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Las Vegas Trip Itineraries

Las Vegas With The Kids

Destination(s): Las Vegas

Las Vegas may be known as an adult playground, but it still has plenty of things for families to do. Sight-seeing opportunities extend beyond the Strip and include outdoor and historical locations, but you could easily spend your entire vacation sampling the Strip’s assortment of family-appropriate attractions like rollercoasters and animal exhibits. Many parents feel that sight-seeing on the Las Vegas Strip is generally best done during the day, when you’ll encounter fewer of those adult elements that may make you want to cover your little one’s eyes. Watch out for pamphlet hawkers at all times of the day—they’re passing out adults-only ads. Later in the evening, as the general level of sobriety on the Strip decreases, you’ll want to head back to your hotel, or perhaps to a show. Magicians, knights, and blue men perform nightly in shows that will please the whole family. If you're itching to do some gambling, just remember that children are not allowed on casino floors, so check with the hotel for recommendations on childcare. –Thank you to Paul Little for his photograph of the Excalibur.— read more about Las Vegas With The Kids

Circus Circus Hotel & Casino

Circus Circus Hotel & Casino

  • 2880 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • Between Circus Circus and Convention Center Drs
  • tel:877/434-9175
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
MGM Grand Lion Habitat

MGM Grand Lion Habitat

  • 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • In MGM Grand
  • tel:702/891-7777
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89119
Springs Preserve

Springs Preserve

  • 3333 S. Valley View Blvd
  • tel:702/822-8344
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89107
Excalibur

Excalibur

  • 3850 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • At Tropicana Ave
  • tel:800/937-7777
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Rainforest Cafe

Rainforest Cafe

  • 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • MGM Grand
  • tel:+1 702 891 8580
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

  • State Route 159 from Charleston Boulevard
  • (17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip)
  • tel:+1 702 363 1921 (Information)
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89124

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area's towering cliffs look similar to the colorful rock formations in Nevada's Valley of Fire or Utah's Zion National Park, but while it's reminiscent of other areas, Red Rock stands by itself, a lone island of mountains and springs in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

West of Las Vegas, Red Rock sits off State Route 159 (follow Charleston Boulevard west and it will turn into SR159). Admission to Red Rock is $7 per vehicle, and includes admission to the new visitor's center, a map/newsletter.

The visitor's center integrates information, art, and the environment of Red Rock itself. Most of the displays are outside, which is fine for the vast majority of the year in Southern Nevada. Mojave Max, the center's desert tortoise mascot, lives here, along with a few of his friends. The hands-on displays explain the forces that created Red Rock: fire, wind, water, and earth. Keep your eyes open for the colorful birds flying in and out of the inside of the exhibit--the center of the displays is planted with native vegetation.

A one-way scenic drive takes visitors into Red Rock, and it has several places to stop for a hike or to take in a scenic vista; one area, adjacent to the Children's Discovery Trail, has a picnic area next to some springs. Water is plentiful here, so look for wildlife early in the morning and late in the day. You'll see lots of birds, but also look for burros and big horn sheep. Consult the map/newsletter to find a trail that fits your fitness and schedule. Short hikes, like the Children's Discovery Trail, can be completed in under an hour, while a trip to the top of Turtlehead Peak will take you half a day or more.

Winter is a great time to explore Red Rock. Temperatures are generally mild, but the mountains are covered in snow during the coldest months (dressing in layers is highly recommended). Spring and fall are short, but beautiful, with plenty of water from the snowmelt in the streams. Summer is usually far too hot for exploring Red Rock, although short hikes in the very early mornings are often doable. Remember to always bring plenty of water with you, no matter what the time of year, and sunscreen and lip balm are advisable. 

Hikers, bikers, and rock climbers flock to Red Rock. As you drive along the loop, look for the climbers dangling off the rocks of the Calico Hills, and always be on the lookout for bicyclists and pedestrians on the roadways.

This area was settled in the late 1800s, and you can find remnants of its prior history. At Sandstone Quarry, you can see where the blocks of sandstone were carved, and at Pine Creek, a short hike will take you to the foundation of an old homestead. Agave roasting pits and petroglyphs are evidence of far earlier inhabitation.
read more about Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Titanic: The Exhibition

Titanic: The Exhibition

  • 3900 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • In the Luxor
  • tel:702/262-4400
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89118
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

  • 3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
  • tel:+1 702 632 7777 / +1 877 632 7800 (Toll free)
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89119
Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat

Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat

  • 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • In The Mirage
  • tel:702/791-7111
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Salt Lick

Salt Lick

  • 10972 W. Charleston
  • In Red Rock Resort
  • tel:702/797-7535
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89144
The Roller Coaster at New York-New York

The Roller Coaster at New York-New York

  • 3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • Hotel New York New York Las Vegas
  • tel:+1 702 740 6969
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Shark Reef

Shark Reef

  • 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
  • tel:+1 702 632 4555 / +1 702 632 7777
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89119

The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay is an attraction that appeals to adults and kids. Tucked away in the back of Mandalay Bay by their conference rooms, the Shark Reef is a small exhibit, but stocked with a very unusual combination of creatures.

The jungle-ish feeling of the Shark Reef is enhanced by mist and faux stone artifacts, which go well with the giant reptiles and crocodiles. You'll see piranhas, eels, and jelly fish, and the baby sting ray display gives you the chance to touch the animals. 

The star attraction is the shark tank, but you'll see more than sharks here. This is where a ship wreck and a submarine meet. Large windows into the aquarium are all around, and you'll see more than one type of shark swimming past. Giant sea turtles are also drifting around in there, and the best way to see everything is to stop and take a while to watch what's swimming above and below you. Don't be afraid to wander back into the galleries before; it does feel like the ride comes to an end too soon, so to speak, so you can go back and take a second look.

The wands that are offered are worth the time it takes to stop and listen to each presentation. You'll learn more than you expected--and in Las Vegas, no less. The Shark Reef is an accredited aquarium, the only one in Nevada, and it's also the only predator-based aquarium in North America.
read more about Shark Reef

California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen

  • 3400 South Las Vegas Boulevard
  • Mirage Hotel
  • tel:+1 702 791 7111
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
SPEED: The Ride/Las Vegas Cyber Speedway

SPEED: The Ride/Las Vegas Cyber Speedway

  • 2535 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • In the Sahara hotel
  • tel:702/737-2111
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
The Adventuredome

The Adventuredome

  • 2880 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • Behind Circus Circus
  • tel:702/794-3939
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109

Las Vegas poses some challenges for families--namely, what to do with the kids. The Adventuredome at Circus-Circus is the Strip's only remaining theme park, and while it might not have the size or technology of larger theme parks like those in Southern California or Orlando, it's a good place to spend an afternoon with the kids. One of its best features is that it is indoors, a major bonus during the summer. You'll find rollercoasters (including the world's largest indoor, double-loop rollercoaster), laser tag, and miniature golf, all in a small indoor theme park that has the same circus midway feeling reflected in the rest of the property. If you're looking for upscale, top-of-the-line, brand-new rides, you may be disappointed--Circus Circus is known as a budget destination almost as much as a family destination. Circus Circus and Adventuredome are on the northern part of the Strip, closer to downtown and the grittier side of Las Vegas, which may turn some visitors off. But if you're hoping to find a reasonably-priced, G-rated place away from the slot machines and poker tables, Adventuredome has five acres of family-appropriate entertainment. Visitors can purchase all-day passes or buy tickets to individual rides for $4-$7 per ride. Signature rides include the Canyon Blaster, a 55 m.p.h. double-loop rollercoaster; Disk 'O, which spins riders in circles; Rim Runner, the requisite water ride; Chaos, a whirling, spinning ride that sends you in several different directions; and the Inverter, a ride that will flip you over and make you scream.

In October, the Adventuredome loses its family-friendly ambiance when it transforms into Fright Dome. Fog machines, haunted houses, and professional actors come together to turn the park into a place too scary for those under 12. Be prepared for crowds and lines; this attraction is also popular with the locals, especially teens.

read more about The Adventuredome

Stratosphere Tower

Stratosphere Tower

  • 2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • Stratosphere Hotel
  • tel:+1 702 380 7777 / +1 800 998 6937
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89104

The Stratosphere is America's tallest observation tower (1,149 feet) and one of the tallest structures west of the Mississippi River. At the very top, the daring get their adrenaline going on one of the thrill rides: The Big Shot, which shoots its riders into the air; the X-Scream, a teeter-totter that dangles you over the side; the Insanity, which spins you over a thousand feet of thin air; and the Sky Jump, where you can free-fall your way to the bottom.

You don't have to be a thrill seeker to visit the top of the Stratosphere. A rotating restaurant, the Top of the World Restaurant, takes advantage of the view to offer a memorable meal. You'll also find bars and lounges here.

Tickets to the top of the Stratosphere are $16. An indoor and outdoor observation deck are available. The Stratosphere's wedding chapel also offers services at the top.
read more about Stratosphere Tower

Taqueria Canonita

Taqueria Canonita

  • 3311 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • Venetian Hotel
  • tel:7024143773
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Stratosphere Thrill Rides

Stratosphere Thrill Rides

  • 2000 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • Atop Stratosphere Las Vegas
  • tel:702/380-7777
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Tournament of Kings

Tournament of Kings

  • 3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • Excalibur Hotel
  • tel:702 597 7600
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Steakhouse at Circus Circus

Steakhouse at Circus Circus

  • 2880 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • Circus Circus Hotel & Casino
  • tel:702 794 3767
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Lance Burton: Master Magician

Lance Burton: Master Magician

  • 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • In the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino
  • tel:877/386-8224
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Blue Man Group at the Venetian Las Vegas

Blue Man Group at the Venetian Las Vegas

  • 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
  • tel:(702) 414-9000
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Border Grill

Border Grill

  • 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • In Mandalay Bay
  • tel:702/632-7403
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89115