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December 31, 2015

Traveling to Las Vegas with Kids



Prior to going to Las Vegas with the kids earlier this year, I was very apprehensive.

To many (including myself), Las Vegas is known for its gambling, parties, and nightlife - in other words, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." I don't ever recall seeing any marketing geared towards families. In fact, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, for 2014, only 10% of its 41-million-plus visitors were under 21 (the average age of a visitor was 45.2 years).

Even though I've read articles online discouraging parents from taking kids to "sin city," I know a lot of people who've traveled to Vegas with their kids and had a nice time.

Since my husband and I don't gamble, we knew we wouldn't be disappointed if we didn't deposit a single cent into the slots, so after doing lots of research, we planned two full days of family-friendly fun!

There are kid-friendly hotels in Vegas, and although the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino may not be the first hotel to pop into one's mind when thinking of family-friendly hotels in Las Vegas, I found the hotel to be a perfect place to stay.
Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino
Although most of the guests were adults, we did see a few families. An adjacent Las Vegas Monorail stop and kid-friendly dining made the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino ideal.

Speaking of dining, there are many restaurants that are kid-friendly in Vegas, most of which offer kids meals.
Enormous Kids' Pancakes at Hash House A Go Go
And there are plenty of activities for kids.

We found plenty to do -  the Fremont Street Experience, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, and M&M's World were just a few highlights, and there were many other things we wanted to do, but we just didn't have the time.

M&M's World
There are a few things to watch out for, however, when taking the kiddos to Vegas.

People dressed up in costumes are aplenty - Mickeys, Minnies, Transformers, Olafs, and more - entice your kids to take photos with them in exchange for a tip.

And then there are those who are wearing barely anything who solicit photo ops.  They don't go after the kids, of course, but seeing adults wearing next-to-nothing walking past your kiddos is a bit awkward.  I had to shield my kids from protruding body parts on more than one occasion.

We did walk around at night to see all of the dazzling, colorful lights, but we made sure to not stay out too late.  Even at 9pm we did encounter some boisterous (drunk) young adults, as well as a couple who was fighting and yelling expletives in the middle of the sidewalk, but other than that, the Vegas crowd was mild.

So if you're thinking about going to Las Vegas with the kids, do it!  Our family had a blast, and we'd definitely take the kiddos again!

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