Las Vegas is notoriously known for its casinos and extravagant shows and is not typically thought of as a family vacation spot because it may not be considered “kid-friendly.” Despite this reputation, we’re here to explain that there are actually a number of great kid-friendly experiences that your little ones will love!
From outdoor activities to indoor amusement parks and museums, you will find that Vegas is not just gambling, but there are actually a number of family-friendly activities and experiences to enjoy.
So, whether you’re using LAS (Harry Reid International Airport) as the starting point for exploring the Southwest region, or perhaps want the family to tag along for an event you have in Las Vegas, here’s what you can do with the kids!
Best Time to Visit Las Vegas
Las Vegas can get pretty hot so if you are not a huge fan of hot temperatures you may want to avoid the summer season in Vegas. We find that visiting in Spring or Fall provides the best weather, the temperatures are warm and enjoyable but not uncomfortable – plenty of time to enjoy sitting pool side!
The good news is that while the temperatures can be high, Vegas is a pretty dry city so the heat may not be as uncomfortable as if you were in a high-humidity city.
Las Vegas is a city that is busy and filled with tourists pretty much year round so be prepared to work through crowds and see a large variety of people, no matter what time of year you visit.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas with Kids
Choosing where to stay will definitely determine how your Las Vegas family vacation will go. When you are on a vacation with your kids you want to make sure that you choose an area or resort that will suit your family’s needs.
If you want to be in the center of Las Vegas, right in the thick of it all, finding a place to stay on the Strip will be a great option for you. Most of the hotels and resorts on the Strip are casinos, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make for a great option for your family.
Some great family-friendly resorts on the Vegas Strip include:
New York-New York Hotel & Casino (4-Star Hotel)
The casino has games for the adults, but New York New York Hotel also has a kid-friendly arcade for the kiddos to have a good time, too! In addition to the arcade, other draws for family-friendly activities include the Big Apple Coaster and Hershey’s Chocolate World located on-site!
Circus Circus Hotel & Casino (3-Star Hotel)
Circus Circus is a great choice for families with kids! The hotel itself is an affordable option compared to many others on the Strip, and there are fun activities to enjoy on-site. Circus Circus houses a fun arcade and The Adventuredome, a 5-acre indoor theme park!
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino (4-Star Hotel)
Mandalay Bay is a great choice for a family-friendly resort. It is located on the south end of the Vegas Strip. Being located on the end of the Strip makes the environment a bit more calm and relaxed, which might be best for families.
One of the most popular features of the Mandalay Bay Hotel is its incredible pool! The pool features sandy beaches, a wave pool, and a lazy river. In addition to the beautiful pool, you can also visit the Shark Reef Aquarium, a chance to see 2,000+ sea species without ever leaving the comfort of your hotel.
Staying on the strip can be a bit overwhelming, and you may prefer to stay a bit outside of the Vegas Strip in order to achieve a more relaxed experience. We have compiled a few excellent off-strip hotel choices, including:
Red Rock Resort (5-Star Resort)
Red Rock Resort is just off the Vegas Strip in Red Rock Canyon, NV. This resort features beautiful views and a convenient location near the Red Rock Canyon (a great place for hikes and exploring!), and there are many fun on-site amenities to enjoy.
Can’t-miss activities include the 3-acre pool, the Kid’s Quest Playground, the gaming arcade, the bowling alley, and the movie theater!
The Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa (5-Star Resort)
Just about a 15-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, the Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa is an excellent choice for some luxury outside of the craziness that is Las Vegas. There are many restaurants and shopping options within a short walk from the hotel, plus several fun activities on site.
On-site amenities include a beautiful pool, a games arcade, and a theater that the whole family will love!
Hilton Grand Vacations (4-Star Hotel)
Something a bit more affordable includes the Hilton Grand Vacation Resort. This one is just slightly off the Strip, its a great family-friendly option. On-site amenities include an outdoor pool, fitness center, and gaming arcade that the kids will love.
We also love that the suites here offer separate bedrooms and a living space with kitchenette, which most hotels right on the Strip do not offer.
How to Get Around Las Vegas With Kids
There are a number of ways to get around Las Vegas. You can walk around the town, utilize rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, take a tour bus around the city or even ride the Monorail!
One of the best ways to explore the area is by foot. This allows you to move at your own pace, and when staying in such a busy city, it is easy to access many attractions with a simple walk.
Walking the Las Vegas strip is a fun way to spend the day, ducking in and out of retail and dining spaces to beat the heat.
We would recommend though setting yourselves a curfew on what time is appropriate to walk the Strip. Whilst you undoubtedly want to wait until nightfall to catch some of the spectacular free shows and attractions, things can get pretty seedy as the night goes on.
We’d suggest being done with the Strip by 9:00 pm if you can help it.
There are a number of open-top bus tours available in Las Vegas that make for a fun experience to explore the city. Using the Big Bus Tours company allows you to explore the city, and you can even hop on and off to further dive into any attractions/sites that you want to see more of.
In such a busy city, rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft or taxis are plentiful and pretty easy to hail. These services are great to use if you need to travel somewhere that may be too far for walking or if you are stuck in rainy weather.
If you will be picking up a car for your onward journey or plan to take day trips, we recommend collecting this at the start from the airport rental car center (a good 20-30 minutes away from the Strip) and leaving it at you hotel accommodation.
Yes, many hotels do have rental car desks if you want to make day trips, but in our experience the range of available vehicles is limited and prices more expensive than picking up a car from the Airport Rental Center.
- Top Tip: When locating your hotel, always key in the parking garage on Google Maps or whatever app you prefer, rather than the hotel/casino itself which will likely take you unnecessarily into the Strip
The Las Vegas Monorail provides another way to get between attractions on the eastern side of the Strip. Traveling with family, we’ve found it far from being a budget method to get about (in fact, for most short trips, Uber worked out cheaper).
Nonetheless, we’re putting it here as another option, as younger children especially will enjoy the thrill of the journey and you can get a good overview of the city, from MGM Grand all the way to Sahara Las Vegas at the northern end of the Strip.
15+ Best Things To Do With Your Kids in Las Vegas
From family-friendly attractions to fun shows and amusement parks, there are so many things to enjoy with the kids during your Las Vegas trip. Here are 15 things to do in Las Vegas with your kids, plus some day tip ideas.
1. Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix (Paid)
The Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix Family Fun Center offers go-karting tracks for families of all ages. In addition to karting, there are other fun attractions to enjoy, including arcade games, slides, and amusement park rides.
2. Discovery Children’s Museum (Paid)
This museum is a three-floor museum featuring interactive exhibits for kids to have fun, explore adventure, and, of course, DISCOVER science and history. Your family will get the chance to play and explore while learning!
3. Hershey’s Chocolate World (Free)
The Hershey’s Chocolate World store is so much fun to see, and it is free to visit! Visitors will learn how Hershey’s chocolate is made through a theatrical show. You can even create your very own unique and custom chocolate bar.
4. Adventuredome (Paid)
Whether you choose to stay at Circus Circus or not, you may want to consider a visit to the Adventuredome, located inside of Circus Circus! This is a five-acre indoor amusement park featuring an arcade, roller coasters, laser tag, a Ferris wheel, and more!
5. Watch the Bellagio Fountain Show (Free)
If you’re walking the Las Vegas Strip, you can’t miss out on seeing the famous Bellagio Fountain Show! This show in front of the Bellagio Hotel features choreographed fountains with music and light, and the show occurs every half hour from 3-8 pm Monday-Friday and every 15 minutes from 8 pm until Midnight.
On Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays, the show occurs every 30 minutes from 12 pm until 8 pm and every 15 minutes from 8 pm until Midnight.
6. Visit Town Square (Free)
Take a visit to Town Square to see retail shops, dining options, and entertainment. This is a great way to spend the day having fun with the family. The Children’s Park, located at Town Square, features slides, a trampoline, the Cactus Coaster, and more!
7. The Fremont Street Experience (Free to Visit, Some Paid Experiences)
The Fremont Street Experience features free live music, nightly Viva Vision Light Shows beginning at 6 pm every night, and The SlotZilla Zipline, a 12-story slot-machine-inspired zipline that takes you over Fremont Street.
8. The Neon Museum (Paid)
The Neon Museum is an outdoor museum that features vintage neon signs. The museum is available during both the daylight and night time but in our opinion, it is so much cooler to see at night. Take a stroll through this museum to see some incredible neon signs!
9. See Real Flamingos at the Flamingo Hotel (Free)
At the Flamingo Hotel, you can visit the free Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, where you will get the chance to see not only real-life flamingos but other birds, including pelicans, hummingbirds, and more.
You can also enjoy a presentation from the Keeper Talks twice daily at 8:30 am and 2:00 pm.
10. Ride the Big Apple Coaster (Paid)
A can’t-miss experience, in our opinion, on the Las Vegas Strip is taking a ride on the Big Apple Coaster at the New York New York Hotel & Casino. This one is best suited for families with older kids, as riders must be at least 54” tall to ride.
The coaster goes over 67 miles per hour and features a 203-foot drop. In addition to the coaster, you can also enjoy fun at the Big Apple Arcade – this is a great one for a rainy day in Las Vegas!
11. Ride the High Roller (Paid)
Take a ride on the largest observation wheel in North America, standing at 550 feet tall. This Ferris Wheel takes 30 minutes to complete one revolution and features spacious cabins that can accommodate up to 40 people at one time!
During your ride on the High Roller Observation Wheel, you will see beautiful views of the Las Vegas Strip below you. Between entering and exiting, plus the actual ride, you can expect to spend about an hour on the High Roller.
In addition to the High Roller, the FlyLINQ Zipline might appeal to your little adventure seekers. Your 1,121 feet journey will take you from Las Vegas Boulevard, down The LINQ Promenade and finish at the High Roller, reaching speeds up to 35 mph.
12. See Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings (Paid)
Las Vegas is known as a city that has world-renowned shows featuring a variety of experiences, including music, magic, and more! A kid-friendly show to enjoy with the family is the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur Resort.
This is a dinner show featuring a battle between knights to see who is the superior King! In addition to the show, your family can have a blast at the Fun Dungeon at Excalibur, an arcade featuring video games, carnival games, and the World’s Biggest Pacman.
13. Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (Paid)
If you have a Marvel fan on your hands, you can’t miss out on visiting Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Your family will take on a mission to discover the history of some of Marvel’s most famous superheroes, including Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and The Hulk!
14. See The Volcano Erupt at the Mirage (Free)
If you’ve ever seen the Mirage Hotel, you would know that there is a huge volcano outside the hotel front. Similar to the Bellagio Fountain show, the Mirage Volcano show erupts nightly, featuring explosions, fireballs, and music. The show occurs on the hour each hour from 8 pm until 11 pm nightly.
(Get in quick though, it’s rumored that renovations to The Mirage will see the end of this free Las Vegas attraction)
15. M&M’s World (Free)
M&M’s World is located within the Showcase Mall and is, of course, free to visit. The Las Vegas location is the first M & M’s store. The store is 28,000 square feet and has an astounding four levels featuring all of the M&M candies and merchandise that you can possibly imagine.
You can even create your very own custom M&Ms using the personal printer with 16 different colors and 14 Las Vegas Images to choose from. The process only takes 2 minutes! If you’re a NASCAR fan, you won’t want to miss out on a photo op with a replica of Kyle Busch’s 18 M&M’s race car!
16. Day Trip to a National Park
Las Vegas is ideally located in the Southwest to several incredible state parks and national parks that can be reached within a days drive. Here are some favorites to try:
- The Grand Canyon, at its closest point, is about 130 miles and approximately two and a half hours from Las Vegas. Many tour companies run day trips if you’d prefer not to hire a car, or you could even helicopter from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon!
- Slightly further away is the Grand Canyon National Park; we weigh up here the pros and cons of visiting Grand Canyon West vs the South Rim of the national park.
- The southern most of the Mighty 5 Utah National Parks, Zion National Park, is 150 miles east and can be reached within a 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas – we have a detailed itinerary of stops you can make along your journey.
- We have a more detailed guide here to day trips to take from Las Vegas, including some incredible scenic drives to Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock Canyon and Spring Mountain; or why not marvel at the engineering wonder of Hoover Dam?
- There are many outdoor paradises near Las Vegas to enjoy, particularly in the cooler winter months, from rock climbing to paddling on Lake Mead, so make sure you pack appropriate footwear and sun protection to get out and explore Nevada!
Despite the popular belief that Las Vegas ‘is not for kids,’ it’s really up to you how you plan your family trip. The Strip is a lively and vibrant part of the USA but certainly not the only highlight of this desert city. We highly recommend you plan a stop in las Vegas on your road trip through the US southwest.
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