Updated October 2019
I want to talk to you about going to Las Vegas with kids.
Stop laughing, I’m serious.
Although it’s far removed from the family friendly Vegas of the 1990s, there are still plenty of fun things to do on a Las Vegas family vacation. I speak from experience. I brought my 8-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, to Las Vegas twice in 8 months. The first time was a two-night stop during our epic girls’ road trip. The second was a last minute family vacation over winter break. In those two Las Vegas family trips we explored tons of family friendly activities both on and off the Las Vegas Strip. This article will give you the best family friendly activities on Las Vegas Boulevard a.k.a. The Strip. To find out more about family activities off Strip check this article.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
What better way to start your Las Vegas family vacation than with a picture in front of this iconic sign?
There is a free parking lot available at this popular tourist stop. The only caveat is that you see the sign driving north on Las Vegas Boulevard but must enter the lot driving south. If you are heading north on Las Vegas Boulevard and want to stop for a picture just drive past the sign, make the next legal U-turn, and drive south back to the parking lot.
Visit The Bellagio Las Vegas With Kids
The Bellagio is probably my favorite resort in Las Vegas with lots of kid-friendly things to see. You could easily spend two or more hours walking around enjoying these family friendly activities.
The Bellagio Conservatory is a large, high ceiling room decked out in flowers and special decor throughout the year. The design themes change seasonally so there is something different several times a year. No matter the season, the Bellagio Conservatory is a must on our visits to Las Vegas with kids or when it is parents only, too.
The lobby has a stunning Chihuly glass flower ceiling that is awe inspiring at any age. Music played by a pianist at the Bellagio lobby bar enhances the beautiful and luxurious experience of the Bellagio. On our last visit the pianist was playing “Beauty and the Beast” which is a great family friendly song option.
The Fountains of Bellagio
The Bellagio fountains are a great family friendly Las Vegas activity. Dozens of water cannons shoot out perfectly synchronized bursts of water in time to music for an amazing show. The Fountains at Bellagio are an iconic Las Vegas experience and are not to be missed.
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
If you have a young art aficionado, add the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art to your itinerary. I recommend going on the docent led tour at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. The docent led tour occurs once a day, usually at 2pm. During the docent led tour an art expert walks you through the exhibits for no additional cost. We learned a lot about the exhibits in the two-room gallery and the techniques used by the artists from our docent.
The gallery requires a paid admission for those 6 years and older, but there are several discounts available. Check here for exact pricing and hours.
The Grand Canal Shoppes are a great place to explore with kids. Where other than Las Vegas can you see gondoliers sing and pilot boats on an indoor canal? It is free to watch the gondolier performances, but if you would like to be on the boat that can be arranged for a price.
The inside of the Grand Canal Shoppes is made to look like outside with blue sky ceilings and forced perspective two-story buildings that give a great realistic feel. Sometimes street performers can be found in the shoppes. For example, Elizabeth had a lot of fun interacting with a human “statue” during one of our trips. There are also many places in the Grand Canal Shoppes to eat “al fresco.”
At night the giant volcano in front of the Mirage “erupts.” This fun and free show usually occurs twice per night. Check the Mirage website to find out exact times.
A large aquarium behind the Mirage check-in desk is another great family friendly Las Vegas activity. It is easy to lose track of time as you watch the colorful fish swim around the enormous tank.
Caesar’s Palace is a huge resort. There are two areas of shopping in the Forum Shops, a large casino area, and hotel towers. Like Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes, the Forum Shops have a fun outdoor feel. One of our favorite stops is a large replica of Italy’s Trevi fountain. Located next door to the fountain is the aptly named Trevi restaurant where you can eat a delicious meal “al fresco.”
For a change of pace, The Linq shops and restaurants are actually located outside. The main attraction at The Linq is the High Roller. The High Roller is a 550-foot (170-m), enclosed-cabin giant Ferris wheel that provides great views of The Strip day and night. Tickets can be purchased at time of riding for full price or bought online ahead of time at a discounted price.
New York New York
A replica Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty outside New York New York will certainly catch your family’s attention when visiting Las Vegas with kids. The New York theme continues inside with a food court inspired by the streets of New York City.
New York New York also contains a huge Hershey’s store with a chocolate Statue of Liberty. If you are looking for something more exciting, there is a real rollercoaster for daredevils 54 inches (138 cm) or taller.
Please Note: Zumanity (the adult-only Cirque du Soleil show) resides here, and advertising is prevalent. Check out ads online ahead of time to evaluate your own comfort level with images.
There are four floors of M&M merchandise and a wall of pick-your-own M&M colors by the bag. Nothing says Las Vegas with kids quite like letting them overindulge in heaps of colorful M&Ms.
Cirque du Soleil
There are several Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas. Cirque du Soleil is a style of performance that incorporates amazing feats of acrobatics with live music. These performances are unlike anything we’ve seen anywhere else. In our experience, Kà at MGM Grand (read more about our experience) and “O” at Bellagio are exciting, family-friendly Las Vegas shows.
It is difficult to describe the shows. Kà has the most cohesive plot of any of the Cirque du Soleil shows we’ve seen, but “O” is a dream-like and riveting experience.
Las Vegas Family Vacation Summer Season
Resort pools are another great option when visiting Las Vegas with kids. In general, we find that hitting the pool between 9am and 12pm is the most family friendly time. Most people are still sleeping, and it is easier to find premium seating at the pool. Many resorts have more than one pool so you can choose the one that is best for your Las Vegas family trip.
Las Vegas Winter Season Bonus
Ice Skating at The Park
If you find yourself in Las Vegas with your family in December or early January, rent some ice skates and glide around a rink behind New York New York. The skating rink is in the The Park and very easy to find. Ice skating in Chicago during winter can be rather frigid so I thoroughly loved ice skating on a balmy 58°F (14°C) day.
Final Thoughts On A Las Vegas Family Vacation
Las Vegas has been one of our favorite travel destinations for years, and since we know the city so well I knew we could have great Las Vegas family vacations. The over the top nature of everything in Las Vegas means endless options for entertainment and a surprising number of Las Vegas family friendly activities.
My daughter has had such a great time on our Las Vegas family vacations she keeps asking when she can go back. For more Las Vegas with kids ideas check out this article with all the fun stuff we did off the Las Vegas Strip.
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