Matt is much more analytical than I am and he thought I should start this article by telling you all about how Las Vegas tried to be super-family friendly in the 90s and it didn’t work out. The Excalibur had an arcade and was geared towards kids, and now they’re the home of Thunder from Down Under. MGM Grand used to have a theme park as big as Disneyland, but they gave that up and developed more towers and a bigger casino.
Vegas no longer markets toward families, but when we went with our kids last weekend for our cousin’s graduation from University of Nevada Las Vegas, we saw no shortage of families with little kids.
The Venetian. Why? The rooms are huge. Every suite has a downstairs level with a pullout couch, desk, second television and dining table. We did our usual with the two connecting rooms because my husband likes to have his own space. I’m not complaining though – it worked out beautifully. Scarlet and Sterling each had their own queen bed, the baby stayed with us “downstairs” and we all had plenty of space to really stretch out and feel vacation-y.
Pool Day. The Venetian is about to remodel their pool, but for now, they have an amazing kiddie pool*. It’s huge. The kids loved it. I had a pina colada before noon, and they had virgin daiquiris and played so hard they didn’t complain a bit about watching a movie in the room over Shep’s nap.
LAVO. The last time we went to LAVO was for New Year’s Eve before we were married. It’s a restaurant with a nightclub upstairs and we had a table and there were a ton of us. Matt picked his best man by who could stand to hold their cigar on their wrist the longest. Aye aye aye. We didn’t tell the kids that story yet. But they did get to go to dinner at their downstairs restaurant. They don’t have a kids’ menu, but they did a great job for them, and we got to have a big ol’ family dinner with my aunt and uncle from Pennsylvania to celebrate my cousin’s graduation.
Room Service. Hold the Mother’s Day presents and just give me two days of room service lattes and brekky. They didn’t have a dedicated kids’ menu (cause, Vegas) but we did a combo of ordering things the kids’ liked and bringing things from home they love.
Parent’s Night Out! Nana wasn’t with us on this trip, so we booked a babysitter through a nanny service. We used Five Star Sitters, who were recommended to us by a friend, and Zoyla, our sitter, won the kids over so easily they were pushing us out the door. (We put Shepherd to sleep and then left). But we got to get out and gambled a little and had some time to soak up Sin City.
Adventures with the Kids. They would’ve liked a second pool day, but we had to check out at noon, so we decided to get ready, pack up and hit the gondola ride at our hotel. After that, we met our family for a somewhat death-defying experience on The High Roller, Las Vegas’ 550-foot tall Ferris wheel. Shepherd and Matt were both a little nervous at first, but Shep was trying to nap on the floor by the end of the ride and Matt was glad he did it, too.
What we brought for the kids that I don’t usually travel with but, well, Vegas:
If you’re looking for even more kid-friendly entertainment, take a look at www.lasvegaskids.net.