When most people think of Las Vegas, they picture scenes from the movie “The Hangover.” Alcohol, clubbing, and Mike Tyson come to mind – kids do not. However, if you live near Las Vegas and go often, bringing kids and skipping the parties isn’t a big deal. Enjoying Vegas with family isn’t just doable – it’s a lot of fun! But, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to do sin city with kids. We just got back from a trip with our baby and toddler, and we had a blast! Here is what we learned along the way:
DO: Go to buffets!
Buffets have a lot of positives for kids: there is a wide, diverse menu to choose from, they can eat as much or as little of anything as they want, and because they are popular, the dining rooms are huge and it’s much less noticeable when your little ones get “wiggley” than it might be at a nice restaurant. That brings me to my next point:
DON’T: Take your kids to a fancy restaurant.
We learned this the hard way. I don’t know why we thought our 2-year-old would be well behaved in a steakhouse, just because he likes steak. Lesson learned.
DO: Start early in the morning, and end in the early evening.
Between the hours of 8 am and 12 pm, most people are pretty chill (read: nursing hangovers), so it’s a good time to take your kids around to different attractions! Each day, we finished our sight-seeing around 1 or 2 pm, then headed back to the hotel to swim in the pool during the afternoon.
DO: Go out for lunch, and get dinner to go!
If your kids are anything like mine, they begin the day pretty well behaved, then as they get tired, their ability to be well behaved diminishes exponentially. If you want to enjoy a fun restaurant, going for lunch is your best bet.
As an added bonus, people tend to be more patient with kids in restaurants at lunchtime than they do during dinner. Maybe it’s because they expect children during the day and not in the evening, or maybe they just don’t want to hear kids being loud at the next table once the sun goes down. Who knows. Either way, make it easier on yourself and order dinner to go.
DO: Visit family-friendly destinations!
Believe it or not, there are several family-friendly places to take your kids in Vegas! We visited M&M’s World, the playground at Town Square, the High Roller Observation Wheel, and the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame! We all had a blast!
DON’T: I repeat, DON’T take your kids out after dark.
Before I got married, my friends took me to Vegas for a bachelorette weekend. We enjoyed fruity drinks, danced at clubs, watched scandalous shows with male dancers – everything you’d expect from young 20-something girls in sin city. Here’s the thing: Vegas is PACKED with 20-somethings doing exactly what we did, and they all come out when the sun goes down. When the lights of the Vegas strip begin to glow, for most people, it’s party time.
Don’t get me wrong – all that stuff is super fun when you don’t have the kids in tow. But when you do, it’s a nightmare. Go to bed. Or get a sitter. There are lots of nanny services available to play with your little ones while you enjoy the bright lights of Vegas. Here’s one called Artsy Nannies that looks great!
DO: Stay close to the action, but not too close.
There are multiple casinos and hotels right off the strip that give you and your family a buffer from the late night party-goers, while you can still enjoy the ambiance (and the view) of the bright lights. Here’s a hint: if the casino has a bowling alley, it’s a pretty good choice to stay at.
DON’T: Stay anywhere without getting a good deal!
Casinos are in massive competition with each other to get your business! You can get amazing deals to stay in beautiful rooms for rock bottom rates – provided you are somewhat flexible on your dates. Check out the usual suspects for great deals (Kayak, Travelocity, Priceline, etc.)
Making Your Life Easier
DO: Take advantage of valet and bell desk services!
Trust me – it is worth the tip you give to be able to drive right up to the front door of any casino you are visiting. You can have your luggage delivered to your room, or brought out to your car at the end of your stay as well! Who wants to handle a ton of luggage when you have kids in tow? Not me – not when I don’t have to!
DO: Invite your mother, or mother-in-law to help watch the kids!
Assuming you have a good relationship with either your mother or mother-in-law, you can have a lot more fun in Vegas if you tag-team the childcare. One of you can watch the kids at the pool while the other tries their hand at the blackjack table, then swap jobs! Who knows, you may win big – or you may not. But you can’t try with your kids following behind you – they aren’t allowed on the casino floor unless you are en route somewhere else.
DON’T: Forget that you are visiting the desert!
Sunscreen, saline spray, and water are MUST brings! If you forget to pack them, you can buy them at a drugstore when you arrive, but you can’t survive your trip without them. Make sure you bring swimsuits too – there are some terrific pools at the casinos you’ll be visiting!
What are some tips you have for traveling to Las Vegas with family?
For Your Information: This is not a sponsored post.
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