Las Vegas With Kids – Part 1

July 23, 2008 at 10:08 am (Uncategorized)

"Hey Jamin! My family and I will be going to Las Vegas for one week next week and I was just wondering of you could tell me where are the “must see” stops there. And I don’t necessarily mean the big tourist attractions but the places that only the locals know about, you know what I mean?

I have 4 children ages 8, 7, 5, and 3 so I definitely need something kid friendly.

Anyway I would greatly appreciate any advice you could give.

Sincerely,         

Eva "

There is a saying that "Every 5 years the whole world passes through Las Vegas." Having lived there for 4 years I can honestly say I believe that is true! Not only does Las Vegas host conventions for EVERYONE, (I will never forget the time we were eating out at a buffet and there was a HUGE group of Southern Baptist Pastors eating there that were in Las Vegas for a convention.  LOL) also if you want to go to California from just about anywhere in the USA, your probably going to pass through Las Vegas.

Since we lived in Las Vegas for 4 years I have answered this question more that a few times!  LOL  So instead of just emailing Eva with my response I thought I would put it here too.

Kid friendly things to do in Las Vegas? Yes, they do exist.  But, I first a warning.  The Las Vegas strip as a whole is NOT a kid friendly place.  My best advice for manuvering the strip with kids is do not walk anywhere on the street!  Yes, I know the strip is designed to be walked.  It is also designed to look like everything is really close, while being a much longer walk that it looks like!  I have nothing against walking, But, the problem with it in Las Vegas is exposure to pornography.  I am not just talking about the posters and billboards that are everywhere on the strip.  Most of them are a very strong R-rating.  What I am warning you about are the call girl cards that are aggressively passed out on the strip.  You see prostitution is illegal in Clark County where Las Vegas is located.  But, there is not law against passing out advertisement for the brothels in ajoining counties. So, everywhere you go there are aggressive men and women passing out what look like fancy trading cards with the most disgusting pornography on them you can imagine.  People take them and then drop them.  So they are all over the street. If the card pushers aren’t busy with people they stick them in fences and on poles and etc.  I am telling you if you walk the street there will be NO avoiding seeing this!  So you have been warned! (BTW, the parking is all free on the strip.)

Okay,now that I have sternly warned you :^) here are some things we enjoyed doing with our kids in Las Vegas:

I am going to use a star rating systems. 

**** = highly recommend

*** = recommend

** = go if it interests you.

* = It is kid friendly

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay **** – This is a very nice aquarium and we went there many times while we were in Las Vegas.  It is not huge, but you can go through at your own pace.  Our favorite part was the touch pools where you can touch all kids of cool sea creatures.  I also like this one because you can park right outside the door and never see a slot machine!  Check the map online to find the best parking. Here is a post about one of our visits to the aquarium.

The Lion Habitat at MGM *** – This is very fun for the kids.  It is also small, but it’s free so who can complain!  LOL  It is smack dab in the middle of the casino, so there is no avoiding the slot machines and smoke on this one. I HIGHLY recommend you valet park for this one.  (It’s free too.)  The walk from the MGM parking to the Lion Habitat is at least 100 miles!  LOL  It’s uphill both ways too!  You have been warned… VALET PARK!  If your hungry there is a Rainforest Café right by the Habitat.  Also, once you finish this you are going to want to head on over to M&M World.  (Your almost there!)

M&M World **** – This is a very fun place.  But, warn your children up front that you are NOT buying M&M’s.  They charge something like $10.00 a pound for them!  They do however have a really cute 3D show for the kids.  My kids loved it and we went several times. When you leave the Lion Habitat you can go out the front doors and make a right.  M&M World is just about a block away.  I know this breaks my don’t walk rule, but I have never seen porn pushers on this section of the strip.  There is no other parking for M&M World.

Conservatory at Bellagio **** This was by far our favorite thing to do in Las Vegas! I can’t even count the number of times we went to Bellagio.  This is a beautiful indoor garden that they change out 4 times a year.  Each exhibit is more mind boggling than the one before and it’s FREE!  They have easy free parking where you can get in and out without seeing the casino.  After you see the conservatory you have to head over to see the chocolate fountain! Take the side exit from the exhibit and go right you’ll come upon the chocolate fountain.  After the chocolate fountain you HAVE to go see the BIG fountains outside! Here is my post about one of our visits to the Bellagio

Fountains at Bellagio **** As far as I am concerned this dancing water is the biggest star in Las Vegas! It is so beautiful! It is all synchronized to music and it is a real delight.  Our big day out in Las Vegas was to go see the Conservatory, then the chocolate fountains  topped off with the fountain.  It’s all FREE!  Oh, and a lot of the shows are set to Christian music.  Go figure?  LOL Click HERE to see the fountains on U-Tube.

King Tut Exhibit at Luxor **** This is another awesome must see in my book!  I could tell you all about it, but I have already blogged about it complete with pictures here.

Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage ***  This is pretty nice, we especially like the Dolphins there.  Again, it is pretty small and won’t take long to go through.  I would avoid it in the summer because it’s outside in the middle of the casino and it is HOT even in the winter.  I never went except in February and it was SO hot then I cannot imagine summer out there! (This is the place that inspired my Dolphins in the Desert post!)

Volcano at the Mirage **** This is another fun free thing to see.  If you want to add a free tram ride you can park at Treasure Island and take the free tram over.  That was another fun family night out while we lived in Las Vegas.  LOL  My daughter was terrified of the volcano from the time we moved there. She wanted so badly not to be afraid of it.  She would beg us to take her and tell us she wouldn’t be afraid  if we took her again.  Every time as soon as the volcano would go off she would start screaming! LOL  What a funny memory!

Circus Circus Adventure Dome ** We only went here once and it was fun.  Again, it seems small to me for the money.  Having been to Disneyland a zillion times my kids were not impressed with the rides.  You can walk through without paying to decide it you want to pay the money.  You can either pay by the ride or get wrist bands.  We did have  blast when we went because it was my rent-a-kids birthday party and we ALWAYS have fun with him!

For some reason I am having trouble with my posts getting messed up if they are too long. So I am ending here and will post the rest tomorrow. :^)

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