Whether it’s Vegas BABY or Vegas with babies, this city offers a wide selection of activities for every age group. I’ve been going to Vegas since I was a baby and I’m proud to keep the tradition going with my children. Let me tell you, Las Vegas with kids can be a blast.Once I hear the sound of the slot machines binging and I smell the sweet aroma of cigars and sunscreen wafting through the air, all seems right with the world.
Yes, I take my kids to Vegas and I love it. Now, get that terrified expression off your face and hear me out. Most people don’t think about bringing their kids to Las Vegas, but “Sin City” can actually be quite family- friendly. Sure this is the city known for indulging in the excess of all that is naughty, but surprisingly there are many activities that parents can enjoy with their kids. The beauty of Las Vegas is that it can be whatever you want it to be; it can be the place you go to let your hair down and get wild, but it can also be a great family getaway. It can also be very expensive if you’re not careful and Hot Mama is always careful.
At a Glance...
- 1 Keep the cost in check
- 2 Drop your bags!
- 3 Get your grub on!
- 4 Chugalug!
- 5 Entertain Me!
Keep the cost in check
I have enjoyed many trips to this sparkling city in the desert and I always seem to be on a budget. I keep hoping the next year will be better and I can finally go crazy, but alas, I’m still pinching my pennies. However, my meager income has never stopped me from having a fabulous time in Sin City. I stay at the best hotels, I eat at great restaurants and I drink at fabulous bars. Vegas done full out, just do it at a fraction of the cost. I may have champagne taste and a beer budget, but I still find a way to drink dang good champagne! Thirsty for more?
Drop your bags!
1.Where to stay:
• Stay on the main strip or “New Vegas.”This is where all the big hotels like the Venetian, New York New York, The Mirage, etc. are located. In general, it’s the nicer part of town. Sure anyone can find a bargain in downtown Vegas, but I’m here to show you how to do Vegas in style and how to do Las Vegas with kids.
Every hotel on the main strip offers a wide selection of family-friendly activities, including some pretty awesome entertainment that is free to the public. For example, the volcano at The Mirage and The Sirens of T.I at Treasure Island are exciting attractions to see while strolling the strip. Disclaimer: Sadly, this show has been discontinued. I’m not sure if they will bring it back, but fingers-crossed they do. It was our favorite and our main reason to check out TI.
Hot Mama Tip:
My all time favorite is The Mirage, partly for sentimental reasons and also the pool is the best I’ve seen in 30 years of going to Vegas. My parents have been taking me to The Mirage since it opened in the 80’s and now that’s where I bring my kids. I go into more detail in my about this hotel in this post. Although the ownership has changed as well as many other aspects of the hotel since I was a child, the pool remains pretty close to the same. Despite the fun water-slides being removed, the tropical atmosphere is still present and well worth the visit. To this day the pool at The Mirage is still my favorite.
Get a Player’s Club card, even if you are not a big gambler. One card is good for multiple sister hotels. For example, one card is works for MGM, Mirage, NYNY, etc. So make sure you collect them all. I have three. These little babies get you ridiculously discounted room rates, restaurant vouchers, game credit, holiday shopping points…you name it! This hot piece of plastic cost nothing, but it is priceless. It literally is your key to the city.
For the best room rates book your stay Sunday-Thursday. If you don’t have Player’s club card you can still find some good deals during the week, but if you have a card and you book during the week the room is practically free.
Get your grub on!
Paying for food and drink can really drain you dry fast, but when you’re on vacation that’s part of the fun, right? In Las Vegas there are tons of really great food establishments that have fabulous atmospheres and delicious food, but high prices. Part of making a trip memorable is having great dining experiences. Don’t go all the way to Las Vegas and have McDonald’s the whole trip! You can have fabulous meals without blowing your whole budget.
1.Cut your restaurant dining to one or two meals a day. Pick your favorite meal of the day to have a great restaurant experience.
2.Split meals. Probably the easiest way to save money when out is to share with someone, especially in a city like Las Vegas where bikinis and mini-dresses are the staple uniform. Who needs the extra bloat?
3.Coupons, vouchers and dining credit, oh my! There are a few ways to get discounts at restaurants in Las Vegas. Usually when you check in the desk clerk will hand you a promotional booklet that contains all the activities that are going on at the hotel in which you are staying. This usually includes some coupons for restaurants in your hotel. In your room you’ll find a magazine with local Vegas news, deals and coupons. If you have a Player’s Club card then you’ll get dining credit or vouchers to restaurants within your hotel.
4.Get a buffet pass. Buffets are pretty pricey, but most hotels offer a buffet pass which allows you entrance to the buffet all day for one price. This is great because you don’t feel like you have to overload on one meal, you can graze all day on delicious selections.
Hot Mama Tip:
Depending on our budget each trip, my family and I usually splurge on one nice meal a day.
Breakfast: Have something small like a pastry and coffee, either in the room or down at the hotel coffee shop. Since we spend most of the daylight by the pool, a small breakfast is just the thing before bikini time.
Lunch: This is a great meal for splitting since we like to keep lunch light. At The Mirage we love the Carribe Café, which is located by the pool. The great view and casual atmosphere make it the perfect spot for us bathing beauties to have a meal break. The salads are refreshing and large, which make them great for splitting with another member of your group.
Dinner: This is our going out meal because we like to shower, dress up and have a pleasant evening out on the town. Having a long leisurely dinner is a great way to feel the Vegas vibe when you have kids or family members under the age of 21. The adults get to have their cocktails, kids get to be out and about and everyone gets to enjoy the fabulous atmosphere. Best part no feels like they’re missing anything!
If you aren’t a drinker GREAT! You’re already saving money. But if you like to get your drink on while vacationing listen up, because this Mama likes her some cocktails too.
They are everywhere in Vegas at any given time. It’s really important to pay attention to your hotel information packet, because that will give you times and locations of various drink specials.
* KID ALERT!
Happy hours aren’t just in the bars. Many restaurants offer drink specials and if food is served then kids are allowed. This is a great way for parents to be with their children, but also partake in adult activities.
When you gamble you get FREE drinks! Yes, full bar. You don’t have to be gambling with a large sum of money either; penny machines get free cocktails too and nonalcoholic drinks are included. Sometimes you just need a Coke, right? All you have to do is tip the cocktail waitress and she’ll keep the drinks a flowing.
If you are traveling with kids it can be hard to find time for strictly adult activities, but there is a way! Don’t expect an all day gambling fest. When traveling with kids you have to be flexible and that may only mean getting a couple hours at a time.
-If you budget allows for it, bring a babysitter on your trip. The hotels provide babysitting services, but for a cost. It’s more fun for the kids and more relaxing for the parents if they already know the babysitter. We always take an older cousin or grandparent so that we can have an hour or two at night to gamble or hit the bars.
-Many of the café’s offer keno while dining. Parents can have a little fun playing while having the kids at the same table enjoying a meal.
-Switch off. My husband and dad like to squeeze in their gambling early in the morning while the family is getting ready or my parents may take the kids to get dessert while my husband and I get to go play at the tables together.
Bring your own alcohol for the room. I always bring a bottle of whiskey, rum or vodka and some kind of canned mixer. I’ll mix myself a little drinky before going out for the night or even a roady for walking around the casino. I also bring a flat of water bottles, because the vending machines ripe you off and in Las Vegas it’s important to stay hydrated!!
There is always some brand of liquor doing a promotion in Vegas so look for those. Out by the pool I got a free Malibu Rum cocktail and at the bar two for one Absinthe shots during promotions at the NY NY Hotel.
What’s a vacation without a little fun? No worries, there is plenty to do in Las Vegas with kids that won’t rob you blind.
In the summer, the pool is the best way to cool down and chill out. Many of the hotels along the strip have gorgeous pools that you’ll want to spend some time by, while sipping Pina Coladas in the sun. I personally love The Mirage pool, because it is tropical and lush.The Grecian style pools at the other hotels are beautiful, but there is something special about The Mirage’s pool that is more exciting than the rest.
Although, when Steve Wynn owned The Mirage the pool was better. It had water-slides that entertained me for hours as a child. Unfortunately, all the water-slides were removed, but the pool still has the fantastic waterfalls, palm trees and seclusion from the strip that I have always loved. Pool days are great way to burn up the kids’ energy too, yielding relaxed kids at dinner.Whether I’m hanging with other adults, preggo or in Las Vegas with kids, I’m out there all day. The pool gives me a great tan and my wallet a well deserved break.
*KID ALERT! The pool is perfect for the little ones in your group because it burns energy, its fun and there is no age requirement!
2.Walk the strip: Most hotels offer some sort of attraction or entertainment to draw people in off the strip. I recommend doing this at night, since the days can be brutally hot. The strip itself is entertainment with all the amazing lights and energy of the city. Let’s face it, people-watching is pretty great too and you won’t find more interesting people to watch than in Vegas! This is also a great way to collect promotional handouts, like 2 for 1 show tickets. If you have kids with you, watch out for adult material that also gets handed out along the strip.
The Mirage has the volcano which erupts nightly starting at 8pm and runs every half hour until midnight. It is really intense and exciting for the kids. It is pretty loud and really hot, so if you kids is a bit jumpy stand back a bit.
Inside Caesars Palace, in the middle of the Forum Shops, is the Fall of Atlantis show. The statues come alive as they tell the tale of how Atlantis was destroyed. There is fire, a light show on the ceiling and tons of excitement. The great thing is that it is located in front of many dining establishments, so you can enjoy your meal while the kids are being entertained.
Bellagio has a water and light show that is set to music.
At the Silverton there is a giant aquarium where kids can view live mermaids. Our kids love it. Heck, I love it. We always make a stop on our way into Vegas to check out the mermaids.
3. Restaurants With Live Music
I love the Nine Fine Irishmen, because Sin E Ri-Ra (a fantastic Irish band) starts performing at 9pm and kids can be in there until 10pm. That gives us about an hour of entertainment with the kids. Restaurants that offer live music are different from the bars and lounges, because kids are usually allowed until the time they stop serving food.
4. Hotel Attractions:
It would be hard to find a hotel that does not have some sort of attraction, though you may have to pay for a ticket. I usually decide ahead of time what attractions my kids would be interested in and budget for them. For instance, my kids LOVE Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, so I plan for that attraction every trip. It is the perfect example of a great activity to do in Las Vegas with kids. Parents and kids will both love, because it is like going to a mini SeaWorld and Zoo. A single ticket gets you into both attractions and if your a guest at the hotel then there is an additional discount.
Go up to the top of Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel to take in some amazing views of the city! For my daughter this was a must. We foudna special promotion for 2-for-1 tickets and our kids were free. So all four us went up for the price of one adult!
Most of the shows allow children age five and over. Some shows will even allow younger. Shows are a great way to entertain the whole family and a perfect evening activity. My parents always took us kids to shows growing up. We loved getting dressed up, going to dinner and then going to see live entertainment. Every hotel has their own show and they vary from Cirque, musical showcases, magic, comedy, impersonators to everything in between. It is fun to pick a new show every visit.
That’s A Wrap!
Although Las Vegas is an expensive playground for adults it can be an affordable family getaway. It’s easy to have a good time if everyone in the group is over 21, but bringing children takes a little bit more creativity to navigate. If you do choose to bring the little ones along the best advice I can give is to make the trip all about the kids. Plan the trip for your child’s entertainment, then the moments you do get for yourself will be delightful. If you make it about you, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment and stress. Las Vegas with kids can be overwhelming so it’s important to pace yourself and when taking babies along don’t make any concrete plans. Be flexible, walk around and take it in the sites, the sounds and yes, the smells. There is nothing like the delicious smell of Vegas!