Do you remember the 1990s? People in Las Vegas definitely do… and many are still trying to forget it. At least those who love that Las Vegas is all about sin. Back in the ‘90s, Las Vegas tried to reinvent itself as a family-friendly destination.
The idea? To make Las Vegas the ultimate competitor to Walt Disney World. We’re serious. Parents could enjoy their casinos. Kids could have fun seeing family-friendly shows, hanging out at cool hotels built with kids and mind, and enjoying all sorts of G-rated exhibitions.
Treasure Island and MGM Grand turned their properties into Disney type powerhouses, truly catering to families and marketing themselves that way. But by 2003, Las Vegas decided to go back to its roots.
For over a decade now, they’ve been the ultimate destination for adults. After all, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” isn’t just a catchy advertising slogan dreamed up by Madison Avenue geniuses. It’s a mantra that every bachelor partygoer says the second they step off the plane at McCarran International Airport.
But here’s the truth about Vegas. Hotel rooms are pretty cheap thanks to an abundance of hotels and huge competition for business. That has a lot of families wondering if a Las Vegas vacation might be right for them, even though the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority markets Vegas primarily to adults.
Well, as a Las Vegas fanatic, I can attest to the fact that Las Vegas is a pretty good destination for families. Believe it or not, there’s actually a ton of things to do for kids. Just last summer, I hit Las Vegas with my sister and my nieces and nephews. It was a lot of fun, and believe it or not, they actually enjoyed the experience more than Disney. Here’s a look at some great things to do for families:
Roller Coasters and Rides
There are a bunch of them. New York New York has the Big Apple Coaster, which you can see from the strip. It’s a pretty fast-paced roller coaster that kids of all ages will love. You’ve also got the Desperado, which is located at Buffalo Bill’s. And who could forget Insanity, the ride at the top of the Stratosphere? Tons of thrills are available everywhere on the strip.
Discovery Children’s Museum
You could spend an entire day here and not see everything. And believe me. We did. And yes, while I wanted to gamble, this place kept me entertained with so many awesome exhibits and cool things to explore.
Yes, some of the Cirque de Soleil shows are better suited for adults. Definitely stay away from Zumanity if you’re bringing the kids. That one contains nudity. But shows like O or Ka are definitely ones that kids of all ages can enjoy. And it’s not just Cirque that you’ll love. There are tons of magic shows available to enjoy on the Las Vegas strip. And what kid doesn’t love magic?
There are some amazing pools in Las Vegas, and even a man-made beach if you head to Mandalay Bay. At many of these pools, you’ll find a family friendly environment. So you’ll definitely feel at home wherever you choose to soak up the desert sun.
The Grand Canyon
Yes, it’s not exactly on Las Vegas Boulevard. But it is in the general neighborhood. If you’re in Vegas, definitely take the family out to the Grand Canyon. It’s a breathtaking experience that you just can’t find anywhere else.
This is just a sample of the great things to do in Vegas for families. There’s a lot more to explore, so don’t hesitate to ask your travel agent for more info, or check out TripAdvisor, which offers all kinds of helpful hints.