There is so much to do on the Las Vegas Strip, even if you are visiting Las Vegas with kids, that you might be wondering why would anyone in their right mind ever want or need to leave the Vegas strip!?
Well many people don’t realize it, but Las Vegas is actually situated in one of the most beautiful areas of the United States, and there are lots of great reasons to escape the bustling city for a day to explore the many unique natural wonders that surround Las Vegas.
For example, just a hop, skip and jump away from the Vegas strip you will find majestic red rock desert landscapes, historic man-made wonders like Hoover dam and Lake Mead (which is the largest man-made lake in the US), and of course, epic sights like the Grand Canyon are really just a quick helicopter ride away from Vegas in nearby Arizona.
The best way to explore these marvels is to book a day trip from Las Vegas with a reputable tour company. Especially if you are planning a day trip from Las Vegas with kids, these companies will take care of just about EVERYTHING, making sure you have a safe and awesome experience.
In this article we will describe our hand-selected favorite family-friendly day tours offered on Vegas.com (one of the best sites for just about everything Las Vegas). Click on the links and you will be redirected so you can check out more pictures, read reviews, and check deals and availability.
Hot Tip: most of these Vegas day tours have no age restriction and also have a special rate for kids 2-11 years old.
Here is our list of the top family day trips from Las Vegas that are worth your time and money, and most importantly, will be a fun and memorable experience for your kids.
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What's in this article
- 1 The “King” of all day trips from Las Vegas
- 2 Kid-Friendly Grand Canyon Tours
- 3 Kid-Friendly Lake Mead and Hoover Dam Tours
- 4 Kid-Friendly Red Rock Canyon Tours
- 5 Bonus Tour for Families with kids 8+
- 6 That’s a Wrap!
- Tour duration: 4 hours
- Time in air: 70 minutes
- Mode of transport: Limousine, Helicopter
- Tour start times: 7:45am, 9:45am, 12:15pm, 2:45pm, 5:00pm
- Locations seen: Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Black Mountains, Great Wash Cliffs, Las Vegas Strip
Overview: If you book the King of Canyons Tour, a limousine will pick you up directly from your Vegas hotel and take you to the helicopter pad near the Strip to embark on your journey to the Grand Canyon.
The helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon will first take you and your family over beautiful natural sights including Black Mountains, Grand Wash Canyon, and Hoover Dam/Lake Mead.
Finally, the chopper will land at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the bank of the Colorado River so you can all delight in a picnic meal and a glass of Champagne. You will have time to walk around and explore the surrounding Native American Tribal lands before returning to Vegas by chopper, where a limousine will be waiting to escort you back to your hotel.
Why kids will love it: Have your kids ever been in a limousine or a helicopter? If not, then this would be an extraordinary way to make a lasting memory with your kids, riding by limousine through Vegas and arriving at the bottom of the Grand Canyon by chopper! I know parents don’t really get brownie points for the special deeds we do for our kids, but I think we should and this would be worth about a million brownie points in my opinion.
The pilots are also extremely nice and talkative and will discuss all the points of interest on your helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, so your kids will probably learn some interesting facts while seeing the world from a whole new perspective.
- Tour duration: 4 hours
- Time in air: 90 minutes
- Mode of transport: Airplane
- Tour start times: 12:00pm
- Locations seen: Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam
Overview: If you book the Soaring Eagle tour from Vegas, just as the name implies, you will be able to skip the road altogether and experience the Grand Canyon from the sky during a non-stop 90 minute flight.
The tour will include breathtaking views of Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Temple Rock, Fortification Hill, Boulder City, the Colorado River, and of course the main attraction, the Grand Canyon. This is a great half-day tour for families that are short on time but still want to see the natural beauty of the deserts surrounding Las Vegas.
Why kids will love it: You might not look forward to taking your kids on a typical airplane flight, but this flight tour is very, very different. You will all be together in a small airplane with a professional pilot talking and discussing points of interest. The aerial views are amazing and it is hard to imagine children not being entranced by the gorgeous vistas. This would be one memorable airplane ride.
Hot Tip: Be cautious though if you or your kids are known to have sensitivity to motion sickness or a strong fear of flying, because this tour might not be the best choice for you guys.
- Tour duration: 11 hours
- Time in air: up to 20 minutes (optional)
- Mode of transport: Motorcoach, helicopter (optional), pontoon boat (optional)
- Tour start times: 6:00am
- Locations seen: Grand Canyon, Guano Point
Overview: This is an 11 hour all-day tour and it is one of our favorite all-around day trips from Vegas to see the Grand Canyon. You will sit together on a motorcoach bus that provides a complimentary breakfast while you enjoy a smooth desert ride to the Grand Canyon. You will arrive at Guano Point, and will be able to walk around, explore and take amazing photos of Grand Canyon West.
I would recommend upgrading your tour to include a quick scenic helicopter ride to the bottom of the canyon, where you will take a relaxing tour on a pontoon boat of the Colorado River. After this exclusive excursion, the helicopter will help you return to Guano Point to meet back up with the rest of your tour group for lunch.
Your family will not go hungry because you will also receive meal tickets for any of the restaurants at the Grand Canyon West Rim (excluding Eagle Point). Expect insane views while you dine, making it a once-in-a-lifetime lunch overlooking the Grand Canyon.
Why kids will love it: Seriously, this tour is long but it has it all! It has a helicopter ride, a pontoon boat ride, and lunch overlooking one of the natural wonders of the world. It is relaxing. It is exciting. It is majestic. And it will be memorable.
- Tour duration: 6 hours
- Mode of transport: Motorcoach
- Tour start times: 7:30am or 10:30am
- Locations seen: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Colorado River, Botanical Cactus Gardens, Ethel M Chocolate Factory
Overview: The Discovery Tour of Hoover Dam is educational and fun for the whole family. You will stand 725 feet atop one of the largest dams in the world and learn about its amazing history including the challenge and greatness of its construction almost 100 years ago. The highlight of this tour is taking an elevator down 500 feet to the generator room to see the 1930’s-style floors and design including the truly massive generators that make the dam function.
After the tour of Hoover Dam, you will get to visit the Botanical Cactus Gardens for a relaxing stroll to admire the native botanicals of the local desert area. I am sure the kids will also enjoy visiting the Ethel M Chocolate Factory to sample some sweet treats and see how chocolates are made.
Why kids will love it: This is a 6 hour tour, but your family will get to see and do a lot of fun and educational activities including learning about the historical marvel of the Hoover Dam, about native desert cactus plants, and about chocolate making. You will get to snap some great family photographs atop the Hoover Dam and take some nice scenic shots of the Botanical Gardens and surrounding desert areas.
- Tour duration: 7.5 hours
- Mode of transport: Motorcoach, Paddlewheel-style boat
- Tour start times: 7:30am
- Locations seen: Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Boulder Dam Museum
Overview: This day trip includes both a 90 minute tour of Hoover Dam as well as a relaxing cruise on Lake Mead aboard a Mississippi-style paddle wheeler boat. You and the family will first be whisked away aboard a motorcoach bus to Hoover Dam to learn about the history of the man-made marvel including a short film and a trip down the 500 foot elevator to see the 1930s style generator room. There are lots of exhibits to walk around and learn at your own pace.
Next you will take a short ride to Lake Mead, which is the largest man-made lake in America, and take a fun ride on the three-level Desert Princess paddle wheeler boat. The first two decks are air conditioned with ample windows to enjoy the scenery, and it is not too hot for the kiddos you can also enjoy the lake views al fresco from the upper observation deck. Best of all, you get to eat lunch aboard the Mississippi-style boat!
Like the Hoover Dam Discovery Tour, you also get to see the Botanical Cactus Gardens and the Ethel M Chocolate Factory. Expect a day jam-packed with fun and tons of beautiful photo opportunities!
Why kids will love it: The kids will learn a variety of interesting things about Hoover Dam, desert cacti and chocolate making. But they will also get a unique experience cruising and eating lunch on the Mississippi-style paddle wheeler boat, something they will likely not soon forget.
- Tour duration: 6 hours
- Mode of transport: Bus
- Tour start times: 7:30am
- Locations seen: Red Rock, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
Overview: Red Rock Canyon is simply gorgeous. On this tour, your family will take a scenic bus ride to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park (once owned by Howard Hughes), followed by a stop at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area. This includes a slow tour-guided ride around the beautiful 13 mile scenic route, with several stops along the way to see Calico Hills and its red/cream sandstone formations as well as classical Indian roasting pits and pictographs at Willow Springs.
You can expect to learn about the interesting history of the Mojave Desert and definitely expect to take awe-inspiring photographs of the beautiful natural scenery.
Why kids will love it: Your kids have probably never seen a place quite like Red Rock Canyon. The pictures are drop-dead gorgeous but may not even do this place justice to be honest. Even if you are expecting hot temperatures, the whole family will enjoy the fun information provided by the experienced tour guides aboard the climate-controlled bus.
Hot Tip: Be sure to bring LOT of water and snacks to keep hydrated and comfortable during this half-day trip to the desert.
- Tour duration: 2.5 hours
- Time in air: 30 minutes
- Mode of transport: Bus, Helicopter
- Tour start times: 6:30pm
- Locations seen: Red Rock Canyon
Overview: This is a truly special all-around experience for the family as you get to take a 30 minute helicopter ride with mind-blowing views to Red Rock Canyon around sunset time. The fun part is that they will have a picnic basket ready for you when you get there, complete with a bottle of Champagne to enjoy a picnic dinner with a view of Red Rock Canyon’s most beautiful vistas.
After savoring the food and drinks, you will return on the helicopter to Las Vegas just as the sun is setting to get a fabulous view of the Vegas Strip lights and action. This is one of the best times to be in a helicopter to get unique aerial of Vegas at night.
Why kids will love it: Who doesn’t like the idea of a fanciful picnic in the middle of the Mojave desert!? Add in the fact of a helicopter ride to soak in beautiful scenic views of Red Rock Canyon at sunset and the Vegas strip at night, and you have a recipe for a super memorable experience for the whole family.
- Tour duration: 3 hours
- Time in air: 60 minutes
- Mode of transport: Hot air balloon!
- Tour start times: 6:00am
- Locations seen: Las Vegas Valley Area (varies depending on wind conditions)
- Restrictions: Passengers must be 8+ years old, under 250 lbs, and in good physical health to ride
Overview: If you have never been on a hot air balloon ride and have always wanted to, then this is a great chance to do your first balloon ride in epic fashion, getting a smooth aerial view of much of the Las Vegas Valley including areas of city and desert.
You will get picked up at your hotel and have the chance to watch the 100 foot balloon inflate prior to your excursion. You will climb aboard the gondola and quickly be whisked away up to 800 feet in the sky to see various sites including Red Rock Canyon, Spring Mountains, downtown Vegas and Las Vegas strip. Although the route is a little variable from day to day, wherever the wind takes you, you can expect to take awesome photos and be exhilarated by a being in a basket under a ten-story balloon propelled by wind and propane. I know it sounds scary, but it is considered to be very safe.
The tour ends back in Las Vegas with a Champagne toast and light snacks while you celebrate conquering the desert sky in a fricken balloon!
Why kids will love it: While this is not an appropriate activity for younger kids, if your kids are all at least 8 years old then a Balloon Tour of Vegas would be one of the most amazing and memorable activities you could possibly do in my opinion. I mean, who would ever forget a hot air balloon ride over majestic Red Rock Canyons and Las Vegas!? If your kids are game and not too afraid of heights, then you should just go for it and do your first balloon ride together. I mean, you only live once, right!?
That’s a Wrap!
Like I said in the intro, there are so many fun activities in Las Vegas that it is easy to forget that Vegas is situated in a very unique desert ecosystem with insane natural beauty. Luckily there are a host of tour companies that have designed thrilled kid-friendly day tour itineraries from Vegas to learn about and experience the wonderful areas surrounding Las Vegas. Here I presented my own favorite day trips from Las Vegas for families, but if you didn’t see something that was perfect for your family, there are actually a bunch more to choose from on Vegas.com. Next time you are in Vegas with kids, don’t forget about to book a day tour and check some items off your bucket list!
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