Las Vegas may be known as “Sin City,” but nowadays it looks more like “Kid City.” In the new, kid friendly Las Vegas, you’re bound to see parents hand-in-hand with their children. Whether they’re walking down Las Vegas Boulevard or walking the shops of one of the popular hotels, children are a big part of the tourists and vacationers. The good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to entertain your kids if you decide to visit Las Vegas as a family.
The Vegas Strip: Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas Boulevard is where you’ll find all the fancy hotel and casinos. Children are not allowed in the casinos. They can walk through, but that’s about it. Yet, most of the hotels on Las Vegas Boulevard have an attraction for the entire family to enjoy for free.
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If you plan to walk with your kids, make sure you have bottled water, sunglasses, sun block, and good walking shoes. The Las Vegas strip goes on for blocks. My recommendation is to buy a city bus ticket for $7; one for everyone in the family. The bus makes pit stops in front of most of the big hotels. The bus ticket is good for 24 hours. It’s a beautiful ride both day (when it keeps you out of the heat) and night (when you can see all the lights of the boulevard).
FREEBIES IN LAS VEGAS
Mirage Aquarium: This is located right behind the hotel’s check-in desk. The 20,000-gallon saltwater tank has more than 1,000 coral reef animals. It’s also home to puffer fish, angelfish, and other sea animals.
Indoor Rain Forest: Just walk in the front doors of the Mirage hotel and you’ll walk right into the beautiful rain forest. Under a 100-foot-high dome, you’ll find palm trees, waterfalls, tropical flowers, and plants. This is great place to take photos with the family.
Atlantis Aquarium: Walk over to the Caesars Palace Forum Shops and right in the middle you’ll run into the round 50,000 gallon saltwater aquarium. The tank is home to more than 100 species of ocean life, including sting rays, sharks, and lots of tropical fish.
Fall of Atlantis: Don’t miss when the statues come alive in the Fall of Atlantis. This is a spectacular show with special effects. Your kids will be glued to the talking statues.
The Forum Shops: You’ll find these at Caesars Palace too. The shopping area is set up like ancient Rome. Browse through 160 boutiques and shops. There’s also a grand pedestrian plaza with escalators that wind up and down several floors. The décor and statues are breathtaking.
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: Just past the lobby inside the Bellagio hotel; you’ll find the conservatory and botanical gardens. Trees, plants, colorful flowers, ponds, and a merry-go-round are just a few of the attractions. This is another great place to take photos with your children.
Bellagio Water Fountains: Right in front of the Bellagio hotel are the beautiful fountains. The fountain dance to music starts in the afternoon, but it’s mesmerizing at night. The show runs every 30 minutes in the day and at night you can catch a show every 15 minutes.
City Bus Ride at Night: See the hotels all lit up at night from the comfort of an air conditioned bus. I think it’s safer than walking Las Vegas Boulevard at night when it’s packed with pedestrians headed to a show or a casino.
Singing Gondoliers: You’ll find gondolas going down a small canal that runs through the Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes. The gondola rides are not free, but the entertainment doesn’t cost a penny to watch. Watch and listen as the gondoliers belt out wonderful Italian songs to entertain their passengers. For a moment, you feel as though you’re in Venice.
Entertainment at the Grand Canal Shoppes: The Venetian has all types of entertainment at St. Mark’s Square in the middle of the Grand Canal Shoppes. This is a place where you’ll find different street performers, actors, and even classical musicians.
Fremont Street Light Show: A bus ride to downtown Las Vegas, also known as “the old Vegas strip,” is well worth it at night. A ceiling of millions of colorful lights covers Fremont Street. Your children will be in awe when they see the musical light show.
So next time you’re planning a get-away with the children, put some money on Vegas. It could be a new, fun destination for you and the family.