Las Vegas isn’t all about gambling and strippers. While there is plenty of that to go around, there are tons of things kids can do and see. If you want to visit the area as a family, be intentional about hitting the family-friendly attractions while there. You can have a very enjoyable vacation whether you have 1 or 10 kids in tow.
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Our recent visit to Las Vegas was put on our schedule so that I could attend a chiropractic conference. Once the kids knew we would be heading there for a week, they got super excited. Why? Because they had read that Las Vegas has the highest electricity bill of any U.S. city. Basically, they were interested in seeing all the lights.
While I did warn them that they’d see a lot more than lights, I made sure we intentionally hit as many of the family-friendly spots as possible. Here’s our list of 25 Las Vegas attractions every kid will love.
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South of the Strip
South of the Las Vegas strip is where you’ll find one of the best family hotels in Las Vegas. The Silverton Hotel and Casino is just off Las Vegas Fwy and Blue Diamond Rd and is home to a giant aquarium full of tropical fish. There are also real mermaids that call this aquarium their home. Interactive fish feeding shows occur twice daily and Mermaid swims occur three times per day every Thursday through Sunday. You can find the scheduled mermaid swims here.
7 Magic Mountains
Ten miles south of Las Vegas you’ll find 7 towers of large rocks stacked and painted in bright neon colors. You can’t miss it! 7 Magic Mountains is a public art display that originally was only supposed to stay in the area for 2 years but has been granted a permit to remain on display until 2021. Kids love the bright colors and are enamored by how these large boulders were stacked on top of each other without falling over. It makes for great educational conversation and even better photo ops.
Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
Everyone has to get a picture with the Las Vegas Sign! Just be prepared for numerous laps around the parking lot and a long wait in line. To avoid lines, get there bright and early in the morning or go late at night. We showed up around 9 AM and there was already a long line and no parking. We opted for a different Las Vegas sign inside the shops at Caesar’s Palace instead.
Downtown Las Vegas
Fremont Street Experience
The iconic SlotZilla zip line is sure to please the kids no matter if they want to ride or not. Twelve stories above Fremont street is a giant slot machine that has side-by-side zip lines for those that want to see all the action from above. Thrill-seekers can choose from two different zip lines…a seated zip line only 7 stories up or a superhero-style zip line that’s 11 stories up. Riders on the seated zip line travel 2 street blocks while the superheroes have a 5 block flight while bystanders watch from below.
Viva Vision Light Show
During the evening hours, the Viva Vision light show takes place on the screens high above Fremont Street. These screens are the largest in the world and highlight a different show every hour. Plan to stick around for a couple of hours to get in more than one show, as they are absolutely spectacular!
Head into the Golden Nugget Casino to check out The Tank. This is a pool and shark tank in one. If you’re brave enough, hit the waterslide which goes right through the shark tank. If you’re not staying at the resort, there is a fee to swim.
Hash House A Go Go
Let’s just say the pancakes and waffles are twice the size of your head. And what child doesn’t love pancakes or waffles? Hash House A Go Go is absolutely a dining must for the family. It’s located in the Plaza Hotel and Casino towards the west end of Fremont Street.
Downtown Container Park
While we didn’t make it to this attraction, it is on our list of must-dos the next time we’re in the area. The Downtown Container Park is located a few blocks east of the Fremont Street Experience. It’s a shopping center designed out of old abandoned shipping containers. Not only are there shops to explore, but there are a variety of restaurants, artwork designed from recycled materials, live entertainment, and a unique kids playground called The Treehouse.
Cost: FREE to explore
Bellagio Hotel and Casino
Fountains of Bellagio
Who knew fountains could be choreographed to music to dance in front of our eyes like a perfect little ballerina? Each show is unique, so be sure to stop by a few different times while you are in the area. If you catch a show during daylight, make it a point to get to one at night when the whole area is lit up. The shows are held daily approximately every 15-30 minutes depending on the day. You can check show start times here. The kids are sure to be mesmerized by the sights and sounds of this amazing water feature.
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden
Do your kids love flowers and foliage? Be sure to head to the conservatory located near the front desk of the hotel. Each season there are new themes, so no matter how many times you visit Las Vegas you’ll always find something new that will amaze you at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino
The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace
Even if your kids don’t like shopping, this is a must-visit. Take a leisurely stroll through the Forum Shops and admire the architecture, statues, and fountains that will make you feel like you are in ancient Rome. If you’re up for it, check out some of the luxury shops while your kids have fun on the benches and seats out in the mall common areas.
Fall of Atlantis
Be sure to trek your way to the very back of the Forum Shops to catch the animated statues show Fall of Atlantis. Every hour starting at 11 AM these statues come to life. While it’s not easy to hear due to all the other noise in the room and the echo of the characters’ voices, the kids will love the water and fire features during the show. And after it’s over you can walk around and check out the huge aquarium full of fish located just behind the show.
Circus Circus Hotel and Casino
If your kids love circus acts, then head to the center of the Carnival Midway in the Circus Circus Hotel for free entertainment. From juggling to trapeze artists, your kids will see some spectacular acts on the stage hourly. You can stand anywhere around the midway wall overlooking the stage or grab yourself on the benches directly in front of the stage.
What kid doesn’t love carnival games? Be prepared to bring your wallet, because every game you walk by will call your child’s name. If you’re looking for some serious fun, where you can lose money faster than sitting at a slot machine, then the Carnival Midway is the place for you!
Cost: FREE to $$$$
The Adventuredome is Circus Circus Hotel’s amusement park. There’s plenty to do for all ages: rock climbing, bungee jumping, mini-golf, roller skating, rollercoasters, arcade games, mini-bowling, junior rides, and more. There were free shows to watch as well, so if you don’t want to spend the money, you can just walk around and still find fun things to do.
Cost: FREE to $34/person
Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
Stop into the Flamingo Hotel and Casino and tour the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat. It’s home to Chilean Flamingos, ducks, swans, turtles, and fish. They also have pelicans and do pelican feedings twice daily. Professional photos with parrots are available for a charge. The foliage around this area is beautiful as well.
Cost: FREE (except for professional photos)
New York, New York Hotel and Casino
Hershey’s Chocolate World
If your kids can’t resist chocolate, then maybe you should leave this one out. In New York, New York Hotel and Casino, the two-story Hershey’s Chocolate World is a huge store full of everything Hershey. From giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to larger than life Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup bottles, you will leave feeling as if you just binged on chocolate even if you didn’t purchase a thing. And there are tons of fun photo opportunities here as well. I’ll warn you, it’ll be tough leaving without a delicious, yet nauseating treat from the in-store bakery.
Cost: FREE to explore
The Big Apple Coaster
The Big Apple Coaster is a unique thrill ride experience. Not only is it a rollercoaster, but it’s a coaster on top of a hotel. And if that wasn’t enough, they now have virtual reality rides on the coaster as well. This is a must-do for your coaster enthusiasts in the family.
Cost: $12 to $70
If the Hershey’s store didn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, then be sure to head over to M&M’s World after your done. This four-story chocolate heaven was the first M&M’s store in the world. Are you looking for a specific color of M&M’s or merchandise? They’ve got it. With all of their merchandise separated out by color, it will make anyone’s inner OCD tendencies very happy. Once you reach the top floor you can stock up on all your favorite colors of M&Ms and try out some new flavors if available. And don’t forget to take your photo with Red and Yellow.
Cost: FREE to explore
The Shops at Aria
While there’s not a whole lot that would excite the kids, The Shops at Aria typically have some nice art pieces throughout the building. There’s also one area where tornado-like water features can be found both in and above the floor of the shopping center. These will catch the kids’ eyes every time. And if mom wants to browse the stores, dad and the kids can head upstairs to the Starbucks for a refreshing drink and some downtime.
The Mirage Hotel and Casino is home to Las Vegas’ only active volcano. It fires off nightly at 8 PM, 9 PM, and 10 PM. This volcano eruption is set to music and will set off fireballs and loud explosions during the show. It’s definitely a spectacular attraction for the whole family.
Take Random Photos Along the Strip
Everything is over the top in Las Vegas, so don’t hesitate to stop at fun and quirky spots to snap a few photos. Many great photo spots can be found inside casinos, restaurants, and shopping centers. So grab your phone and let the kids get a little silly. Just beware the odd-looking superheroes and Star Wars characters walking around. They’ll expect a tip from you for taking a photo with your child.
See a Cirque du Soleil Show
You really shouldn’t go to Las Vegas without seeing a Cirque show. While there are many great ones that my husband and I have seen, we chose to introduce Cirque du Soleil to our children with the most inexpensive and most family-friendly one of the bunch: Mystere. The dancing and acrobatics had our kids on the edge of their seats the entire time. At the end, they couldn’t believe it was over.
There’s a variety of Cirque shows to choose from. If you have kids who enjoy music, you may consider The Beatles LOVE or Michael Jackson ONE. If you have kids who love battles and fights, you might want to choose KA. And if your kids enjoy water acrobatics, then O would be the show for you.
Outside of Las Vegas
Take a day to go out and explore Lake Mead. Or better yet, if you have an RV, consider camping at Lake Mead and driving into Las Vegas for day trips. There’s so much to see and do like fishing, hiking, biking, and boating.
Visiting Hoover Dam is a must! Our kids were in awe of how huge this dam is. And I think it surprised them that you could drive over it and be in Nevada one second and Arizona the next. You can walk/drive over the dam and check out the visitor’s center for free. Find pricing here if you’d like to take a tour of the dam. Also, take the time to visit the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (unless you’re afraid of heights). From there you will have a great view of the entire Hoover Dam area.
As you can see, you have many Las Vegas area attractions to choose from when taking a family vacation to the area. Even if you’re not wanting to gamble during your trip, you could easily spend three or four days visiting all of these family-friendly attractions and activities with your kids.