Las Vegas is an amazing city. Whether for a weekend of carefree fun or a home base for exploring the great deserts of the west, Las Vegas will amaze you with luxurious hotel rooms, amazing restaurants, and live shows. That said, it isn't exactly Disneyland. First off, it is a large city with many problems of all urban areas (homelessness, substance abuse, etc.). Further, people specifically go there to make bad decisions. There are many reasons to leave your kids at home for this trip. However, if you find yourself in Vegas with your kids, don't despair. You can still have a fun and wholesome family vacation in Sin City.
Somehow, I found myself in Las Vegas with my 8-year-old. He was working on landforms in his science class and he wanted to do a project about the landforms in Death Valley. Well, Las Vegas is the closest airport. I found myself booking tickets to Las Vegas for my 8-year-old.
First, in planning the trip, I wanted a hotel that was conveniently located but I didn't want to be walking through a casino all the time. We chose the Four Seasons. The Four Seasons is located adjacent to Mandalay Bay. It is a quiet, non-gaming hotel. There are some restaurants and a place to get coffee, but it isn't the mad house of a large strip hotel. The hotel has its own pool. The Four Seasons has all of the conveniences of a hotel on the strip without the crowds and casino atmosphere. Because it is connected to Mandalay Bay, you get access to the Mandaly Bay pool.
The pools in Las Vegas are some of the best hotel pools. Some, like the Mandalay Beach is practically a water park with its wave pool and lazy river. Also,there has been a trend of "day clubs" at the Las Vegas hotel pools. A happy side effect of the day clubs, is that the main pools tend to be much more family friendly. In years past, I would have been hesitant to take kids to the pools. Now, most of the people who want to have a more "adult" experience will go to the day clubs. While there, we reserved a daybed. Mandaly Beach has many different cabana type options. The pool had capacity limits and getting a daybed allowed us all day access to the pool. It was the perfect way to spend the morning and early afternoon in Las Vegas.
There are so many things to do in Las Vegas. They have ropes courses, escape rooms, aquariums. There is so much. We opted to check out the minus 5 Ice Bar in Mandalay Bay. They have a few other locations. My son loved seeing a mini sphynx, eating under a mini Eiffel Tower and getting cake from a vending machine. His favorite part was exploring the crazy hotels.
Overall, Las Vegas isn't a traditional family destination. However, it is a great jumping off point to explore Zion or Death Valley. The resorts in Las Vegas are some of the best in the country and are very reasonably priced. There are ways to avoid the more adult aspects of the city. The people are super friendly and accommodating with children. So if you are planning a trip to see some national parks out west or you just want a quick resort break, don't be concerned about taking the kids to Vegas.