The kid-friendly side of Vegas: Is “sin city” the new “family city”?
Las Vegas. Sin City. The marriage capital of the world. Whatever you might call the city known for its long history of gambling, glamorous shows, and wild nightlife, Las Vegas has become a world-class resort destination for families. That’s right — even in Las Vegas, there are plenty of activities that are fun for the entire family, from young kids to grandparents. In fact, as a major tourist destination, Las Vegas offers a wide variety of activities that are fun for the whole family while also retaining its wild and historical charm.
Where to stay
Las Vegas is known for gambling, entertainment, and fine dining, and nearly every major hotel will offer non-gambling attractions that are suitable and enjoyable for the whole family. Choosing a family-friendly hotel is easy: great budget choices include Excalibur, Stratosphere, Circus Circus and Station Casinos; if you want something a little more upmarket, the Mirage and Mandalay Bay are top picks.
Where to eat
Las Vegas is also known for its vast assortment of world-class restaurants and stunningly large and diverse buffets. While any Vegas hotel will certainly have a tenable buffet, the Carnival World Buffet at Rio Las Vegas is a quintessential Vegas meal that is an attraction in itself — quite apart from the wonderful food. Featuring cuisines from all around the world, and over 70 varieties of homemade desserts, the Rio buffet is an all-you-can-eat experience offering delicious food for even your pickiest eater. And there’s really no better way to understand the indulgence and decadence of Las Vegas than having unlimited access to food!
Fun for the whole family
No matter which hotel you stay at, most attractions are easily accessible via short monorail, walking, or taxi trips. One of the most popular and widely regarded all-ages destinations is the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. Boasting a 1.3 million gallon aquarium full of sharks, rays, turtles, and schools of fish, the Shark Reef offers the unique experience of being able to walk through a glass cylinder that tunnels through the center of the tank. It’s truly unlike anything else to be able to walk through water and witness a 360-degree view of aquatic life. This is a great activity for the whole family, and an experience you don’t want to miss.
There are a number of magic shows, sporting events, and outdoor activities that are popular destinations in an around the city; there’s even the Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix, owned by the father of NASCAR driver Taylor Barton.
Fun for pre-teens and young ones
Pre-teens and younger children will enjoy:
Circus Circus: This casino features an indoor theme park, an arcade and circus acts — so if you stay there you’re in the right place!
The Adventuredome, an enormous indoor theme park, is a great place to enjoy Vegas and spend time with your family. It’s a safe environment that also retains the feel of being in Las Vegas.
M & M World: This “chocolate heaven” is located right in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Beware, though: sugar highs abound!
Like any major tourist destination, Las Vegas is a city that is constantly adapting to the types of visitors that most frequent it. While gambling remains a huge part of tourism in the city, family-oriented activities are also on the rise. Because things are always changing, it’s best to get on-the-ground advice: ask your hotel concierge for further suggestions on family-friendly activities.