Las Vegas Attractions for Families
With my family’s upcoming March Break vacation just around the corner, I’ve found myself daydreaming of last year’s family vacation to Las Vegas. While this year’s trip may have some resemblance to last year, there will of course be a few differences. Below are some Las Vegas family attractions worth checking out.
Las Vegas as a family trip? I can hear some people asking that now with a bit of a puzzled look or wondering what adults in their right mind would take their kids to Vegas!
These adults would! And our teenagers loved it, asking to come back again. I’m not a gambler and my husband enjoys a few games of blackjack, but that’s about it for the visit. So yes, we’re sane and here to tell you it’s a great family vacation destination!
Las Vegas has always been on my bucket list, I love city lights at night and well, Vegas is kind of known for its neon. It’s worth the extra money for a strip view room! And the higher up the better… of course these rooms can cost more, so if budget is a concern, it’s not a make it break it for the trip.
So, since it was on our list, the NHL expansion into Las Vegas sealed the deal. It was time to visit.
We stayed at MGM Resorts New York, New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. While located on Las Vegas Boulevard South, and not mid-strip, the location is awesome!
In case you’re wondering just what, exactly, a family does for fun in Las Vegas, I’ve made a list (in no particular order) of the attractions we visited and things we did. And trust me when I say that we barely scratched the surface.
We spent four nights and five days here, to give you some idea of a timeline…
What to do in Las Vegas with your family
- Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.
It’s kind of baffling to think of an aquarium tucked away inside of a Vegas resort hotel. But that’s exactly what it is… for an indoor aquarium venue I was happy with my visit. A great attraction especially if your children are younger, but even our teens enjoyed it. Besides the Shipwreck (1.3 million gallon saltwater exhibit tank), there are several other exhibits featuring piranhas, jellyfish, Burmese pythons and so much more!
- Las Vegas Golden Knights NHL game. The T-Mobile Arena, home of the Las Vegas Golden Knights NHL team, sits right behind the New York, New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. For hockey fans it’s one of the best places to attend a game for a few reasons! Mostly because it’s easy. Easy to find a place to stay, easy to get there (walking from the resort hotels is great), close to the airport, and they put on a good opening show, even if it is a bit cheesy!
- Rock Concert (Bon Jovi just happened to be in town!)
Again, the T-Mobile arena, check the schedule as there may be a great concert or event going on during your stay. I’ve found that you often get better seats at a better rate just dropping by the day before or the day of the event or concert. Of course I don’t recommend this if it’s the sole reason for your visit! Just in case…
- Hoover Dam. There are various companies offering day tours to this man-made wonder. We purchased a Go Las Vegas Explorer pass for each of us, a three attraction one. There are 45+ attractions available for booking. You can book the passes easily on your Smartphone and use from there! The Hoover Dam tour itself is very much worth the visit and the money. The scenery on the way there is reason enough, but it’s incredible to view this engineering wonder. Make sure your tour/visit takes in the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge Plaza; the views of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are awesome!
- Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris Resort. If you can’t get to Paris and to the real Eiffel Tower, this isn’t a bad second option… 46 stories up and half the size of the original in France, the city views are fantastic! You overlook the Bellagio’s fountain and water show so hang around to catch it especially if night time.
- Stratosphere Observation deck. This is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the U.S. Located more North on Las Vegas Boulevard it offers a different view again of the city and surrounding mountains. For brave souls you can try the Sky Jump, Big Shot, X-Scream or Insanity rides. We were happy enough to observe the incredible views from that height!
- The Neon Museum. I have to say, I loved The Neon Museum. I’ve wanted to see this place forever! We had to choose between a day visit or a night visit (where some signs are lit, and others have floodlights on them). For our first time there we decided on a daytime visit. If we ever go back I’d do the night tour if I got the chance. If you’re at all interested in the history of Las Vegas and the hotels and neon signs of yesteryear then you’ll enjoy. It’s an hour long guided tour with details about the many signs… the guides know their stuff.
- Criss Angel Mindfreak. Since our visit this shows year’s long run at the Luxor came to an end.
The last show was in October of 2018. But if you’re a Criss Angel fan, don’t despair! Revamped and better than ever, you can now catch the show at its new home, Planet Hollywood.
- Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Yes it’s an attraction and it’s completely free! Other than getting there should you need to take a cab or Uber. It’s about a mile walk from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, and since the NY, NY is in the same area, we walked! And there was a line-up… yes a line-up to get your ‘photo shoot in front of the sign’ time. We just happened to go on March 17th so as awesome as it was to have a green sign, yay! Another hike has to happen for the traditional white sign… It’s a landmark guys, you have to do it!
- Night at the New York, New York resort, arcade etc.
The entire stay really, as many of the hotels in Vegas are attractions in themselves. This is especially true of the New York New York. Like New York, it’s busy and bustling and there are things to see, eat and do everywhere. The casino takes up the middle floor and the restaurants and shops are surrounding and beyond. The towers are built to resemble the New York skyline and a replica Statue of Liberty stands proud at the front. The arcade and roller coaster are perfect for keeping families amused… loved this hotel!
- The Strip. One of the best Las Vegas attractions you can find, and it’s free! We walked the strip from our hotel (New York New York) to the Paris Hotel, took the monorail as far North as it goes, then walked some more to reach the Stratosphere. We would stop at stores, and cut through the hotels to check them out. Wear good walking shoes! If your children are younger you might not be able to cover so much distance walking, but smaller walks around your hotel and area still get you out and seeing the sights. The Bellagio Fountain shows are excellent! …and free.
Wrapping it up and final thoughts
There you have it, my family trip to Las Vegas in a nutshell… as you may have noticed, we didn’t make it to the Grand Canyon, so… round two just might have to include that!
If you are wondering about the cons, or negatives of visiting Las Vegas with kids, well of course there will be some, but mostly it’s all good. You’re going to a place with a nickname of ‘Sin City’. So it stands to reason you may run into a few things you don’t see every day, like people carrying their beer cans down the sidewalk, and smoking is allowed at the casinos etc. I didn’t have any issues with this, we avoided the smoke as best we could. My kids are older and so the other things weren’t really issues for us.
I look at the list and think, my, we did a lot, but then I think how crazy it is that we could go back and have a completely new and different trip, that there are that many things to do and places to see…
Have you been to Las Vegas? Where’d you stay and what did you love or hate?