We go to Vegas a lot with our kids, and we have learned a TON over the years about doing Vegas with kids the right way (even with babies!). If you have never been to Vegas, I will warn you that there are so many choices when it comes to hotels that it is really hard to know which one to pick, especially because every family is different and has very specific needs and desires.
And that is where expertise really comes in handy. That is why I wrote this article, to help families like yours find the best kid-friendly hotel in Las Vegas for YOUR family.
I will show you where to stay in Las Vegas with kids (hint: it’s all about the “strip”), and where to find:
- the best family pools in Las Vegas
- which Vegas hotels have large family suites
- which hotels have the best Vegas shows for kids
- list of family restaurants and activities at each hotel
Basically I will teach you everything you need to plan a fabulous Las Vegas family vacation.
If you want to make a quick decision, we’ve listed our 5 top Vegas resorts for kids below with links to our in-depth reviews.
Overview: Top 5 Vegas Hotels for Kids
Why we recommend it:
- Vintage, tropical-themed Vegas resort
- It has best family pool on the Las Vegas Strip with waterfalls
- A great lineup of family-friendly shows (Terry Fator, Beatles LOVE)
- See dolphins and lions play at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden
- Free volcano show every night – a true Vegas classic
Why we recommend it:
- Classic Hollywood-themed Vegas resort
- It has a huge family-friendly pool complex
- Amazing kid-friendly shows (Jabbawockeez, Ka, Copperfield)
- Great location on the Strip near Park MGM and NYNY
- It has huge 3 bedroom family suites available
Why we recommend it:
- Large, luxury tropical island-themed Vegas resort
- It has a lazy river & wave pool for the kids (with real sand)
- Shark reef aquarium is fun for all ages
- Nice shopping and restaurants in Mandalay Shoppes
- It has our favorite Irish pub (Ri Ra) with kid-friendly live music
Why we recommend it:
- Exciting New York-themed Vegas resort
- Lots of affordable, kid-friendly eateries at Village Street
- Big Apple roller coaster and huge arcade for kids
- The Park is a family-friendly outdoor space with trees and walkways
- It has a great Irish pub (Nine Fine Irishmen) with nightly live music
- Can’t forget they have Hershey’s Chocolate World store
Why we recommend it:
- Affordable, classic Egyptian-themed Vegas resort
- A kid-friendly pool that is the largest in Vegas
- It has the best family show in Vegas – Blue Man Group
- Learn together at the Titanic and Bodies exhibits
- It’s connected to Excalibur and Mandalay Bay via indoor walkways
You know, there is a common misconception about Vegas, perhaps due to its nightlife image and seedy history, but I will tell you the truth – the idea that Vegas isn’t family friendly couldn’t be further from the truth.
As far back as I can remember my parents took me as a little girl to Las Vegas every single year, usually at my request for my birthday. I loved Vegas as a ten year old, I rocked Vegas while pregnant, and I have been taking my own kids to Vegas almost every year since they were born.
Related article: Driving to Vegas with small children? Read our list of the top toys for car trips to keep them busy.
The Vegas tradition clearly lives on in this family (as you can see below)!
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Mirage Family Hotel Review
Editor’s Award: The Best Family Hotel in Las Vegas
Overview of Mirage for Families with Kids
There are so many reasons why Mirage is our choice as the top family hotel in Las Vegas, and why this has been the “go-to” resort in Vegas for my family over the last few decades. Despite the changes over the years that have sometimes frustrated old-time Mirage frequenters like us, there is still something timeless and vintage-modern Vegas about the Mirage. In my eyes, it is a true classic. Every night the kids are wow’ed by the free Volcano show, and the Secret Garden is amazing for children like mine that like to get up-close and personal with wild animals like dolphins and lions. But for us, our love of Mirage always starts and ends with the Mirage Pool. I have the fondest memories playing barbies as a young girl in this lagoon, and we have had so many fun times with our own kids over the years. From the restaurants and shows to the tropical oasis theme, it will only take one stay at Mirage to start feeling like this place is your new Vegas home. Learn more at Vegas.com
What Families will love about Mirage:
The best family pool in Vegas! There are lots of hotels in Vegas with awesome pools, but there is just something special about the Mirage pool with its cascading waterfalls, palm trees galore and the way it winds and curves throughout the lush gardens. Vegas hotels pepper the Strip and tower the sky everywhere, but somehow the large buildings seem to fade away and it is easy to feel you have escaped to a tropical oasis at the Mirage pool.
It’s the perfect size! Let’s admit it – some of the hotels in Vegas are monstrosities. The Mirage is large enough to have a wide range of family-friendly activities to keep you busy, but it is small enough to still feel manageable and comfortable. It is just so easy to figure out where everything is and to navigate in comparison to Caesar’s, MGM and Mandalay Bay. Learn more at Vegas.com
What Families might not like about Mirage:
It’s a little outdated. This is actually not a problem for us because we have been going to Mirage since the 90’s and it feels comfortable and vintage for us. But there have been some outrageous new Vegas resorts that have popped up on the scene over the last 15 years like Bellagio, Wynn, Aria and Venetian, that have a more modern atmosphere and appeal.
Lacks a shopping mall. If your family likes shopping, there are other family friendly hotels on the Vegas strip that offer a brilliant indoor shopping experience like Paris, Venetian and Mandalay Bay. Mirage – not so much. However, Mirage is right next door to the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, and this should be more than enough to quench your shopping thirst.
Suites and Amenities at Mirage for Families
Mirage has a variety of different room sizes depending on your needs. Prices will vary substantially throughout the year and across room styles, but it is always cheapest to book a stay Monday through Thursday if you can swing it. See more images at Vegas.com
Family suites for larger families
Mirage has ample options for families with 5+ occupants. The most cost-effective choice is probably the 1714 sq ft Hospitality Suite, which has 2 queens and 1 king bed, 3 TVs, 2 bathrooms, living room, dining room, and a partridge in a pear tree. The two bedroom tower suite has similar square footage, but it only has two king beds with similar amenities. But the tower suite does come with some amazing views of the Vegas strip. Honestly, we travel a lot with my parents and two young kids (6 total travelers) and we usually save money by squeezing into a standard room with two queen beds. When you check in just say there are four occupants and nobody ever asks any questions once you get your room keys. See all rooms available at Vegas.com
The Mirage pool is my favorite. Like literally one of my favorite places. When I dream of Vegas, I dream foremost of the Mirage pool. The Mirage pool is practically designed with families in mind. There is one large interconnected pool that twists and curves throughout the property, with a new waterfall or grotto around every corner. There are two hot tubs surrounded by lush greenery that will make you feel transported. You can rent a cabana, or you can get up early and reserve some free lounge chairs by the pool. You can also have a poolside lunch under water-misters at Paradise Cafe, or grab a beer or cocktail the Dolphin bar near the center of the pool area. They used to have a water slide that the kids loved, but that has unfortunately closed. Still, there is a lot to love for families at Mirage pool.
Family Entertainment at Mirage
Las Vegas Shows for Kids at Mirage
The Beatles LOVE, Cirque Du Soleil: Celebrate the legacy of John, Paul, George and Ringo with a psychedelic show set to all your favorite Beatles songs. True to Cirque Du Soleil, you can expect thrilling acrobatics, dancing and aerial moves every Thursday through Monday at 7pm and 9:30pm (ages 5+). Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Terry Fator: Terry Fator and his live band entertains nightly audiences with a full-ranging show that includes singing, comedy and celebrity impersonations. This family friendly Vegas show involves a number of unique puppets showcasing Terry as the world-class ventriloquist that he is. You can see this show Monday through Thursday at 7:30pm in the Terry Fator Theatre (ages 5+). Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat: This is still the best place on the Vegas strip for kids to witness and engage with live animals. We make it a point to spend an afternoon watching the dolphins play and the lions roar every time we visit the Mirage. They also have rare white tigers and leopards to casually observe with awe. The dolphin habitat is super fun, because it has a cool underground area to escape the heat and observe the dolphins through huge underwater windows. You can also spend a little extra and have a unique experience swimming with the dolphins, doing yoga with the dolphins, or even painting with the dolphins! You can visit the Secret Garden daily from 10am to 6:30pm, but I recommend going early or later to escape the desert heat. (all ages). Learn more at Vegas.com
Family-Friendly Restaurants at Mirage
There are quite a few restaurants to choose from at Mirage, and I consider just about all of them kid-friendly. Here are some of my favorites.
Cravings Buffet: This is one of my favorite buffet restaurants in Vegas and it will have something special for everybody in your party. I like that you can pay a reasonable fee for bottomless champagne and beer.
Carnegie Delicatessen: The sandwiches here are huge and the food is reminiscent of some of the best New York delis. Do me a favor and don’t leave without trying their Matzo Ball soup. This was our go-to restaurant when my kids were toddlers because I could still remember them in diapers chowing down on Matzo Ball soup and noodles.
Pantry: This restaurant replaced the old time Caribe Cafe and recently replaced BB Kings near the lobby elevators and gift shop area. While we miss Caribe and live music at BB Kings, we do really love the clean at-home atmosphere of Pantry Restaurant. This place serves home style American classics like chicken and waffles and biscuits and gravy, and will serve you breakfast 24 hours a day.
California Pizza Kitchen: CPK is as family friendly as it gets in Las Vegas, with unique chopped salads and pizzas in a no-frills atmosphere. Located right next to the sports book, California Pizza Kitchen has been a fixture in the Mirage for years. Who doesn’t like pizza, after all!?
Fun places to grab a drink with kids
There are a couple fun places to grab a cold one at Mirage that will also let you bring your munchkins along for the ride.
LVB Burgers and Bar: This place seriously has one of the best burgers I have ever tasted. But what is awesome if you have kids with you is that they have an array of mind-blowing milkshakes, and even some adult-friendly spiked milkshakes (if you know what I mean). You can pull up a chair at the bar and enjoy a cold beer while watching them cook your burger in the center of the restaurant, for a very cool experience.
The Still: The Still is a retro-themed sports bar with 27 large TVs that specializes in craft beer and unique cocktails. You can grab some tacos or a quick bite, and the kids will enjoy that there are fun activities like shuffleboard available. At the center of it all is a refurbished Airstream trailer that serves as full functioning kitchen.
Dolphin Bar: The poolside Dolphin Bar is a great place to take a break and grab a drink while you are out playing with your kids in the Mirage Pool. Lots of frozen concoctions like margaritas, strawberry daiquiris and my favorite, the pina colada with a generous slide of pineapple garnish.
That’s a Wrap
Mirage may not be the flashiest Vegas resort anymore, but it is still a family favorite and one of the best Vegas hotels for kids. With wonderful kid-friendly Vegas shows, family friendly restaurants and one of the best pools in Vegas for families, there is no way you will leave this place after a visit with your kids without wanting to book the next trip.
MGM Grand Family Hotel Review
Editor’s Choice: The Most Well-Rounded Vegas Hotel for Families
Overview of MGM Grand for Families with Kids
If you are looking for a kid-friendly hotel in Vegas, look no further than the MGM Grand, which opened in 1993 as the largest hotel complex in the world and still remains the largest single hotel in the US with 5,124 rooms. The MGM theme is all about Hollywood and it started out in the early 90’s as an extravagant ode to the movie “Wizard of Oz” (hence the emerald color of the hotel exterior). While Oz has been abandoned over the years, the MGM Grand still retains an Art Deco Hollywood theme that is sure to please adults and children of all ages in your party. MGM is so large with so many restaurants, shows, attractions and pools, that will keep your family busy (and happy) for days and days. It is located on the Vegas Strip at the southeast intersection of Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd, which is close walking distance to another top family hotel in Las Vegas, New York New York, as well as Excalibur (another family favorite with a castle theme) and Monte Carlo. MGM is also accessible via monorail, which will safely take you all along the Northern part of the Vegas Strip between MGM and Sahara, for five bucks each way (kids 5 and under are free). Learn more at Vegas.com
What Families will love about MGM:
Great pools! The MGM has one of the best family pools in Vegas, with a Grand Pool Complex that includes 5 different swimming pools, pristine waterfalls, rock-cave grottos, and a huge lazy river that extends 1,000 ft. In our opinion, it is right up there as one of the best pools for kids in Vegas alongside the Mirage and Mandalay Bay.
The best lineup of family-friendly shows in Vegas! Children (5 or older) are also welcome to some amazing nightly shows for families, including the magic of David Copperfield, the heart-thumping KA Cirque Du Soleil show, and the thrilling Jabbawockeez dance show, which was voted as the Best Family Show in Vegas and the “Best All Ages Show” three years in a row.
What Families might not like about MGM:
It’s like, really big. MGM Grand an extremely large complex – so large that it is easy to feel constantly lost on the Casino floor. In this way, the hotel also lacks the intimacy of smaller family hotels in Vegas like New York.
Indoor atmosphere lacks romance. MGM also lacks a romantic indoor shopping area like the amazing cobblestone streets of Paris and the beautiful winding canals of the Venetian. It lacks the European charm and tropical allure of other hotels on this list.
Suites and Amenities for Families at MGM
MGM has a variety of rooms to choose from, ranging from 350 to 6000 sq ft, and ranging from one bed up to four. Prices will vary substantially from season to season and across room types, but it is always cheapest to book a stay early or mid-week. Learn more and check rates at Vegas.com
Family suites for larger families
The MGM Grand has a few different options for larger families. For example, the Skyline Marquee Suite (1,500 sq ft) has a spacious living room, 4 TVs, a wet bar, two bedrooms each with a king-sized bed, and incredibly large windows with some of the best views of the Vegas Strip. Their site says there is a max of 4 guests, but honestly, I never pay any attention to that. Just tell them at check-in there are four guests and then do whatever you want. If you have a family of 6 or 8 and think you can fit the whole lot in two kings, go for it! Although the larger rooms can get pretty expensive, they do have even larger rooms like the 3-bedroom loft that has four beds and can sleep at least 9 guests comfortably. It is good to know there are several options for larger families at MGM. See more images and room types at Vegas.com
MGM Grand Pool
The aforementioned Grand Pool is a sprawling complex that is a big plus for families visiting Las Vegas. There are 5 pools with lots of waterfalls and even a few grottos to help you escape the hubbub. You can rent cabanas or get a comfortable daybed for the day, or you can choose a totally different adventure rent a tube to float along the lazy river all day. If you get hungry from spending all day in the sun, you can have lunch at Cabanas Grill Restaurant, or you can grab a beer, cocktail or refreshment at one of the 5 different bars within the Grand Pool Complex.
Family Entertainment at MGM Grand
Las Vegas Shows for Kids at MGM Grand
KA Cirque Du Soleil: This is a mesmerizing production with crazy acrobatics, intense martial arts, fiery pyrotechnics, and a timeless story of the journey of twins fulfilling their ancient destiny (ages 5+). Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
David Copperfield: The world famous illusionist has his own delightful magic show at the MGM every single night of the week (7pm and 9:30pm), with an additional 4pm matinee on Saturdays (ages 5+). Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Jabbawockeez: Consistently rated as one of the best family shows in Vegas, this is a very entertaining hop-hop dance show with second-to-none choreography, amazing music and awesome special effects. This dance crew is one of my favorites on the planet, and they prove year after year that they deserve this chance to rock Vegas every Thursday-Monday (ages 5+). Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
MGM Grand Attractions
CSI: The Experience: This is a pretty unique experience in a city that has just about everything you can imagine. You get to role-play as a crime scene investigator, examining evidence and trying to solve a mystery, with the experience progressing through video featuring stars from the CSI TV show and real scientists. This is recommended for children 12 and up, but the site does say that children younger can play along if accompanied by an adult. Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Family-Friendly Restaurants at MGM Grand
There are literally tons of restaurants to choose from at MGM, and here is a list of some of my favorites that the kids will probably like also.
MGM Buffet: The safe choice – everybody will find something to love at this buffet open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Avenue Café: This place is pretty cool with a retro design that serves hearty meals for breakfast or lunch.
Food Court: You likely won’t find me at the food court, but it is a place to grab a quick bite if the kids are getting hangry. It is open all day long.
Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House: Everyone knows Emeril is the man, and this is a great place for comfort soul food inspired by traditions of New Orleans and the American South. Emeril’s Creole kitchen is open every day from 11:30am to 10pm.
Fiamma Italian Kitchen: The is a business casual restaurant with comfortable leather seats and a fireplace, but you can totally get away with bringing your kids here for some authentic Italian cuisine, open nightly for dinner at 5pm.
Fun places to grab a drink with kids
Kids are no excuse not to take care of yourself – and they should certainly never hold you back from enjoying a cold one when you are in Vegas. My kids are used to our routine and I think they have come to enjoy hanging out with us in loud sports bars, pubs with live music, and cantinas with killer margaritas. Luckily there are several great options at MGM.
Michael Mina Pub 1842: Now this is what I’m talking about! I love pubs and I loved how welcoming pubs were in Scotland for children when we visited a few years ago. Pub food is never something to write home about, but this place is different. Chef Mina takes comfort pub food to a whole new level. There are lots of beers on tap and unique whiskeys to sample from here, too. 1842 is the year Pilsner beer was invented, hence the name. Open Thursday to Monday from 11:30am to 10pm.
Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill & Cantina: We love us some Mexican cantinas, and this place is known for having over 100 tequilas to choose from and delicious margaritas. Kids will enjoy munching on chips and salsa while you get your drink on starting at 4pm Wednesday through Sunday. This place also won’t break the bank 😉
Tap Sports Bar: I see most sports bars as being kid-friendly, and this is a cool place with lots of TVs (60 to be exact), lots of different beers on tap, and an eclectic collection of sports memorabilia. Sports lovers will feel at home here and the kids should enjoy the atmosphere just fine while you savor a cold one. Tap is open every day of the week from 11am to 11pm and opens a few hours earlier at 9am on Sundays.
That’s a Wrap
MGM offers a grand experience, no pun intended, with a truly eclectic mix of restaurants and shows and a family-friendly, if not awe-inspiring, atmosphere. It lacks the intimacy of Luxor and NYNY, and falls short of the charm of hotels like the Venetian, Mirage and Mandalay Bay. However, I know for sure that you will have an amazing, well-rounded Vegas experience with your family at the MGM Grand.
Mandalay Bay Family Hotel Review
Editor’s Choice: The Most Luxurious Vegas Hotel for Families
Overview of Mandalay Bay for Families
The Mandalay Bay is an enormous luxury resort on the south end of the Vegas strip, and it has plenty to offer parents and children as one of the best family hotels in Vegas. Mandalay Bay has a total of 3,309 hotel rooms, 24 different restaurants to choose from, and a huge retail shopping mall called Mandalay Shoppes. Mandalay Bay is connected via the Mandalay Tram to family favorites the Luxor and Excalibur, which also allows easy access to other family friendly resorts on the Vegas strip including New York New York and MGM Grand. Mandalay has a vibrant tropical paradise theme from the shark aquarium to the sandy beach and wave pool at the Mandalay pool. The Mandalay also has sister properties including the Four Seasons and THEhotel, a tower of luxury hotel rooms. The Mandalay is a huge luxurious playground with lots of fun activities for kids and parents. Learn more at Vegas.com
What families will LOVE about Mandalay Bay:
It’s fancy, but at a reasonable rate. The Mandalay Bay is the most luxurious hotel on our list of the top 5 family hotels in Las Vegas, but it is also a part of the family of MGM Resorts and it is possible to find some great deals online or by using your M Life card.
The. Shark. Reef. Aquarium. Enough said. The whole family will delight over 2,000 different animals including sharks, sea turtles, rays, pirhanas, jellyfish and rare golden crocodiles. You can even interact by feeding sea turtles, sharks and stingrays. A beautiful, educational, and awe-inspiring way to spend the afternoon at Mandalay.
What families might NOT like about Mandalay Bay:
It’s further from main action on the Strip. Since Mandalay Bay is on the southern end of the Vegas strip, you will not be able to just leave your hotel lobby and start walking along the Strip. You will first have to take the free Mandalay tram to Excalibur and then start your Strip journey walking north from there. It is a minor inconvenience if walking the strip is like your favorite thing.
Less family friendly Vegas shows. While Mandalay Bay does have its own Cirque Du Soleil show, Michael Jackson ONE, which allows children ages 5 and up, it lacks the breadth of great shows like the magic and comedy acts offered at other family-friendly Vegas resorts like Mirage, MGM and Luxor.
Suites and Amenities for Families at Mandalay Bay
Mandalay Bay has very elegant and chic room decor that most people will find quite warm and inviting. For the best value, a family of four can fit well in the standard 550 sq ft Resort Queen with 2 queen beds, desk area, seating for 3 and of course a large LED TV. Of course, you can always it take it up a notch (you’re in Vegas, right!?) and book the Delano Queen Suite, which has two queen beds in a separate bedroom from the living room, a TV in both rooms, a wet bar and even has an extra half bathroom. It is hard to describe how clean and beautiful the rooms really are, and it something you just have to see for yourself. Check rates on Vegas.com
Family suites for larger families
Mandalay Bay also has great Vegas hotel rooms for bigger families (5+), including one of my favorites, the 1450 sq ft Panoramic Two Bedroom Queen Suite. This suite is perfect for large families with one king in one bedroom and two queens in the other bedroom. Each bedroom has its own private bathroom and the living room has a very unique social area that can seat up to 11 comfortably on the plush sofa and the colorful plush chairs! It also provides some of the best views of the Vegas strip with huge floor-to-ceiling windows, and of course, it has multiple LED TVs. The rates are not as expensive as you’d think. See more images and all room types at Vegas.com
Mandalay Bay Beach
The pool at Mandalay is much more than a pool, and that is why they call it Mandalay Bay Beach. This is always rated as one of the top pools in Vegas overall and is definitely one of the best Vegas pools for families, too. For one it has the lazy river, which is popular with kids and adults because – well who doesn’t like to float calmly through a lush tropical landscape? But the thing that really sets the Mandalay Bay pool apart is that it has over 2.5 thousand tons of real sand, making you think for a moment that you are on a real beach in the South Pacific. Another unique feature is the huge wave pool that produces pretty nice-sized swells that are kid-friendly but still loads of fun. Of course, you will also be able to rent inter-tubes, day beds, cabanas and even a bungalow for the family. If you book between May and September, you might also be able to catch a concert at the Mandalay Bay Beach with the Beach Concert Series.
Family Entertainment at Mandalay Bay
Las Vegas Shows for Kids at Mandalay Bay
Michael Jackson ONE, Cirque Du Soleil: If you are a big Michael Jackson fan, then this is one show you don’t want to miss. It is a kid friendly show in Vegas that celebrates the unique musical legacy of Michael Jackson in Cirque-style with amazing acrobatics, dance and dynamic visual displays that will have you mesmerized while tapping your foot to your favorite Michael Jackson beats. Showtime is every Friday-Tuesday at 7pm and 9:30pm, and this is a kid friendly Vegas show (ages 5+). Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Mandalay Bay Attractions
Shark Reef Aquarium: The shark aquarium is fun for all ages. It is a huge tank that you can walk through that has thousands of unique animals including fish, sharks, turtles, jellyfish and alligators. You will feel immersed in the beautiful underwater world and entertained watching these amazing sea creatures. You can also book a tour to get up close and personal with the animals, where you can feed sharks, sea turtles and sting rays. Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Family-Friendly Restaurants at Mandalay Bay
The Mandalay Bay is a huge property with 24 different restaurants and lots of fun places to grab a drink with kids. You can find something for every taste or craving in your family.
House of Blues: The House of Blues restaurant and bar is a great kid-friendly restaurant in Vegas to enjoy southern comfort food while listening to authentic musical talents in blues and rock n roll. We went here for an early lunch one day and ended up loving the music and experience so much that we stayed until dinner time! This is a great place to catch live music in an atmosphere that is super family friendly with pretty good food to boot.
Border Grill: Border Grill is located next to the lazy river at Mandalay Bay Beach, and it is a great place to eat Mexican food al fresco on the fun outdoor patio overlooking the beach area. This is a great place to grab brunch and a bloody mary or margarita.
Citizens Kitchen & Bar: Comfort food – soups, salads, sandwiches, omelettes – this is a great atmosphere to grab lunch or brunch, and with the lively music, it is quite family friendly. On another plus side, they have lots of craft beers to choose from.
Fun places to grab a drink with kids
We will grab a drink with kids just about anywhere that serves cold beer and classic cocktails. There are a couple places at Mandalay Bay that are perfect for having fun with kids in Vegas.
House of Blues Restaurant and Bar: Again, this is a great place to grab a drink and listen to free live music in Vegas with kids.
Ri Ra Irish Pub: We love a good Irish pub with live music. Our kids are usually happy with fish and chips, and we can drink Guinness all day long! Ri Ra has classic Irish pub fare that is much better than you’d expect, and live music every day of the week. You can get breakfast, lunch or dinner at Ri Ra. When we stay at Mandalay Bay, if we are not at the beach, you will likely find us at Ri Ra Irish Pub.
That’s a Wrap
Mandalay Bay is the most luxurious among the best family hotels in Vegas, with beautiful chic rooms, a modern tropical atmosphere, and an amazing pool that is actually more of a beach with a wave pool and lazy river. Kids will love the Shark Reef Aquarium and your family will definitely have fun listening to live music at House of Blues and Ri Ra Irish Pub. It is also just a quick free tram ride away from other family friendly Vegas hotels like Luxor and New York New York.
NYNY Family Hotel Review
Editor’s Choice: The Most Exciting Vegas Hotel for Families
Overview of New York New York Hotel for Families
I will just say it. We love, love, LOVE staying at New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas with kids. By comparison to other gargantuan hotels and family resorts on the Vegas Strip, the NYNY will feel small and quaint – and manageable. The smaller size is by no means a bad thing, because they cram a lot of great family activities in Vegas with an efficient use of space. Kids will especially appreciate the Big Apple roller coaster and arcade, and families will love hanging out in the new Central Park themed outdoor/indoor collection of restaurants and activities called The Park, which is part of a new area called The Neighborhood that includes Monte Carlo Resort and the T Mobile Arena. There are live events and concerts in The Park year-round, and unique restaurants with huge Jenga game and cornhole game sets that the kids can play while you enjoy a drink (or two!) al fresco. And where it lacks in Las Vegas family shows (Zumanity is 18+), it makes up in free live music at the Irish Pub. My all time favorite reason to stay at NYNY, is our tradition of having a nightcap pint of Guinness at Nine Fine Irishmen, which is still the finest Irish Pub on the Strip with authentic Irish Music and Dance nightly by Sin e Ri Ra. Best of all, NYNY is one of the most affordable family hotels in Vegas and one of the best values in our experience. Learn more at Vegas.com
What Families will love about NYNY:
Great value. The NYNY hotel has consistently lower rates than the other kid-friendly Vegas hotels on our list, except for the nearby Luxor hotel, which also has comparable rates. With a few more amenities geared toward children and the fact that NYNY has the Nine Fine Irishmen Pub, this should easily be the go-to budget hotel for families in Las Vegas.
The best Irish Pub. Did I mention we love Irish Music and Irish beer!? We are not huge fans of Irish food, but the Colcannon Soup, and the Fish and Chips at Nine Fine Irishmen are so good that it totally changed our minds on that. Seriously, nothing beats a long day in Vegas like spending an hour or two sipping pints of Guinness on the warm patio of Nine Fine Irishmen. Kids are allowed in the restaurant and on the patio until about 9 or 10pm.
What Families might not like about NYNY:
It’s a non-stop party. We gave the award for the most exciting Vegas hotel for families to NYNY, and for good reason. The atmosphere here is constantly a fun party, whether it is the live dueling pianos and jubilant crowd at the Times Bar in the middle of the casino floor, or the family friendly Irish music pumping out from Nine Fine Irishmen, or the non-stop screams of roller coaster riders. If you are not in Vegas to let loose and have some fun, and you would prefer a more quiet and contemplative experience, than NYNY is not your place.
Less accommodating for larger families. NYNY has nice rooms, don’t get me wrong, but they seem to lack the luxury and the range of choices available at other family resorts in Vegas. For example, I don’t think they have any rooms designed to accommodate more than 5 guests.
Suites and Amenities for Families at NYNY
Rooms at New York New York will not be as impressive as at Mandalay or MGM, but they are very nice and well maintained – and in our experience, very cost effective. I mean, in any other city in the US, a room this nice will cost several hundred dollars; but on the Vegas Strip, with the intense competition, we can often find rates at NYNY under 50 bucks per night! A family of 4 will find ample room in the 350 sq ft Park Avenue Queen room. Check rates and availability at Vegas.com
Family suites for larger families
The largest room for families at NYNY is the 800 sq ft Players Suite, which has two queen beds and a max occupancy of 5. If you need a room to fit more than 5 members of your family or group, I would recommend checking out the Marquee Suite at MGM, or the Panoramic Two Bedroom Queen Suite at Mandalay Bay. See more images and all room types at Vegas.com
New York New York Pool
The Pool at NYNY will get the job done, but it is not one of the top Vegas pools for families. The do have a bar and drink service, and you can rent a cabana for the day, but there is no restaurant to eat poolside and it really seems like the pool was an obligatory afterthought in the design of NYNY, which is totally fine for trips we take in the winter when we don’t plan to use the pool anyways.
Family Entertainment at NYNY
Las Vegas Shows for Kids at NYNY
Zumanity Cirque Du Soleil: This is one of my favorite Vegas shows, but it is a little on the naughty side and your “children” must be at least 18 years to partake in this mesmerizing adventure into human sexuality (ages 18+). We sometimes bring an older niece or family member as a sitter so we can escape for a few hours to see a show or gamble at night when we bring our little ones. This show would be worth escaping to for a few hours! Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
New York New York Vegas Attractions
The Big Apple Roller Coaster: This roller coaster is pure fun and excitement for the kids, and adults will also enjoy zipping around the New York styled Hotel with views of the Vegas Strip. With a $26.00 scream pass, your kids can ride all day as much as their hearts desire. Not bad! For tech savvy kids and families, NYNY also just introduced a Virtual Reality version of the coaster ride in which you wear VR goggles on the actual roller coaster and get a whole new crazy experience in a virtual world synced to the twists and turns of the actual coaster. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds futuristic and I bet lots of people will find it unique and thrilling.
The Big Apple Arcade: The arcade at NYNY is on the second floor just off the lobby, and it is HUGE. Kids love arcades, what else needs to be said.
Hershey’s Chocolate World: If you have a family member that just LOVES Hershey’s chocolate, then this place is a must see. Chocolate World is a two-story shop that features everything Hershey’s, including an interactive retail experience where you can make the unique Hershey treat of your dreams. It is a fun free activity, even if you just want to snap some unique pictures with a giant Hershey kiss.
The Park: The Park is located in a beautiful tree-filled space between NYNY and Monte Carlo and stretches all the way back to the T Mobile Arena. There is a 40 foot statue, park benches and design features reminiscent of Central Park in New York. There are a host of kid friendly restaurants serving killer food and drink all along the park, so you feel completely transported to the Big Apple.
Family-Friendly Restaurants at NYNY
There are lots of affordable family friendly Vegas restaurants at NYNY Hotel. While I appreciate that Vegas is a place for celebrity chef restaurants, we are not the type of family to eat at these expensive, fancy restaurants. This actually makes the dining options at NYNY perfect for families like ours.
Tom’s Urban: Casual American dining in an eclectic modern space that has huge family friendly circular booths, Tom’s Urban is a mesh of American classics and world inspired street food. They have creative craft cocktails and craft beers galore. Open for breakfast, lunch or dinner from 7am to 2am daily.
Il Fornaio: Amazing Italian Cuisine at a family friendly price point, we eat at Il Fornaio at least once every time we stay at NYNY. Lovely warm bread is served before the meal, and the pizzas and pastas are all fantastic. A great selection of wines too, this place has a nice ambiance located right along the casino floor in the heart of all the action. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well.
America: This is a classic Vegas cafe and the perfect place to get eggs, hash browns and a black cup of Joe in the morning. America has rustic American road trip vibe to it and is cost friendly. They have really good bloody marys to boot! America is open 24 hours a day, every day, ya’ll.
Restaurants located specifically in “The Park”
Sake Rok: A great place to grab some fresh sushi and sake. Yes please!
Bruxie: The place for delicious sandwiches made out of waffles. You heard that right! Try the famous Original Chicken and Waffle Sandwich and it will probably change your life.
Beerhaus: Designed after classic beer halls, Beerhaus has a creative menu that will satisfy craft beer connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike, with a range of sausages and sandwiches to pair with delicious beers in an outdoor patio environment. Best of all, they have a daily happy hour from 2-6pm with $4 pints and other specials! Count us in.
Fun places to grab a drink with kids
My kids know when we stay at NYNY, we will spend a couple hours each night at Nine Fine Irishmen. The pool is the reason we keep going to back to Mirage in the Summer, and the pub is why we keep returning to NYNY in the off season. Even when we stay somewhere else, we always find an evening to take a cab or uber over to NYNY to grab a pint of Guinness and listen to one of our favorite free live music bands on the Vegas Strip, Sin e Ri Ra.
Nine Fine Irishmen: It is so funny that this place is always crowded with visitors speaking in Irish accents. Like families actually travel from Ireland to Vegas and then plant themselves, of all places, in an Irish Pub. That is such an Irish thing to do (and I love it)! And I can’t blame them. Love everything about this place for over a decade. Open until 11pm Monday through Friday, the live music starts at 9pm but I recommend getting there a wee bit early to reserve a spot.
Gonzalez y Gonzalez Grill: If you love Mexican food and margaritas, then this is a fun place to check out for a couple hours. Not the best Mexican food, but it has a fun atmosphere and is a kid-friendly place to grab a serious cocktail.
Village Street Eateries: On more than one occasion we have had a “second” nightcap at the Street eateries near the Times Square Bar in NYNY. What does this mean? Well the kids are sometimes hungry, bordering on hangry, after spending the evening at the Irish Pub, and it is the promise of a slice of NY style pizza that keeps them well behaved while we enjoy our stout. But seriously, this is a fun place to grab a cheap bite – pizza, hot dog or NY deli style sandwich – and a cheap beer, and sit in an area just on the outskirts of the casino floor. The kids feel like they are part of the fun and can experience the crazy live music from a safe distance going on at the Time Square Bar.
That’s a Wrap
No, New York New York does not have the best pool or the best kid friendly Vegas shows. What NYNY does have is a down-to-earth and fun party-like atmosphere that we have found to be super family friendly. They have family friendly (and budget friendly) restaurants, a roller coaster and arcade, a park inspired by Central Park with unique attractions, and did I mention they have a fun Irish pub with free live music every night! Well, to me it was worth mentioning again.
Luxor Family Hotel Review
Editor’s Choice: The Classic Las Vegas Hotel for Families
Overview of Luxor for Families
It’s hard to miss the Luxor as you approach the Vegas Strip at night, with the intense Luxor Beam shooting virtually into space. The Luxor is a true Vegas classic with an exotic Egyptian theme that borrows its shape from Egyptian pyramids and which greets its visitors with an enormous replica of the epic Sphynx monument. When you step inside it has this surreal shape that feels grand because the 30 story hotel is basically open on the inside all the way to the peak of the pyramid, with rooms lining the edge of the pyramid every floor. There are a host of family friendly activities at Luxor, including two insane museums, the Blue Man Group show, which is our choice as the top Vegas show for kids and which also has an autism friendly version of the show, family restaurants and a pretty nice pool. At a bargain rate, the Luxor checks all the boxes as a fun family resort on the Vegas Strip, and it is very close to other family favorites like Excalibur, NYNY and MGM Grand. Learn more at Vegas.com
What Families will love about Luxor:
Walk like an Egyptian! If you love the history of Egypt and the pyramids like I do, then the Luxor is an obvious choice. The desert theme is carried throughout the entire resort, not as much as it used to back in the day (they renovated it in 2007), but it still makes for a very unique family experience in Vegas.
The best show for Kids in Vegas. The Blue Man Group Show is an electric mix of high intensity music, lights and visuals that will get the heart pumping and the mind enthralled. Over 35 million people across the world have seen this epic Vegas show, and it is one that every family should experience. It is clearly child friendly because it allows kids 3 and up.
What Families might not like about Luxor:
It’s less chic and hip. The Luxor was renovated and “modernized” in 2007 to remove some of the emphasis on ancient Egypt and to introduce more modern restaurants and clubs. Still, the Luxor is less chic and lacks the overt luxury of other family friendly Vegas resorts like Mandalay Bay and Venetian. Honestly, though, we personally appreciate the down-to-earth and budget-friendly style of hotels like the Luxor and nearby NYNY.
Not the best pool. For us, Mirage and Mandalay have the best Vegas pools for families with kids, the MGM has the best Vegas shows for children, and NYNY has the best Irish Pub with a roller coaster and huge arcade to entertain the kids. Don’t get me wrong, the Luxor has some awesome attractions for families, but in our opinion, it falls just a tad short in each area in comparison to the competition. (However, the price makes it an extreme value for budget conscious family travelers).
Suites and Amenities for Families at Luxor
Luxor has plenty of cost-friendly room choices for families with kids. What is really interesting is that all the windows are slanted, due to the shape of the pyramid, so staying in a room at the Luxor is a unique experience with interesting views unlike any other on the strip. Check out the 420 sq ft Pyramid Premium Queen Room with two queen beds and large LED TV. Bump it up a notch for only a modest price difference to the Pyramid Corner Queen Suite, with 520 sq ft, an additional bathroom and TV and a living room with a little extra space to stretch out. Check rates at Vegas.com
Family suites for larger families
The Luxor has a 1650 sq ft Tower Premier Two Bedroom Suite with two king sized bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, dining room and wet bar. These rooms tend to have the best views of the strip and while they are billed for occupancy of 5, I am pretty sure you can comfortably fit a family of 6 or 7 in this room the size of most apartments. It doesn’t cost as much as you’d think. See more images and all room types at Vegas.com
The Luxor Pool is the largest in Vegas at over 120,000 sq ft. It has four pool areas with free towels and lounge chairs, and importantly, it also has a beverage service to enjoy Pina Coladas poolside while the kids splash around. For a modest daily fee, you can rent a daybed or cabana for your family. The atmosphere and design is pretty cool, with ancient-looking columns spilling streams of water into the pool and a huge black pyramid persistently greeting you in the backdrop. The Luxor pool is a good family pool in Las Vegas.
Family Entertainment at Luxor
Las Vegas Shows for Kids at Luxor
Blue Man Group: The Blue Man Group is the quintessential Las Vegas family show that will give you thrills, it will make you laugh, and it will create a memorable Vegas experience for you and your children. The sensory experience of colors, lights, actions and sounds will keep you on the edge of your seat. Blue Man Group shows nightly at 7pm and 9:30pm (ages 3+). Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Family Attractions at Luxor
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition: Learn everything you ever wanted to know and more, with real historic artifacts from the famed Titanic ship, including original luggage, whistles, floor tiles and window frames. Visitors will feel transported back in time with the full-scale replica of the Grand Staircase you will recognize from the movie Titanic. Open daily from 10am to 10pm, and children under 3 are free. Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Bodies…the Exhibition: The bodies exhibition shows real human bodies and organs that have been preserved with an innovative preservation process. It shows real full bodies in 3D and allows you and your kids to learn about human anatomy and biology up close with an intimate and unique view of human bodies rarely seen in history. Open daily from 10am to 10pm and children under 3 are also free. Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Family-Friendly Restaurants at Luxor
There are several family friendly Vegas restaurants at Luxor hotel that will likely keep your kids happy and that will quench your adult thirst.
Pyramid Cafe: This is a standard Casino restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch with a classic menu of delicious egg breakfasts with a good burger and sandwich selection at lunch. A no frills place to fill up before an exciting day with your kids in Vegas! We ate their twice for breakfast on our most recent trip and can tell you that the portions are large and the prices are fair, with food that the whole family enjoyed! Open from 7am to 1 or 2pm daily.
The Buffet: A classic buffet with all of the fixin’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It has an omelette station, decadent desert station, salad bar and hand-carved meat section, and is open from 7am to 10pm daily.
Tender Steak and Seafood: Sometimes you just need a steak. You can dress the kids up and try some delicious dry and wet-aged steaks and top-grade seafood. Open daily from 5pm to 9 or 10pm.
Fun places to grab a drink with kids
There are a couple fun places to grab a dinner and a cocktail with kids at the Luxor. However, we recommend if you stay at the Luxor to walk across the street at Tropicana to visit NYNY and also try listening to live music at Nine Fine Irishmen Irish Pub.
The Public House: A pretty casual atmosphere with good drinks and comfort food. There is a great selection of craft beers and beers that you will know, and this restaurant is actually modeled after the popular Public House on the East Coast. It has lots of TVs for watching sporting events and killing some dinner time with a good beer or cocktail. Open Monday through Friday from 4pm to 9 or 10pm, and opens earlier at 12pm on the weekends.
Diablo’s Cantina: A raucous Mexican food restaurant with homemade salsas, guacamole and various keystone dishes like enchiladas and tacos with a twist, Diablo’s is a great place to dine with older kids if you want to spend an hour or two on the wild side. It’s easy to spot with its bright red neon signs from the lobby or casino floor, and is open daily from 11am to 11pm.
That’s a Wrap
It’s hard to miss the Luxor’s rising pyramid and intense laser beam, but it is also easy to overlook with other “fancier”, newer resorts on the Vegas strip. But it should definitely not be overlooked. At a great value it has the kid friendly Blue Man Group show, an enormous pool, unique and educational museum attractions, and a decent selection of family friendly restaurants and bars. The location is at the southern end of the strip near other family friendly Vegas hotels like Mandalay Bay, NYNY, Excalibur and MGM Grand. You can stay at Luxor quite affordably and explore this fun section of the Vegas strip for a whole week, and still not get to see it all.
There are clearly so many family friendly attractions and things to do in Las Vegas with kids. You can find some of the best restaurants, shows and attractions at each of these resorts on our list of the best family hotels in Las Vegas.
Tell us in the comments!
So what do you think!? Have you ever taken your kids to Vegas and how did it go?
Did we leave any great family Vegas hotels off our list that you would like to add? What did we miss?
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- Things to do in Vegas with Kids
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