At one time, Las Vegas was billed as a family-friendly vacation destination. Every hotel had a show or activity geared toward children, like the Sirens show at Treasure Island, the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur, or trick-or-treating at the MGM Grand. Once the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” campaign took over, Las Vegas became an adult’s playground instead of a place to come with your kids. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t come here with your kids. If you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas and are bringing the little ones along, consider adding some of these to your travel itinerary:
Places to Eat
America, located inside New York New York, is a place with simple food and simple pleasures. The giant map on will keep your kids occupied while they wait for their American-inspired dishes. The menu features items from across the country, including chicken nachos, giant pretzels, pizza, and bagels & lox. If you’ve got a picky eater in your family, there’s a good chance you’ll find something that everyone can enjoy.
Honey Salt prides itself on being kid approved. The New American bistro is closer to Red Rock Casino, so it’s a great place to stop if you’re on your way to Red Rock National Park. Honey Salt has a kid’s menu that rivals the adult’s; items on the menu include mac & cheese, grilled asparagus, and crispy cornflake chicken tenders. The open-air design makes it an ideal place for large group gatherings or family outings.
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For some healthy meal options, try VegeNation. The street food vendor prides itself on not sacrificing flavor in the name of healthy eating. Its menu caters to both vegetarian and vegan dietary needs. The kids’ menu offers items they know with a vegan spin, such as chicken-less nuggets and tomato pizza.
Places to Stay
Located at the southern-most end of the Strip, the Mandalay Bay is a great place to stay if you’re traveling with kids. The hotel is home to an impressive wave pool, as well as The Shark Reef, the only predator-based aquarium in the United States. If you stay at Mandalay Bay, you have easy walking access to Mandalay Place. Mandalay Place offers even more options for food and shopping, and leads straight to the Luxor. The Luxor is home to the Titanic exhibit, Bodies, the Blue Man Group, and a fast food court.
Green Valley Ranch
For those who’d like to avoid the high prices of the Las Vegas Strip, Green Valley is a good place to start. Green Valley Ranch is a 15 to 20-minute car ride to the Las Vegas Strip, and has enough retail shops and restaurants around the hotel to keep you occupied. Besides the movie theater and arcade inside the casino, Green Valley Ranch is walking distance from the District. The District is a sprawling shopping center that includes retail shops, restaurants, paint classes, and weekly farmer’s markets.
The Mirage is a Las Vegas Strip hotel that is great for families to stay in. Besides the two pools that Mirage keeps for its guests, the hotel is home to the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The Secret Garden and Habitat were founded by the magical duo Sigfried & Roy. The Mirage is also home to LOVE, the Beatles tribute performed by Cirque du Soleil. LOVE is a bright, fun, colorful production that would be ideal for a kid’s first Cirque du Soleil experience.
Boulder Station is another great option if you’re coming into Las Vegas and want to avoid the Strip. Located on the east side of the city, the average price for hotel rooms is almost half of what you’d find on the Strip. The hotel has a movie theater and an arcade on location. The casino’s proximity to the freeway means easy access to downtown Las Vegas. Other nearby points of interest include The Wetlands Park and Vegas Off Road Tours.
Red Rock Resort & Casino
Families that love the outdoors will enjoy staying at the Red Rock. This resort is a twenty-minute drive to Red Rock National Conservation Area and Mount Charleston is about an hour away. Depending on the time of year, you can hike, bike, and camp out at Red Rock; Mt. Charleston offers skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the winter. Red Rock has a pool, movie theater and arcade as well a full food court and a bowling alley on its property.
Adults and kids alike love the M&M Factory. Located next to MGM Grand, you can spend hours going through the four-level tribute to the history of the internationally-known candy. You can take home personalized M&Ms, on top of the other typical souvenirs (t-shirts, bags, keychains, etc.)
Discovery Children’s Museum
The Discovery Children’s Museum has been a beloved member of the Las Vegas community. Formerly known as Lied Discovery Museum, the 58,000 square-foot facility houses numerous exhibits designed to engage and challenge your children’s minds. You will find the Discovery Children’s Museum in downtown Las Vegas, next to the Smith Center.
Lion Habitat Ranch
The adventurous family will want to take a ride out to the Lion Habitat Ranch. The open-air animal sanctuary is open Friday-Mondays during the daytime, so it’s best to book your tickets in advance. Besides lions, the ranch is also home to giraffes. There are multiple tour options available, including feeding the animals and a behind-the-scenes tour.
Tournament of Kings
Tournament of Kings is one of the few attractions from the 90s that has survived on the Las Vegas Strip. Located inside the Excalibur, this live dinner theater show is fun for both adults and kids alike. Kids will love watching the jousting match that accompanies dinner. Parents love that the kids are entertained for the entire ninety-minute production. Ticket prices start at 55.95 for dinner and the show, and 44.95 for the show without dinner. Children 3 and under are free.