Las Vegas is not known for being family-friendly, but there are still some worthwhile stops for families. Frommer’s included the Bellagio Fountains and the lights of the Las Vegas Strip in its book 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up. Our family spent a day exploring the Strip during Spring Break and here were our top finds:
1. Fountains of Bellagio and Botanical Gardens
If you only see one thing in Las Vegas, it should be the Fountains of Bellagio. This wonderful water show is choreographed to opera, classical and Broadway tunes and plays every 15-30 minutes. Best of all, it is FREE. When you finish at the fountains, head inside the Bellagio to see the seasonally-changing Botanical Gardens, which are also free to the public. Turn your eyes upward to the Fiori di Como art glass chandelier, which features over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers, as you pass through the lobby. It is pictured in one of my daughter’s world record books and she was excited to see it in person. These excellent family attractions are a refreshing contrast to the over-the-top gaudiness that prevails everywhere else in Vegas.
2. Thrill rides
We did not actually ride any of these during our visit, but I think our kids would have loved the Adventuredome indoor theme park at Circus Circus if we had ventured that direction. The roller coaster we did consider was at the New York New York but our young children decided that it looked a little too thrilling for them. If you are looking for even bigger thrills, then take the elevator to the top of the Stratosphere where four different heart-pounding rides await true adrenaline junkies. Finally, try the Eiffel Tower Ride at Paris Las Vegas if you want a bird’s-eye view of the strip at a slower speed. None of these rides is bargain-priced, but look for discounts in various coupon books at your hotel.
3. Animal Habitats
Families who like zoos and aquariums will find several good options on the Strip. Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef has fourteen exhibits that display more than 2,000 animals, including over 100 species and 15 species of shark. Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat allows visitors an up-close look at white tigers, lions, panthers, leopards and a family of dolphins. While less exotic, the Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat is FREE and features a lush garden and stream where visitors can see swans, ducks, koi, turtles, and of course, pink flamingos.
Many of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip have arcades targeted toward gamblers-in-training. When we wandered into the Excalibur’s Fun Dungeon, it was a good opportunity for us to let our children loose for a few minutes. We didn’t even give them money; they were just happy to pretend to play the games for a little while and I love them for that. We did spend a few dollars at the arcade in our hotel the next day and our children happily came away with a collection of candy and small toys. The Excalibur also has some 3-D rides, but they were closed during our visit. Vegas.com recommends the arcades at Circus Circus, MGM Grand and New York New York.
5. M&Ms World and the Coca-Cola Store
You don’t have to buy anything to enjoy a stop in one of these glossy shops, which are located next door to each other, though M&Ms and Coca-Cola have put their respective logos on just about anything you might want to own. Souvenir hunters will find clothing, toys, collectibles, and almost the kitchen sink here. At M&M’s World, families will enjoy “I Lost My M in Vegas”, the free 10-minute 3-D movie starring Red and Yellow. Our favorite thing at Coca-Cola was the soda fountain where we purchased a colorful tray of 16 soda flavors from around the world for only $7.
Planning a trip to Las Vegas?
We recommend booking your trip through Get Away Today Vacations. Get Away Today specializes in family vacations and they can help you find the best hotels in Las Vegas for families.
You may also like:
- Our Las Vegas for Families Pinterest board – we’ve collected ideas for families from all over the web!
- Tips for visiting Hoover Dam