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In December we did a quick 2-night stay in Las Vegas. Yes, we did Las Vegas with young kids.  Yes, and while I’m pregnant too. Click here to read all about our recent trip.

Though Vegas might not initially seem the prime vacation spot in our given situation, it ended up being a perfect trip for us. And it could be for you too – just because you have young kids (or don’t/can’t drink) it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a Vegas Vacation and I’m here to show you how you can do it too! 

(Note: this post is NOT sponsored nor was I given free product to review! I’m just sharing my true, paid-for experiences in case it helps others who are considering doing Las Vegas with young kids too. 🙂 )

Why visit Las Vegas with kids? 

I’ll be honest – Las Vegas is not for everyone, nor every family. It really depends on what you want from a vacation. If you’re looking to relax, you like good food and drink, you enjoy playing cards or slots, you want to see some unique shows, or you live relatively close so the trip is a quick jaunt – then Las Vegas might end up being the perfect place for you to visit. Yes, even with your kids. 

Is the Las Vegas Strip family-friendly?

While I wouldn’t exactly call the Las Vegas Strip “family-friendly”, I wouldn’t call it “family-hostile” either. When you’re bringing kids to Vegas, you’ll need to be aware that there are (obviously) many parts of Las Vegas that are off-limits to minors. You can’t take kids on the casino floor with you and it’s frowned upon to take them to the finer dining establishments as well. As you walk around with your kids, you may even get occasional unwelcome glances from passerby wielding yard-length margaritas who don’t want their day drinking party life interrupted by ugh, children

If this happens, you can just ignore the haters. Children are part of our human existence and you don’t turn into a loser who isn’t allowed to ever get out and enjoy life once you become a parent. Kids learn how to interact with the world by the example of their parents. we don’t live under a rock that we don’t just cease being a human being once we have children.

However, you’ll also find that there are many parts of Vegas that are more than happy to accommodate families with young kids. You just might have to look around a bit.

Can we do Las Vegas with kids for cheap?

Um…you kind of can’t. I don’t mean to discourage you, and I know that there are plenty of sites out there that claim to tell you how to do Las Vegas for less…but…you can’t really think of Las Vegas as a “budget-friendly destination” and still enjoy it as Vegas should be enjoyed. While there are certainly many ways to be wise with your spending, Las Vegas is known for its opulence and overindulgence and you’ll want to be willing to spend some money in order to best appreciate it.

You don’t have to go overboard though. Your best bet is to figure out what you most want to get out of the trip and then plan to pay for the premium service for that experience over all else. See the next section for examples. 

What is there to do in Las Vegas with kids? 

Plenty! It all depends on what you want to do. There’s no way to do it all on one trip, so it’s best to choose what’s most important to your family and then plan to spend premium dollar on that activity and make the most of it. Here are some examples:

  • Paris casino cabana
    Poolside Cabana life at Paris Casino. Pre-kids, circa 2010.
    If hanging out poolside is important, make an entire day of it and shell out the big bucks to rent a cabana. Depending on where you’re staying, cabana rental typically comes with free water, juice, and snacks as well as table service (which is a huge benefit to be able to order drinks directly rather than waiting in line at the pool bar!). Additionally, many cabanas offer misters, A/C, a mini-fridge, etc as well as access to semi-private and private pools. You can always bring in your own PB&J sandwiches or other food/drink if you’d like to avoid expensive food menu prices.
  • If seeing as many sights as possible is important, consider buying an unlimited pass to the Las Vegas monorail, so that you can hop on/off as desired. Or a Las Vegas Power Pass or Go Las Vegas Card (Right now, there’s even a Groupon offer available for a Go Las Vegas Card – check it out!) 
  • If fine dining and drinking is important, look into hotel babysitting services so you and your spouse can get out and enjoy your meal and drinks alone.
  • If cards, slots, or gambling is important, then either take turns swapping off who gets the kids and who gets to play – or pay for a sitter so you both can go sit at a table or machine together for a couple hours. 
  • Or if simply chilling is the most important thing to you, then invest in an upgraded room, let the kids watch hotel tv all day and “swim” in the jacuzzi bathtub while the grownups order room service and enjoy cocktails while relaxing on nice cushy beds and appreciating amazing window views! 
Basically, the best way to enjoy Vegas is to choose 1-2 things you care about the most, forget all the rest, and then pay an upgraded fee to better enjoy the things you most want to enjoy.

Tips for enjoying a visit to Las Vegas with the kids.

#1 – choose the hotel/casino you plan to stay at wisely. While you can get cheaper deals off-strip, if you plan to spend any time at all on The Strip (which you probably will, since that’s where everything is), you’ll likely have a more enjoyable time paying the extra money to stay on-strip. 

#2 – Strongly consider the non-casino hotels. Personally, KP and I have stayed at Vdara (part of CityCenter, right next to Aria casino) the past 3 times we’ve gone to Vegas with kids and we’ve loved it there. All the rooms are suites that come with a kitchenette so you can bring in your own groceries. And because it’s a non-smoking, non-casino hotel, it tends to be MUCH more welcoming of families. We also love how central it is to everything on The Strip and within easy walking distance to any of the sites we want to see. Aria is a few steps one way, with a connecting tunnel to Monte Carlo; Bellagio is a simple bridge the other way. 

Other non-casino on-strip hotels include:  

What should you NOT do when visiting Las Vegas with kids in tow?

  • DON’T expect it to be the same experience as when you went to Vegas pre-kids. This might be a really good thing though… 😉
  • DON’T expect your kids to act like little adults. They will still be kids and throw fits and whine and need to use the bathroom at totally inconvenient times. Patience is key in all things parenthood.
  • DON’T go during a holiday weekend. Or any weekend at all if you can avoid it. Mid-week is way better to go to Vegas if you’re going to go with kids. 
  • DON’T plan too much to do. Everything takes longer with kids. They need snacks and potty breaks and calm down time. Plan ONE major thing each day you’d like to do; if you end up having extra time, you can squeeze in other quick activities as the day permits. 
  • DON’T think you can do it all in a single trip. You won’t be able to play a poker tournament, and see a show, and hit the hot nightclubs, and walk the strip, and lounge in the pool, and see the shark reef, and enjoy a spa day all in a single 3-day vacation. You can’t do it all, so don’t even try. Pick one or two things you care about the most and focus on those. 
  • DON’T take your kids out at night. Daytime in Vegas is fine for families; but nighttime is for adults only. There’s not really an exception to this. When it gets dark, put the kids in bed, and:
    a) hire a (ridiculously expensive) babysitter through the hotel babysitting service so you two can go out alone,
    b) take turns going downstairs to play slots or cards by yourself while the other relaxes in a bath,
    c) order fancy room service and make cheap cocktails you brought the ingredients from home yourself and lock the bathroom door so you take a shower together. 😉
    Or, best yet:
    d) vacation with another couple w/kids and swap babysitting nights so that you each get a turn to go out alone! 

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