I wrote this article for Hilary over at Roam, Child. Be sure to check out her site for tips on traveling with your family!
I am a proud resident of the fabulous city of Las Vegas. Right now, you may be picturing a blond, six-foot-tall show girl gingerly sipping upon a martini in the penthouse suite atop one of our city’s many casinos. What you should actually picture is a regular mom, wearing yoga pants, gulping down her second cup of coffee. I do not live “on the strip”. I live in a regular house in a regular neighborhood.
Las Vegas is not just a city of gambling, partying, and night life. I mean, of course we have all of that in spades (pun intended), but Las Vegas is also a place you can bring your family to and actually have a great time. If you have ever wanted to visit Las Vegas, but nobody you know is planning a bachelor party any time soon, that is okay! Grab the kids and your spouse and take a trip to a fun city that is surprisingly rather family friendly!
On the Strip
Mandalay Bay is located at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. It is not the “center of the action” so-to-speak of The Strip, but it is very easy to get to all of the other hotels and casinos, should you want to explore. You are close enough to the action without having to navigate through the flood of foot traffic with small children in tow.
Mandalay Bay also has plenty of shops and restaurants on site that are family friendly, including a great burger place and a pizza joint. My toddler’s favorite amenity, however, would be The Shark Reef. The aquarium features over two thousand animals and you can even book a session to feed sea turtles or sharks!
This hotel is vintage Vegas, located Downtown or “Old Vegas”. Downtown Las Vegas is experiencing a revitalization in which the old is revered, but the future is wide open. Our former mayor, Oscar Goodman, along with our current mayor, Carolyn Goodman, have worked hard to make positive changes Downtown. Not only is it cleaner, safer, and even shinier, they have kept the needs of families in mind.
The pool at the Golden Nugget has been rated the best in Las Vegas as it contains a water slide and aquarium with live sharks. Your kids can play and splash while you indulge in a tropical cocktail served poolside.
Nearby is Container Park, a collection of unique boutiques and delicious dining experiences also nestled in recycled shipping containers. There is a playground in the center which feature life sized Legos. It’s like a toddler’s dream come true.
Off the Strip
If you want to get away from the hustle bustle, get off The Strip. The Red Rock Resort is a short cab ride from the airport, but allows you to come hang out with us locals. The resort features a bowling alley and movie theaters to allow for hours of family fun.
Directly next door is one of my favorite places to hang out, Downtown Summerlin. There are a variety of shops and restaurants for browsing and dining, including a Trader Joe’s for hotel munchies and an Old Navy if you need an extra bathing suit or flip flops.
If your family is the outdoorsy type, you can go hiking at nearby Red Rock Canyon. There are a variety of trails to explore in which you can also see some native desert wildlife while getting some exercise.