Las Vegas, Nevada a city well known for smoke filled casinos, night clubs, strip clubs, stage shows, and 24 hour libations. A brightly lit wonderland that caters to the 21 and over crowd.
Like so many others, my Husband and I have been drawn to this adult playground each year and if you had asked us eight years ago if we would ever vacation here with our kids the answer would’ve definitely been NO.
Traveling was a little easier in my young single mom days, my eldest son and I would just pack up and go whenever the whim hit me plus I had help from his father and my mom whenever I needed to travel while he was still in school. He’s in College now and will still travel with us whenever his schedule permits.
Things changed a lot after I got married in 2007 and we had our two kids together, all of our plans revolve around them now. When they were younger and more temperamental, trip planning was more of a challenge and if we wanted to travel as a couple my parents weren’t an option because they didn’t choose to be. Fortunately, I married into a family who enjoy spending time with our kids and are always willing to keep them whenever we have to travel without them. They are now 8 and 4 years old which are great ages for more extensive travel and they’re always excited to pack up and embark on a new adventure. I truly enjoy making memories with my family and the knowledge our kids gain by exploring the world around them coupled with all the fun we have together is priceless.
As a family of self-employed artists we have more time to take trips but less time to plan them because of our sporadic work schedules. Plans often change at the last minute once we book jobs and we’re blessed to have friends who will help out sometimes and a longtime nanny/sitter with a flexible schedule. Needless to say we’ve become quite skilled at making things work and after two years of road tripping to Vegas with the kiddos we are firm believers that anywhere can be kid-friendly with a little bit of research.
The main reason our kids enjoy Las Vegas is because of the resorts we stay in. Our favorite place to stay is the Cancun Resort because it caters to families. Each room has a full kitchen which helps us stretch our vacation budget, a game room, daily activities and crafts for all ages, a fitness center, two big pools, five jacuzzis and four waterslides. What kid wouldn’t want to come back every year? They also have plenty of parking and a very friendly staff.
Another family friendly resort is the Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa , it is on the higher end and a little farther from the strip but everything you need is in or around the resort . The pool is huge and is made to look like a beach with a pebble sand shore. They have their own restaurants and casino as well as an arcade and movie theater. If you want to do a little shopping you can just head out the doors to the mall area.
These resorts help keep the kids entertained until we decide to hop in the car and venture out to the strip for a little visual stimulation. Daytime on the strip is a lot more PG than nighttime when it comes to kids, but the options are still limited. We usually end up walking up and down the strip taking in the sites, casino hopping, or shopping. We plan on visiting the Shark Reef exhibit at the Mandalay Bay next trip. On this Spring break-cation we had more fun venturing off the strip to a famous BBQ spot for lunch called John Mull’s Road Kill Grill which is on a ranch and has some of the best barbecue I’ve ever tasted.
We also found a new favorite spot reminiscent of the popular Venice beach strip in our hometown of Los Angeles, CA where tons of tourists frequent to watch various street performers and shop for unique handmade items. Fremont Street was definitely an experience with zip-liners sailing by overhead as we watched the street performers and shopped for souvenirs.
I will be the first to admit that the allure of Vegas nightlife is always prevalent and although the Hubby and I don’t really club anymore we’d still like to go out to have a drink and enjoy a show while we’re there. With no available sitter, going out as a couple while on a family trip hasn’t been much of an option. This of course led me to seek out other babysitting options for future trips and I’m happy to say that I found a couple of them. ArtsyNannies.com is a licensed babysitting business owned by mothers who saw a need for a service like this in the city. They have a play center location right on the strip where you can drop your kids off with employees who are CPR certified, background checked and fingerprinted so you can catch a show and have a little adult time on the strip. They have lots of great reviews for their in-hotel nannies who will travel to your resort with crafts in hand and watch up to 3 kids for $30 an hour plus a $10 reservation fee. They will also take the kiddos out to the pool or the game room if you choose.
Kidsquest.com is located in the Red Rock Casino and provides hourly monitored playtime for your kids with tons of fun stuff for them to do. We haven’t tried these companies out yet, but we’re definitely open to it on our next family Vegas trip.
For more fun kid friendly things to do in Vegas check out this list on Buzzfeed, and get to planning!