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Kid-Friendly Vegas. 10 things to do in Sin City - 5 of them free! Babble.com.

Kid-Friendly Vegas

10 things to do in Sin City – 5 of them free!

by Sunny Chanel

September 23, 2009

 

2

Back in the day, your visit to Vegas may have included blackjack tables, countless free cocktails and treks to strip clubs – all contributing to a very long and utterly lost weekend. But if you’ve opted to procreate, there may come a time when you – through circumstance or by choice – bring your children to Las Vegas, Nevada. Your indiscretions of past trips will undoubtedly be replaced with sippy cups, diaper bags and an altruistic attempt to transform Las Vegas from sin city to something more akin to a neon laden toddler town. If you’re Vegas bound, here are ten squeaky clean, totally vice free family friendly things to do with those kids of yours. And lucky for you, half of them are completely free. – Sunny Chanel

 

Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand

There’s a lot of wild behavior in Las Vegas so the lions in residence at the MGM Hotel & Casino are right at home. The Lion Habitat at this gigantic property is a refreshing respite among the shops selling tacky casino clothing, overpriced jewelry stores and variety of eateries selling fried this and that. The lion tamers put on the occasional presentation, but just strolling by and being able to walk by, around and under the glass enclosures where the lions are kept, is worth the visit.

Cost: Free

 

Circus Acts at Circus Circus

Circus Circus ain’t the Bellagio, but they rise in status with families due to their goodies – albeit cheesy funky goodies – for the kids. The hotel/casino features the Carnival Midway with a permanent circus in rotation. Acrobats, jugglers, flying trapeze performers, contortionists, aerial silk dancers and magicians from all over the globe perform free, yes free, at this totally kid friendly destination. And if the kids get their fill of circus acts, they can play about 200 games for fun and prizes.

When: All day from 11am.

Cost: Free

 

Gondola Ride at the Venetian

Cheaper than a flight to Italy, this Venetian-style gondola, with an appropriately attired gondolier, leisurely winds its way through the man made waterways surrounding the Venetian Hotel and Casino during its fourteen minute voyage. The Gondola only fits four, so if you have a big family some may have to stay on land, but hey, they can take pics of your ride, so that might be a good thing. It may pale in comparison to the real thing, but for a little manufactured culture it ain’t too shabby.

Cost: $16 per person. Children under 2 are free

 

Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

My kid, she has a shark fetish. She loves them. Thinks they’re just adorable. So the Shark Reef exhibit at the Mandalay Bay is a must-see experience for my family. This is North America’s only predator based aquarium, which seeing that it is in the land of casinos . . . it’s a pretty poetic placement. This massive exhibit features over 2,000 predatory creatures cold chillin’ in 1.6 million gallons of water. Along with the wide variety of sharks, there are crocodiles, piranhas and giant rays.

Cost: Adults $16.95, Children 12 years old and younger $10.95, Children 4 and younger admitted free.

 

Volcano Mirage

Like a science project on steroids, the Volcano at the Mirage explodes with heat, thunder and fire. The eruptive action includes music (by the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Indian tabla star Zakir Hussain) to create an explosive experience without the risk of that whole hot molten lava thing.

When: Every hour from 8pm to Midnight

Cost: Free

Kid-Friendly Vegas

10 things to do in Sin City – 5 of them free!

by Sunny Chanel

September 23, 2009

 

2

 

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat

Siegfried and Roy may be out of the limelight these days but their animals are still center stage. At their Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage Hotel and Casino there are lions, tigers and dolphins – oh my! In this tropical setting you can get up close to exotic white lions, white tigers, panthers, leopards and a slew of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins . . . all who just happen to now reside in the middle of the Nevada desert, which just reminds you that Vegas is totally weird.

Cost: Adults – $15/ Kids 4-12 – $10/ under 3 – free

 

Bellagio Fountains

Check out what the Bellagio calls “the most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived . . . against the beautiful backdrop of Las Vegas’ lavender sky.” Yeah, they know how to sell a fountain. Outside of the Bellagio’s main entrance, giants spurts of water explode from their grotto all in time with some old school opera, a classical piece or the occasional show tune.

When: Every 15 or 30 minutes depending on schedule

Cost: Free

 

New York, New York Roller Coaster

Here’s the opportunity to jet through New York in a taxicab but smack dab in the middle of the Las Vegas desert. Although a real New York cab ride can be fraught with danger, this is an even more daring ride. This cab does a 144 foot drop, goes through loops, corkscrews and a “180-degree heartline spiral.” Cabbies can drive pretty crazy, but not that crazy. But be warned, this attraction is pretty damn popular so you’ll probably end up waiting for a while before getting to hitch your own ride.

Cost: $14 per person

 

Pinball Hall of Fame

To get in touch with your inner pinball wizard, pay a visit to the Pinball Hall of Fame. Your kids may not even know what a pinball machine is, but this a perfect place to introduce them to an old school pastime. The pinball palace, which is the laregest collection of pinball machines in the whole wide world, features games from the 1950s to the 90s with a focus on the older games – the ‘heyday.’

Cost: Free

 

The Ritz Carlton Resort at Lake Las Vegas

When I think of lodging in Vegas I think lobbies with a non-stop din of slot machines, darkness making every hour feel like eleven p.m., and the constant veil of lingering cigarette smoke. A good place for your kid? Not so much. So, where do you stay when going to Vegas with the kids in tow? Lake Las Vegas – in particular the Ritz Carlton Resort. The Italian inspired hotel is situated in the heart of this eclectic resort community located twenty minutes outside of Las Vegas proper. When you think of the Ritz, you may not think ‘child friendly.’ But they actually cater to the tiniest of guests. This Ritz features a special check-in area just for the underage set. Special features like a scavenger hunt – which takes them all over the property – will totally make your kid’s trip. If you’re feeling the need for some ‘personal’ time away from your offspring, you can drop them off at the Ritz Kids Club, where counselors will keep them busy with crafts and projects. And room service? They have all the kids’ classic favorites from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to mac and cheese.

If you can spare the extra bucks, splurge on the Club Level rooms. Not only do you have access to drinks (including wine, beer and the occasional cocktail), snacks and various spreads throughout the day (from breakfast to dessert), but there are games for the kids like Candy Land, Connect 4 and Sorry and oodles of cookies and candy . . . which may or may not be a good thing. For outdoor adventures, there’s a big ‘ole pool and a white sand beach for frolicking. Best of all, it is a non-smoking hotel with not a single solitary slot machine in sight. You’d never know you were anywhere near the wilds and wickedness of Las Vegas.

Rates vary.

Article Posted 6 years Ago
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