Known forever as ‘Sin City’, Las Vegas has many venues that are either less than suitable for children or prohibit their attendance entirely. That doesn’t mean that you cannot take your children with you when traveling to America’s Gambling Capital. A little bit of planning and preparation can make for a memorable and enjoyable trip for you and your children.
Finding Activities When Surrounded by Age-Restricted Venues
Casinos, clubs serving alcohol and venues providing adult entertainment obviously will not allow children, but there are still many places appropriate for children along the Strip.
A couple of hotels, the Excalibur and Circus Circus were designed with children in mind. Circus Circus has several rides and shows appropriate for children. Excalibur offers the Tournament of Kings with medieval style entertainment and dinner.
The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay is a large aquarium with sharks, piranhas, sea turtles, rays and jellyfish. The exhibit also includes crocodiles and other reptiles. Very cool!
Many hotels like the Stratosphere and New York, New York have amusement rides. Other hotels that do not otherwise cater to children still have shows and activities like shopping and exhibits that children can take part in.
Avoiding the Strip Entirely
There are plenty of activities and sights to see outside of the hotels and casinos.
Sporting events take place almost year round in Las Vegas and are usually more affordable than many hotel attractions.
During the summer, you can go to Cashman Field to watch the Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball team. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) has basketball games and football games during the school year. The Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team plays during the fall through early spring months.
Red Rock Canyon is about a 20 mile drive west from the city. For just a few dollars, you can drive through a scenic route and hiking trails are available.
One of the other big attractions is Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Tours are available for one of the biggest man-made public works programs in the U.S. and are a great educational experience for the kids. Paddle craft, canoeing and rafting are available with a permit.
Taking Care of Your Children: Be Prepared for the Heat
The cliché that ‘it’s a dry heat’ has a tendency to lull people into a false sense of security when out in the desert.
If you take your children outside for any length of time while in the area, it’s important to be prepared. Protect yourself and your children from the blistering sun and dry climate by bringing adequate sunscreen and water for any outdoor activity.
As would be expected of any major city, there are many clinics for medical emergencies in the Las Vegas area. There are also many facilities to help travelers when unexpected medical issues come up that aren’t emergencies but still require attention.
Some of these facilities are specifically for kids. On one of our trips we had to make an emergency appointment at Dr. B’s, which is just about the best kids dentist Las Vegas has to offer. It has a surfer-themed pediatric office and even their online site has a ‘games’ link. A sudden toothache turns any kid’s smile into a frown, so keep emergency numbers stored in your cell phone.
It is not true that you have to leave the kids at home when traveling to Las Vegas. Checking with hotels ahead of time to see what events and exhibits are open to children will reveal many options.
There are plenty of non-hotel options when it comes to keeping children busy too. You may not be able to the same things you could when you were 21 and without a care in the world, but you should not be bored either.
Brought to you by Amanda