their seats with hands in the air, clapping and cheering.
By the end of it Savannah had her hand straight up trying to get on stage as a volunteer where at the beginning she was begging me to put mine down.
It was a night purely just to enjoy magic.
It didn’t matter the trick and sleight of hands as to how it was done, we could just believe in magic. It surrounds us everywhere, everyday, some are good at plucking it out of thin air in many different forms.
Other good Vegas Shows for Kids
The Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur Resort features Medieval warriors on horseback, battles with swords, jostling and a family-friendly atmosphere. We were considering this Vegas Show when we stayed at the Excalibur.
Ride the High Roller Observation Wheel at the LINQ
I took Kalyra and her friend Nina on the High Roller, which is the gigantic Ferris wheel at the LINQ. It was strange that we went on it after spending the morning watching firefighters doing rescue drill training on it!
It especially gave me the heebie jeebies when we were at the top and realized just how high up we were. The views over The Strip and surrounding mountains were epic though.
Visit Downtown Las Vegas with Kids
Downtown Las Vegas has long since had a reputation for seedy danger and we were warned to stay away.
You will find a few kid-friendly attractions there, but it’s best to do them before 5pm and then head back into the Strip area once you start seeing the layers of clothing disappearing.
To be honest, the kids didn’t like Downtown Vegas too much, except for container park in East Downtown, and the large pancakes for breakfast at Hash House a Go Go inside the Plaza Hotel.
But it was probably my favorite place in Vegas. It’s where Vegas first started and so maintains some of that old casino charm. It’s less flashy and more vibrant.
For Downtown Vegas family activities, consider the Downtown Vegas walking tour for historical and cultural insights, Exploring Downtown East, The Tank swimming pool at the Golden Nugget, and the Downtown container park.
You can see our in-depth post on things to do in Downtown Las Vegas for more ideas.
Things to do near Las Vegas with Kids
You won’t believe the natural beauty that lives only an hour or two away from the Las Vegas Strip. We discovered some of our favorite places in Southwest region here.
Do not miss Valley of Fire State Park and the Northshore Drive in the Lake Mead Recreational Area. We also loved horesriding and hiking at Red Rock Canyon.
We have written posts with more in-depth information for you below. Some of the following are included in the Las Vegas Sightseeing Pass.