Insider Guide: Las Vegas
Family-friendly hotel and attractions in Las Vegas By Jordan Estrada
Las Vegas, NV (Flickr: Moyan Brenn)
Why Go: While Las Vegas is known primarily for its casinos and nightclubs, Sin City also has a lighter side that is great for families with kids of all ages. In fact, the whole city – yes, even the strip - is filled with intriguing shops and attractions for younger visitors, making it easy for parents to keep little ones entertained during their visit. Whether you’re spending time at the Discovery Children’s museum, delighting in sweets at M&M’s World or Hershey’s Chocolate World, or seeing a fun show at Fremont Street, every member of the family will find something they love. Between attractions, there are many opportunities to relax poolside, dine at delicious restaurants, and take in the sights of the strip at night.
Best hotel for kids:
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas (Courtesy Four Seasons)
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas (3960 Las Vegas Blvd South) is a non-gaming hotel that offers luxurious accommodations and a host of kid-friendly amenities. Escape the noise and bustle of the casinos and crowds, and enjoy a gambling-free environment with its own secluded pool. The hotel offers easy access to Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino and the rest of The Strip, so guests can easily check out the local tourist sites before heading back to their quite, comfortable lodgings.
Get Your Bearings
Most of the hotels and attractions the city is known for are located right along The Las Vegas Strip section of Las Vegas Boulevard, which spans from Russell Road at its southern end to Sahara Avenue at its northern boundary. This exciting 4-mile stretch is teeming with bright lights, first-class hotels and plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Hotels not located on the strip can easily be accessed taking cross streets like Tropicana Avenue, Harmon Avenue or Flamingo Road. Downtown and Fremont Street are just around the corner from the northern end of the strip, while its southern boundary is right near the McCarron International Airport.
Most Fun Way To Get Around
Best local tour:
Las Vegas Strip Night Flight by Helicopter with Transport. At $89.99/person, this exciting tour takes visitors high up in a helicopter over the city at night to see the magnificence of its bright lights and attractions.
The High Roller (3545 S Las Vegas Blvd | $26.95 during the day, $36.95 at night). This 550-foot tall observation wheel offers the best views of downtown Las Vegas.
Check Out the Local Scene
Best shows for kids:
Popovich Comedy Pet Theater (3663 Las Vegas Blvd | $34.99/person). A fun comedy show for all ages starring the Gregory Popovich and his talented crew of dogs and cats, all of which were rescued from animal shelters.
Best stores for kids:
M&M’s World (Courtesy M&Ms World)
M&M’s World (Showcase Mall, 2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson). Let kids explore an entire retail store decorated in colorful M&M’s merchandise and candy.
Children’s Park at Town Square (6605 S Las Vegas Blvd | Free admission). Designed to resemble a miniature town for kids, it has a hedge maze, tree house and numerous playhouses and slides.
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Grand Pool Complex (3799 S Las Vegas Blvd). Take a dip and cool down in one or all of this hotel’s four pools, three whirlpools and a lazy river that goes for a quarter mile.
Best animal experience:
Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay (Courtesy Shark Reef)
The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay (3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119; $18/adult, $16/senior 60+, $12 child 5-12, free for kids under 5). Visitors can walk through glass tunnels through an aquarium and watch sharks and other sea creatures swimming above and around them.
Local Arts & Culture
Best museum for kids:
The Discovery Children’s Museum (360 Promenade Place | $14.50/all ages, free for kids under 1). The museum features an assortment of kid-oriented interactive exhibits designed to stimulate young minds.
Best for live music:
Fremont Street Experience (Courtesy Fremont Street Experience)
The Fremont Street Experience (Fremont St | Free admission) The place to go for free live music in Las Vegas, three stages feature an array of artists ranging from local musicians to popular artists that play on a rotating schedule so there is always great music going on.
Best dining entertainment:
The Tournament of Kings (3850 S Las Vegas Blvd | $59 plus tax and fee/person). This unique dining option offers a complete medieval experience for families to dine while watching an entire show filled with sword-clashing battles, jousting and a bit of dancing as well.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (3327 S Las Vegas Blvd #2710). Serving coal brick-oven cooked pizza made with fresh ingredients that the whole family will love.
Le Village Cafe (3655 South Las Vegas Boulevard). This restaurant offers a French village setting that perfectly compliments its many dishes from the different Provinces of France.
Gordon Ramsay BurGR (3667 S Las Vegas Blvd). Enjoy gourmet burgers cooked over an open flame fueled by apple and alder wood.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Crab (3500 S Las Vegas Blvd). Serves freshly prepared crab, lobster, shrimp and scallops and has a kids' menu for little ones.
Best ice cream:
Luv-It Frozen Custard (505 E Oakey Blvd). Voted the best ice cream in Vegas by Travelocity, 944 Magazine and more.
Best toy store:
Toy Shack (Neonopolis, 450 Fremont St). This classic toy store carries a variety of vintage 80’s toys, GI Joes, Transformers and more.
Best gift shop:
Bonanza Gifts (2440 S Las Vegas Blvd). Known as the "World’s Largest Gift Shop," this is the place to go for shirts, hats, magnets and keychains to remember the trip by.
Jordan Estrada contributed this to MiniTime. He is a freelance travel writer from Southern California who spends him time gardening, studying music and performing with his band.