Visiting Las Vegas with kids might not be top of mind for a US family holiday, but Sin City caters surprisingly well to kids. Given it’s close proximity to the Grand Canyon (closer still by helicopter), huge selection of Vegas family resorts and fun family attractions in Las Vegas both the showy casino type and the low key with a distinctly Nevadan edge, it’s worth putting Las Vegas as a family stop, at least for a few days.
This Las Vegas Family City Guide is in collaboration with Southern Cross Travel Insurance, all opinion remains my very own.
If you and your family are looking to visit Las Vegas, check out SCTI and their range of travel insurance options for families.
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- 1. Take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour and be back in Vegas by lunch
- 2. Be dazzled by the famous Bellagio fountains
- 3. Get your thrills at Circus Circus’ Adventuredome
- 4. Let loose at the Las Vegas Town Square Children’s Park
- 5. Take in the views from the High Roller Observation Wheel
- 6. Glide around the Venetian on a gondola ride
- 7. Explore the desert habitat at Springs Preserve
- 8. Play downtown at Discovery Children's Museum
- 9. Escape the Nevadan heat at Wet 'n' Wild
- 10. Be a crime-solving detective at MGM Grand’s CSI: The Experience
- 11. Explore an underwater world at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium
- 12. Watch the Fall of Atlantis at Caesars Palace
- 13. See animals living and extinct at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum
- 14. Indulge your sweet tooth at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory
- 15. Go train-spotting at the Nevada State Railroad Museum
- 16. Get gangster at the Mob Museum
- 17. Take in a kid friendly Vegas Show
- 18. Give Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden a miss
Pros and Cons of Las Vegas with kids
The mind boggling selection of themed casino complexes and kid friendly vegas shows that produce over-the-top thrills and spills (with many of their glitzy spectacles free for everyone), along with the family friendly Vegas hotels and some pretty indulgent buffet spread makes this curious manufactured city in the desert a must-visit.
Drinking and gambling in Las Vegas Strip is not a past time but prime time, where drunken revelry is celebrated with it drinking in the street permitted. Notorious for it’s party atmosphere where anything goes, there’s no need for families to worry. Most late night shenanigans occur long after families are safely tucked under covers and families can visit a casino without ever needing to cross the gaming floor. By the light of day, the strip is restored to happy casino gawking tourists and conference goers.
For the self-proclaimed “entertainment capital of the world” with something for everybody, no matter what age it’s easy to take kids to Las Vegas! The cherry on top is certainly a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon.
Best things to do in Las Vegas for kids
Looking for what to do in Las Vegas with children? We’ve combed Las Vegas to find the best of the best Las Vegas family activities and family friendly Vegas attractions for kids:
1. Take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour and be back in Vegas by lunch
One of the seven natural wonders of the world, Arizona’s Grand Canyon stretches 277 miles (446 kilometers) and the seemingly endless ravines and majestic valleys is something that must be seen. Although tricky to get to with young kids, the Grand Canyon can be reached easily from Las Vegas, in comfort and style by splurging on a Las Vegas helicopter tour.
As well as the glamour of hovering over the Strip, Hoover Dam and Lake Mead along the way, the vantage point high in the sky provides sweeping panoramas of the west side of the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon West Rim). Rather than a 2.5 hour road trip (3.5 from Phoenix Airport) to visit the West Grand Canyon, families can leisurely start the day in the Grand Canyon and be back in Vegas for lunch as it’s a 35 minute flight to the floor of the Grand Canyon (just over an hour return).
Whilst a helicopter tour will never be a full immersion of the Grand Canyon and the views may not be a spectacular as from the South Rim, with it’s iconic and much photographed vistas. A Las Vegas helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon provides taste and a feel for the magnificent geological beauty.
How safe is a Grand Canyon flight?
Chartered flights and helicopter tours are not without risk. A little googling will uncover the main operators and those that do not hold a clear safety record, there are some with disturbing statistics. We flew Sundance Helicopters, only to later discover that they’ve had fatal crashes along with Papillion another major tour operator from Las Vegas. It’s enough to keep your feet firmly on the ground.
For us ignorance was bliss. Knowing what I know now, would I take a helicopter ride again? Considering the thousands that are transported to the Grand Canyon every year and how easy it is for a family to get to the Grand Canyon. It’s a quintessential Las Vegas place to visit and not to be missed.
Remembering the moment when our little family was squeezed in the back of the helicopter gazing down over the immense Grand Canyon, sprinkled with gumption, blind trust in the universe and helicopter pilot, I would say absolutely, I’d take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon with the family again. Although, I’d pay that little bit extra and book a Maverick Helicopter tour, they have had zero fatalities to date (2016).
2. Be dazzled by the famous Bellagio fountains
One of the best things to see in Las Vegas is to watch the Bellagio Fountain show, a world famous icon of the Vegas strip. This carefully choreographed water, light and music display happens every half an hour outside the Bellagio Hotel and it whilst it cost a fortune to build and maintain, it’s an absolutely free family friendly Las Vegas activity.
The show draws big crowds, particularly during the middle of the day and early evening. Arrive 15-20 minutes prior to the show to secure a spot front and centre, or along the stairs leading up to the main entrance.
The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens inside are also worth visiting and another family thing to do in Las Vegas for free. Its changing seasonal exhibitions combine colourful flowers and props to create enchanting displays. Linger on a velvet lounge in the lobby for a moment and watch the well heeled carrying designer shopping bags up to their gilded suite.
3. Get your thrills at Circus Circus’ Adventuredome
Part of the Circus Circus Hotel complex is Adventuredome – the world’s largest indoor theme park and one of Las Vegas’ top rated Las Vegas activities for kids. There’s a double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster, rock climbing walls, laser tag arena, bumper cars and 4D Sponge Bob Square Pants film, as well as softer rides for young kids, such as ferris wheels and carousels.
Circus Circus also hosts the world’s largest permanent circus, with free, live acts happening every day, and combined with a trip to Adventuredome, for families wanting to know what to do in Vegas for kids, you could easily spend a whole day here.
Tickets to Adventuredome are issued on a height-basis, with those under 48” $17.95USD for an all-day pass and those over 48” costing $31.95USD for an all-day pass.
4. Let loose at the Las Vegas Town Square Children’s Park
Address: Town Square Park, Las Vegas, NV 89119, United States. Open: 10am to 8:30pm Monday to Thursday (until 9:30pm Friday/Saturday and until 7:30pm Sunday).
What to do with the kids in vegas when you want to sneak in a quick shop? Situated in the middle of the Town Square shopping mall is this fantastic children’s playground which has features designed for multiple age levels.
There’s a tree house with slides and a rock wall, pop-jet fountain sprinklers to stay cool, a hedge-maze to get lost in, as well as a performance stage with regular kids shows. For the little ones there’s also a bakery cafe playhouse, and kid-sized toilets and drinking fountains are provided on-site.
Whilst kids play, parents can tag team for a shop with retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Banana Republic, Armani Exchange, GAP, Old Navy and department store Saks Fifth Avenue. For a quick bite there are family restaurants and casual eating outlets like California Pizza Kitchen, Whole Foods Market and Panda Express.
TIP: Las Vegas with KidsGameworks entertainment centre nearby
If you are shopping at Town Square Park with older kids, then the Gameworks entertainment centre might be more their thing, with 125 different video games on offer where you can leave them to their own devices.
5. Take in the views from the High Roller Observation Wheel
Address: The LINQ Hotel & Casino, 3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, United States. Open 24 hours.
Recently pipping the Singapore Flyer for the title of world’s tallest ferris wheel, the High Roller takes you 167 metres into the sky for impressive views across Las Vegas. If you’re already staying in a high-rise hotel on the Strip (with great views) then it might not be worth your money, but otherwise, for a little family fun in Vegas, aim for the right hand side of the pod to grab those iconic Strip views.
It’s located on the LINQ Hotel and Casino Promenade in the heart of the Strip, with each of its transparent pods holding up to 40 passengers (although they rarely squeeze that many people in).
Tickets cost from $19.95USD for adults and $14.95USD for youth aged 13-17 for day trips and $29.95USD for adults and $24.95USD for youth at night (12 and under are free with a paying adult).
TIP: Las Vegas with KidsSunset is the best time to go on the High Roller
Sunset is one of the most magical times to take the High Roller as the lights of the Strip slowly come to life. If you decide to come without the kids, you can opt for one of their all-you-can-drink bar pods.
6. Glide around the Venetian on a gondola ride
For a taste of Venice in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, spend a couple of hours exploring the iconic, Italian-inspired Venetian hotel, the world’s second largest hotel. Its Grand Canal Shoppes recreate the streets of Venice with stilt walkers, opera singers and “living statues” providing free entertainment.
The iconic Vegas attraction at the Venetian is the Gondola Ride where families can float along its canals while being serenaded by a gondolier, it’s almost as good as the real thing and relatively cheaper!
If that’s not enough, there are architectural recreations of Venice’s Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco, Lion of Venice Column and Rialto Bridge that create an Italian ambience with that Disneyland feel about it.
7. Explore the desert habitat at Springs Preserve
Address: 333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107, United States. Open: 10am to 6pm daily. Website: www.springspreserve.org
Las Vegas with the gaudy neon lights and incessant chimes of pokie machines can get tiring quickly. One of the things to do in Las Vegas with children that’s more in touch with Nevada is to escape the Strip for an afternoon at the Springs Preserve. A nearby natural oasis that feels a world away from the Las Vegas glitz.
There are several nature trails through desert habitat, a museum, as well as hands-on exhibits, it presents the challenges (and successes) of desert life in Nevada’s tough terrain. There’s a simulated flash flood display, thriving desert botanical gardens (all the rage right now), and a unique kids nature trading exchange that encourages them to be inquisitive about the natural world around them.
Tickets cost $18.95USD for adults and $10.95USD for kids aged 5-17 years.
8. Play downtown at Discovery Children’s Museum
Address: 360 Promenade Place, Las Vegas, NV 89106, United States. Website: www.discoverykidslv.org.
Open: 9am to 4pm Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm Saturday, 12pm to 5pm Sunday (closed Mondays). Summer hours (June to the start of September): Open 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday (12pm to 5pm Sunday)
I love the US Children’s Museums, they are always well though out with interactive and educational exhibits and the three-story Downtowon Las Vegas kids museum is no different. Discovery Children’s Museum was designed specifically for kids to encourage their development in the arts, science and natural worlds and a great place to drop in with the family, a particularly great thing to do in Las Vegas with toddlers.
In addition to traveling exhibits, their permanent displays are all interactive and hands-on, allowing them to create, experiment and perform in colourful, inspiring spaces. For little ones there is Toddler Town where they can problem solve, collaborate and crawl with other young explorers, while the Eco City is designed to inspire green living and working alongside others in your community.
Tickets cost $14.95USD for anyone aged 1-99, with those younger (or older) free to enter, and while this might seem steep, most parents think it is well worth it for the quality of the museum and size. A fun thing to do in Las Vegas with family, allow at least three hours to explore everything it has to offer.
9. Escape the Nevadan heat at Wet ‘n’ Wild
Address: 7055 S Fort Apache Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89148, United States. Website: www.wetnwildlasvegas.com.
Open: 10:30am to 8pm Sunday to Thursday (until 10pm Fridays and Saturdays) during the Summer months, and only on weekends and holidays at other times of the year.
If you’re visiting Las Vegas in the height of summer, then a much-needed reprieve from the heat can be found at Wet ’n’ Wild Las Vegas. There’s more than 25 water slides and different attractions, designed to cater from adults down to the smallest water babies, as well as some thrill-seeker rides for game teenagers.
If you’re visiting Las Vegas with toddlers, then head to their interactive Paradise Falls play area or bob along their Colorado Cooler lazy river in a tube together, while older kids can check out their new gaming-inspired water slide feature at Zipp Zapp Zoom.
Tickets cost $39.99USD for those 42” and over in height (or $34.99 if you buy online) and $29.99USD for those under 42” (2 and under are free).
10. Be a crime-solving detective at MGM Grand’s CSI: The Experience
Address: MGM Grand, 3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, United States. Open: 9am to 9pm daily.
One of the best family things to do in Las Vegas for older kids is the forensic science adventure of CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand which allows them to be a detective for the day. Only in Vegas can they produce an entire entertainment experience based on the TV series of the same name.
This unique Vegas attraction challenges kids to solve three murders by matching DNA and other information within state-of-the-art forensic crime labs. The experience is very popular and it’s a good idea to book ahead.
Tickets cost $28USD for adults and $21USD for kids aged 4-11, although it’s really best suited to those 12 and over. For more info and to book tickets you can visit their website at www.lasvegas.csiexhibit.com.
11. Explore an underwater world at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium
Address: 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, United States. Open: 10am to 8pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am to 10pm Fridays and Saturdays.
A must see in Las Vegas is the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium with more than 2000 different marine animals, including a huge selection of dangerous predators and 15 species of shark. The aquarium is not your average fish bowl.
There’s 14 different exhibits to explore, but without a doubt the most popular is its shipwreck tunnel where you are literally surrounded by aquatic life of all shapes and forms. Keep your eyes peeled for rays, jellyfish, crocodiles and even piranhas, as well as endangered sea turtles and the newest additions – a pair of scalloped hammerhead sharks.
Tickets cost $20USD for adults and $14USD for kids aged 4-12 (3s and under are free). More info can be found online at www.sharkreef.com.
TIP: Las Vegas with KidsHand feed stingrays
The Shark Reef Aquarium also gives visitors the opportunity to hand feed stingrays, turtles and sharks for an additional fee (reservations are a “must”). Kids must be 5 and over to feed the stingrays and 13+ to feed the sea turtles or sharks.
12. Watch the Fall of Atlantis at Caesars Palace
Every hour, on the hour, the forum of Caesars Palace hosts a free special effects show that recounts the Fall of Atlantis and a sibling rivalry that goes well beyond bickering over toys.
It’s all very Vegas with fireballs, water effects and nine-foot-tall talking statues that make this an engaging show for kids (even if they might not follow the narrative), and there’s also an immense aquarium nearby full of fish worth checking out.
13. See animals living and extinct at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Address: 900 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89101, United States. Open: 9am to 4pm daily
From lifelike woolly mammoth replicas to live baby sharks, the Natural History Museum in Las Vegas does a wonderful job of presenting the animal world to kids, with lots of fun facts thrown in along the way. There’s different themed zones that range from the dinosaur-filled Prehistoric Gallery to the Wild Nevada exhibit, where kids can touch, hear and see what it feels like to be in the presence of some of the world’s most fascinating animals.
Allow time (extra 30-40 minutes) to visit the Treasures of Egypt exhibit, where you can explore Tutankhamun’s ancient burial chamber and play with an interactive mummy scan.
Tickets cost $10USD for adults and $5USD for kids aged 3-11, with under 3s free.
TIP: Las Vegas with KidsShark feeding sessions
If you can time your visit for a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday they have shark feeding sessions in their Marine Life Gallery at around 2pm.
14. Indulge your sweet tooth at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory
Ask the kids if they want to tour a chocolate factory and there’s few that would decline the offer, and you can do just that (for free!) at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas’ Henderson area to the southeast of the Strip. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how their premium chocolate is made, then sample a few morsels at the end.
There is also a Botanical Cactus Garden adjacent to the factory with more than 300 types of cactus, and if you visit during the Christmas holidays you will see it transformed into a winter wonderland, with festive lights, decorations and appearances from Father Christmas.
15. Go train-spotting at the Nevada State Railroad Museum
There are beautifully restored engines and coaches which the kids can climb aboard and explore, train rides on different vehicles (depending on the day), as well as a toy train table for some hands-on fun. It’s run by volunteers who you can watch lovingly work on different restoration projects and all kids under 18 are free on entry.
Train rides cost a little extra, but again, kids ride for free!
16. Get gangster at the Mob Museum
Address: 300 Stewart Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101, United States. Open: 9am to 9pm daily. Website: www.themobmuseum.org.
Although Las Vegas’ notorious mobsters might not seem like the quintessential subject matter for family friendly entertainment, their role in making Sin City what it is today cannot be overlooked and the Mob Museum covers the mobsters stories in a three level, downtown Las Vegas museum.
In addition to plenty of artefacts scattered throughout its exhibits, there are lots of interactive and multimedia displays that explain Las Vegas’ gangster-era organised crime to a younger audience. The Mob Museum’s multiple awards justify why it has become one of Las Vegas’ must-see attractions, but it’s content is probably suited best as one of the things to do with teenagers in Las Vegas.
The museum highlight has to be standing behind a glassed mirror line up and taking home a souvenir mug shot. Tickets cost $23.95USD for adults and $13.95USD for children 11-17, with kids 10 years and under free.
Until the end of 2016 the museum is offering a $4USD discount on adult tickets purchased online.
17. Take in a kid friendly Vegas Show
Vegas offers spectacular shows with casinos building purpose built theaters for the performance that runs the year long.
Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil have cornered the Vegas market with seven shows. Whilst not specifically targeted for kids, the performances are easily followed for all ages and nationalities as there is little dialogue but loads of acrobatics and artistry. Vegas is the place to catch one of the shows and the Ka, Mystere and O shows are the ones I recommend for families. Steer away from Zumanity a Cirque Du Solei show with an erotic twist.
Blue Man Group
The three musical Blue Men are still alive and well in Vegas and are performing their technicolour stage show at the Luxor Casino Hotel. Kids will get a kick out of floating laterns, neon lights and crazy upbeat music lead by three coloured blue men in black skivvies.
Gregory Popovich’s Comedy Pet Theater
Watch an animal menagerie where cats, geese, doves and dogs do tricks trained by physical comedian Gregory Popovich. A traditional style circus show with animals, acrobats and even a minature pony performing stage show tricks, not bad for rescue animals!
Tournament of Kings
Very Vegas, the castle themed Excalibur show Tournament of Kings a a medieval dinner show held in the castle themed Excalibur casino hotel. Families can tuck in bare hands to a meal from the dark ages whilst watching sword fights, knights jousting from real horses and fair maidens dancing.
18. Give Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden a miss
Address: 300 Stewart Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101, United States. Open: 10am to 6:30pm daily. Website: www.miragehabitat.com
Although Siegfried and Roy retired immediately after their white tiger Montecorte attacked Roy during a live show in 2003, the magicians still have their names associated with the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage Hotel.
Marketed as an ‘animal sanctuary’ that aims to educate the youth about the wild world around them, make no mistake that this is first and foremost animals in captivity, entertaining the masses of well meaning tourists.
Rare wildlife such as white lions, white tigers and black leopards are rotated into viewing enclosures although there are other enclosures behind the scenes. It’s the habitat of a pod of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that causes the most controversy dubbed the ‘dolphin death pool’, it’s alleged 15 dolphins have died since opening in 1990.
Dolphins perform every half hour as well as a variety of interactive dolphin add-ons, such as the full-day trainer program and a painting program where dolphins produce a work of art poolside for a tidy sum of $159.
The affordable All-day Adventure Pass tickets to the Secret Garden of $22USD for adults and $17USD for kids 4-12 (under 4s free) is an appealing thing to do in Las Vegas with kids, the lure of exotic and adorable animals in an intimate setting makes it one of the most popular attractions. The Secret Garden is as outdated as Siegfried and Roy and even if the attraction is not regarded as inhumane, it’s not necessary with plenty of other things to do in Las Vegas with the family.
TIP: Las Vegas with KidsWatch the volcano instead
At the Mirage around dusk and you will see the famous (and free) volcano fire, this show of a volcano spewing smoke and flames into the air that cascades molten lava is worth it for kitsch alone.
Best kid friendly restaurants
Vegas is a food lovers paradise and there are delectable options from chef hatted to the very basic. Look around any Casino resort complex and there is something to cater for everybody. So here are just a few of the top family friendly restaurants suggestions in Las Vegas, with a focus on casual, interesting and affordable places to eat in Las Vegas:
Gordon Ramsays Fish & Chips
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has his hands full with restaurants all over the Strip, his latest is recreating authentic British Fish and Chips in a laid back English setting. Families can walk into the iconic red British phone booth entrance and order a Fish & Chips box with accompanied with a signature dipping sauce, with choices including southwest ranch or curry and mango. It has a traditional take away feel, where families can grab and there is also a small dining area inside and a few stools out the front.
While the Rainforest Restaurant at the MGM Grand stood loud and proud for 20 years, the new establishment at the Strip’s Harmon Retail Corner is carrying on the tradition in style.
Draped in fake vines and with plenty of jungle-inspired creatures like boa constrictors, talking trees and crocodiles, it’s famed for its regular thunderstorms, complete with lighting and thunder. Dine surrounded by butterflies and birds from their American-inspired menu of soups, salads, burgers and pasta, with an extensive kids menu for those 10 and under.
Bobby’s Burger Palace
For a quintessential (and affordable) American dining experience, Bobby’s Burger Palace spearheaded by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, it’s a quintessential Las Vegas restaurant even though it now has chains across America.
Bobby’s Burger Palace serves up signature burgers that reflect different states from across the country. They are made with angus beef, ground turkey or whole chicken breast, and can be “crunchified” on request (meaning that a layer of potato chips is added free of charge). Their menu boasts 10 different milkshakes (which can all be adulterated with spirits), and their is also a Margarita Bar offering some creative concoctions.
Osaka Japanese Bistro
Keep kids content at mealtimes with a live food spectacle performed by a teppanyaki chef at Osaka Japanese Bistro. Somehow, the slight cheesiness fits right into Las Vegas and reason why there is not one but two Las Vegas Osaka Japanese Bistros, a Vegas institution established in 1967.
With plenty of awards under their belt for authentic Japanese cuisine, the food here is as impressive as the knife-twirling, egg juggling and fire displays. The menu is extensive, with soups, salads and noodles that will appeal to kids, in addition to their famed sushi rolls and lively teppanyaki grill.
Located in Caesars Palace, this old-fashioned ice cream parlour is THE place to go for desserts, as well as their signature frozen hot chocolate. Although you can get full cooked breakfast and American lunchtime favourites, like steak sandwiches and hot dogs, its the sweet treats like deep-fried oreo icecream sundae that are the real draw here.
If you’ve got money to burn, then their Golden Opulence Sundae covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf and rare chocolate is possibly the world’s most exclusive dessert at $1000USD!
Best Las Vegas buffets for families
A Las Vegas buffet is the easiest way to dine for families. The food is instant, kids can eat as much or as little as they want and there the Vegas buffets offers incredible selections that there is something for everybody. Often affordable and kids either eat free or for a discounted price. Here are the best Vegas buffet for kids.
Le Village Buffet
For a French-inspired buffet within charismatic village surrounds, head to the Paris Hotel and Casino’s Le Village Buffet. Each of its food stations is themed after a French province and serves quintessential dishes from the region, and there are made-to-order omelette and crepe stations that will satisfy both the sweet and savoury tooth.
Carnival World Buffet
For one of Las Vegas’ biggest buffets, with more than 300 different dishes to choose from, the Carnival World Buffet at the Rio Hotel and Casino is hard to beat. There’s everything from Mexican to Chinese and Italian-inspired dishes, as well as a huge selection of fresh seafood and a cooked-to-order teppanyaki station. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert, with an endless selection of cakes and pies, as well as homemade gelato and sorbet.
Feast Around the World Buffet
The Feast Around the World Buffet at the Green Valley Ranch Resort is a local favourite, with its off-Strip location meaning more reasonable prices, without compromising on selection. It boasts live cooking stations where you can watch the chefs prepare dishes from across the globe, as well as made-to-order milkshakes that will undoubtedly be a hit with the kids.
The Buffet at Wynn
For a more upmarket buffet experience, the Wynn Las Vegas dishes up creative gourmet fare in bite-size portions that allow you to sample a little taste of everything. In addition to made-to-order sushi, cassoulet au canard, and salmon in truffle sauce, they also do kid favourites like spaghetti and meat balls, as well as a huge selection of cakes, pastries and gelato.
To stay on Strip or Off Strip in Las Vegas?
There are pros and cons of staying on or off the strip in Las Vegas. If the off-strip casino resort has a free shuttle or is within walking distance to the main strip then it hardly makes much dfference for families, after all we’re not there for the Las Vegas party.
Pick a family Vegas hotel for its amenities and price. If you score am awesome hotel deal in Las Vegas but it’s off-strip or not quite central to the strip, it’s not a deal breaker.
There are great benefits for staying on the strip, as most of the main attractions, food and entertainment are on the Vegas Strip. Therefore staying on strip saves time getting to and from the hotel room, particularly important on blistering hot and bitterly cold days.
Staying on the Las Vegas Strip is handy for saving tired young legs or wanting to go back to the room for a nap. Free trams also run along the strip rather than off-strip, which makes it that little bit easier to navigate Las Vegas with the family.
Best kid friendly hotels in Vegas
With Las Vegas casino hotels lining the strip and more Vegas hotels off Strip there’s an extensive selection, the only problem families face is deciding where to stay in Las Vegas with kid? We’ve combed all the hotels in Vegas to find the best kid friendly hotels in Las Vegas.
Please note: The following Las Vegas hotel list uses affiliate links, which means we earn small commission if you click on the link and book through TripAdvisor at no cost to you. However, you are in no way obligated to book and can search with your preferred hotel provider.
Estimated prices displayed are based on a family of four travelling in the peak months, staying over a weekend.
Best family friendly luxury resort in Las Vegas
Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
Luxuriously appointed, modern and spacious rooms with a commanding view of the strip from the south side. Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas offers the service excellence as expected from a five star hotel as well as the serenity for families to escape the casinos and bright lights.
Families will enjoy the tranquil pool on the 8th floor and in-room amenities like mini robes for kids and children’s menus. A nice little bonus is that there is no on-site casino, which makes the hotel even more intimate and family friendly. There’s also baby sitting services offered so parents can get a little spa in or head out to enjoy the nearby hatted restaurants.
Find best prices for Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
Cityscape double rooms from $520 AUD per night. Click here to find the best prices for Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.
Bellagio Las Vegas
The famed hotel with the iconic fountains and splendid lobby flowers offers spacious rooms, perfect for five star families. Located in the heart of Vegas, with splendid views of both sides of the Strip. Splurge and stay at this sprawling hotel casino complex.
Exquisitely furnished rooms accommodate up to four family members with adjoining rooms available. The elegant fit out also has all the modern conveniences like free WIFI, media hub, automatic blinds, 40 inch flatscreen TV with entertainment channels and some offer sweeping views over the Fountains of Bellagio.
The sprawling hotel offers a exquisite Mediterranean pool surrounded by elegant courtyards and poolside cabanas. The Casino hotel also has it’s own shopping mall, art gallery, casino, entertainment theatres including showing the award winning O by Cirque Du Soleii Show. show and it’s free floral conservatory, botanical gardens and fountain show. During Christmas special the Bellagio spares no expense in hosting it’s own winter festival complete with ice skating rink.
Find best prices for Bellagio Las Vegas
Double room sleeps a family of up to four from $545 AUD per night. Click here to find the best prices for Bellagio Las Vegas.
Wynn Las Vegas
One of my personal favourites, the Wynn Las Vegas is grand, opulent, modern and luxurious yet not in a stuffy way. The appealing modern accents including bright carpets, colourful chandeliers and the splashes of fire engine red makes it a fun and pleasurable experience to visit.
Walking the decadent hallways is a Vegas tourist attraction in it’s own right with huge trees loaded with flowers and fairy lights, corridors of guilded golden wallpaper and plush butterfly carpets.
Like a gorgeous luxury Oasis in Sierra Nevada, the Wynn Las Vegas offers families a hotel surrounded by exquisitely manicured gardens and a pristine golf course complete with raging waterfall tumbling into the hotels ‘Lake of Dreams’.
There is a rather expansive European meets Nevada resort pool, sumptuous lounges and extravagant courtyards for families to completely escape the glitz of the Vegas strip.
Unlike the bright and colourful resort, rooms are elegant and neutral in tones focussing on every creature comfort like surround sound system, plush robes and slippers, oversized bathrooms and large flat screen TV. Leaving the panoroamic views of the strip and mountain range speak for itself.
Each night, the resort hosts a free Wynn Las Vegas light show, a spectacle of puppetry, holographic and music music choreographed to 4000 LED lights and holographic display.
Find best prices for Wynn Las Vegas
Double room sleeps a family of up to four from $720 AUD per night. Click here to find the best prices for Wynn Las Vegas.
Best family friendly luxury mid-range in Las Vegas
New York New York Hotel & Casino
For a taste of New York in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip, the New York New York Hotel and Casino have completely replicated its neighbourhoods for a distinctly Big Apple experience.
You can wander through the recreated streets and sample New York-inspired food from its eateries, then test your adrenalin on their Big Apple Rollercoaster. For those not feeling so brave, there’s also a video game arcade and a large swimming pool available for guests.
Find best prices for New York New York Hotel and Casino
Double room sleeps a family of up to four from $390 AUD per night. Click here to find the best prices for New York New York Hotel and Casino.
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
With multiple swimming pools, whirlpools, waterfalls and a lazy river, the MGM Grand Hotel on the Strip is almost a water park in itself.
Add to that a resident Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas Show, David Copperfield and the CSI: The Experience attraction, and there’s plenty to keep families entertained before you even venture out of the hotel complex.
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Double room sleeps a family of up to four from $520 AUD per night. Click here to find the best prices for MGM Grand Las Vegas.
With prime location in the middle of the strip the pirate theme hotel and casino complex proves popular for families with spacious rooms (interconnecting available), great facilities and excellent value for money, look out for package specials eg. $69 weekday specials, that often occur.
An older hotel, some rooms have been refurbished and offer excellent views over the strip. All room sare comfortable, spacious with all the modern conveniences families need including mini-fridge, comfortable pillow top beds, bathtub and 42 inch TV. There is an extra charge of $32 USD per day for facilities like newspapers, welcome drink and WIFI.
Within the casino hotel complex are a variety of family friendly restaurants including Phils Italian Steak House, Senor Frogs, a pizzeria and the affordable TI Buffet.
Treasure Island’s large is manned wit a life guard on duty as well as 25 man hot tub that kids can also enjoy. Treasure Island’s entertainment includes the Mystere Cirque Du Soleii, and TI guests get complimentary access to the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N exhibit where they can check out their hero’s gear like Captain America’s uniform and shield and the full Iron Man suit.
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Double room sleeps a family of up to four from $326 AUD per night. Click here to find the best prices for Treasure Island.
Wyndham Grand Desert
Address: 265 E Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89169.
If you don’t want to be smack bang in the middle of the Strip, then the Wyndham Grand Desert is an ideal family-friendly choice about 2 kilometres away (they offer free daily shuttles to the Strip).
There are plenty of activities targeted specifically at kids, including arts and crafts, Xbox consoles, a mini-arcade play area and a 3D theatre, as well as three heated pools and kid-friendly menus at the onsite restaurants and cafes.
Best family friendly budget hotel in Las Vegas
Located just to the north of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard (and with bus stops and a monorail station to whisk you into the heart of all the action), the Stratosphere Hotel is a great budget option.
It’s home to the 350 metre-high Stratosphere Tower whose observation deck has incredible views across the city, a brand new outdoor swimming pool, as well as thrill rides that include the Big Shot, Insanity and SkyJump Las Vegas.
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Standard room which sleeps a family of up to four from $192 AUD per night. Click here to find the best prices for Stratosphere Hotel.
Monte Carlo Resort and Casino
In the middle of Las Vegas on the strip, the location and value for money makes this an excellent choice for families on a budget, with sales on rack rates as low as $49 a room. Although a little dated, rooms are roomy, comfortable that sleeps four and some offer excellent views of the Las Vegas Strip.
The pool is currently undergoing renovation, which is good news for when it re-opens. In the meantime, guests have access to the MGM Grand pool complex, which is a step up with four pools, whirlpools and a lazy river. Nearby are great family friendly restaurants or dine at Monte Carlo’s Blvd Plaza food court, Dragon Noodle Co, The Buffet or ramen house Yusho.
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Standard room which sleeps a family of up to four from $298 AUD per night. Click here to find the best prices for Monte Carlo.
Circus Circus Hotel and Casino
Home of the five acre indoor Adventuredome, families can stay where they play and make the most of their all day passes. Circus Circus is golden oldy that offers heavily discounted packages, sometimes 50% off the rack rate and some deals package up the entertainment and casino amenities for affordable fun.
It’s a huge casino complex with it’s own shopping mall, sprawling 3,000 acre pool and food court with Mc Donalds and Krispy Kreme as fast food options The traditional room decor could use an update, however accommodations are clean, comfortable and spacious. For the money families pay (as low as $45 US a night) it’s a cheap and cheerful family option packed full of amenities and facilities.
Find best prices for Circus Circus Hotel and Casino
Standard room which sleeps a family of up to four from $280 AUD per night. Click here to find the best prices for Circus Circus hotel.
Best time to visit Las Vegas
Las Vegas experiences extreme summers and winters that see temperatures drop considerably over the Christmas and New Year season and scorching hot conditions in the summer months of June, July and August.
Spring and Autumn are the best time to visit
The best time to goto Las Vegas with kids is in the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) where temps are more pleasant, particularly if you plan on spending time outside of the climate-controlled casinos and heading into the surrounding desert.
Keep in mind that Las Vegas is busy year-round, with weekends (particularly 3-day weekends) seeing a sharp influx of domestic visitors and lots of conventions held throughout the year when individual hotels fill to the brim. Watch out for big events that might spike accommodation rates like March Madness and Memorial Day Weekend.
If you want to get the best hotel deals, then try and visit during the mid-week and outside of school holidays, and if you plan on visiting over the New Year’s period, despite the colder climate, book well ahead and be prepared for plenty of drunken revelry in the streets.
Weather in Las Vegas
Situated in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas hardly rains however the temperatures do fluctuate depending on the spring, summer, autumn and winter seasons. It can be sweltering hot in the summer or extremely cold cold and dry in the winter.
Winter (December – February)
Winter can get bitterly cold, particularly at night which can dip down to 1°C and the Sierra Nevada Mountain range dusted with snow and reason why most casino hotel pools are closed during the winter, opening back up in Spring. Although it doesn’t snow often in Las Vegas, it has been know to occur.
As most Casino complexes are sheltered and climate controlled, there’s no need to pack the heavy snow gear. It’s best to dress in layers and pack a warm jacket and long sleeve fleece or jumper if spending time outdoors during winter, particularly in the mountain ranges or for a walk outdoors at night.
During the day winter’s in Las Vegas are mainly sunny and mild with average temperatures between 14-17 degree Celsius. Las Vegas is a all-round weather destination and Winter is a good time for people to go, particularly Northern Hemisphere dwellers who want to escape a real winter. It’s still cold enough in the first part of Winter
TIP: Las Vegas with KidsSome Vegas casino hotel pools open year round
Although most Las Vegas hotels close their pool during winter, there are some Vegas casino hotel pools that are open year round including Bellagio, MGM Grand and Pallazzo hotels.
Spring (March – May)
A perfect time to visit Las Vegas when the average temperatures range from 17-25 degrees Celsius, although it and creeps up to the high thirties closer to summer (May). The days are sunny and bright with small rainfall. This is also the peak time in Las Vegas, so expect higher crowds all wanting to enjoy the good weather.
Summer (June – August)
Summer can get blistering hot with a suffocating dry heat. Temperatures can reach high as 40°C average temperatures at in the mid thirties Celsius, uncomfortable to for kids (or anyone) to be walking the strip, although there is the climate controlled comfort of the casinos which most spend their days in or by the pool.
Autumn (September – November)
Another excellent time to visit Las Vegas is in the Autumn, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C (Nov) to 30°C (September), with a steady decline closer to winter. This makes October to early November the most comfortable time, in terms of weather to visit Las Vegas.
Getting to and from Las Vegas
The most direct flights (with the shortest transit times) from Australia to Las Vegas are with Virgin America and Qantas, connecting through either Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Fares start at $1100AUD from Sydney, $1200AUD from Brisbane and$1300 AUD from Melbourne. If you are flying from Adelaide, Perth or Darwin, then you should connect through one of the East Coast capitals first.
Children under 12 years are eligible for 20% discount on these fares, while infants under 2 pay 10% of the children’s fare (if they are sitting on an adult’s lap).
Getting Around Las Vegas
From McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas there are plenty of different shuttle bus companies that will take you into the downtown area and to hotels along the Strip. This is a door-to-door service and costs from $9USD one way and $15USD for a round trip.
Shuttle busses depart from outside the international terminal baggage claim area and tickets can be bought either online or at the ticket stands in the arrival hall.
Keep in mind that it can be a slow journey, particularly if you are staying at one of the last drop off points on their route and some manage to be no-shows, I’ve had first hand experience. Although they maybe cheaper for couples, for families, it’s easier to catch a taxi.
The Deuce – Double Decker Bus
The double-decker Deuce bus plies the Strip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is one of the easiest ways to get around and sightsee in the area. It runs from the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas to Mandalay Bay, stopping at almost every big hotel and casino along the way.
It costs $6USD for two hours, $8USD for 24 hours and $20USD for a 3-day pass, with kids 5 and under free!
Las Vegas Strip & Downtown Express
Slightly faster than the bus is this rail-like vehicle that travels between Downtown and the Strip along designated transit lanes. For those with strollers it may be more convenient, with level platform boarding. It can be used with the same ticket issued for the Deuce and you can buy tickets at vending machines before boarding.
Las Vegas Monorail
The elevated monorail is another good option for getting around, operating along a 6 1/2 kilometre route behind the Las Vegas Strip and avoiding the traffic congestion down below.
A single ride costs $5USD or you can buy multi-day passes for unlimited rides, starting at $12USD for one day up to $56USD for a week (kids 5 and under are free).
Las Vegas Taxi
For a faster ride from the airport, grab one of the taxis which depart from outside the terminal baggage claim area. Las Vegas’ taxis are all metered, with a $2USD surcharge for pickups from the airport, but be aware that some taxi drivers try and take new visitors via the I-215 tunnel, which adds a substantial distance (and fare) onto your trip.
The fare should be between $14-20USD if you are heading to the Strip and about $5USD more if you are going to Downtown Las Vegas. Most taxis only accept cash, so make sure you have enough as your credit card will probably be refused.
If you want to hail a cab around town, you need to go to a designated taxi rank (outside most big hotels and casinos) and join the queue. It is against the law for taxis to stop by the side of the road just anywhere in Las Vegas, and there is a maximum of five people allowed per taxi (including infants and children).
Free Vegas Shuttle buses
Many of the big casinos operate free shuttle buses to transport guests to sister casinos, and if you plan ahead and know what attractions are nearby, you can take advantage of these, even if you’re not staying at the casino. They are on a first come, first serve basis (and priority is given to those staying at the hotel), but if you don’t feel like walking (or paying for a cab) they may just do the trick.
ARIA Express Tram
Another free transport option that you can plan into you itinerary is the ARIA Express Tram which stops at the Monte Carlo, Crystals retail and entertainment district and the Bellagio/Vdara Hotel and Spa. The entire route only takes about 6 minutes, meaning that you never have to wait long between tram services, and they run from 8am in the morning until 4am.
Walking in Las Vegas
Exploring the Strip on foot is a great way to soak up the Las Vegas atmosphere when sightseeing in vegas, with plenty of shops and attractions to explore along its 6 1/2 kilometres. There are lots of pedestrian overpasses to help you get across the busy road safely (remember that jaywalking is illegal and fines imposed on the spot), and plenty of places to rest and grab drinks and snacks along the way.
There is allot of walking involved and for young kids a strollers is recommended, footpaths are wide and flat and little legs. An alternative is a baby carrier, bearing in mind that there is allot of ground to cover and a carrier might become heavy and hot in the desert heat.
Drunk (and sometimes disorderly) pedestrians are unfortunately part of the Las Vegas experience (particularly if you are walking around in the evening), and if you are visiting during the scorching hot summer months, keep walking to a minimum as the desert heat is draining on young and old alike.
USA Electric Outlet
The USA runs on 110 Volts and 50/60 Hertz (Cycles) as opposed to Australia that runs on 220-240 volts at 50 hertz.
The electrical plug used in America is two flat blades and sometimes a third round grounding pin. So Australian devices require not only a electrical adapter, but a converter (step up transformer) to run electrical devices properly like toothbrushes, shavers, ipads, iphones, tablets and battery chargers
Some devices like iPads support dual charge, check your device to see if it also support US electricity e.g. the label on the charger may say ‘AC 1.5A 100-240V 50/60H’. I’ve had some experience plugging a low power hairdryer and electric toothbrush just using an adapter. I’m not sure what damage it does to the device, but as it’s running on half the power, the electric toothbrush and hairdryer felt like it was running out of steam.
You can purchase US travel converters to convert the power supply to the right voltage. With step up transformers, work out how many watts all your personal devices use and purchase a transformer that can handle the total wattage or load. It gets a little tricky, but there are calculators out there to work out the total wattage by reading the labels of each of the devices, look for watts or calculate by the Amps (Watts = amps x volts).
Once you have the adequate step up transformer, plug it into a power board connected to a US power adapter. That way you are only placking one converter and one adapter rather than several. If
Packing essentials for Las Vegas with kids
When figuring out what to pack for Las Vegas with kids, it’s similar to packing for a summer destination in Australia. The dress code is quite relaxed, even with the high-end casinos, although a no-shirt, no-shoe policy on gaming floors applies.
Las Vegas is a resort town, with plenty of pools to cool down in, so swimming gear, resort wear like sandals, thongs and cover-ups during the day. Similarly at night, particularly for for families, Las Vegas is quite relaxed, although you may dress it up a little for family restaurants or a Vegas show.
Las Vegas is a convenient city where shops and pharmacies are open late for last minute family supplies like fresh milk, toiletries, baby supplies or over the counter medicines (drugs). Families are not far away from shopping malls or casino shops for shoes, clothing and personal items. Here are some essential items to pack for families visiting Las Vegas:
- US Currency
- Dollar bills for tipping – staff work on a tipping culture and small $1 bills comes in handy for hotel bell boys, valet, tour guides etc.
- Photo ID
- US Power Adapter with step up converter
- Power board
- Cameras, batteries, chargers and SD Cards
- Devices – most resorts have WIFI and SIM Cards can be found for extra data. Pack those iPads, iPhones and tablets!
- Kids float
- Swimmers / Bathers
- Rash guard
- Las Vegas Map
- Umbrella Stroller
- Baby Carrier
- Water bottle
- Infant bottles or breast feeding cover
- First Aid Kit
- Nappies (diapers)
- Washing detergent
- Coat / Jacket (Winter)
- Jumper / Fleece (Winter)
- T-Shirts & Shorts
- Day dresses (girls)
- Warm Clothes (Winter)
- Casual Clothes
- Dress clothes (evening)
- Toiletries – most resorts have hotel toiletries, but if there maybe particular products from home that aren’t easily found in the US e.g. Paw Paw Ointment, Eucalyptus Oil etc.
- Zip lock bags
- Food Container for snacks on the go
- Toys / Books
Have you been to Las Vegas with family? Have you go suggestions for fun things to do in Las Vegas with kids? Any hot tips things to do with kids in Las Vegas or insiders advice on Las Vegas attractions for families? Please leave a reply below: