We just returned from Las Vegas. With our entire family. Yes, you heard me correctly. We brought the twins and Mr. B on my birthday trip to Vegas…and we had a great time!
When I told people I was headed to Vegas to celebrate my big birthday, I got all the normal responses of excitement. Then, when I told them we were bringing the kids, they looked at me like I was a crazy person.
Here’s the thing. Even though they drive me crazy on a daily basis, I love my kids. I didn’t want to leave them behind. Each of us parents has been away from the kids for a couple of nights or so, but never at the same time. I’m sure they’d be fine, but I’m not sure if I would be…yet.
Las Vegas may seem like a strange spot for a family vacation, but we’ve been there enough times to know that it can be a really fun place for everyone.
Family Friendly Tips
If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, or never considered bringing your family there, I’ve come up with some tips to make it a great trip for everyone.
- Bring help Grandma and Grandpa came along on the trip with us. It’s just so much easier when the adults outnumber the children. They love Vegas, they love the children, and they love me, so it was an easy choice. If your parents don’t want to come, consider going with another family or even another family member like a cool Aunt or Uncle.
- Find a Family Friendly Hotel We picked a hotel that was set just a little bit back from the strip. It was not a casino, so there was no smoking. It also had a splash pad/pool for the kids, a full kitchen, and a separate bedroom. This allowed us to put the kids to bed, and still stay up in the living room. Plus, we could store milk (beer) in the fridge, make food in the microwave, and had all the utensils we needed. The price for the rooms was awesome. It was a lot less than most of the casino hotels, and the resort fee (which all hotels have there) was $10 cheaper.
- Find Family Friendly Activities Of course Vegas is known for its gambling and nightlife, but there is so much more. There are plenty of things to see and do for the entire family. We watched the fountains at the Bellagio, saw the Statue of Liberty and walked the streets of NYC at New York, New York. Then there was the giant Ferris Wheel at the Linq, and a free shuttle to an outdoor mall/play area. We rode the free tram to the Sphinx at the Luxor, Castle at Excalibur, and Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. We also saw the indoor thunderstorm at Planet Hollywood. There’s a giant M&M store, a volcano at The Mirage, the Eiffel Tower Experience, and you can ride a Gondola at the Venetian. There are also shows, like Blue Man Group, that are family friendly.
Budget Friendly Tips
- Plan your Budget Some of the activities are free, while others are not. It can get pricey if you want to do a lot of things, so make a budget ahead of time. There are many sites to find discounted tickets. Also, some activities, like the Ferris Wheel, are cheaper during the day. Just make a plan for what you really want to spend money on.
- Food Eating out for every meal can really get expensive. If you have a fridge in your room, like we did, it’s great to stock up at places like Walgreen’s and CVS, which are right on the strip. Plus, we always had leftovers from the kids, even though all three split a meal.
- Alternate nights out The great thing about traveling with Grandma and Grandpa is that they volunteered to babysit a couple of nights. One night, my husband and I met friends out and stayed out late. The next, we just went for dinner, so that my parent’s could then go out and gamble. One night my husband stayed in with the boys, while I went out gambling with my parents. The next, he took Mr. B out to see all the sights at night. The last night, me and my husband had a really nice date night, after everyone having a nice lunch together. It was really a great mix of family time and alone time. We spent most days all together, but I got to shop with my mom a few times, and my parents also got some alone time during the day.
- Stranger Danger Like any big city, there are TONS of people. No matter where you go, there are probably going to be crowds. Just make a plan to stick together. If you get separated, make a place to meet. There are usually security guards around the Casinos, so point those people out to your kids, in case they get lost. You don’t want them just asking a random person for help or going with someone they don’t know. There are now a lot of costumed characters on the Strip, which could be very tempting for little ones. Make sure you emphasize not to go with any of them.
- Stroller Even though our kids are 4 and 6, there is a LOT of walking in Las Vegas. We brought two really cheap umbrella strollers with us, and they sure came in handy. I think Mr. B was probably in the stroller most of all. The airlines let you bring them for free. You just can check them right at the gate, and they bring them to you when you land.
Not just The Hangover
Sure, Las Vegas can be a crazy place. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Well, it doesn’t have too. At least not all of it.
I had a really great time shopping, gambling, dining at restaurants, and even going out with friends, while still being able to spend time with my entire family. The boys got to see a ton of new sites, experience their first airplane ride (which they LOVED!!!) swim, and play.
Things that we, as adults, take for granted are so much fun for kids. The limo ride to the airport was amazing for them. Eating at restaurants, staying up late, and not taking naps probably made the whole trip worth it to them. Everything seems exciting when you look at it through your kids’ eyes.
So, what do you think? Would you take a family trip to Vegas? Have you been on a family trip somewhere else that people thought was a little strange?