When you think about Las Vegas, the first and most obvious thing to come to mind is gambling. If you’re a family with children under the age of 18, you might dismiss Las Vegas as a vacation spot for this reason alone. Add in Vegas’ reputation as “sin city,” and it’s no wonder that many families are reluctant to plan a family vacationthere.Yet, Las Vegas has more than casinos, night clubs, and burlesque shows. There are hosts of family-friendly activitiesto do and sights to see in Vegas. A family of four could spend an entire week in Las Vegas without ever stepping foot into a casino or club.
Here are some of the most popular family-friendly reasons to travel to Las Vegas:
Natural wonders. Drive just a few miles outside of the strip and you can be in Red Rock Canyon. This is a National Conservation area, and offers plenty of family activities like hiking, rock climbing, and more. Even a short drive out into the desert can be an interesting and memorable experience for a child that’s spent her years growing up in the frozen tundra of the upper Midwest.
Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam is less than an hour outside of Vegas, and if you’ve never seen it you really just have no idea how magnificent it is. You can drive across for some cool photographs, or you can take a tour in the dam itself.
Sky Mania. If your kids like to play in the inflatable “bounce house” at your local carnival, they’ll love Sky Mania. Sky Mania is a full-sized gymnasium that’s covered in interlocking trampolines. Even the walls have trampolines attached. If your kids have tons of energy and you want to give them the opportunity to burn some of it off, this is the place to do it. There’s even a special room for toddlers, so that those wee ones don’t have to worry about being crushed by big brother or big sister.
Blue Man Group. There are a number of shows in Las Vegas that bill themselves as “family friendly” that might be questionable for some families. Blue Man Group is not one of those. It’s good, clean fun for pretty much everyone in the family. This show has some seriously high-quality production value, too. The audience participation segments are highly enjoyable, especially for smaller children.
Fremont Street. When you think of Las Vegas, you most often think of the strip. What you don’t realize is that downtown Las Vegas has plenty to offer, as well. The Fremont Street Experience is the highlight of downtown Las Vegas. Every evening you’ll find street vendors, street performers, artists, and more. The weekends feature music, as well as a laser light show that will entertain everyone in the family.
Roller coasters galore. There are a number of theme park-style attractions in Las Vegas, but the Adventure Dome by Circus Circus is probably the most popular family option. There are a several full-sized coasters here, as well as many of those standard family attractions you’ve come to know and love like bumper cars, laser tag, and mini golf. You can get a whole-day pass, which will let you experience the entire venue to its fullest.
Dinner theater. Dinner shows in Las Vegas can vary in how appropriate they are for children, but there are a number of venues that are relatively safe. The Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur Hotel, for example, lets your family cheer for their favorite knight in a jousting tournament. If you’re more into the mystery dinner show, Marriage Can Be Murder is one of the longest-running and most popular dinner shows in Las Vegas.
Educational opportunities and museums. The Lied Discovery Children’s Museum lets your kids have some serious hands-on fun combined with a little bit of science education. Madam Tussauds Wax Museum is a neat way to expose your children to cultural and historical personalities. There’s even the Neon Museum – dedicated to preserving Las Vegas’ historic neon signage.
Hidden under all of the glitz and glimmer, behind all of those slot machines and marriage chapels, Las Vegas is actually one of the most interesting cities to take your family on vacation. This city is an iconic part of our country, and your children will have a blast enjoying what Vegas has to offer.About the Author: