Las Vegas is famed for gambling, drinking and late-night loving, but there’s more to Sin City than Lady Luck, strip joints and wedding chapels: it’s also a great place to bring the kids. The over-the-top extravagance of this city makes for a make-believe world to rival Disneyland, with enough entertainment options to keep kids of all ages engaged for much more than a weekend.
Check into the kid-friendly Red Rock Hotel, boasting a multi-screen movie theater, bowling alley and a supervised kid’s program, Kids Quest, which features a two-story climbing maze. Enjoy a meal at Cabo Mexican Restaurant, where you can fill up on authentic and tasty tacos, burritos and nachos without even venturing onto the Strip.
Just a stone’s throw away is Red Rock Canyon. Book one of the hotel’s outdoor adventures in advance; a host of activities from rock-climbing to kayaking are bound to tire the kids out before bedtime.
Once the little ones are all tucked in, the parents can head down to the hotel’s three acres of pools. Lie on the sand, drink in hand, and perhaps put down some money on one of the poolside gaming tables.
There’s only one way to begin a family weekend in Vegas, and that’s hopping on a helicopter from Papillon to get a bird’s-eye-view of the iconic Grand Canyon. Eschew the 5am start for a kid-friendly hour and make use of the complimentary shuttle service to and from your hotel. It’ll take four hours of your day, but this is a breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime experience that the whole family will remember.
Pre-dinner, stroll down the Strip and take a tour of the world through the sights of Sin City: drop by the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, see the pyramids at Luxor, the towering skyscrapers of New York-New York, the fountain show at the Bellagio, and The Mirage‘s volcano eruption, which takes place on the hour every hour.
For dinner, head to Excalibur for a medieval feast. Watch kings and countrymen battle it out with horses and jousting poles while you enjoy a scrumptious hog roast.
The next day, head to the 1,100-foot-tall Stratosphere Tower; topping it are no less than four rides, all guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping. For the daring and the over-14s, the SkyJump beckons: the opportunity to free fall 1,149 feet from the 108th floor may not be for everyone, but you won’t be likely to forget the experience.
Come down to earth with a bang at the Sega-/Universal-owned GameWorks inside Showcase Mall in the heart of the Strip, where there’s more than enough computer-generated action to keep ’em quiet for a couple of hours. For non-gaming members of the family, this complex also houses a cinema, shops and most importantly M&M’s World, the first stop for chocolate fiends.
Wrap things up with fab fast food at the Pink Taco, where the hip and hungry congregate for low-key dining within the cool, casual environs on the Hard Rock Hotel. The “pink taco” after which the restaurant is named is a homemade corn tortilla stuffed to the gills with beans, grilled chicken, avocados, pickled onions and salsa.
Gorge, napkin in-hand, before returning to the hotel to pack up. You’ll be sure to leave Las Vegas with a whole host of fun family memories.