What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas when you bring your children. This trip was months ago and they are STILL talking about it.
As it turns out, Vegas can actually be an excellent family vacation. Ever since my children became addicted to the movie Boss Baby, all they have talked about was visiting Las Vegas. When my good friend Maggy told me about this awesome family trip she had planned to Vegas, I invited my family along too. Thanks Maggy for planning our vacation for us!
This was my first trip to Vegas even though I had driven through it countless times to get to LA. It never appealed to me. I’m not a “Sin City” person. Apparently there is an abundance of wholesome family activities and since we were in the hotel room by around 9 for bed time, we didn’t even feel the need to shield our innocent offspring’s eyes while walking on the Strip.
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Drive Time: 11 hours, plus an extra hour of traffic right when we got into Vegas. We had a lot of fun on our drive and even turned it into a mini trip in itself with the help of a website called Roadtrippers. I was able to find parks and cool attractions along the way. We left the house around 4AM and drove while the kids slept. It was a great decision, because by the time they woke up we were already 4 hours out and ready for our first stop for breakfast and a park.
Lodging: Thanks to the diligent research from Maggy, we stayed at a timeshare hotel called Tahiti Village. If you have ever stayed at a timeshare hotel, I know you’re probably picturing the harassment from the “timeshare people” to listen to a shortpresentation, but we didn’t even see one!! The hotel MADE the trip for us. It was family friendly IE no casinos and a little bit off the strip. The pool had a zero entry beach and a massive lazy river. In fact, with all of the lush tropical landscaping it felt like we were on an island.
The rooms were newly renovated and pristine and the well-stocked kitchenette made it easy to make a quick breakfast and a batch of margaritas for the afternoon.
If you fly into Vegas there is a complimentary shuttle (with built in carseats… what?!?!) to take you where you need to go including the airport, grocery store and of corse, the Strip.
Dates/Weather: We went right before the Spring Break rush at the beginning of April. The weather was a perfect 70-80 which was great for walking around town, but sometimes a little cold for the pool.
Bring Stroller?: We brought both ourdouble Bob and our umbrella stroller and ended up using the Bob for the bulk of the time. There are elevators and ramps everywhere and even with some sidewalk construction the Bob still fit though. I liked being able to strap both kids into the stroller when crossing large streets or walking through the huge parking garages.
Must See/Do: There are millions exhibits of things to do in Vegas that are family friendly, but most of them have a price tag. Out of interest of not spending our kid’s college tuitions on all the the attractions we scaled it down to one. Out of all of the options we decided to do the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. It was so much fun getting to see the variety of fish and sharks and the kids loved the touch tank and the albino alligator.
Pin-Up Pizza was an experience in itself with slices larger than your head and great service.
If we had more time we would have also liked to experience the High Roller.
How Was the Children’s Museum?: We stopped at the St. George Children’s Museum on the way into Vegas in St. George, Utah. I’m so glad we did, because now I can confidently tell you it was a waste of time. You could tell the museum had it’s glory days and all the remained was the carcass of a once loved past. It was dirty, missing all the toys in every exhibit and hot as can be. In fact, in one of the rooms the thermostat read 86 degrees. We did however, LOVE the St George Splash Pad outside the museum which had fountains, a stream and tons of places to sit. We should have taken a hint from the locals- all of which were outside at the splash pad and none of which were inside the museum.
Be Sure to Pack: If you drive into Vegas, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to bring a wagon just for loading an unloading your car. The hotel is large and there are very few rooms with close parking… and very few luggage carts.
Cost: $2,000… driving helped keep the cost low, but the hotel added up quickly. If you book earlier you will get a better rate. Maggy paid around $100/night while we were paying $195/night for the same room. The only difference was how much earlier she booked than I did.
Fun Fact: If you do decide to go hog wild with your mama bff and in a very sober state declare your need for a nose piercing (or tattoo), be sure to go off the strip in order to avoid paying a premium.