Las Vegas has a notorious reputation for being pretty wild... but just because it's mostly known for its bars and gambling doesn't mean there aren't kid-friendly ways to have fun in the city! If you're looking for an exciting weekend getaway that'll entertain everyone in the family, then Vegas has you covered.
There are so many different attractions contained within Springs Preserve that it's a surefire crowd-pleaser. The Origen Museum has exhibits on Las Vegas history, from the Land Auction that helped settle the area to the Hoover Dam, animals on display, and more, the Nevada State Museum highlights fossils, mining history, and displays of retro Vegas glamour, and there's even a museum on sustainability, a butterfly habitat, hiking trails, and nature exchange! Spend as much or as little time here as you want.
Roy's serves up some mean Pacific Rim fusion cuisine, and even if your kids don't go for the blackened island mahi, the teppanyaki shrimp, or the hibachi grilled salmon, they might be tempted by the bacon mac and cheese, sliders, or the veggie spring rolls. Adults can also relax with a tiki-inspired cocktail with their meal, as well.
Treat the kids (and yourself) to some dessert! Luv-it is a local favorite located off the Strip, and it's worth the drive out. Cones and loaded sundaes featuring every topping combo you could ever want, all made with their signature, homemade custard that's extra rich and extra tasty. Chocolate and vanilla are always on the menu, along with a few other daily flavors.
End your night with some outrageous mini golf. The KISS-themed course features 18 holes all done up in glow-in-the-dark colors, animatronic and video displays. Plus, there's a live DJ, KISS memorabilia, and even a rock n roll wedding chapel. It's a pretty trippy experience, and they're open until midnight, so spend some time soaking in the sheer loudness of the place.
Located a little further down the Strip, Circus Circus is a more family-friendly hotel that's away from the hustle and bustle, but still serves up Vegas kitsch. Casinos, a theme park, restaurants, shopping, and several outdoor pools ensure that everyone will find something to do here. There's even an RV Park and Motor Lodge onsite for the super budget-conscious.
With a menu boasting every breakfast dish imaginable and an entire page dedicated to pancakes, you can't go wrong with Babystacks. They have a kids menu if you have picky eaters with you, and if you're feeling sweet, their red velvet pancakes are a favorite. If you're feeling adventurous, try some of their Filipino/Hawaiian-inspired dishes; their garlic fried rice is incredible.
There are tons of museums in Vegas to add a little bit of education to your vacation. Historical artifacts from the opulent Titanic kind of fit in with the glamour of Vegas pretty well, so Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is a pretty appropriate stop on your trip. Browse items recovered from the sunken ship, read about the doomed cruise liner's first and last voyage, and learn how researchers were able to recover objects from two miles below the ocean.
If your kids are more into ocean predators than ocean liners, then they'll love the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. Fourteen exhibits provide tons of info on sharks of all sorts, but the highlight has to be the 1.3 million gallon tank with a tunnel through it, providing nearly 360 degree views of the aquarium and the 15 species of shark within.
What kid (or adult, for that matter) doesn't love a good burger? Choose from various proteins, sauces, toppings, and buns to create your ultimate burger experience. Plus, even though this place is headed up by famed chef Hubert Keller and is located in Mandalay Bay, it's still pretty reasonably priced; always a plus, especially when traveling with the whole family.
Kids can't exactly gamble, but they can enjoy some gaming fun at the Pinball Hall of Fame. They have over 200 machines, from really old classics to more recent games. It's free to get in, but make sure to bring plenty of quarters, because everything here is available to play!
Admittedly, this isn't something every kid might enjoy, but if your children are the adrenaline-rush-seeking type, head to the top of the Stratosphere Hotel for one of their rooftop thrill rides. "Insanity" spins you around at high speeds over the edge of the building, "Big Shot" is a drop tower, and the "X-Scream" is a roller coaster that dangles you off the side of the roof. Some of the rides have height restrictions, so if your kids aren't tall enough, then you can just enjoy the views from the observation deck.
This build-you-own, brick-oven-cooked pizza joint has so many options that the worst part of eating here is deciding what to order. Choose your crust, sauce and toppings, watch them craft your pie, and then it's slid into the oven. In under two minutes, your pizza is cooked and ready to be enjoyed! Since it's so quick, it's a great stop if you're hungry and aren't in the mood to wait too long for food.
When you're in Vegas with the whole family, everyone can still have a good time! You don't have to be 21+ to appreciate the glitz and the glam of Las Vegas... and you don't have to be a kid to appreciate the family-friendly fun available!