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Hot Tips for visiting Santa Fe with Kids – from historic and artsy to the psychedelic

Santa Fe is a mecca for artists and history buffs, and it makes for a playful family vacation
Saint Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe New Mexico

Let me start by saying that we were really excited to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico during our Route 66 family road trip. Santa Fe has been calling my name for quite a while now, and I am happy to report that it did not disappoint!

I mean, basically, from the first time I saw Jack Maxwell from the show Booze Traveler visit Meow Wolf, I thought “this is a place we just HAVE to see!”

So after a fantastic time visiting the Grand Canyon, we packed up the family, moved on from Arizona and set out towards New Mexico in search of exciting things to do in Santa Fe with kids.

Disclosure: We would like to thank and acknowledge Best Western Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring our Route 66 family road trip and providing accommodations along the trip, including at the Best Western Plus Inn of Santa Fe, for review. As always, all content and opinions are genuinely our own.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND OUT MORE IN MY DISCLAIMER

First Impressions of Best Western Plus Inn of Santa Fe

After a long travel day from Williams, AZ and a stop at the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico it was such a relief to arrive at the Best Western Plus Inn of Santa Fe.

First of all, the earth-colored adobe exterior architecture screamed, “We are in SANTA FE BABY!”

Hot Mama in front of Best Western Plus Inn of Santa Fe

Happily, the theme continued into the interior of the hotel with a cozy lobby, complete with fireplace and southwestern design. Even our rooms were oozing with Santa Fe décor with bold Native American printed fabrics splashed over the bedding.

Little attentions-to-detail like this really excite us for some reason, and it’s one of the reasons we love about staying at Best Western Hotel and Resorts. Being independently owned and operated, they usually do a great job reflecting the local culture. Check room rates and see more photos HERE

Rooms inside Best Western Plus Santa Fe hotel

Location

Located off the historic Route 66, the Best Western Plus Inn of Santa Fe makes for a perfect location for most Santa Fe attractions. For instance, it is less than a mile from Meow Wolf and about 10 minutes from Downtown Santa Fe’s historic district and Santa Fe Plaza (which we adored and you can read more about below!).

Amenities We Love

Who doesn’t love a complimentary breakfast? We sure do and I love having a place onsite that the kids can get fed right away. Any traveling parent will attest that hungry kids on the road are no bueno.

At the Best Western Inn of Santa Fe they had a cute little breakfast room that serves a hot breakfast every morning until 10:00AM. I love when the breakfast goes a little later, because travel is exhausting and having that extra time gave us more time in the morning to motivate.

Pool at Best Western Plus Inn Santa Fe New Mexico

Santa Fe is super high in elevation and it gets downright cold. Fun fact: Santa Fe is the highest elevation state capital in the US. Luckily for us they had an Indoor pool, which we put to good use while in town. Pools are a nice way for kids to burn off some energy and swimming is something our kids enjoy a lot, so we were stoked to be able to use the pool even when temps outside were frigid.

Believe it or not, our kids love gyms and were eager to use the fitness center at the Best Western Santa Fe. In fact my daughter used the fitness center each morning during our stay. I am all about a good workout, but this trip I just supervised with my morning coffee instead.

Kids in fitness center at BW Plus Santa Fe

What can I say? Staying at a hotel with guest laundry facilities always makes traveling with kids a little easier. No matter how short the trip or how heavy you pack, something is bound to get dirty when kids are involved. You know what I’m talking about.

See availability and room rates for Best Western Plus Inn of Santa Fe HERE

Things to do in Santa Fe with Kids

Santa Fe Plaza

The Santa Fe Plaza is a National Historic Landmark located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe. As it has been there nearly 400 years, the Santa Fe Plaza continues to be a popular gathering place for locals as well as visitors.

Santa Fe Plaza

At the plaza you will find a central park surrounded by an historic mix of adobe architecture. The Santa Fe Plaza is a great place for families as it is filled with numerous restaurants, shops, art galleries and Santa Fe museums. It is also the location for many events throughout the year.

Palace of the Governors at the New Mexico History Museum

Visiting the Palace of the Governors is a real chance to step into Santa Fe history. This palace was built in 1610 by the Spanish government. A Registered National Historic Landmark, the Palace of the Governors is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the country!

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

While visiting the Santa Fe Plaza, be sure to check out the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. It was built around 1880’s on the site of an older adobe church that was built in 1626, but destroyed in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

Kids in Santa Fe at Saint Francis de Assisi

The architectural style of Romanesque Revival is in vast contrast to the surrounding adobe buildings in downtown, making it really stand out.

San Miguel Chapel

Located in the Barrio de Analco Historic District, it is the oldest church structure in the United States. Yes, you read that right – it is the oldest church in the US! The San Miguel Chapel was built in 1610 by the Tlaxcala Indians.

San Miguel Historic Church in New Mexico

Over the years it has gone through some things that have caused some damage, including an attack by a provincial governor, Luis de Rojas, in 1640 and the Pueblo Revolt in 1680. However, the city of Santa Fe has continued to fund renovations of this historic structure since the 1700’s, leaving the beautiful chapel we can still visit today.

It is great place to visit to bask in the distinct history of Santa Fe. The huge San Jose Bell, which fell during a storm in the 1872, is on display inside the San Miguel Chapel and the kids were given a chance to ring it! How cool is that?

Family friendly Santa Fe New Mexico San Miguel Church

What I found interesting was the beautiful altar screen. When you go up to the Communion rail, you can view the original dirt floor and 400 year old sanctuary steps below!

The New Mexico State Capital Building

The New Mexico State Capital Building, located in Santa Fe is the only circular shaped capital building in the United States, lending to its nickname as the Roundhouse. It is designed after the Zia Pueblo sun sign, which also happens to be the state symbol.

Santa Fe Capitol Building with kids

What is super cool about the Roundhouse it that not only is it the capital building, but it is also an art gallery.  Inside you can wander the halls and admire the local New Mexican art. Outside there is a 6 ½ acre garden with over 100 varieties of plants.

This is a free attraction with self-guided tours available daily.

Meow Wolf

If you are looking for a truly unique experience, go check out Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. It is mysterious, exciting and will 100% blow your mind.

What is Meow Wolf exactly? It is the result when a group of artists come together to create a one-of-a-kind interactive and immersive experience.

Kids playing at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe NM

The permanent installation, the House of Eternal Return, is a multidimensional house of mystery filled with magic portals to secret worlds beyond your imagination. Nothing is what it seems and it is awesome!

We only intended to spend a couple hours at Meow Wolf, but ended up playing and exploring for the whole day. Sure, it is easy to say that the kids were having too much fun and didn’t want to leave, but that isn’t the whole truth. The adults were having just as much fun. There was just so much to explore.

Meow Wolf family portrait

Meow Wolf is about challenging norms, embracing weirdness and exercising the power of creativity to change the world.  This is an initiative I can totally get behind.

Where to Eat, Drink and Party in Santa Fe with kids

It is no secret that when we go out with our without kids, we are on the hunt for three things: good food, cold drinks and live music. If we can find all three in a historic building, then we’ve hit the HotMama Jackpot.

View from Santa Fe Plaza New Mexico

There is ton of great food in Santa Fe, but I am just going to share the ones that have it all. If you are going out on the town with your kids, why not make it the best time you can in Santa Fe.

El Farol

El Farol is not only the oldest bar and restaurant in Santa Fe, it’s a party.  In addition to serving up traditional Spanish cuisine like hot and cold tapas, paella and more, every night there is some sort of live entertainment, such as Flamenco music and dancers as well as various styles of live music.

La Fonda On The Plaza

Located off the Santa Fe Plaza on the site of the city’s first inn in 1607, is the historic La Fonda on the Plaza, built in 1922.  Not only, this a beautiful site to visit, there are also several dining options we recommend enjoying while in town.

La Fonda on the Plaza Santa Fe Hotel

La Plazuela

The massive rod iron chandelier and surrounding courtyard façade gives you the bright feeling of dining al fresco without having to subject to the elements.

La Plazuela at La Fonda on the Plaza Santa Fe

Dining in this colorful space, beneath twinkling trees gives such a warm and cozy feeling that is difficult to find anywhere else. Not to mention, the food was incredible. I rarely eat my whole meal and I killed my beef burrito.

La Fiesta Lounge

Serving up classic Southwestern cuisine, this is a great spot to grab a casual dinner or evening drink. Why? Because there is live music seven nights a week! Whoohoo.

We took the family for a fun night out enjoying dinner right in front of the dance floor. There was a group of regulars that were all out for a night of fun and we enjoyed watching them cheerfully mingle and dance the night away. We even got out there a bit ourselves for a few dances.

Float Café-Meow Wolf Santa Fe

Float Café is located inside Meow Wolf, but you don’t have to purchase admission or enter the Eternal Return to enjoy a drink. During the day you can grab various non-alcoholic beverages, but after 4:00PM is when it gets really fun.

Their cocktail list is as wacky as the exhibits, like MeowGarita topped with a cotton candy cloud or the Petricor that contains tequila, elderflower liqueur, prickly pear puree, and Prosecco, served over dry ice!

Meowgarita cocktail at Meow Wolf

It is definitely a bar to check out if you are looking for something a little funky fresh.

That’s a Wrap!

So what did we learn from our time in Santa Fe with kids? That we need to go back to see more, do more and eat more. Two full days just wasn’t enough to quench our thirst, but it was a great sampler plate.

Santa Fe has such a cool and artsy laid back style mixed with rich history and culture. Just the architecture alone is enough visual interest to keep everyone in awe. We also really enjoyed our stay at the Best Western Plus Inn of Santa Fe, which was not located downtown, but was not too far away and it was actually right next to Meow Wolf in a nice part of town with lots of stores and restaurants. See lots more reviews and photos HERE.

All in all the kids had fun, we had fun and we are definitely going back. Soon, very soon.

Disclaimer: HotMamaTravel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. This means that we get credit for providing awesome advice in helping you to decide on your purchase if you happen to use one of our links. There is no extra cost to you, but it helps to support the cost of running our blog. Thank you for supporting us!

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Hot Tips for visiting Santa Fe with Kids - from historic and artsy to the psychedelic

Perfect trip to the Grand Canyon with kids thanks to Best Western Plus Inn of Williams

One of our favorite stops on Route 66, Williams Arizona is truly the "gateway to the Grand Canyon"
Grand Canyon with Kids Header

We packed up our family of 7 in the minivan and left the green hills of Anaheim, California behind as we headed out on the Mother Road for our Route 66 high desert adventure. We were off to Williams, Arizona, where we would be staying at the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams before taking The Grand Canyon Railway to see the Grand Canyon for the very first time!

However, the journey to Williams takes about 8 hours from our home town, so we decided to break up the drive with a lunch stop in Oatman, Arizona to see the wild burros. I will go into more detail about this little mining town in a separate post, but it definitely made for a quirky little afternoon.

After lunch, light shopping and petting of some wild burros, we got back on the road en route to Williams, Arizona, taking the scenic old Route 66 through the winding desert roads. It was absolutely gorgeous in early spring with wildflowers everywhere!

Route 66 in Arizona Springtime flowers

As the desert landscape slowly transitioned to Ponderosa Pine forest, the excitement was building. We were getting closer and were so ready to get out of the car and drop our bags at the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams.

See what it was like on our Route 66 family travel VLOG:

Disclosure: We would like to thank and acknowledge Best Western Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring our Route 66 family road trip and providing accommodations along the trip, including at the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams, for review. As always, all content and opinions are genuinely our own.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND OUT MORE IN MY DISCLAIMER

Staying at the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams

First Impressions

If you have ever traveled long distances with kids, you know what a relief it is to finally reach your destination. We were tired, hungry and ready to check in. As the automatic doors opened to the hotel the sweet tunes of what sounded like live music wafted through the lobby. If you know us or have seen much on our content, we are a little OBSESSED with live music. (See our favorite kid-friendly places with live music across the US HERE).

Family posing outside Best Western Plus Inn of Williams

With my legs stiff and hair a mess from the long drive, I rushed towards the sounds of guitar strings with a new found energy.  YES! It was dinner time and they had live music right upon entering the lobby of the hotel. Beyond that I could see the flickering of what appeared to be a fire pit on the patio.  I knew instantly that this was going to be a great stay!

Love the Location

The Best Western Williams, AZ is located right off Interstate 40 along the historic Route 66, just about 5 minutes from downtown Williams. It is a great choice for those planning to ride the train from Williams Depot into the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon (which we did and you can read more about below). You can check rates read more reviews on Best Western’s website HERE.

Exterior of Best Western Williams Arizona

We’ve also stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway hotel for the Polar Express Train, but besides the convenience factor of being at Williams Depot, there are several reasons we’d actually prefer the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams (keep reading to find out why!). It is also a great family hotel near Bearizona, which is located just 10 minutes away (5 miles). Check rates HERE.

Western View Steakhouse

The Western View Steakhouse is the restaurant onsite at the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams. It is located right behind the main lobby on the other side of the grand dual fire place, with sweeping views of the Ponderosa Pine Forest.

Western View Steakhouse in Williams AZ

The Western View Steakhouse is open daily for the complimentary breakfast from 6:30AM to 9:30AM as well as nightly for dinner service from 4:00PM to 10:00PM. This is where we enjoyed four meals of our trip, including two breakfasts and, yes, two dinners.

We did make it down for our yummy breakfast each morning, but barely. The hubby would take the kids down first, so I could finish getting myself and the baby ready in the room. Mornings are rough for a family like ours and that is what is so nice about having a complimentary breakfast inside your hotel.

Kids getting free breakfast at Best Western Plus

You can sprinkle down at your leisure without getting the kids all hangry (hungry and angry) waiting for mom to get ready. You can also bring goodies up to your room (if you aren’t completely ready to commit to the day ahead).

As you may have guessed from our first impressions, we definitely had dinner at the Western View Steakhouse the night we checked in. We excitedly settled into a table right in front of Omar Mondragon De Leon, the live musician for the evening who has been entertaining visitors to Williams for over two decades.

Omar Mondragon de Leon live music on guitar

Let me tell you, we had a blast! The wine was flowing, the filet mignon melted in my mouth, the staff was beyond accommodating and sweet (shout out to Esteban our server and Sergio the bartender, you guys were GREAT!) and the music was on point. My son, Kevin, even claimed Omar was his favorite live musician we’ve ever seen, and that says a lot considering how much we enjoy live music with our kids.

If fact, we loved it so much that we changed our dinner plans the next night and opted to come back in enjoy Western View Steakhouse again. I don’t regret that decision at all.

Kachina Lounge

Adjacent to the Western View Steakhouse, adorned with life-size Kachina statues, is the Kachina Lounge. The live music plays right between both the lounge and steakhouse, so guests who just want a drink can also enjoy the entertainment or the beautiful forest views. The Kachina Lounge also offers daily appetizer and drink specials, so it is definitely a fun place to hangout.

Other Amenities We Love

The Business center/Computer Room is located next to the Kachina lounge, which worked out great for us. We ended up making friends with another traveling family and the kids had fun watching YouTube videos together while we chatted with the parents.

The swimming pool was closed due to the cold temperatures during our stay, but had awesome views of the forest. We’d definitely like to come back and stay during the warmer months to enjoy that pool. The hot tub was open from 8:00AM to 10:00PM, but we opted for the fire pit, located on the pool deck behind the Western View Steakhouse and Kachina Lounge.

The fire pit, open from 4:00PM to 9:00PM, was a definite highlight for us during our stay. After dinner both nights we took our drink and sat around the roaring fire in the cold night to chat some more and meet fellow travelers. You can hear the music from the patio with crystal clear speakers, too, so you don’t miss out of the fun inside!

Fire pit at BW Plus Inn of Williams

What I love about staying at Best Western Plus is that there is almost always a guest laundry facility, which is so nice when you are traveling with kids. Since we were on a road trip with a big family, I had to pack as light as possible. Well, kids are messy. We had a liquid fiasco, taking out two clean outfits and a couple jackets on day one, so having a guest laundry facility onsite really helped a mama out.

Inside hotel room at BW Plus Inn of Williams

If you’re the type that likes to get that daily workout in, then you’ll appreciate the onsite fitness center, open 24 hours daily. My kids actually enjoy gyms, so I will take them down with me sometimes to squeeze in a morning sweat.

Also, I would like to note that Best Western Plus Inn of Williams is pet-friendly, so you are welcomed to bring along your doggies, kitties and kiddos. Ha!

See availability, more photos and reviews of BW Plus Inn of Williams HERE.

Taking Grand Canyon Railway to the South Rim

The historic Williams Depot, built in 1901, is located less than a mile down the road from the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams, which made it super convenient to make the 9:30 train for our perpetually late family.

We love trains, so we were really excited to take The Grand Canyon Railway for a two hour journey to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Old train at Williams Depot

I definitely recommend this mode of transportation when traveling with kids, because it takes stress away from the parents trying to navigate to the Grand Canyon, plus there are refreshments, entertainment and lovely views along the way.

Lovely view from train to Grand Canyon

The cost of the journey depends on the class of service purchased, but all class prices include your entry into the Grand Canyon National Park. There are six classes to choose from: Luxury Parlor, Luxury Dome, Observation Dome, First Class, Coach and Pullman. However, The Luxury Parlor and Luxury Dome do not allow children and the Observation Dome doesn’t allow kids under the age of 2.

Grand Canyon Railway Train cars

We were on a budget and opted for the Pullman Car, which I have to say was fine. More than fine, actually, we loved it there. I love history and the car we were in happened to be their oldest car, almost 100 years old from the 1920’s. Our guide along the way was Breanna and she was so funny, great with the kids and gave us tons of useful information, which made our visit to the Grand Canyon with kids extra special and enjoyable. Plus, we had fresh air, entertainment, snacks and beer. It was all good and I would definitely do the Grand Canyon Railway train again.

Hot Tip: During Christmastime, this same train transforms into the Polar Express where you can ride the train with your kids in Christmas jammies while drinking hot chocolate and singing carols. It is boatloads of fun!

Things to do in Grand Canyon South Rim with kids       

First let me just say that the South Rim is absolutely gorgeous. We also lucked out on the weather – I mean, this might be my favorite photo we’ve taken of all time!

Stunning view from Grand Canyon South Rim

If you are coming by train, the train will let you off at the base of the historic EL Tovar Hotel. There are stairs and ramp leading up to the hotel. There is also a complimentary handicap shuttle for those requiring assistance. Here are some options upon arriving at the train depot:

  • Take a Grand Canyon tours
  • Walk the trails along the South Rim
  • Explore the many shop at the Village Historic District
  • Have a long leisurely lunch

Grand Canyon Restaurants

The Train arrives at the Grand Canyon Depot around 11:45AM, just in time for lunch. Now, some people don’t want to spend time at the Grand Canyon eating at a restaurant and for those people, there are a number of options.

Quick-Service Grand Canyon Restaurants

  • Bright Angel Bicycle Rental and Café
  • Canyon Village Market General Store
  • Delicatessen at the Marketplace
  • Yavapai Lodge Coffee Shop
  • Maswik Food Court and Pizza Pub

Full-Service Grand Canyon Restaurants

Arizona Room at The Bright Angel Lodge – We are not those people. We thrive on a full, sit-down dining experience. Gratefully, our guide on the train, Breanna, told us about the Arizona Room at the Bright Angel Lodge. She told us that it was only restaurant that had a view of the Grand Canyon from every table and wasn’t overly expensive. She also warned that the dining room gets busy and there is often a wait. So thanks to her advice, we made a beeline for the Arizona Room as soon as the train arrived.

Plates of food at Arizona Room at Grand Canyon

We took our time with lunch. We had a lovely table, fabulous food (I recommend the Green Chili Tamales) and cold beers while gazing at the majesty of the Grand Canyon with small children from a safe environment.

Harvey House Cafe – Also located at The Bright Angel Lodge, this is more of a casual dining option to grab burgers and sandwiches. The décor is to reflect the nostalgia of the Fred Harvey era. Although this establishment offers good prices and food options, it does not have views of the Grand Canyon.

EL Tovar Dining Room – We originally planned on dining here, because of the cool history of the hotel. It was built in 1905 and the dining room has a really cozy atmosphere. It is extremely popular and often requires a reservation (which we did not make). Although, the dining room does have views of the Grand Canyon they aren’t available from every table like at the Arizona Room.

After lunch…

We used our last couple hours to walk carefully along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Now, much of the rim in this area has guard rails, yet people still manage to fall to their deaths every year with two of them happening within a couple days of our visit. So please be careful while visiting the Grand Canyon with kids. As our guide told us, “you may be on vacation, but gravity still works here.”

Family at Grand Canyon South Rim

We told the kids they had to hold onto an adult’s hand the whole time and were not allowed to walk ahead without us. We felt very safe and did not get too close to the edge for any of our photo opps.

All in all we had a great day with plenty of time to explore the magnificent Grand Canyon. When the time came to board the Grand Canyon Train, were ready to head back to our lovely hotel, Best Western Plus Inn of Williams, to have dinner and relax by the fire pit with live music.

Quick Tips for Visiting The Grand Canyon South Rim with Kids

  • Drink plenty of water due to high elevation.
  • Bring your own reusable water bottles, because bottles are not sold within the park for environmental reasons.
  • There are free shuttles to take you to various spots on the South Rim, including a handicap shuttle for those needing assistance getting from the depot to the rim.
  • Enjoy lunch at the nice restaurants. Arizona Room in particular has great views of the Grand Canyon.
  • Stay away from the edge of the Grand Canyon, don’t step over guard rails (duh) and please hold on to your kids.
  • If taking The Train, don’t venture too far from depot as the train departs at 3:30PM with or without you.

 

Funny kids at Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon Train Back to Williams, AZ

On the way back, the Grand Canyon train offers refreshments and provides entertainment to keep everyone awake after a brilliant day at the Grand Canyon.

Gang robbing the Grand Canyon Railway train

What was really exciting for the kids was looking out the window to see outlaws on horseback riding along the Grand Canyon train. Sure enough the train slowed to a stop as our guide prepared us for an old west robbery.

The bandits boarded the train, the kids playfully screamed, waving dollars in the air before the sheriff came and set things right. It definitely gave us the boost of energy we needed after a stimulating day at the Grand Canyon.

That’s a Wrap

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for an easier family trip to the Grand Canyon. Honestly, staying the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams was one of our highlights of the trip. If you are planning a family trip the Grand Canyon, the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams is a great option (last chance to click and check rates real quick HERE). It made visiting the Grand Canyon with kids so easy with its location convenient to the Grand Canyon Railway and complimentary breakfast. Add in the fire pit, live music and great onsite restaurant, we can’t wait to go back and stay again.

Disclaimer: HotMamaTravel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. This means that we get credit for providing awesome advice in helping you to decide on your purchase if you happen to use one of our links. There is no extra cost to you, but it helps to support the cost of running our blog. Thank you for supporting us!

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Visiting the Grand Canyon with kids

The HOT List: 11 kid-friendly places with live music that we absolutely LOVE

Find out the best bars and restaurants across the country with family-friendly live music

OK, raise your hand if you like going to places where you can have a drink, let loose, and listen to live music. Now raise your other hand if you think you need to get a babysitter to do these things.

Now put both your hands down!

Who says you can’t take your kids to the saloon or tavern and listen to music while you put back a few cold ones? We certainly don’t! In fact, a prime mission of our blog is to show other parents how we travel with OUR kids, which means showing that it is totally possible to travel with kids while keeping your Saturday-night self.

I know this sounds crazy to some folks who may be wondering why anybody would want to do this?

Well for one, it is fun for the WHOLE family and having fun together will make you want to travel more often with your children. (Don’t believe me? Just look at the videos and photos of my kids below enjoying live music with us in some extraordinary places below.)

I actually think this is one of the main reasons some parents dislike the idea of traveling with kids – it’s because they don’t plan things that are fun for adults too!

Second, your kids will learn to enjoy these places as you do, which will help them become normal, fun, and well-adjusted adults. If you take the taboo away from these things, then I believe that children will be better equipped to treat these situations responsibly as they grow older. (Though, I still have a few years until this hypothesis gets truly tested. Haha!)

Anyhow, we’ve toured the country and sought out restaurants and taverns with live music in just about every city. That’s just how we roll. And if you want to roll that way too, here are some of our favorite kid-friendly places with live music all across America. (Yes, we’ve taken our kids to all these places. Often more than once if we could swing it!)

1. Rusty Spur Saloon

SCOTTSDALE, AZ

Rusty Spur Saloon – Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona

Just follow the music to the swinging doors of the Rusty Spur as it drifts down Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale. The Rusty Spur Saloon is the oldest bar in town, recently celebrating its 60th birthday. Housed in what was a former bank built in 1921, this lively saloon now uses the old vault to store liquid goods. The rustic Wild West décor, casual vibe and live music all day, every day, make the Rusty Spur a favorite hangout for locals, celebrities and (yes) families. Parents just keep note that all minors must be out of the Saloon by 6:00pm. We visited with kids on our trip to Scottsdale during lunchtime hours from 11:00 am to 4:00pm, and it was a great experience with a full menu of delicious food to keep the kid’s bellies full.

See what it’s like there:

 

Relevant articles:

  • See our guide to Scottsdale with kids HERE.
  • Find out why we think you should stay at the Sundial Hotel in Scottsdale HERE.
Why we love it

Rusty Spur Saloon – Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona

Just follow the music to the swinging doors of the Rusty Spur as it drifts down Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale. The Rusty Spur Saloon is the oldest bar in town, recently celebrating its 60th birthday. Housed in what was a former bank built in 1921, this lively saloon now uses the old vault to store liquid goods. The rustic Wild West décor, casual vibe and live music all day, every day, make the Rusty Spur a favorite hangout for locals, celebrities and (yes) families. Parents just keep note that all minors must be out of the Saloon by 6:00pm. We visited with kids on our trip to Scottsdale during lunchtime hours from 11:00 am to 4:00pm, and it was a great experience with a full menu of delicious food to keep the kid’s bellies full.

more resources

See what it’s like there:

 

Relevant articles:

  • See our guide to Scottsdale with kids HERE.
  • Find out why we think you should stay at the Sundial Hotel in Scottsdale HERE.
2. BB Kings Blues Club

MEMPHIS, TN

BB King’s Blues Club – Memphis, Tennessee

Located at the top of Beale Street sits the original BB King’s Blues Club. It a great place in Memphis to come eat, drink and dance the night away with your kids. Literally, you can dance the night away with your family as BB King’s does not have a minor cut-off time. Pretty amazing, huh!? BB King’s is open until Midnight on weekdays and 1:00am on Friday and Saturday. If you like to brunch, then you will LOVE the Sunday Blues Brunch when live music starts at 10:00am. Kids will enjoy the upbeat jams of amazing high-energy bands as they boogie on the dance floor. My advice is to check their calendar to try and catch The BB King’s Blues Club All-Star Band. But in truth, every group that has the privilege of playing at this historic club is probably awesome and worth checking out.

See what it’s like there:

 

Relevant articles:

  • Check out our family guide for visiting Memphis HERE
Why we love it

BB King’s Blues Club – Memphis, Tennessee

Located at the top of Beale Street sits the original BB King’s Blues Club. It a great place in Memphis to come eat, drink and dance the night away with your kids. Literally, you can dance the night away with your family as BB King’s does not have a minor cut-off time. Pretty amazing, huh!? BB King’s is open until Midnight on weekdays and 1:00am on Friday and Saturday. If you like to brunch, then you will LOVE the Sunday Blues Brunch when live music starts at 10:00am. Kids will enjoy the upbeat jams of amazing high-energy bands as they boogie on the dance floor. My advice is to check their calendar to try and catch The BB King’s Blues Club All-Star Band. But in truth, every group that has the privilege of playing at this historic club is probably awesome and worth checking out.

more resources

See what it’s like there:

 

Relevant articles:

  • Check out our family guide for visiting Memphis HERE
3. Big Nose Kate's Saloon

TOMBSTONE, AZ

Big Nose Kate’s Saloon – Tombstone, Arizona

Step through the swinging doors of Big Nose Kate’s in Tombstone and step back in time to the Wild West. Originally the Grand Hotel, built in the 1880’s, this saloon is named after the former owner and lover of the infamous Doc Holliday. Yes, you read that right! If you’ve seen the movie Tombstone, you know exactly who I am talking about. If not, go watch it – like right now. Anyhow, this lady of night has a very colorful history that mirrors the amazing old western mining town she inhabited. You can learn all about it in our post on visiting Tombstone with kids. A spirited hangout with live music every day of the week, Big Nose Kate’s is so much fun that even the spirits don’t want to leave the party just yet. Kids will love the colorful old west décor, photo ops, and toe-tapping to live music.

See what it’s like there:

 

Relevant articles:

  • Read our family guide to visiting Tombstone with kids HERE
  • Find out why you should stop by Arizona Inn in nearby Tucson, AZ HERE
Why we love it

Big Nose Kate’s Saloon – Tombstone, Arizona

Step through the swinging doors of Big Nose Kate’s in Tombstone and step back in time to the Wild West. Originally the Grand Hotel, built in the 1880’s, this saloon is named after the former owner and lover of the infamous Doc Holliday. Yes, you read that right! If you’ve seen the movie Tombstone, you know exactly who I am talking about. If not, go watch it – like right now. Anyhow, this lady of night has a very colorful history that mirrors the amazing old western mining town she inhabited. You can learn all about it in our post on visiting Tombstone with kids. A spirited hangout with live music every day of the week, Big Nose Kate’s is so much fun that even the spirits don’t want to leave the party just yet. Kids will love the colorful old west décor, photo ops, and toe-tapping to live music.

more resources

See what it’s like there:

 

Relevant articles:

  • Read our family guide to visiting Tombstone with kids HERE
  • Find out why you should stop by Arizona Inn in nearby Tucson, AZ HERE
4. Wildhorse Saloon

NASHVILLE, TN

Wildhorse Saloon – Nashville, Tennessee

Looking to for a place to go honky tonk with your kids? Then settle in for some live music, line dancing and good time at the Wildhorse Saloon. Located in Music City’s downtown district this family-friendly restaurant and music venue is great spot to get your country on. Many famous country stars have graced the Wildhorse stage and it is such a fun experience for those visiting Nashville with their family. Don’t know how to line dance? No problem, because they have complimentary line dancing instruction daily. The kids will love the big horses that hang from the ceiling, the live music and dancing. Hours are always different depending on events, so be sure to check the calendar before you visit.

See what it’s like there:

 

Related articles:

Check out 5 kid-friendly bars in Nashville HERE

See our guide to visiting the Belle Meade Plantation HERE

Our review of the Best Western Belle Meade HERE

Why we love it

Wildhorse Saloon – Nashville, Tennessee

Looking to for a place to go honky tonk with your kids? Then settle in for some live music, line dancing and good time at the Wildhorse Saloon. Located in Music City’s downtown district this family-friendly restaurant and music venue is great spot to get your country on. Many famous country stars have graced the Wildhorse stage and it is such a fun experience for those visiting Nashville with their family. Don’t know how to line dance? No problem, because they have complimentary line dancing instruction daily. The kids will love the big horses that hang from the ceiling, the live music and dancing. Hours are always different depending on events, so be sure to check the calendar before you visit.

more resources

See what it’s like there:

 

Related articles:

Check out 5 kid-friendly bars in Nashville HERE

See our guide to visiting the Belle Meade Plantation HERE

Our review of the Best Western Belle Meade HERE

5. Pack's Tavern

ASHEVILLE, NC

Pack’s Tavern – Asheville, North Carolina

This locally owned and operated restaurant and bar is located in the heart downtown Asheville’s Pack Square Park. Although live music is not hard to find in Asheville, the family-friendly vibe of Pack’s Tavern is a must. Originally built in 1907, the tavern is located in what was once the lumber supply company, Hayes & Hopson, making it one of the oldest buildings in Asheville. It was even said to be a hub for illegal liquor distribution during the Prohibition. Paying tribute to this historical building and its many lives, the owners were honored with the Griffin Award for their post-Prohibition restoration efforts. Live music happens every Friday and Saturday nights and kids will love listening to the music while dancing the night away.

See what it’s like there:

 

Why we love it

Pack’s Tavern – Asheville, North Carolina

This locally owned and operated restaurant and bar is located in the heart downtown Asheville’s Pack Square Park. Although live music is not hard to find in Asheville, the family-friendly vibe of Pack’s Tavern is a must. Originally built in 1907, the tavern is located in what was once the lumber supply company, Hayes & Hopson, making it one of the oldest buildings in Asheville. It was even said to be a hub for illegal liquor distribution during the Prohibition. Paying tribute to this historical building and its many lives, the owners were honored with the Griffin Award for their post-Prohibition restoration efforts. Live music happens every Friday and Saturday nights and kids will love listening to the music while dancing the night away.

more resources

See what it’s like there:

 

6. BB Kings Blues Club

NASHVILLE, TN

BB King’s Blues Club – Nashville, Tennessee 

In Nashville a good honky-tonk is never far from reach and at BB King’s in Nashville, your family is sure to find a rocking good time. Located in downtown right on 2nd Ave, this BB King’s isn’t just about the blues. In fact, there is wide mix of classic soul and rock and roll. All the tables have great views of the stage and dance floor perfect for constant entertainment and keeping an eye on your kiddos if they would rather dance on the dance floor instead of sitting at the table. Here is some great news for parents who want to party the night away with their kids; there is no time restriction for minors!

See what it’s like there:

 

 

Related Articles:

See 5 kid-friendly restaurants with live music HERE

Check our guide to visiting Belle Meade Plantation HERE

See our review of the Best Western Plus Belle Meade HERE

Why we love it

BB King’s Blues Club – Nashville, Tennessee 

In Nashville a good honky-tonk is never far from reach and at BB King’s in Nashville, your family is sure to find a rocking good time. Located in downtown right on 2nd Ave, this BB King’s isn’t just about the blues. In fact, there is wide mix of classic soul and rock and roll. All the tables have great views of the stage and dance floor perfect for constant entertainment and keeping an eye on your kiddos if they would rather dance on the dance floor instead of sitting at the table. Here is some great news for parents who want to party the night away with their kids; there is no time restriction for minors!

more resources

See what it’s like there:

 

 

Related Articles:

See 5 kid-friendly restaurants with live music HERE

Check our guide to visiting Belle Meade Plantation HERE

See our review of the Best Western Plus Belle Meade HERE

7. Las Casuelas Terraza

PALM SPRINGS, CA

Las Casuelas Terraza – Palm Springs, California

The desert playground to the stars, Palm Springs is hot and Las Casuelas Terraza is where the party’s at. Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, Las Casuelas has delicious Mexican cuisine and a rocking patio with live music every day. Once a historic 1920’s casita, the Delgado family opened Las Casuelas in 1958 and continues to serve four generations of family recipes to this day. The patio or Palapa patio, complete with an outdoor bar, dance floor and bandstand is where to sit if you want to dance and party with your kids. Kids will love the yummy food and dancing under the desert stars.

See what it’s like there:

Related Articles:

See our ultimate guide to Palm Springs HERE

Why we love it

Las Casuelas Terraza – Palm Springs, California

The desert playground to the stars, Palm Springs is hot and Las Casuelas Terraza is where the party’s at. Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, Las Casuelas has delicious Mexican cuisine and a rocking patio with live music every day. Once a historic 1920’s casita, the Delgado family opened Las Casuelas in 1958 and continues to serve four generations of family recipes to this day. The patio or Palapa patio, complete with an outdoor bar, dance floor and bandstand is where to sit if you want to dance and party with your kids. Kids will love the yummy food and dancing under the desert stars.

more resources

See what it’s like there:

Related Articles:

See our ultimate guide to Palm Springs HERE

8. The Market Cafe

NEW ORLEANS, LA

The Market Cafe – New Orleans, Louisiana 

Located on Decatur and St. Pete Streets, Market Café is second oldest building in the French Market dating back to the early 1800’s. Family owned and operated, Market Café is a great spot to enjoy the fresh air and views of French Quarter, chow down on Cajun/Creole cuisine and boogie to the beats of the 5-piece New Orleans jazz combo.  Rain or shine, this is a great place to take the family for some afternoon fun in New Orleans.

See what it’s like there:

 

Why we love it

The Market Cafe – New Orleans, Louisiana 

Located on Decatur and St. Pete Streets, Market Café is second oldest building in the French Market dating back to the early 1800’s. Family owned and operated, Market Café is a great spot to enjoy the fresh air and views of French Quarter, chow down on Cajun/Creole cuisine and boogie to the beats of the 5-piece New Orleans jazz combo.  Rain or shine, this is a great place to take the family for some afternoon fun in New Orleans.

more resources

See what it’s like there:

 

9. Fraunces Tavern

NEW YORK, NY

Fraunces Tavern – New York, New York

Located at the southern point of Manhattan, this tavern has been in operation since 1762 making it the oldest standing structure in New York City. Can you even believe it! It even held the Departments of Foreign Affairs and was the National Treasury offices from 1785 to 1788. Seriously, the founding fathers of the United States dined here! There is even a museum with 9 galleries. So it is kind of a big deal. At Fraunces Tavern you not only get to bask in history, you get to have fun in a family-friendly and unpretentious atmosphere. Every Saturday and Sunday there is live music throughout the day. Everything from traditional Irish music to American Rock to Jazz is played at the tavern. The tavern is located near the Staten Island Ferry dock, so it is perfect to visit before or after a quick trip on the ferry to see the statue of liberty.

See what it’s like there:

 

Why we love it

Fraunces Tavern – New York, New York

Located at the southern point of Manhattan, this tavern has been in operation since 1762 making it the oldest standing structure in New York City. Can you even believe it! It even held the Departments of Foreign Affairs and was the National Treasury offices from 1785 to 1788. Seriously, the founding fathers of the United States dined here! There is even a museum with 9 galleries. So it is kind of a big deal. At Fraunces Tavern you not only get to bask in history, you get to have fun in a family-friendly and unpretentious atmosphere. Every Saturday and Sunday there is live music throughout the day. Everything from traditional Irish music to American Rock to Jazz is played at the tavern. The tavern is located near the Staten Island Ferry dock, so it is perfect to visit before or after a quick trip on the ferry to see the statue of liberty.

more resources

See what it’s like there:

 

10. Ri Ra Irish Pub

LAS VEGAS, NV

Ri Ra Irish Pub – Las Vegas, Nevada

There is nothing like a good Irish pub and at Ri Ra, located in the Mandalay Bay shoppes, there is everything you need to have a smashing Ri Ra (good time). First off, they have the best food I have ever eaten at an Irish pub. It is all seriously delicious and fresh. Second, the atmosphere is cozy and intriguing with unique décor in several different rooms, and various little nooks to sit and relax. Finally, the live entertainment is lively and happening every night. Pop by any night of the week and you are likely to catch a jolly performance by the Black Donnelly’s.  All these things put together give you and your family the Irish escape you didn’t know you were dreaming about. You know what they say: “When in Vegas (go to an Irish pub)!” Ha.

See what it’s like there:

 

Related Articles:

  • See the best family hotels in Vegas HERE
  • Read reviews for 21 kid-friendly shows in Vegas HERE
  • Check out our Ultimate Guide to Vegas with kids HERE
Why we love it

Ri Ra Irish Pub – Las Vegas, Nevada

There is nothing like a good Irish pub and at Ri Ra, located in the Mandalay Bay shoppes, there is everything you need to have a smashing Ri Ra (good time). First off, they have the best food I have ever eaten at an Irish pub. It is all seriously delicious and fresh. Second, the atmosphere is cozy and intriguing with unique décor in several different rooms, and various little nooks to sit and relax. Finally, the live entertainment is lively and happening every night. Pop by any night of the week and you are likely to catch a jolly performance by the Black Donnelly’s.  All these things put together give you and your family the Irish escape you didn’t know you were dreaming about. You know what they say: “When in Vegas (go to an Irish pub)!” Ha.

more resources

See what it’s like there:

 

Related Articles:

  • See the best family hotels in Vegas HERE
  • Read reviews for 21 kid-friendly shows in Vegas HERE
  • Check out our Ultimate Guide to Vegas with kids HERE
11. Fiesta de Reyes

OLD TOWN SAN DIEGO, CA

Casa de Reyes – Old Town San Diego, California

Located in the heart of Old Town San Diego within the Fiesta De Reyes area is a delicious Mexican restaurant that is festive and perfect for a fun family experience. The whole restaurant is an open air patio with views of the Fiesta De Reyes stage which has exciting live Mexican entertainment every day and night, complete with a dance floor. There is no time restriction for minors, so families can stay and play as long as the restaurant is open. At night the soft glow of the fire pits adds to the exciting outdoor fiesta vibe. As SoCal locals, this is our all-time favorite weekend getaway, and we just LOVE the vibe in Old Town San Diego.

See what it’s like in Old Town:

 

Related Articles:

  • See our guide for Old Town San Diego with kids HERE
  • See why Hacienda Hotel is our favorite family hotel in Old Town HERE
Why we love it

Casa de Reyes – Old Town San Diego, California

Located in the heart of Old Town San Diego within the Fiesta De Reyes area is a delicious Mexican restaurant that is festive and perfect for a fun family experience. The whole restaurant is an open air patio with views of the Fiesta De Reyes stage which has exciting live Mexican entertainment every day and night, complete with a dance floor. There is no time restriction for minors, so families can stay and play as long as the restaurant is open. At night the soft glow of the fire pits adds to the exciting outdoor fiesta vibe. As SoCal locals, this is our all-time favorite weekend getaway, and we just LOVE the vibe in Old Town San Diego.

more resources

See what it’s like in Old Town:

 

Related Articles:

  • See our guide for Old Town San Diego with kids HERE
  • See why Hacienda Hotel is our favorite family hotel in Old Town HERE

That’s a Wrap!

Well, there you have it. These are some of our all-time favorite kid-friendly places with live music that we’ve visited on our travels, but there are so many places we’ve never been that must also have some great live music venues that are family-friendly. Let me know in the comments what is your favorite place with live music for kids!?

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11 Best Kid Friendly Places with Live Music across the US

Ultimate List of FAQs from Parents (with answers) about visiting Las Vegas with kids

There is nothing sinful about taking kids to Vegas. Take it from this Mama who does it year after year (after year)!
Answering questions about kids in Las Vegas

We go to Vegas regularly with our kids, so I’d consider myself at least a semi-expert on how to do Las Vegas with kids of just about any age. Given our love of the city and extensive experience, we have ended up writing a TON of content over years to help families have a fun and safe visit to Sin City.

As a result, we also get a bunch of different questions from readers about how to make the best of their visit to Las Vegas with kids. Some folks go for weddings or conferences, and others (like us!) decide to take family vacations to Vegas.

The idea behind this blog article is simple: we’ve brought together all the questions and answers in one spot so you can browse the most frequently asked questions about Las Vegas with kids.

Take a look around and who knows, maybe you’ll see a question you didn’t even think to ask!

We want this list to grow! If you have a question that we haven’t answered below, please, please, leave a comment and we will answer it promptly and get you the help you need. We may even add it to the list to help future readers.

First watch our video with answers to FAQs

Is Las Vegas Safe for kids?

Las Vegas is safe for all travelers including kids. It is a tourist destination and most resorts on the Vegas Strip, especially the major luxury hotels, take great lengths to secure the public. Don’t let the term Sin City, scare you. Although Las Vegas has a higher national crime rate, it’s still lower than other popular west coast cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

kids on the vegas strip

Are kids allowed in Las Vegas Casinos?

Kids are allowed to walk through the casinos. In fact, most hotels have their casinos adjacent to hotel check-in, so you have no choice but to walk through the casino to get to your room or from one attraction to another.  That being said, you are NOT allowed to stop for long periods of time near the gambling floor with your kids. You can stroll through without hassle, though, which can be a fun free activity when you arrive in Vegas for the first time with kids.

Baby stroller in Las Vegas Casino with kids

Is it safe to walk the Vegas strip with kids?

It is safe to walk the Vegas strip with kids. Like most cities, the day time is the safest. The night is of course more sparkly and the kids will enjoy seeing the lights, but the dark of night also brings increased risk as it does anywhere. The Vegas strip is usually very busy with tourists, autos and taxis, so be sure take normal safety precautions seriously and keep your kids close when you approach busy intersections and congested areas. We have had fun, safe walk with kids on the Vegas strip day and night.

Our Family outside Mirage Resort Las Vegas

What are some fun things to do in Las Vegas with kids?

Where do I start? There a TON of fun things to in Las Vegas with kids. There are kid-friendly shows, museums, exhibits, arcades, pools, places with live music, fun-themed restaurants and many other attractions. Almost every hotel has a handful of family-friendly activities (and there are a lot of hotels on the Vegas strip!), so that means there are plenty of fun things to do in Las Vegas with kids.

Kids watching Las Vegas Mermaids at Silverton

Here is a short list of some of our favorites:

Baby at Las Vegas Show Tournament of Kings

What are the best kid-friendly hotels on the Vegas Strip?

There are so many great options on the main Vegas strip that finding the best family hotel is just a matter of figuring out which one matches your budget, style and interests the most. We get this question a lot so we published a comprehensive article of our favorite 5 best family hotels in Vegas. Briefly, our go-to hotels in Vegas are Mirage, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, NYNY and Luxor, which are great for various reasons for families visiting Las Vegas with kids.

Baby-friendly Vegas Hotel Luxor

Which resorts have the best Vegas pools for kids?

Hands down, I believe that Mirage has the best Vegas pool for kids. It is tropical and lush with waterfalls that are perfect for escaping the hustle of the strip and indulging the imaginations of children. The pool has an outside restaurant with ample misters (or even shade) for those hot summer days, and it has a dolphin bar with refreshing pina coladas.

Kids at Pool at Mirage Las Vegas

Other Vegas resorts with kid-friendly pools include:

  • Mandalay Bay (wave pool, lazy river)
  • MGM Grand (huge complex, multiple pools, lazy river)
  • Luxor (nice large pool at an affordable hotel)
  • Golden Nugget (not on the strip, but has a water slide through a friggen fish tank!)
  • To be honest, every Vegas resort has a pool the kids would enjoy!
Are there any Vegas shows that are kid-friendly?

There are many shows in Las Vegas that are kid-friendly and some that even seem designed specifically for families with kids. They truly run the gamut including comedies, magic shows, dance shows, cirque and various interesting combinations of these (e.g. comedy-magic shows). With so many to choose from, we decided to help by creating an epic guide to 21 family-friendly Vegas shows, which provides graphic ratings on 5 key dimensions to help you find the right show. If that doesn’t help you find the right Vegas show, well, I don’t know what to tell you!

Collage of family friendly Shows in Las Vegas

What are some FREE kid-friendly activities in Vegas?

In fact, most hotels offers free activities that are kid-friendly. We put together a list of 10 free family-friendly activities. For example, you can walk the strip for free, walk through vast indoor shopping areas at Caesar’s Palace, Venetian, Paris and others, watch free iconic outdoor shows on the strip like the Fountains at Bellagio and Volcano at Mirage, and much more.

The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace Las Vegas

What are the most iconic things to see in Vegas for the first time?

It depends on what one means by “iconic”. I’d consider the Bellagio fountains and Mirage Volcano to be iconic (as was the Treasure Island Pirate show before it was cancelled a few years ago). In a different way, Fremont Street in downtown Vegas is also iconic with a handful of places like the Fremont (built 1956) and Golden Nugget (built 1946) that literally have defined Vegas for decades while other casino hotels have come and gone.

Erupting Volcano at Mirage Resort Las Vegas

Is there anything to do in Las Vegas with a toddler?

Yeah sure, there are plenty of things to do in Las Vegas that are safe and appropriate with a toddler. There are shows (e.g. we took our 11 month old to Tournament of Kings at Excalibur), pools, exhibits, animal encounters, aquariums with sharks, a mermaid show and more. Hell, we even make it a routine to visit Irish Pubs like Ri Ra and Mandalay or Nine Fine Irishmen at NYNY to catch live music at night with the kids (yes, including when they were toddlers). It really just depends on what you are comfortable doing with your toddler. (However, I would recommend NOT going to really fancy restaurants…not that we go to those places anyways, but usually the type of people that pay $110 for a steak get really uppity about having to listen to kids while they dine. Go figure!)

Breakfast with baby in Vegas

What are things to do with kids in Vegas at night?

Some things to do at night with kids in Vegas are shows, restaurants with live music, and free outside entertainment along the strip. Some restaurants that allow kids of all ages to hang around and see a live show are Ri Ra Irish Pub at Mandalay, Nine Fine Irishmen at NYNY, and House of Blues Restaurant & Bar at Mandalay. Also, when we’ve stayed at NYNY we often sit with the kids and have a slice of NY style pizza just outside the Times Square Bar so we can still hear the dueling pianos in a safe area where we won’t be hassled (and it’s free this way!).

Family with Kids on Las Vegas Strip

Our kids have learned to LOVE Vegas!

What are things to do with kids in Vegas during winter?

It gets really cold in Vegas during the winter, so you will want to focus on indoor activities like shopping, shows, arcades, exhibits, and hanging out in a variety of restaurants (preferably with a good draft selection and live music!). The pool will not be an option in the Winter, and walking the strip may also be out of the question (at least it is for us being from California and all). If it is below 45 deg, we run inside! Ha!

Ri Ra Irish Pub Las Vegas Live Music

What are things to with kids in Vegas if it’s really hot outside?

Most hotels and casinos in Vegas have plenty of options for inside entertainment when it is too hot to go outside (see our answer above for things to do in winter). One unique option though when it is very hot outside during the summer is to spend an hour or two at the resort pool. Mirage, for example, has ample trees and shady areas from overhanging waterfalls, etc., and we have taken our kids out to the pool in 110+ degree weather. They actually keep the pools very crisp and refreshing (and perhaps downright COLD at first, to be honest!).

Mirage Vegas pool with kids

What are reasons parents take their children to Las Vegas?

Parents take their kids to Las Vegas for a variety of reasons. Some families like our have discovered that Vegas is a unique family-friendly destination, so we choose to spend a vacation there. Vegas is also a popular destination for conferences due to the large number of hotels and amount of conference space, so some business travelers may choose to bring their families along for the experience. And don’t forget that Vegas is a popular place for weddings, family reunions, or other celebrations of life events. Flights to Vegas from most major airports are also tend to be cheaper than flights to other places, so it is a popular meet up point for families or groups that are geographically disbursed.

Will my kids be exposed to porn in Las Vegas?

No, not really. Sure, there are advertisements showing hunky shirtless men and sexy women, but is it really much different than what kids see at the beach or on TV? I mean, maybe hunkier and sexier, haha! Sometimes walking the strip in certain areas there are people handing out cards for call girls, but those can be easily avoided. My advice is to just walk past them and don’t take the handouts. From our experience these folks don’t engage with you or the kids anyways (probably due to some policy, as this would be in pretty bad taste and a waste of paper). If you stay out really late with the kids, which we’ve done on occasion (like midnight-ish), then the crowd gets rowdier and more intoxicated and that means unexpected things can happen. This is easily avoided if you don’t want to take that risk.

Can I expect to gamble much if I bring my kids to Vegas?

Honestly, how much you gamble while Las Vegas with kids is up to you and depends on how well you plan the trip. If you are with other adults then you can switch off watching the kids so others can have a turn gambling. We call it the switch-off and that’s what we usually do. You can also bring a babysitter or use the babysitting service provided by some of the hotels. We’ve brought my niece along a few times and let her babysit the kids for an hour or so in the room at night after the kids fell asleep.

Where is a safe, cool place to walk with a stroller in Vegas?

You can walk through any casino, and each is unique, so this is highly recommended as a pretty fun free activity to do with kids in Vegas, especially if it is your first time there (you should try to see what each resort looks like). Most Vegas resorts also have indoor shopping areas, and some really go all out on the shopping malls like Caesar’s Palace and Venetian.

Stroller Baby Las Vegas Shopping Mall

That’s a Wrap!

Join the conversation. Do you have anything else to add about your own experiences in Vegas with kids? Do you have a question I haven’t answered yet? Let me know in the comments below, or hit me up on facebook or twitter.

Disclaimer: HotMamaTravel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. This means that we get credit for providing awesome advice in helping you to decide on your purchase if you happen to use one of our links. There is no extra cost to you, but it helps to support the cost of running our blog. Thank you for supporting us!

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Ultimate List of FAQs from Parents (and answers) about visiting Las Vegas with kids

Mother of all Road Trips: An inspired family trip up historic Route 66

Route 66 is considered the "Mother Road" and this Mama is determined to conquer it with kids
Historic Route 66 Family Road Trip

No journey has captured the imagination of America over the last century more than Route 66. It has long been considered the “Mother Road”, beckoning travelers, wayfarers and people looking for a fresh start out West.

Well we have lived “out west” our entire lives, and this year we decided to take the kids on a road trip in reverse, going UP Route 66 to see the quirky roadside attractions, historic eateries, and iconic landmarks that make this trek such a unique and characteristically American experience to this day.

In this post, we preview our custom Route 66 road trip itinerary and highlight what we plan to do in each city.

Before we get started, though, I want to explain real quick how this road trip materialized virtually out of nowhere. I’ve long wanted to visit Santa Fe (for reasons you’ll see later in the post), but didn’t realize it was along Route 66 until I got the chance to review a book called “The Best Hits on Route 66: 100 Essential Stops on the Mother Road” by Amy Bizzarri.

 

Bizzarri’s book is full of beautiful photos and snippets of fascinating details about the best places to visit along Route 66, including custom maps and itineraries and information that is relevant for families with kids.

Historic Route 66 Sign

We were so inspired reading through this book that we stayed up late one night and just put together the perfect road trip itinerary (for us, anyways) to do over Spring Break while the kids were out of school.

We are also super excited to announce that we are partnering again with Best Western Plus for this road trip! There are Best Western hotels all along Route 66, and as you know, we have come to appreciate the dependability and value of Best Western hotels on our many adventures across the country.

Here is the Route 66 family road trip itinerary that we came up with…

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND OUT MORE IN MY DISCLAIMER

Route 66 Road Trip Map & Itinerary

click a sheriff’s star to jump ahead
icon on sheriff's star
Oatman AZ on Route 66

Oatman, Arizona

Day 1, Stop 1 (passing through)

Once upon a time, Oatman was a main gold producer and was chock full ‘o prospectors trying to strike it rich. Now it is a historic ghost town full of…wild burros!? Yes, you read that right – there are (mostly) friendly little jackasses roaming the streets of Oatman daily. We love visiting Old West ghost towns like Tombstone and Calico, and hearing all the fascinating stories. I expect Oatman will fit the bill just perfectly.

Things we plan to do:

  • Pet wild Burros of Oatman
  • Have lunch at Olive Oatman Restaurant and Saloon
  • Shop the eclectic souvenir shops
  • Kick off the trip with a cold beer
Williams AZ on Route 66

Williams, Arizona

Days 1-2 (stay 2 nights)

Williams has long been considered the gateway to the Grand Canyon, one of the true wonders of the world. We plan to take a train tour on the historic Grand Canyon Railway from Williams Depot, which made its first journey into the Canyon way back in 1901 (and also doubles as the Polar Express)! The quaint but rather bustling town in the high desert is also home to numerous shops and fun places to eat.

Things we plan to do:

  • Stay overnight at Best Western Plus Inn of Williams
  • Train tour of the Grand Canyon
  • See Williams Depot
  • Eat at Route 66 style diner or restaurant
  • Check out the Route 66 zipline
Madrid NM on Route 66

Madrid, New Mexico

Day 3 (passing through)

A small town with a storied history, the lands in and around Madrid have been mined for centuries – for turquoise by native inhabitants, for silver by Spaniards in 1500’s, and coal in the 1800’s. But what is drawing me to stop by this ghost town on Route 66 is the Mine Shaft Tavern, which has been serving miners and travelers since 1895. Word is that orbs often appear in photos taken inside the tavern, so we expect to experience a variety of spirits in Madrid.

Things we plan to do:

  • Eat lunch at Mine Shaft Tavern
  • Walk around the artsy Ghost Town
  • Maybe catch a photo with a ghostly orb
Santa Fe NM on Route 66

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Days 3-5 (3 nights)

Santa Fe has been calling me for years, and we made it the centerpiece of our Route 66 family road trip. We are staying three nights in the city because there is just so much we want to see and do in Santa Fe. History, music, art, natural beauty, hatch chiles and margaritas – you can find it all in Santa Fe and two full days is likely not enough…but we will do our best!

Things we plan to do:

  • Stay at Best Western Plus Inn of Santa Fe
  • Meow Wolf insane art installation
  • Live music at La Fonda on the Plaza
  • Explore Santa Fe Plaza
  • Santa Fe Margarita Trail
  • Various historic sites around the city
Gallup NM Route 66

Gallup, New Mexico

Day 6 (passing through)

Gallup has served as the backdrop for over 100 old Western Movies over the years, predominantly through the 1930’s and 40’s. A jewel of this sleepy old town on Route 66 is the El Rancho Hotel, which was built in 1936 to serve the burgeoning film industry around Gallup. We plan to grab lunch and a drink at El Rancho’s 49ers Lounge, and take a tour of rustic El Rancho Hotel.

Things we plan to do:

  • El Rancho Hotel
  • Stroll around the city
Kingman AZ on Route 66

Kingman, Arizona

Day 6 (1 night)

After a long drive leaving Gallup, NM, we plan to stay the night and rest up in Kingman. We might take a 25 min excursion to visit the legendary Hackberry General Store and stock up on Route 66 memorabilia. Otherwise not sure what else we will do in Kingman except eat dinner and sleep before another long drive home.

Things we plan to see:

  • Stay at Best Western Plus A Wayfarer’s Inn
  • Eat dinner somewhere unique in town
  • Maybe pay visit to Hackberry General Store
Barstow CA on Route 66

Barstow, California

Day 7 (passing through)

About halfway home to Orange County, CA, we almost always stop for gas and a meal in Barstow on our way home from Vegas. However, this time we also plan to visit the Route 66 Mother Road Museum following lunch for one last nostalgic experience of Route 66 culture and memorabilia.

Things we plan to do:

  • Grab lunch
  • Visit Route 66 Mother Road Museum
Santa Monica CA on Route 66

Santa Monica, California

Day 7 (END)

While the Santa Monica Pier is the official ending point of historic Route 66, we will actually be heading home to Anaheim after a long road trip with kids. I wanted to include Santa Monica on our map, and most people that want to do this itinerary will want to finish the trip in Santa Monica anyways.

Things we would do:

  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Visit Muscle beach in Venice
  • Explore nearby Getty Museum
  • Eat really good food
  • Watch sunset of the Pacific

That’s a Wrap!

Well there you have it. Spring Break 2019 we are taking the kids on the “Mother of all road trips”, and I couldn’t be more excited! Follow us on social media to follow our trip LIVE, and subscribe to our newsletter to get updates when videos and blog articles are posted to show highlights of our family trip along Route 66.

Disclaimer: HotMamaTravel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. This means that we get credit for providing awesome advice in helping you to decide on your purchase if you happen to use one of our links. There is no extra cost to you, but it helps to support the cost of running our blog. Thank you for supporting us!

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Mother of all Road Trips: An inspired family trip up historic Route 66

Mama’s Guide for doing Las Vegas with Baby: Perfect 2-day itinerary & FAQs

Trust this Mama - there are plenty of fun and safe family activities in Las Vegas with an Infant
Baby friendly Las Vegas

OK, so you are going to Las Vegas with baby and you probably have a few questions, like…

  • Is it safe?
  • Is it appropriate?
  • What can and can’t we do with a baby in Vegas?

Don’t worry, I got you.

First of all, you are not alone. Millions of families visit Las Vegas each year and you won’t have any problem spotting them either. Families, babies and strollers are everywhere! You definitely will not feel out of place in Las Vegas with an infant and all the trappings and gadgets that come along with family travel.

I have been traveling to Las Vegas since I was baby and the tradition has continued with my own family. All my kids have gone to Vegas numerous times, starting as babies in infancy.

Hot Tip: If you are also visiting Vegas with kids ages 2-14, we have a ton of helpful information in our Ultimate Guide to Vegas with kids.

Kids playing in Las Vegas

I created this article to be helpful for moms (and dads) who basically have NO CLUE what it is like to take a baby or an infant to Las Vegas.

First I will answer some common questions and misconceptions that I have heard over the years about visiting Las Vegas with young kids, then I follow that up with an example itinerary that should help you get started on planning your next trip to Vegas with baby.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND OUT MORE IN MY DISCLAIMER. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Babies in Vegas

Q: Is Vegas Safe for babies?

A: In short, absolutely. Las Vegas is just as safe as most major cities, with a crime rate lower than popular cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. In fact, most of the crime in Vegas happens off the strip. The major luxury hotel and casinos have great security and are very safe for families. From our extensive experience, my advice is to stay on the main Vegas Strip (but don’t stay out too late after dark) and you’ll be just fine.

Q: Are babies allowed in casinos?

A: Yes (and no). I mean, you can’t stop and gamble in the casino with your little one, but you can freely walk through the casinos with your baby and stroller. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one either! You will be amazed at how many families will be strolling their babies through the casino right alongside you.

Baby stroller in Las Vegas Casino with kids

Q: Where is a safe, cool place to walk with a stroller in Vegas?

A: All the casinos along the strip are perfectly safe for you to walk your stroller in Vegas. Many Vegas resorts on the strip also have extensive indoor shopping areas and malls. Outside on the strip is fine too (weather permitting), it is just busier and may be difficult in some places to access elevators and bridges. In fact, many hotels have bridges that connect to other hotels across Las Vegas Blvd (the “strip”) and other main streets, which are helpful to avoid car traffic along the strip.

Stroller Baby Las Vegas Shopping Mall

Q: Are there any fun things to do in Vegas with a baby?

Despite what you may have heard, there is actually very little you can’t do with a baby in Vegas. Ok, ok, you obviously can’t gamble or go to clubs or 21+ shows or lounges. But you can walk around pretty much everywhere else and explore the fun sites and plentiful shopping areas. There are numerous family-friendly Vegas shows that allow kids less than 5 years of age. You can check out an exhibit or attraction that interests you and your family. Finally, there are TONS of family-friendly restaurants located in all the major hotels on the Vegas strip.

Baby at Las Vegas Show Tournament of Kings

Our Vegas with baby and Q&A videos are helpful

A perfect 2-day itinerary in Las Vegas with Baby

Day 1

cracker barrel Las Vegas with kids

Lunch at Cracker Barrel

Right off Dean Martin Dr, Cracker Barrel is conveniently located right as you enter Las Vegas (from the south), making for the perfect spot to stop for a yummy lunch. The casual country dining room is perfect for families. Plus not only is the food hearty comfort food, the portions are huge and the prices are low. Eating in Vegas can pretty pricey most places, so this is a nice way to ease into the trip (and your wallet)!

Kids watching Las Vegas Mermaids at Silverton

See the Mermaids at Silverton

After lunch you can walk or drive across the parking lot to the Silverton Casino Hotel. There you will find the giant 117,000 gallon reef aquarium, where your babies and kids will LOVE watching the live mermaids swim. The mermaids are so sweet and really do great job interacting with kids, keeping them fully entranced. Mermaid swims are every 15 minutes, Thursday through Sunday starting at noon.

Thursday:12:00 – 1:15pm2:00pm – 3:15pm5:00pm – 8:15pm
Friday:12:00 – 1:15pm2:00pm – 3:15pm5:00pm – 8:15pm
Saturday:12:00 – 1:15pm2:00pm – 3:15pm5:00pm – 8:15pm
Sunday:10:30am – 1:10pm2:00pm – 3:15 p.m.5:00 p.m. – 6:45pm

Hot Tip: While you are there, take a stroll through the calming ambiance of Bass Pro Shop’s Outdoor World. The entrance is adjacent to the aquarium.

Check into hotel

After seeing the mermaids, it is a good time to check into your hotel. You can get your stuff up to the room, freshen up and let the baby relax a little bit. If baby is crawling or walking, this is good opportunity to let them get their wiggles out.

Baby-friendly Vegas Hotel Luxor

We recently stayed at the Luxor and it was a great choice for our family since it was freezing winter and we could get to multiple hotels (Mandalay, Excalibur) easily through indoor connecting bridges. During the summer, we also really love staying at the Mirage, mostly because we love the pool.

Hot Tip: If you want help picking the right hotel for your family, check out our very detailed guide on the best family hotels in Las Vegas HERE.

Walk around explore hotel/have drink

Once you feel refreshed, take your crew down to the casino floor and explore your home for the weekend. This is a fun way to see all the exciting things your hotel of choice has to offer. You may even find a entertaining place to pop into for a quick snack or drink before dinner.

Dinner at Casa Di Amore

Once you book your hotel, be sure to make reservations at Casa Di Amore and arrange for them to pick you up. The pickup shuttle is a complementary service and they will also return you to your hotel after dinner. Our driver (Steve) was very nice and fun to chat with. Just be sure to tip your wonderful driver for their service.

Las Vegas family restaurant Casa di Amore

Casa Di Amore is a happening Italian restaurant. This local favorite has live music, a dark cozy atmosphere oozing with old Las Vegas charm and delicious cuisine. The best part is that it is family-friendly, so you can roll up with your babies and be welcomed with open arms, wine and pasta!

Switch off gambling or go back to room

Once you are back to your hotel, the night is up to you. You may be tired from traveling the first night, so you may just want to call it a night. If you are up to gambling, here are some options.

  • Travel with other adults like grandparents that help you switch off with childcare for a couple hours. That is what we typically do. We do a variety of switching throughout the trip.
  • Utilize local babysitting services. Some hotels have in-house services or will help you arrange with an outside local company. Nannies & Housekeepers USA is a trusted company by many of the major hotels. They are licensed and insured as well as certified in CPR and first-aid. You also contact Care.com for local Las Vegas childcare.

Day 2

Breakfast with baby in Vegas

Long relaxing Breakfast at Café or Buffet

Ease into the morning with long relaxing breakfast at either the hotel’s café or buffet. It just depends on your style and your appetite. My only recommendation is to take your time and relish your first morning in Vegas.

After Breakfast/Brunch

Cold Weather: If you visiting during the winter stay inside as much as possible, because baby it is COLD outside. This is a great time of day to explore the many exciting shopping areas within hotels or check out an exhibit. We stayed at the Luxor and it is inter-connected with Mandalay Bay as well as Excalibur, so there was a lot to do and see without stepping a foot outside. This is also a nice feature of staying at a family-friendly resort on the Vegas Strip.

Warm weather: If you are visiting during the summer or spring, enjoy a pool day. Luxor has one of the largest pools in Las Vegas, but Mirage is still my favorite. The Mirage pool also has a lot of shady spots and grottos for keeping the babies out of the harsh desert sun. MGM and Mandalay also have good pools, which you can read more about in our ultimate guide to Vegas with kids.

See a pre-dinner show

An awesome evening activity to do with babies in Vegas is to see a pre-dinner show. Yes, there are shows in Las Vegas that allow babies. We took ours to the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur. There is so much action going on at all times, that a loud baby will not be a bother.

Vegas show for kids at Excalibur

Hot Tip: We have carefully researched a number of shows in Las Vegas (21 to be exact!) that allow kids, and we wrote a detailed article to help you pick the right show for your family HERE.

Go to Dinner with live music

After the show, it is time to hit up one of the many electrifying Las Vegas dining options. We don’t like the fun to stop, so we prefer something with live music. I recommend an Irish pub, like Nine Fine Irishmen at NYNY or Ri Ra at Mandalay Bay. They are cozy, family-friendly and the music is lively.

Ri Ra Irish Pub Las Vegas Live Music

After Dinner

If your baby is all good and you still have the energy to keep going here are some options for after dinner.

Cold weather: The shops and many of the indoor activities will still be open, so feel free to wander around with your stroller until you stumble upon something that interest you. Some hotels even have free indoor entertainment like the Fall of Atlantis show in the Forum Shops.

Warm weather: When the nights are warm, that is a great time to walk the strip, because city sparkles with lights and is loaded with outdoor entertainment. The main strip is very touristy and loaded with families. If you are worried about safety, I would just suggest to not go out too late. This is a good opportunity to catch some free classic outdoor shows like the Volcano show at Mirage or the Fountains at Bellagio.

After two full days for activities, you will be exhausted. Time to sink into those comfy hotel beds and dream about all the fun you had in Las Vegas with baby.

That’s A Wrap!

Vegas is the entertainment capital and there are countless ways to experience the fun and excitement of Las Vegas. I want to prove to you that, YES, it is possible to have a fun, safe trip to Las Vegas with kids of all ages – including infants and babies. There are ample indoor places and shopping areas to stroll around in, lots of family-friendly restaurant options, kid-friendly shows that allow babies, extravagant pools, and unique attractions that are fun for all ages. Vegas can be whatever you make of it, and we have chosen to make it a family travel mecca that is unlike any other place in the world. You can too!

Disclaimer: HotMamaTravel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. This means that we get credit for providing awesome advice in helping you to decide on your purchase if you use one of our links. There is no extra cost to you, but it helps to support the cost of running our blog. Thank you for supporting us!

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Mama's Guide to Las Vegas with Baby: Perfect itinerary and FAQs

Ultimate Disney Wonder Review for Families taking their first Disney Cruise

A wonder-filled family vacation aboard the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Review

Let me tell you, Disney Cruise Line has got us hooked – anchor, line and sinker!

Since we first took a cruise on the Disney Fantasy two years ago (which you can read about HERE), we just recently took a Disney Wonder cruise from Vancouver to San Diego this year, so I decided to write a Disney Wonder review article that includes comparisons between the two amazing ships.

You see, not every Disney cruise ship is the same. They feature differences in state rooms, dining options, youth clubs, adult lounges, live shows, and much more.

Truth be told, we were really looking forward to seeing these variations. And actually, there were few things we loved even more about the Disney Wonder!

So without further adieu, here is our Disney Wonder review…

(First off the top, I’d like to give a special shout-out to Vesko, our head waiter who really made our family cruise on Disney Wonder extra memorable.)

Waiter on Disney Cruise shares paper flower with child

HotMama Tip: There are lots of ways to book a Disney Cruise. You can book it directly through Disney Cruise Line, but you can also find some great deals at 3rd party sites like Cruise Direct, which you can check out and compare Right HERE. HotMamaTravel participates in the affiliate program with CruiseDirect (since DCL doesn’t have one), so if you book through them with one of the links in this article, it will help support the cost of running this blog and allow us to keep bringing you fresh content. The price is the same for you, so it is what they call a “win-win”!
Disney Cruise Line

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND OUT MORE IN MY DISCLAIMER.

About The Disney Wonder

Built in 1999, the Disney Wonder is the second ship in Disney Cruise Line’s fleet and sister ship to the Disney Magic. However, it recently went through a major renovation in 2016 and the ship actually felt brand new.

Disney Wonder in Port

Smaller than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, the Disney Wonder is perfect for unique itineraries that require tight passage ways like the Alaskan Glaciers or Panama Canal.

Disney Wonder Staterooms

There are four main categories for Disney Wonder staterooms with a total of 10 different room types. Rates will vary depending on category and room type you want to book.

View of ocean from porthole in stateroom on Disney Wonder

HotMama Tip: There are wheelchair-accessible staterooms available for guests who require such accommodations.

1. Concierge Stateroom

This is the most expensive category, but it also includes top-notch accommodations with large verandahs as well as extra amenities and services. Within this category there are three types of room to choose from:

– Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah
– Concierge 2-Bedroom Suite with Verandah
– Concierge 1-Bedroom Suite with Verandah

2. Verandah Stateroom

Next level down from Concierge is the Verandah rooms which are spacious and obviously include a verandah. There are three room types within this category including a family size stateroom.

– Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
– Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
– Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Navigator’s Verandah

3. Oceanview Stateroom

This is our personal favorite Disney Wonder stateroom. Although very safe, I just don’t having a verandah with all my young children. We love looking at the ocean, but we don’t need to on a balcony to enjoy the view. Unfortunately, the portholes in Disney Wonder staterooms do not have window seats like the ones the in the Fantasy staterooms. However, even without the window seats the porthole windows are enough for our family. There is only one type of room offered in this category and that is the Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom. This was the room that we booked for our vacation. Check current deals and rates HERE

Inside Disney Wonder Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom

4. Inside Stateroom

This is the most affordable stateroom aboard the Disney Wonder. But as you can expect with Disney, the rooms are anything but basic. They still have the exciting nautical décor and plush bedding just like the other categories. These are great options if you are looking to find a good deal or if you don’t plan on spending a lot of time in the room. There are two types of rooms to choose from, depending on your budget and availability.

– Deluxe Inside Stateroom
– Standard Inside Stateroom

HotMama Tip: Be sure to find yourself some great Disney-themed Magnets for your stateroom door before embarking on your Disney Cruise. You can find some great designs on Etsy, which is what we did here:

Door Magnets for Disney Cruise from Etsy

Disney Wonder Restaurants & Bars

Rotational Dining

Onboard the Disney Wonder there is three main dining rooms that you will rotate dining in throughout the duration of your cruise. When you book your cruise you will be assigned a dinner seating, a restaurant schedule and table number. There are two dinner seatings, the first one at 5:45 PM and the second one at 8:15 PM. All shows and main events onboard accommodate both seating times, so don’t worry about missing something.

It sounds late, but we actually prefer the 8:15 PM seating, because there is so much to do in a day, especially if you are visiting ports of call, that it is hard to make it to the early dinner on time.

Animator's Palate on Disney Wonder

1. Animator’s Palate

Animator’s Palate is a staple on all four Disney Cruise Line Ships. This is full sensory dining experience that the family will love! At dining room starts out in black and white with Disney sketches all over the walls. As the meal progresses the walls and lighting in the room begin to change and by the end it is an explosion of color, music and animation.

Triton's Restaurant on Disney Wonder

2. Triton’s (Disney Wonder exclusive)

Unique to the Disney Wonder, Triton’s is themed after the Little Mermaid. It is an elegant dining room that glistens in golds and metallic teals just like you would expect from an undersea palace. My inner mermaid was bursting with excitement. It isn’t the most lively restaurant on board the Disney Wonder, but it is beautiful, calming and a nice change of pace.

Although themed after wonders of the sea, the menu is more complex than just seafood with dishes having more of a French flare. A perfect way to combine the worlds and get a little fancy is with an order of escargot. Yes, sea snails and you know what? The kids actually liked them.

Tiana's Place on Disney Wonder

3. Tiana’s Place (Disney Wonder exclusive)

Experience the vivacity of New Orleans out at sea aboard the Disney Wonder. This lively restaurant was last on our rotational dining schedule, making for the perfect grand finale. Complete with live jazz, dance parties, Louisiana-style Creole and Cajun cuisine and of course TIANA herself, this was by far our FAVORITE restaurant!

Our family loves a good party and this was not just a dinner it was a full on Bayou bash! We had such a good time that we would sail on the Disney Wonder again just so we could dine at Tiana’s Place again.

Live Music at Tianas Place on Disney Wonder

HotMama Tip: If you enjoy wine with your dinner, like us, then get one of the wine packages on the first night. It saves you money and you are guaranteed to have a bottle of wine of your choice with each dinner. There is also a great beer package too. You get 24 beers for the price of 20, plus a nice Disney cooler. We got it on the first day, sharing one package among three adults and it lasted us the whole trip.

Family Lounges

Promenade Lounge

This open lounge, on both the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic, is a great spot to take a little break and enjoy the ocean views with a cocktail and some live music. Kids are allowed in the Promenade Lounge and there is even a toddler play area, to keep the little ones entertained. There are also appetizers out and available throughout the evening.

Disney Wonder Promenade Lounge

Promenade Lounge is where we would enjoy sipping some bubbles, nibbling on chips and salsa while the kids danced to live band. This is great option for families who like to enjoy the lounges together.

D Lounge

This family lounge is located on all four Disney ships and hosts a number a family activities, like karaoke, trivia and dance parties. There are exciting cocktails available for adults as well as fun nonalcoholic mocktails and smoothies for the kids to help everyone feel like they are ready to party.

Casual/Poolside

  • Cabanas – Cabanas is on all four Disney ships and is where you go to load up on the goods. That’s right, this is where the buffets are throughout the day. Located on the pool deck, it is our favorite spot to grab breakfast and lunch, because we can speedy or leisurely as we want and the kids love to pick out their own food. Plus, we love the casual atmosphere, views of the ocean and the variety of food options.
  • Daisy’s De-Lites – This quick-service poolside deli is available on the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic. Serving up refreshing salads, sandwiches, wraps and fruit, Daisy’s De-Lites is great option for those looking for a lighter fare or a between meal snack. I personally really liked this option, because there were some days I just wanted something light and refreshing. It was also here that I got a really delicious rice bowl.
  • Pinocchio’s Pizzaeria – Who doesn’t love pizza? My kids sure do! Another poolside snack stop on the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic that serves up delicious pizza will have the kids squealing in glee. This is perfect for post swimming hunger or those random pizza cravings.
  • Pete’s Boiler Bites (Disney Wonder exclusive)  Sometimes you just want a burger and Pete’s Boiler Bites is where to get it. Also offered were hot dogs, bratwurst, chicken burgers, chicken tenders, fish burgers, veggie burgers, tacos, fries and more. Basically, it is a crowd-pleaser. The burgers were really good and I had like one a day. Don’t judge me.

Adults-Only Dining and Lounges

Palo

This upscale Italian restaurant is on all four of the Disney ships, but requires a separate reservation. Open for brunch and dinner, this meal is not included in your cruise price and there is a dress code. The atmosphere is romantic and the cuisine is supposedly exquisite. Sounds like it might be a fun little splurge for couples looking for a little kid-free dining. So far, I’ve looked forward to having dinner with my kids each night, so I haven’t had a chance to try Palo out yet.

After Hours

Located on the Deck 3, are the adult only lounges. This is one of my favorite sections of the ship. I love the themes of each lounge and they make for fun little hangouts while the kids are having their own fun at the youth clubs. Plus, they have pretty bomb appetizers in these lounges too!

HotMama Tip: Although it is the “adults only” area, kids are allowed until 9:00Pm. However, you rarely see kids in the lounges. We never took our two older kids into the lounges, but I did wheel in the baby in the stroller.

Cadillac Lounge

Now this lounge is ascetically awesome! It was quieter Themed with 1950’s Cadillacs, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time and you suddenly got really cool. The Cadillac Lounge features shiny teak wood, fiber optics, luscious leather seating that resembles the interior of a Cadillac and the show-stopper headlight light fixture behind the bar. You’ll definitely want to sip something on the rocks while you listen to the live piano music.

However we didn’t spend too much time in the Cadillac Lounge. It may be more wild late at night, but when we were there had more of a quiet, relaxed atmosphere, which wasn’t what we were in the mood for most nights.

Crown & Fin Pub

This was by far our favorite place to be on the Disney Wonder. If you have seen any of our other blogs, you will know that pubs are kind of our thing. The Crown & Fin Pub was always lively, which we love.

Crown and Fin Pub on Disney Wonder

This is where we would grab a pint and some yummy wings and play a little trivia before dinner. I really like the setup of the pub, especially the comfy oversized leather chairs conversationally situated next to jumbo portholes.

Azure

This is considered the nightclub on board the Disney Wonder. By night it is a happening night spot for adults, but day it home to a host of family-friendly activities. For instance, BINGO, which we played for the major jackpot! We didn’t win of course. Sad face.

Things to do on board Disney Wonder

Deck parties

Adventures Away

Although called the Sail Away party on the Fantasy, it is same celebration kicking off the excitement of your adventure. After lunch and the safety drill, guests are invited to party on deck with all their favorite Disney characters with a wild dance party The Wonder pulls away from port and out the open sea.

Adventures away deck party on Disney Wonder

The most exciting part is when the ship’s blow horn blasts with “When You Wish Upon a Star.” It is a powerful moment.

Pirate Night

Standard on all for ships, no matter if you are sailing a themed cruise during Christmas, Halloween or Marvel days, every cruise has a pirate night. Although the Disney Fantasy’s pirate night was bit more outrageous with Jack Sparrow dropping down on deck, Disney Wonder’s pirate night was just as fun.

Pirate night party on Disney Wonder

There are a bunch of pirate themed activities throughout the evening in the youth clubs. At dinner the servers are dressed up and dance at the end of the meal. Then it all culminates at the end of the evening with a dance party and fireworks on deck. It is just a really fun night and it is always fun see everyone’s creativity expressing their inner pirate.

Frozen Deck Party

Celebrated on the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic, the Frozen Deck Party is only held during select 7-night cruises. So, we didn’t get to experience this party, but it runs just like pirate night. There are themed activities throughout the day and a themed dinner before the big deck party in the evening.

Live Shows at the Walt Disney Theater

Frozen, A Musical Spectacular (Disney Wonder Exclusive)

What a wonderful show! Recounting the tale of Anna and Elsa, this musical is full of great music and theatrical techniques. During Elsa’s faces ballad, “Let it Go,” the theatrical is engulfed in flurries making you really feel like winter is coming! Don’t miss this one!

The Golden Mickeys

This is a super fun award-style show reminiscent of the Oscars with nominees performing musical numbers representing the category in which they are being nominated.

Golden Mickeys Red Carpet with kids

It even starts with a pre-show red carpet event where kids can get interviewed by the ship’s celebrity reporter. The interview is then aired onto the big screens inside the Walt Disney Theater. Of course our kids loved this and milked their time on the red carpet.

Disney Dreams-An Enchanted Classic

This show is an inspirational tale following young girl who has lost the since of magic in her heart. Thanks to a host of various Disney Characters, she finds the strength to believe and will to a positive thinker. The show is full of great music, dancing and costumes, so miss it.

Character Meet & Greets

It is nearly impossible to miss a character meet & greet, because they are all day long throughout the cruise. If there is a specific character you don’t want to miss, check you daily itinerary for times and locations for meet & greets. All meet & greets are free and most the time you can just get in line and get your picture, but there are a couple meet & greets that require a pre-reservation. The Princess and the Frozen meet & greets are the two that you have to reserve your spot ahead of time when booking your cruise.

Disney Cruise Character meet and greets

We had reserved spots for both, but ended up canceling our Frozen meet & greet to watch Christopher Robin in the WaltDisney Theater.

Pixar Pals Party (Disney Wonder Exclusive)

This party is not only just on the Disney Wonder, but is it exclusive to the Alaska cruises. Again, we did not get to participate in this party, but you are booking an Alaskan cruise don’t miss all your favorite Pixar characters at this fun dance party in the grand atrium.

Movies at Buena Vista Theatre

Reminiscent of old Hollywood, this is the main theater for viewing movies at sea. Various films are shown throughout the day and evening, so check you daily itinerary for show times.

Youth Clubs

All of the following youth clubs are on all four Disney ships, however each ship has slight variations in designs.

Oceaneer Club & Oceaneer Lab (Ages 3-12)

This is a safe and secure multi-room play area that requires a magic Disney band to check in and an approved adult with secret password to check out. The bands are placed on kids before boarding and they must wear throughout the cruise as it also acts as a GPS on your kid in case they wonder off. The password and approved adults for pick up is arranged when you book the cruise and pre-register your child.

Disney Wonder Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab

This is my kids favorite part of a Disney cruise. They were obsessed with the Oceaner Club and Lab on the Disney Fantasy and were so excited to see how the rooms were different on the Disney Wonder.

Oceaneer Club

  • Andy’s Room – This is such a cute room, but what is different on the Disney Wonder is that there is a giant Slinky Dog slide! That was the first thing my kids went for when they first check out the Oceaner Club and the room my husband always found them in when checking them out.
  • Marvel Super Hero Academy – Yes, this looks like a super hero headquarters and it is awesome. This room was not on the Disney Fantasy and my son spent a lot of time in this room. There are tons of fun activities and video games happening in this room and even super heroes have been known to pop in and out from time to time. My son said he learned moves from Spiderman himself!
  • Disney Junior – This is just a really pretty and enchanted looking room where kids can make crafts and play games.
  • Frozen Adventure – If you like warm hugs, then you will love this cute Frozen themed room. looks like the supply shop in the Frozen movie, complete with an animated visit from. This room was not on the Fantasy, so the kids were really excited to explore this new space.

Playing Marvel Avengers

Oceaneer Lab

  • Animator’s Studio – This is where kids can learn how to create masterpieces as well as how to sketch Disney characters.
  • Captain’s Workshop – This pirate themed space is perfect for watching movies, playing video games and tons of other themed activities.
  • Craft Studio – This is one of my daughter’s favorite rooms, because she loves to craft. This where kids can create very own special souvenirs like pillow cases, jewelry and more.
  • The Wheelhouse – Kids have an opportunity to feel like a captain in the Wheelhouse with giant LCD screen navigation simulators. Yes, kids can feel as if they are steering the Disney Wonder out to sea.

Edge (ages 11-14)

This is the tween club aboard the Disney Wonder is a basement inspired space, loaded with exciting high-tech gadgets, like big screen TVs, computers, interactive play stations and video games to keep this age group sufficiently entertained. Plus, there are always exciting activities and events happening at Edge, like dance parties, challenges and theme nights. Not to mention, this is the spot for them to meet and mingle with kids their same age, making friends with kids from all over the world. Edge is open daily from 10:00am to 1:00am! They might out party you!

Teen Vibe (ages 14-17)

This ultra cool lounge is for the teens to chill out and relax…or party hard. Open until 2:00am, this space decked out with everything your teen needs to have a great cruise. There is even a coffee bar and mocktail bar for teens to grab a fun nonalcoholic beverage or smoothie! On the Disney Wonder, Vibe is designed to look like an urban loft filled with comfy conversations areas, flat screens, tablets, games, dance floor and more.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

There is nothing like a bit of pampering to get into vacation mode. With a variety of packages to choose from, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is not just for girls. We booked both our kids for a day at this magical salon.

Disney Cruise Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

We booked the Crown package for Keeley which included hair, makeup, nails, tiara, princess sash and a take home goodie bag of care products. For Kevin we booked the Knight package where he was given an awesome hair do, shield and sword.
They have special options available for pirate night where the whole family can get the works.

Pools

Goofy’s Pool

This is the big family pool. It faces Funnel Vision, the open air movie screen, so everyone can enjoy various Disney films while taking a relaxing swim or a relaxing soak in one of the two hot tubs. During deck parties the Goofy’s pool is covered, making room of a massive open air dance floor.

AquaLab

This is the fun Huey, Dewey and Louie splash zone complete with pouring paint can, leaky pipes and the show stopper, Donald’s Boiler. When you push the buttons the tension builds until Donald blows off steam and sprays the crowd.

Aqua Lab on Disney Wonder

Twist n’ Spout Slide

Rising high above the AquaLab is this double-looping waterslide. What I loved about this slide was that there was a video camera at the top so parents could see when their child was about to go the slide. My son, Kevin, was scared to go down the little slide on the Disney Fantasy, so I was super surprised when he braved the Twist n’ Spout Slide on the Disney Wonder. The funny thing is that I could see him contemplating his decision from the camera.

Twist and Spout Slide Disney Wonder

Dory’s Reef

Just off the toddler pool, next to the AquaLab is the cute Dory’s Reef splash park. Perfect for babies and toddlers, Dort’s Reef has tons of water fun, like pop jets, a water curtain and fountains. It is a playful, colorful and safe space for little ones to get wet.

Dory's Reef on Disney Wonder Cruise

Quiet Cove Pool

Maybe you are into giggling kids while trying to lounge poolside. Or maybe your kids are hanging out in the Oceaneer Lab and you would like little solace with your Bloody Mary. Well good news, not every pool day has to be wild. At Quiet Cove adult-only pool, adults can seek some respite under gazebos and indulge in a cocktail at the Cove Café.

Wide World of Sports

Do you like to stay active on vacation? Great, because now you can have playing your favorite sports with an ocean view. On the Disney Wonder guests can play basketball, ping-pong and soccer at one of the many open-air courts. There is also shuffleboard and a running track in addition to deck activities to join.

Playing Basketball on Disney Wonder Deck

My kids are really into basketball right now and loved playing a few rounds on deck. I enjoyed sipping a Bloody Mary, gazing at the sparkling sea while they played.

Senses Spa & Salon (Adults only)

If you like to get pampered, then check out the Senses Spa & Salon. They offer a number of treatments and services in a luxurious environment to make you feel rejuvenated.

Chill Spa (ages 13-17)

You aren’t the only one who likes to get pampered! The teens will love indulging at the Chill Spa. They have a bunch of fun treatments like the Mother/Daughter Paradise Massage and the Father/Son Chill Out Massage as well as delicious treatments like Hot Chocolate Wrap, the Fabulously Fruity Facial and the Ice Cream Pedicure.

There are also cool fitness boot camps, hair treatments and skin bronzing. Heck this sounds amazing! I want to go the Chill Spa too! I know my kids having been begging to go to a spa, so this might be a fun gift for their 13th birthdays.

That’s A Wrap!

Although this ship is smaller than the Disney Fantasy, size isn’t everything. Truthfully, the Disney Wonder is so grand that you can hardly tell a difference in size and if anything the smaller size makes it quainter and easier to maneuver.

Family Photo Embarking Disney Wonder

There were also a few things we preferred on the Disney Wonder verses the Disney Fantasy. For instance, we really enjoyed the Crown & Fin pub on the Disney Wonder a little more than the pub on the Disney Fantasy. The Frozen Musical was spectacular. Furthermore, we can safely say that Tiana’s Place has been our favorite restaurant on any Disney Cruise!

The takeaway: don’t just cruise one Disney ship, if possible you should try them all.

Every ship is a little different and that makes it exciting. All in all our experience on the Disney Wonder was wonderful and I think you will love it too. This is your last chance to check out current deals and book your Disney Cruise today!

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Family Review of Disney Wonder

Ultimate Guide to visiting Vancouver with kids for the first time

Your family will love exploring the natural beauty of this pristine modern city
Downtown Vancouver things to do with kids

Exciting. Beautiful. Adventurous. Safe. Friendly. Foodie haven.

These are just some of the wonderful adjectives people have used to describe Vancouver BC. Ranked in the top ten of the world’s most livable cities, Vancouver is a lively seaport on the west coast of British Columbia. Dubbed the Manhattan with mountains, Vancouver BC beautifully blends the stimulation of urban life with the splendor of nature.

However, this densely populated and ethnically diverse city is actually quite young. Although home to First Nations people for 10,000 years, the American, European and Chinese settlers didn’t inhabit the land until around the Gold Rush in the 1860’s, and Vancouver wasn’t even incorporated until 1886!

Now, it is a thriving scenic metropolis that attracts millions of tourists each year, including us. We actually had the opportunity to spend a few days exploring Vancouver with kids before embarking on a Disney Wonder Cruise along the California Coast in September. It was a bit rainy but we had a great time and learned a lot about the city.

Here is our list of the top family activities in Vancouver.

Things to do in Vancouver BC

Vancouver is filled with lively downtown neighborhoods, tranquil beaches and mountain adventures. With so many things to do in Vancouver, I recommend catching the Westcoast Sightseeing Vancouver hop on hop off bus. With both city and park routes, it is possible to see ALL of the best Vancouver attractions in a day or two.

Hop on Hop off Bus Tour Vancouver

I personally love these kinds of buses, because they really give you a good lay of the land when visiting a city for the first time. We spent our first day with kids in Vancouver traversing the city on the Westcoast hop on hop off bus and it definitely helped us to get our bearings for the rest of the trip and was a pretty comfortable ride.

Gastown

Let’s start where it all began…with a tavern (like most great cities!). Yes, a whole city materialized thanks to one man and his saloon.

Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighborhoods, founded in 1867 when a man by the name John “Gassy Jack” Deighton opened up the areas first tavern. With that other businesses started to pop up and the town continued to grow.

Gassy Jack in Gastown Vancouver

It doesn’t sound like the most obvious of things to do in Vancouver B.C with kids, but today Gastown is a national historic site and hub for great shopping, dining and nightlife.

Featuring Victorian architecture, tree lined streets, twinkle lights and the famous Gastown Steam Clock, this part of downtown is very charming and one of our favorite neighborhoods to just hang out in.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

One of the coolest things to do in Vancouver with kids is spending the day at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Established in the late 19th century, visitors get to explore wilds of Vancouver via suspension bridge, Treetop Adventure, Nature’s Edge and the harrowing Cliff Walk.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park with kids

It is not only fun, but educational. Your family can stroll through Kia’palano, taking in the towering totems and learning about the First Nations People before venturing off into the Vancouver rain forest.

Capilano Totem Poles Kia'palano

There are also places to grab something eat and drink, because we know that all that adventure can work up an appetite. I recommend taking a well deserved break at the Cliff House Restaurant. It has a warm and cozy atmosphere, delicious food and cold beer on draft.

Standing on the Capilano Suspension Bridge

Rain or shine, this park is perfect for the family day out in Vancouver. We visited on our recent trip to Vancouver and it ended up being a huge highlight of the trip. You can read more about the history and how to plan your visit with our detailed post, HERE.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park is a beautiful and lively 1,000 acre public park surrounded by the Vancouver Harbor. Originally inhabited over 3,000 years ago by the indigenous people, this was the first area of Vancouver to be explored by settlers.

What makes Stanley Park truly unique is that it is not a man-made creation, but rather a fusion of natural forest and urban development. In fact, the forest of Stanley Park is as dense as it was in the 19th century. The trees can stand up to 250ft tall and are hundreds of years old!

Stanley Park Vancouver

The surrounding Vancouver Seawall not only helps to prevent erosion, but also provides a scenic and popular trail for those who wish to get out and get active. Along the pathway you will find beaches, lakes, lots of trees, and other family things to do in Vancouver like playgrounds, Science World and the Vancouver Aquarium.

English Bay

This is the most popular downtown Vancouver beach. The seawall that surrounds Stanley Park also encircles English Bay.

English Bay Vancouver Beach Activity

The beach is a great spot of sunset-gazing, swimming and sunbathing. It is also the site of many events like the summer firework competition, the annual polar bear swim and Vancouver pride festival.

Kitsilano

Kitsilano is a cool residential area that was once Vancouver’s hippy hangout. Now, Kits is laid-back waterfront hub of restaurants, shops and parks. Take a dip in the huge saltwater Kitsilano pool on the beach while taking in the mountain views.

Kits Pool in Vancouver

This neighborhood is also home to some of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in the city as well as a number of great seafood restaurants, organic farm-to-table options and Greek restaurants.

Also in Kitsilano, is the Museum of Vancouver, H.R MacMillan Space Centre, and the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Granville Island

Technically, Granville Island is a peninsula under the Granville Street Bridge. What was once an industrial pit is now loaded with shops, a public market, dining options and entertainment.

Granville Island Vancouver

Granville Island is home to over 300 businesses, including over 50 independent food vendors and numerous artists and designers. Mom and dad will love the breweries and unique grub, but kids will love visiting the Kids Market.

The Kids Market is reminiscent of the big public market, expect the shops, dining options and activities are all geared towards kids. This is a lively and spirited place to walk around and enjoy the afternoon.

Yaletown

Now a hip urban district loaded with exciting restaurants and shops, Yaletown was once the western station for the Canadian Pacific Railway. You can still check out a piece of this neighborhood’s historical roots at the Roundhouse Community Centre with the display of Engine 374. In 1887, it was the first transcontinental train into the city!

Yaletown Engine 374

Now the brick warehouses and their exterior platforms have been transformed into trendy restaurants, pubs and lounges. This is a great place for a night out on the town and local fare at a unique Vancouver restaurant like the Flying Pig Yaletown.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Located in the city’s historical Chinatown, this garden is the first of its kind to be built in Canada. It features a jade pond, koi fish, 150 year-old miniature trees and tai hu rock from China.

Chinese Garden Vancouver

The garden makes for a relaxing walk and city break for the family. The walk includes a scavenger hunt, making it fun for the kids too.

Take a Beaver ride

I know it sounds weird, but here me out. Known as Canada’s plane, taking a scenic tour on a seaplane will really take your family vacation to Vancouver to another level.

Beaver Plane Vancouver

Visitors can choose anything from a 10 minute scenic flight to full day trips. Imagine the excitement as you and your family feels the spray of ocean mist on your face as you take flight taking in the breathtaking views of British Columbia on a real seaplane!

Where to eat and drink in Vancouver

I would go back to Vancouver B.C just to eat. Honestly, everywhere we went had delicious fresh food. So, when in Vancouver bring your appetite.

Plus, you all know how we feel about a good patio and almost every restaurant and pub had a fabulous outdoor seating area. Despite the rainy weather, most patios are designed to remain open year-round! Yippee!

Honestly, the recommendations I could give are endless, but here are a few of our favorites.

Old Spaghetti Factory

I am going to start with this restaurant, because it is a favorite of mine in the states and I had to compare it to home.
Although they claim to not be associated with the U.S chain, walking in it felt comfy and familiar. The décor was the same, the haunting aroma was the same and the menu was the same. Basically, everything was the same except for one thing…

It was BETTER!!

Old Spaghetti Factory Vancouver

As much as it pains my heart to admit it, the food was exceptionally better than any other Spaghetti Factory I have ever visited. I always get the classic – Mizithra cheese with browned butter – and it was eye-rolling amazing. I think what made the biggest difference was that all the ingredients were super fresh and locally sourced.

Prepare to have your mind blown (and tummys happy) at Old Spaghetti Factory in the heart of Gastown.

C Prime

This place was so good, we ate there twice! No, seriously.

Located in the Century Plaza Hotel, this Italian steak house had wonderfully creative craft cocktails, homemade pasta and mouthwatering steak. Every meal we had was impeccable! Since we were staying at the Century Plaza Hotel, C Prime was super convenient on our first night in town, and when weather struck on the third night, we were more than happy to eat there again.

C Prime Restaurant Vancouver

There is an extensive cocktail list featuring a host of classic Italian cocktails, but they also have some incredible creative signature cocktails. My husband ordered the Smoked Fig Old Fashioned and it was awesome. Although it actually smoked, it was not smoky if flavor. It was the best cocktail I’ve had in a while and I am a bartender!

Gyu-Kaku

Okay, there are TON of amazing Japanese restaurants to try in Vancouver, but we are fans of Gyu-Kaku. The food always hits the spot, the atmosphere is fun and the prices are really reasonable.

We sat along the open wall leading to the patio watching the cool rain as we sipped hot sake and slurped buttery ramen. It was warm, cozy and we loved every minute of it.

Café Medina

This is the go to for a great breakfast or brunch in Vancouver. Much of the menu is Mediterranean inspired, but the café is best known for their exceptional Belgian Waffles. In fact, they have actually been called the best in the city.

Cafe Medina Waffles in Vancouver

The waffles are made fresh daily and come with a variety of exciting topping. However, if you want to try these amazing waffles, get there early because supplies are limited!

For more top picks, check out Vancouver is Awesome.

That’s A Wrap!

So there you have it, if you follow this list I guarantee you will have an amazing time in Vancouver with kids. Here is what I love about visiting Vancouver with my family. The food is amazing, the city is safe and clean and pretty easy to get around, and the proximity to natural beauty allows for endless outdoor adventures.

 

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Top Things to do Vancouver with kids

Las Vegas with Kids – The Ultimate Family Guide to everything Las Vegas

Vegas is not just for adults anymore, and it is time that families start to take notice
Best things to do in Las Vegas with Kids

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 young girl and I’m proud to keep the tradition going with my own three children.

Let me tell you, Las Vegas with kids can really be a blast. And please don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Over the years we have all developed a special bond and love of the city, from the sound of slot machines spinning and clanging to the sight of millions of light bulbs setting the warm evening sky ablaze.

(btw, my personal favorite is smelling that magical mixture of suntan lotion and pina colada, with a hint of cigar smoke, which reminds me of all those summers I spent as a kid at Mirage)

Needless to say, our goal here at HotMamaTravel is to be the ULTIMATE RESOURCE for families visiting Las Vegas with kids (or even with a BABY).

That’s why we created this Family Guide to Vegas for Kids. Our custom articles are full of insider tips and helpful information so you can have a safe and fabulous time in Las Vegas with kids.

I am confident by following the advice in our guide that you and your family will come to love Vegas as much as we do, and dream of returning year after year.

Hotels in Las Vegas for kids
Best Family Hotels

See the hottest Vegas hotels that are also great for kids.

Vegas resorts for big families
Vegas Resorts for Large Families

There are great family options just off the Vegas strip

Show in Las Vegas for kids
Vegas Shows for Kids

See our ultimate guide for the top kid-friendly Vegas shows

Family pools in Vegas
Best Family Pools

See our favorite pools in Las Vegas for kids

Kid friendly Vegas restaurants
Vegas Family Restaurants

See our favorite kid-friendly Vegas restaurants

Free family activities Las Vegas
FREE Family Activities

See our favorite free attractions in Vegas with kids

Affordable family attractions in Vegas for kids
Cheap Family Attractions

These activities are worth your precious time and money

best day trips from Vegas with kids
Tours and Day Trips from Vegas

There are lots of kid-friendly adventures near Vegas

Insider tips for Vegas with kids
Vegas Insider Tips

Tips for having a safe family visit to Vegas

Pregnant in Vegas tips
Tips for Vegas Pregnant

See my top advice for doing Las Vegas pregnant

Powered by Vegas.com

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND OUT MORE IN MY DISCLAIMER

Aren’t you tired of all the boring and generic maps of Las Vegas out there on the web? We are too, and that is why we created this colorful and interactive map of hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. (If you think this map is unique and helpful, please share with your friends on Pinterest or Facebook!)

Click on Vegas Hotel Map icon You can CLICK ON any hotel bubble to see pictures, read reviews, and check rates on Vegas.com.

Disclosure: We are an affiliate partner with Vegas.com, which means that if you book a room by clicking one of our links, we will earn a small commission for helping you find the perfect hotel at NO extra cost to you. It truly is a win-win, and we really appreciate the care and support of you, and all of our readers.

Family Hotels in Las Vegas

The Vegas strip has so many amazing hotels, most of which cater to families with children to some degree or another. However, from our experience some Vegas hotels are just so much more family-oriented and budget-friendly than others. We go in extreme depth about our 5 favorite Vegas strip hotels for families HERE but here is a quick rundown of the top 3 to get you started:

  • The BEST family pool – a tropical oasis with waterfalls

  • Great family shows – Beatles LOVE (Cirque du Soleil), Terry Fator (comedy. ventriloquist)

  • Family-oriented atmosphere – very comfortable, budget-friendly, kid-friendly restaurants

  • The BEST family show lineup – Ka (Cirque du Soleil), Jabbawockeez (hip-hop dance), David Copperfield (magic)

  • Huge family pool complex – waterfalls, grottos, lazy river, poolside dining

  • There’s so much to do! – CSI experience, lots of family restaurants and taverns to grab a drink with kids

  • Budget-friendly and great value – nice affordable rooms and great location on the strip

  • Great family restaurants – lots of kid-friendly options plus the best Irish Pub at Nine Fine Irishmen

  • Fun atmosphere & attractions – roller coaster, big arcade, jubilant party atmosphere

Kid-friendly Las Vegas Shows

It goes without saying that Las Vegas is a top entertainment capital and is a great place to catch a variety of world-class shows to fit any mood. The best thing for families is that many of these Las Vegas shows are actually kid-friendly! We provide a detailed overview for 21 Las Vegas family shows HERE and best of all, we provide custom ratings for every show to see how well it matches your interests, including the best shows for magic, dance, thrills and comedy. Here is a quick rundown of our top recommendation in each category:

Vegas show for kids Blue Man Group
Best show OVERALL
Blue Man Group
Luxor, All Ages
live music, drums, interactive, multimedia theatrics
Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Terry Fator Las Vegas show for families
Best for LAUGHS
Terry Fator
Mirage, Ages 5+
variety show, ventriloquist, impersonations, singing
Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Ka Cirque du Soleil for kids in Vegas
Best for THRILLS
KA by Cirque du Soleil
MGM Grand, Ages 5+
cirque, martial arts, folklore, fire, puppetry, flying
Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Las Vegas family magic show Xavier Mortimer
Best for MAGIC
Xavier Mortimer's Magical Dream
Planet Hollywood All Ages
Magic, shadows, physical comedy, theatrics
Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com
Laughternoon comedy magic show in Vegas for kids
Best on a BUDGET
Laughternoon with Adam London
D Hotel, All Ages
comedy, magic tricks, audience participation
Learn more and check deals at Vegas.com

Kid-friendly Vegas Pools

Las Vegas resorts on the strip are enormous and loaded with amazing restaurants, entertainment options,  and fun attractions. And one of our favorite FREE family activities to counteract the heat and kill some time during the day is to hang out at the resort pool. Virtually every resort on the Vegas strip has a pool, but not all Vegas pools are created equal. Not by a long shot! There are some Vegas pools that seem to be designed with families in mind, and there are others that seem to be an obligatory afterthought. Here is a list of our favorite Vegas pools, what to expect, and most importantly, why we love them so much!

Mirage Vegas pool with kids

Overview:

Mirage has our favorite pool in Vegas for kids, and it definitely seems like this pool was designed with families in mind. It is a tropical oasis with several waterfalls, tons of palm trees, and a couple of large hot tubs. They also have a restaurant called Paradise Cafe where you can enjoy lunch or brunch poolside. My kids love the Mirage pool, and when we talk about planning a trip to Vegas, they start talking about this pool.

Pool at Mandalay Bay Resort Las Vegas

Overview:

Mandalay Beach is a sprawling pool complex with a lazy river and a huge wave pool. We like that it has a tropical landscape and the kids really do like floating in the lazy river. The Mandalay Bay pool is unique because it has over 2.5 thousand tons of real sand, but to be honest, we could do without the sand. Sure it is a nice touch, but it also makes the pool visit quite a bit more messy. During the summer, they also have a Beach Concert Series so you can catch some music as a family by the pool. I am confident you and your kids will love spending an afternoon at the Mandalay Beach.

MGM Grand Pool Las Vegas

Overview:

The MGM Grand Pool is an enormous area that includes 5 different pools, a lazy river, and quite a few waterfalls and grottos. They have a restaurant called Cabanas Grill where you can have a poolside lunch or brunch, which we always take advantage of after spending an afternoon at the pool. Best of all, they have 5 different bars in the Grand Pool Complex to grab a pina colada or cold beer! Your family could spend a whole day at the MGM pool and still not have time to do it all.

Kid-friendly Vegas Restaurants

Las Vegas hotels on the Strip are sprawling resorts that are loaded with restaurants, pubs, taverns and casual eateries. It is hard to pick the best restaurants for kids in Vegas because there are just so many great kid-friendly places to eat all along the strip. Instead, we have selected three of our favorite family hotels and highlighted the top family-friendly options available at each resort. Importantly, we also show you a few kid-friendly places to grab a cold one. This is Vegas after all!

Mirage Cravings Buffet Las Vegas

Cravings Buffet: This buffet is a bit pricey, but it is so good we find it well worth the cost. The kids love eating at Cravings Buffet in Mirage, and the adults love it too. They have bottomless champagne and beer at a very reasonable charge!

Carnegie Delicatessen: This is our go-to restaurant at Mirage for breakfast, lunch or brunch. The sandwiches are stacked almost a foot tall and the kids really like the Matzo Ball soup. Casual dining with mid-range prices (but it is easy to share the huge portions and save a few bucks).

Pantry: The Pantry serves American classics like waffles, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy and is open for breakfast 24 hours. The atmosphere is chic farmhouse and is absolutely adorable.

California Pizza Kitchen: CPK is a crowd pleaser and extremely family-friendly. Yummy tossed, chopped salads and a unique selection of pizzas. It is located next to the Mirage sports book.

Kid-friendly places to grab a drink

LVB Burgers and Bar: This place has great burgers and a big selection of malted milkshakes, which the kids will obviously love, but they also serve spiked milkshakes. I’ve never tried a spiked milkshake, but it sounds intriguing. A good selection of beers and fun atmosphere.

The Still: The Still is a sports bar with 27 TVs  and a retro theme centered on a refurbished Airstream trailer that operates as a full service kitchen. They specialize in serving craft beers and distinct cocktails, as well as yummy bites like tacos. The kids will enjoy playing shuffleboard or the other available games.

Dolphin Bar: The Dolphin Bar  can be found at the Mirage pool and is a must visit for a HUGE pina colada while splashing around at the pool in the afternoon heat.

Il Fornaio NYNY Las Vegas Restaurant

Village Street Eateries:  This is a fun place to grab a quick cheap bite including NY style pizza, Coney Island hot dogs or NY-style deli sandwiches. Oh, and you can grab a pretty cheap beer here and sit comfortably at a table with the kids just off the casino floor so they can feel a part of the casino action and live music at Times Square bar without getting harassed by security.

Tom’s Urban: Casual American dining with big family friendly circular booths, this is a unique place that mixes American classics and world-inspired street food. They also serve creative cocktails and tons of craft beers.

Il Fornaio: Lovely Italian cuisine in a romantic setting that is also family friendly, we eat at Il Fornaio at least once every time we stay at NYNY. The pizzas and pastas are great, and delicious warm bread is served before the meal. A great place to savor a bottle of wine as well.

America: This place is reminiscent of the classic Vegas cafe and an affordable place to get eggs, hash browns and coffee in the morning. We love that it has an American road trip vibe and is open 24 hours a day.

Al fresco restaurants in The Park

Sake Rok: Upscale Japanese restaurant with insanely yummy sushi and sake. They also have a stage for lip-syncing battles and other amusing entertainment.

Bruxie: The best chicken sandwich you never had is served in a waffle (you heard that right) at Bruxie. This is a famous sandwich and I challenge any person NOT to fall in love the the Original chicken and waffle sandwich!

Beerhaus: This place is designed after classic beer halls, with a huge selection of beers and happy hour specials. Great place for sausages and sandwiches with an outdoor al fresco environment adjacent to the Park. Lots of games for the kids to play like oversized Jenga or cornhole.

Kid-friendly places to grab a drink

Nine Fine Irishmen: We love everything about this place and it is definitely the best Irish pub on the Vegas strip. Great authentic Irish fare, and plenty of Irish whiskeys and beers on tap. The patio is a nice place to savor a cold Guinness and the live Irish music by Sin e Ri Ra is fun for the whole family.

Nine Fine Irishmen Pub Las Vegas

Gonzalez y Gonzalez Grill: A decent place for Mexican food and margaritas, with a nice selection of tequilas. Kids love any restaurant that serves chips and salsa before the meal, and this place hits the spot.

MGM family Vegas restaurants

MGM Buffet: A very good buffet that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Avenue Café:  This place has a cool retro design and serves hearty meals for breakfast or lunch.

Food Court: Lots of affordable choices at the MGM food court for a quick meal with kids.

Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House: This place serves comfort food inspired by traditions of New Orleans and the American South.

Fiamma Italian Kitchen: This is a beautiful restaurant with leather seats and a fireplace with authentic Italian cuisine.

Kid-friendly places to grab a drink

Michael Mina Pub 1842: 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. Pilsner was invented in 1842, hence the name.

Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill & Cantina: This place has over 100 tequilas to choose from and great margaritas.

Tap Sports Bar: This is a cool sports bar with 60 TVs and tons of different beers on tap. They have an eclectic mix of sports memorabilia decorating the restaurant, making sports lovers feel at home.

Free Family Activities in Vegas

There is so much to do in Las Vegas, especially if you have a few bucks, but there is actually quite a lot that you can do for FREE. Here we highlight some of our favorite free activities to do with kids in Las Vegas. Be sure to check out the full list HERE.

kids on the vegas strip

The Vegas strip is unique and there is a lot of fun to be had just strolling the strip as a family. You can cruise through different casinos (as long as you don’t stop for too long, you can pass through casinos with kids without hassle) and you can see what each casino is like. There are picture opportunities and street entertainers. We recommend starting your stroll about one hour before sunset and continuing as the millions of Vegas light bulbs come alive and set the city ablaze at night. Just don’t stay out too late after sunset, perhaps about 30-60 minutes, because the strip can get a little more wild and unpredictable at night. The strip is calm and weather more temperate in the morning, but it is also a way more boring time to walk the strip.

Mermaid at Silverton Las Vegas

This Silverton Casino is not on the Vegas strip, but it isn’t too far away and even if you are not staying the night there, it is definitely worth a stop when you are leaving or coming to Vegas. It has a huge fish tank with real live MERMAIDS that interact with the kids by waving and blowing heart bubbles. The kids will be mesmerized while the mermaids put on their beautiful show. You have to go at a certain time to catch the mermaid show, and here is the schedule:

  • Thursday: 12:00 – 1:15pm,  2:00pm – 3:15pm,  5:00pm – 8:15pm
  • Friday: 12:00 – 1:15pm,  2:00pm – 3:15pm,  5:00pm – 8:15pm
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 1:15pm,  2:00pm – 3:15pm,  5:00pm – 8:15pm
  • Sunday: 10:30am – 1:10pm,  2:00pm – 3:15 pm, 5:00 p.m. – 6:45pm

Family fun in Mirage Pool Las Vegas

Of course the most affordable way to spend a few family-friendly hours in Vegas is to hang out at your resort pool. Just about every Vegas hotel on the strip has a pool, but choosing a hotel with an amazing pool designed for families with children is definitely the way to go (see our favorites HERE). What kids don’t like splashing around in the pool and parading under cascading waterfalls!? It will likely even bring out the kid in you.

Cheap Family Activities in Vegas

There are lots of attractions and activities to do in Vegas as a family, but not all of them are worth your time and money. We have been to Vegas with children countless times when they were various ages, so we have experienced most of what Vegas has to offer. Here is our list of the best affordable family activities, where we define affordable as less than $30-$40 bucks. It is possible to find deals for most of these attractions, so be sure to look for deals, for example on Vegas.com. These are just the top 3, but you can see the whole list of cheap family activities in Vegas HERE.

View from top of Eiffel tower Vegas

In my opinion, this is one of the best activities to do in Vegas with kids, especially around dusk when the sun is going down and the lights start to shine along the Vegas strip. The kids loved the whole experience of taking the open-view elevator up to the top of the tower, and then seeing the Vegas strip from 46 stories high! Ticket prices vary by time of day and package. The day tickets (10:00am- 7:00pm) are less expensive than the night tickets (7:00pm-1:00am) and buying a family package or group package also reduces the price of individual tickets. Also, kids under 6 are free! Learn more about Paris Hotel at Vegas.com

lions at mirage vegas

We usually stay at the Mirage in Vegas with kids and one of the reasons is because we like to spend a day together at the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Animals are unpredictable so you never know what to expect and each visit is truly special and unique. It can get quite hot during the middle afternoon, so we recommend going early and wearing swimsuits in case the kids get wet from the dolphins and so that you can just jump in the pool to cool off immediately afterwards. The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is right next to the Mirage pool. Learn more about the Dolphin Habitat at Vegas.com

cheap vegas show

Las Vegas is a great place to catch a magic or comedy show with kids. Yes shows can be expensive, but before you panic there are some fun choices for around $30 or less. Many family friendly shows will not break your bank (see our entire list and reviews of 21 Vegas shows for kids HERE). Here is a short list of some of our favorites for the price:

That’s A Wrap!

Family Vacation at the Mirage

Although an expensive playground for adults, I hope we have shown you it is possible to have a fun and affordable Las Vegas family vacation. It’s obviously easier to have a good time if everyone in the group is over 21, but bringing children to Vegas is worth the extra effort in our opinion, even though it does take a little bit more creativity. A kid-friendly Las Vegas trip can be tricky, so it’s important to pace yourself and not make any concrete plans. Be flexible, walk around and take in the unique sights and sounds of Vegas! In no time, like us, I am sure you will have Las Vegas kids and will find an excuse to return every year after!

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Family Guide to Las Vegas with kids

Family Road Trip Across US: 19 states in 60 days

Taking your kids and parents together on a family road trip across US is a life-changing experience

In the Summer of 2017, we packed up the kids and grandparents and took the plunge on an epic family road trip across US, driving from one coast to the other in our own minivan. We were able to visit so many amazing cities and attractions that have always been on our bucket list. And we spent only $700 in gasoline to transport 6 people for 60 straight days! I learned a lot about the exceptional value of family road trippin, and had the chance to follow historical family breadcrumbs all across the country.

In this page, you will find an overview of key statistics and an interactive US map of our road trip, with links to explore all of our blog articles and fun family videos from the trip.

Quick Overview and Stats

  • Miles Driven

    8347 total miles across 60 consecutive days

  • Longest Drive

    Single longest day of driving was 12 hours

  • Cost in Fuel

    We spent $700.00 in gasoline, averaging 28 MPG

  • Amount of Media

    310 gigabytes of photos and video taken

  • Boat Rides

    We took boat tours by water of 3 different cities

  • Family Travelers

    6 travelers in one minivan, 5 to 84 years old

  • Number of States

    We saw or drove through 19 different states

  • Number of Hotels

    We stayed in 22 hotels in 19 different cities

  • Number of Bars

    We took our kids to 11 bars with live music

  • Number of Uber XLs

    We took 18 Uber rides in various cities

Road Trip Map

Return to map anytime by clicking GPS icon

We just published an overview video of our epic road trip, where we show 15 awesome cities for 30 seconds each, and a fun US map animation to carry you along on the trip.

Check out our Road Trip Highlights Video:

A Legacy Trip for Grandpa

My parents came along for the ride, and a large purpose of the road trip was actually to take my dad back to East Coast, where he spent his childhood over 70 years ago. We visited his old homes, his old high school, and his favorite stomping grounds from the 1940s. Here is a montage of photos of grandpa in Gloucester City NJ, re-visiting his past and doing something he never thought he would get to do in his lifetime.

gloucester city travel photos

Deming, NM

Stop #1: “The New Chicago”

OVERVIEW: Deming, New Mexico was our first overnight stop of the trip. We didn’t get do anything in Deming but basically eat and sleep. We did get a pretty nice room with 3 beds and an attached bedroom at a great rate at the Days Inn.

travel photos deming nm

San Antonio, TX

Stop #2: “Alamo City”, “River City”

OVERVIEW: We were so relieved to arrive at our first major stop, San Antonio, after two full days of driving, and I mean like 12 hours driving each day! We spent 2 nights at the Best Western Plus Sunset Suites Riverwalk, which was nicely situated to explore various areas of the city. Highlights from San Antonio include, of course, visiting the Alamo and taking a river cruise along the river walk. But one of the most surprising delights was randomly deciding to jump off the City Sightseeing bus at the Pearl District to find a bustling market, brewery and outside venue to have a cold beer while listening to live country music.

travel photos san antonio tx

San Antonio Blog Articles:

  • Check out our review of the Best Western Plus Sunset Suites Riverwalk Here
  • Find out the best things to do with kids in San Antonio with our destination guide Here

San Antonio Videos:

New Orleans, LA

Stop #3: “The Big Easy”

OVERVIEW: Despite Tropical Storm Cindy, we made the most of our 2 nights in New Orleans. We spent a majority of our time in French Quarter, enjoying beignets at Café du Monde, listening to live music in the rain and venturing into the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum. The rain did hamper us from exploring some of the things on our list, so we will definitely have to take a trip back to the Big Easy and hope for better weather!

travel photos new orleans

New Orleans Blog Articles:

  • Please check back later! We will have some great content soon, I promise 😉

New Orleans Videos:

Americus, GA

Stop #4: International headquarters of Habitat for Humanity

OVERVIEW: In this sweet, historic Georgian town, we stayed at the historic Windsor Hotel, a Best Western Plus property that has a presidential past and infamous haunted history.  We spent most of our time in Americus at the hotel because, after all, they had a first class restaurant and second floor bar with a patio. As we left Americus, we explored our own family history with a day trip to the Andersonville National Historic Site and Prisoner of War Museum to find the grave of my father’s great-great-grandfather, a Union soldier that was killed during the civil war at Fort Sumter prison. It was a heavy day, but the kids learned a lot and I could sense they appreciated the magnitude and solemnity of the experience.

americus ga travel photos

Americus/Andersonville Blog Articles:

  • Check out our review of the Best Western Plus Windsor Hotel Here
  • Find out how to visit Andersonville National Historic Site with kids Here

Americus/Andersonville Videos:

Savannah, GA

Stop #5: “The Hostess City of the South”

OVERVIEW: Live music, fried chicken and roadies, oh Savannah how we love thee. We spent 2 nights savoring as much of Savannah’s sweet southern charm that we could. We wandered the many historic Spanish moss covered squares (truth be told it was brutally humid and the kids got hot n’ miserable halfway through), toured the famous house from the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by Jon Berendt, and dined at the storied Pirate House, which is the oldest restaurant in Georgia. We finished both nights by enjoying drinks and live music at the City Market near our hotel at the Best Western.

savannah ga travel photos

Savannah Blog Articles:

  • Fun Things to do in Savannah GA with kids Here.

Savannah Videos:

Charleston, SC

Stop #6: “The Holy City”

OVERVIEW: With only about a half a day to explore the charming city of Charleston, we tried to see and eat as much as we could. Starting our day with lunch at the Crab House, we then strolled through the city market and historical streets. It was really hot, so to keep cool we let the kids splash around at Waterfront Park and ended up (as we always do!) popping into various bars along the way to grab some “refreshments”.

charleston sc travel photos

Charleston Blog Articles:

  • Please check back later. Still working on this one too.

Charleston Videos:

Baltimore, MD

Stop #7: “Charm City”, “The Monumental City”

OVERVIEW: Phew! We finally reached our home base for the East coast portion of the road trip. We stayed in and around Baltimore Monday-Thursday for 5 weeks and used this as a jumping off point for various weekend adventures. In fact, Baltimore is a bit of a misnomer here, because we ended up spending most of our time in nearby Havre de Grace, which has some beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay.

baltimore travel photos

Baltimore Area Blog Articles:

  • Please check back later. We will soon publish some beautiful content on Havre de Grace.

Washington, DC

Stop #8: The Nation’s Capital

OVERVIEW: We started our D.C trip with a visit to Mount Vernon, home of America’s first president in Virginia. The day was full of excitement, history and thunderstorms, before we continued the good time with a night on the town in Old Town Alexandria. The rest of the weekend was spent exploring our nation’s capital, visiting various national monuments and government buildings, and eating at trendy Ramen joints. Our weekend was made complete with an unexpected visit to the Game of Thrones popup bar.

washington dc travel photos

Washington DC Blog Articles:

  • The Game of Thrones pop up bar (PUB) is closed now, but our review is fun for fans anyways. Read it Here.

Washington DC Videos:

Philadelphia, PA

Stop #9: “Philly”, “The City of Brotherly  Love”

OVERVIEW: Staying at the Best Western Plus Philadelphia Convention Center Hotel, we kicked off our weekend in America’s birthplace with a wonderful evening relaxing at Spruce Street Harbor Park. The twinkling tree lights, colorful hammocks, lively vibe and gorgeous views of the Delaware River, made for truly memorable experience.  The next day we hit the history hard by hopping on the Philly PHLASH bus to various landmarks across the city. Highlights included, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House, Ben Franklin’s grave site and the famously haunted Eastern State Penitentiary.

philadelphia travel photos

Philly Blog Articles:

  • See our review of the Best Western Plus Convention Center Hotel Here.
  • Find our the best ideas for things to do in Philadelphia with kids Here.

Philadelphia Videos:

Wildwood, NJ

Stop #10: “Jersey Shore”, “Childwood”

OVERVIEW: This weekend was all about retracing the footsteps of Papa’s childhood. We started with a brief visit to Gloucester City, NJ, to see if his childhood homes were still standing (they were!), and to check out the high school and Catholic Church he has so many stories about. We spent two nights in Wildwood, and let me just say, this was one of our absolute favorite spots for everybody! If you have kids, they will love this place with roller coasters, ferris wheels, carnival games, and beach fun. We found it very safe and family friendly for the whole crew.

wildwood travel photos

Wildwood Blog Articles:

  • Please check back soon for an awesome post and photos of Wildwood. If you subscribe to our free newsletter with just your name and email, we will send you an update when it is published.

Wildwood Videos:

New York, NY

Stop #11: “The Big Apple”

OVERVIEW: Knowing that Manhattan is a nightmare to drive and park, we opted for a stay at the Hilton Garden Inn on Staten Island. What a great choice that turned out to be, because the free hotel shuttle to the free Staten Island Ferry got our trip off to a great start and the driver was super chatty but in a fun way. The ferry ended up being a highlight of the day, with its smooth ride to Manhattan, drinks and glorious unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty.  We wanted to get the most of our short time in the Big Apple, so we opted for a hop-on hop-off bus tour. We didn’t have as much time as we would have liked, but we can say we saw all major parts of Manhattan in one day. Other highlights included a visit to the American Girl Store, Central Park, The Plaza Hotel, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and finally some pints at the oldest pub in the city, Fraunces Tavern.

new york family travel photos

New York Blog Articles:

  • Please check back soon for our New York tips and highlights.

Annapolis, MD

Stop #12: “Sailing Capital of the World”

OVERVIEW: We actually had planned to visit Boston this weekend, but instead opted to visit Annapolis at the last minute – and boy, did we make a great choice. I think overall, our weekend in Annapolis was our favorite of the entire trip, just a smidge ahead of Wildwood. We saw the Naval Academy and the lunch hour drills (must see and they do it every day!), took a trolley tour around the small city, and really enjoyed strolling the streets and popping into an old bookstore, or an authentic Scottish clothier, or an Irish pub with live music.

annapolis family travel photos

annapolis doors collage

Annapolis Blog Articles:

  • Best restaurants with live music for families in Annapolis HERE

Annapolis Videos:

Asheville, NC

Stop #13: “San Francisco of the East”

OVERVIEW: Asheville was the first stop on our way back home, and it provided a fun and wacky jolt to our spirits. First, we visited the historic site and home of former Governor and Civil War Officer Zebulon Vance, with beautiful rolling green hills. We were also lucky to be there during a city festival, with live music and tons of food and fun booths for local businesses. The kids even got the chance to do faux sword fighting and walk tightropes. It was a very interesting day with a lovely ending with live music at Packs Tavern.

asheville travel collage

Asheville Blog Articles:

  • Coming soon! Please check back in a few weeks or subscribe for monthly updates.

Asheville Videos:

Nashville, TN

Stop #14: “Music City”

OVERVIEW: We were lucky to spend two nights in Nashville as invited guests to the Best Western Plus Belle Meade, which was a perfect jumping off point for visiting the Belle Meade Plantation, famous for breeding thoroughbreds important for modern day horse racing. This is the Music City, so of course we finished each night with several hours of live music at the Wild Horse Saloon and the renowned BB King’s Blues Club and restaurant. The night life is just amazing in Nashville and the kids had so much fun. We finished our last night at the world famous Hattie B’s, and it did not disappoint.

nashville family travel photos

nashville family nightlife

Nashville Blog Articles:

  • See our review of the Best Western Plus Belle Meade Inn & Suites Here.
  • Find out all you need to visit Belle Meade Plantation with kids (teaser: they have free wine tasting!)
  • See the Best Kid Friendly Places with Live Music in Nashville Here.

Nashville Videos:

Memphis, TN

Stop #15: “Grind City”, “Barbecued Pork Capital”

OVERVIEW: We were fortunate to get a room at the Peabody Hotel, home of the infamous duck parade from the fountain in the central of the lobby, to the elevator and up to their own room. They have been doing it every single day for years, and it is quite a popular spectacle for all ages. We started our day off right with the best ribs I’ve ever had in my life at central BBQ. Later, we hung out at Beale Street at night to get a feel for the city and it was really lively, colorful, and exciting. We capped the night off by witnessing the most amazing live music at the original BB King’s Blues Club. We retired to exquisitely decorated rooms at Peabody. I wish we had more time in Memphis to soak up more of the sounds, and food and culture.

memphis family travel photos

Memphis Blog Articles:

  • Check out How to spend one day in Memphis with kids Here!

Memphis Videos:

Austin, TX

Stop #16: “Bat City”, “Live Music Capital of the World”

OVERVIEW: It was such a long drive from Memphis to Austin, but we finally arrived to the Best Western Plus Austin City Hotel, and we were delighted to find out they have a bar and restaurant attached to the hotel. Super convenient after being on the road. The following day, we took an Uber into the heart of the city and explored a bit and listened to live music at the Dricoll Hotel. The highlight of our day, though, was a Lone Star River cruise to see the legendary Austin Bats at dusk. We had the most perfect weather and sunset we could hardly believe it. The bats came out in full force, and you must watch the video to see the whole experience.

austin family travel photos

Austin Blog Articles:

  • See our review of the Best Western Plus Austin City Hotel Here.
  • Find out everything you need about seeing the Austin bats on a bat cruise Here.

Austin Videos:

Scottsdale, AZ

Stop #17: “The West’s most Western Town”

OVERVIEW: Our final stop before returning to Orange County was in Scottsdale AZ, a place I had visited as a child, but forgot how fun it was. We stayed two nights at the Best Western Plus Sundial, and this is honestly a great place to stay in Scottsdale. It is in the heart of everything and the kids loved night swimming in the generous pool. We just loved the western vibe and desert feel of the city, with turquoise jewelry and leather stores abound. But the place to hang your cowboy hat and grab a cold one is the Rusty Spur Saloon, a favorite of locals and tourists that prides itself with live music all day seven days a week. We spent several hours here and the kids loved it too! Scottsdale was a perfect relaxing ending to a long and exciting road trip across the country.

scottsdale family travel photos

Scottsdale Blog Articles:

  • See our review of the Best Western Plus Sundial Hotel Here.
  • Find out the best hotels and things to do in Old Town Scottsdale Here.

Scottsdale Videos:

That’s a Wrap

What else can I say, this road trip was an experience of a lifetime. It took months of planning and preparation, but it was all worth it in the end. Our kids learned and experienced so much, I hope this is one of those things they carry with them for the rest of their lives. I can already see how they have grown and changed over this adventurous Summer. A sixty day road trip is not for the faint of heart, I will be honest, there were a lot of twists and turns (literally and figuratively!), but I will just say that you will not regret taking the plunge on a family road trip across US with your kids and your parents.

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An Epic Family Road Trip Across the US - 60 days, 19 states, 8k miles. Lean more so you can plan your own adventure!

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