Las Vegas is no longer for adults only. Where else can your children dine next to an aquarium, watch lions play with beach balls, ride a roller coaster, swim in a river, shop at the Disney store, ride the monorail, and eat all their favorite foods all in one day. Years ago, Las Vegas decided to make itself family friendly. The result has been an expansion of rooms to include suites at many of the major hotels and the addition of huge arcades and amusement park rides.
You no longer have to worry that your kids will go the way of the Griswolds in Vegas Vacation where son Rusty gets lucky with the dice and is adopted by a gangster family. One of the top strip hotels for families is The MGM Mirage. Glittering like the green glow of the City of Oz, this behemoth of a hotel is one of the first you’ll spot on your approach into McCarran Airport. You can even check in and pick up your room key right in the airport, a plus if you’re traveling with small children. Once there, the fun begins. Perhaps you’d like to have lunch in the Rain Forest Caf listen to the sound of rain under your canopy of trees while eating, but be advised that the kids won’t want to stay long because the LIONS are just around the corner. In an enclosed glass structure, lions frolic with each other and their trainer. Due to their excellent care, they live twice as long in captivity as they would in the wild, and best of all, at night, they go home to a much larger natural habitat. The MGM pleases adults and children alike with its complex of five swimming pools. The mall shops between the hotel and pool have everything from high end boutique items to children’s toys.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK is a fun place to stay. If you have a room that looks out on the roller coaster, you’ll hear the screams every time it passes. Of course, that means that your kids will want to go again and again. New York, New York also has a nice seasonal pool and a children’s arcade.
EXCALIBUR is like staying in a castle. From the moment you cross the drawbridge, you’re in the land of knights and damsels even the restrooms are marked that way. The jousting match dinner is a must see for kids older than 5 or 6.
Traveling to Las Vegas doesn’t have to be about staying on the Strip. If you have very young children or are going to be there for a week for a convention, you may want to consider some properties just a short distance away. The DESERT ROSE has two bedroom apartments complete with a full kitchen and two bathrooms. It’s only a five-minute walk from the Strip so you can take your little ones over to enjoy child friendly activities in the daytime and yet go back to the apartment for naps and evening. There’s a nice swimming pool and best of all, no cigarette smoke. The management is very attentive. Tell them you’ll need a crib and they’ll have one waiting for you on arrival. Breakfast which consists of bagels, breads, ham, hard boiled eggs, Danishes, fruit, juice, milk, and coffee is complimentary. Compare that with the $12 to $15 you’ll pay for even two eggs scrambled in most hotel coffee shops (and that doesn’t include the coffee) and you’ve got a real bargain.
Another great choice is RESIDENCE INN LAS VEGAS SOUTH. It’s a bit further from the strip at 5875 Dean Martin Drive but still only a 15 minute walk from Mandalay Bay and is close to a shopping mall… There’s a free shuttle to MGM and Mandalay Bay. Residence Inn has free; yes really free, High Speed Internet access, a 24 hour market. exercise room, and a beautiful pool and spa. A hot complimentary American breakfast (eggs and waffles) is served every day. Your suite will include a full kitchen and separate areas for eating, sleeping, working, and relaxing
So if Las Vegas beckons, by all means take the kids. Your family accommodations are waiting.