Visiting the Las Vegas Strip with Kids

I spent the last 15 years living 2 hours north of Las Vegas. As our family began prepping for a move that would take us 1200 miles away, I realized I had never taken my kids to Vegas (it loses its luster when you live that close!).  I scooted down to Las Vegas (sans husband) with my 4 kiddos (ages ranging from 7 to 12) and had the Las Vegas of 15 years ago stuck in my head. Let me prepare those of you who have not been there before, or haven’t been for a while, that Vegas is no longer a family-friendly city. It is moving towards adult entertainment again and isn’t ashamed.  Not only was I a single mom walking my kids down the strip, I took them on a Friday night.  That was an adventure!  Let me help you make your Vegas Strip outing with kids fun and safe and tell you the key places to hit when you have kids in tow.

Where To Park

This is a BIG decision if you don’t want to burn the kids out walking for hours. A lot of the kid-friendly items we love are found on the south end of the strip. If you will have a car, or need a spot to be dropped off, I recommend landing at the Excalibur. You will be charged for parking per hour (unless you are a Nevada resident). Parking can be paid via credit card upon exiting the hotel you park at.  You will want to weigh the cost of being uber’d in, or parking.  We spent around 4 hours in parking and paid $10.

 

The Excalibur: Fun Dungeon Arcade

If we started here first, I’m sure the kids wouldn’t have felt the need to visit anything else.  The Excalibur is made for kids with things like Fun Dungeon Arcade and Tournament of Kings Dinner & Show. They have the best walking escalators (if NO ONE is on them…let the kids run down to the inside of the Excalibur: cheap thrill!). Stand for a photo-op with the purple dragon statue.  The kids will love this hotel.

Where: Bottom of Excalibur Hotel, 3850 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

Fee: No Entrance Fee; Cost of arcade games

 

M&M’s World

A MUST visit if you ever are in Las Vegas. 4 floors of everything M&M.  Of course the best part for any kid is the wall of candy! Colors you will never see anywhere else! You can also customize M&Ms and so much more. One of my personal favorites is the escalator ride up to the 2nd floor where you get to see how the M&M characters have changed over the years. Be sure to take the time to wander through the entire store. Plenty of fun photo-ops for the kids.

Where: Near the corner of the Strip and Tropicana Ave (next door to the MGM Grand Hotel)

Fee: No Entrance Fee; only pay for what you buy

 

 

The Coca-Cola Store

Being an avid Diet Coke drinker, I knew I couldn’t miss this store. The kids absolute favorite will be the drink bar upstairs. Make sure you take the time to order the International Tray (or International Tray AND Rootbeer Tray).  The International Tray will provide you sips of flavors from around the world.  There were definitely more “bleck!” flavors than yummy ones. I don’t think I’ll be drinking a can of soda that tastes like Listerine any time soon.  This was a highlight of the trip for all the kids. They still talk about it!

Where: Near the corner of the Strip and Tropicana Ave (next door to the MGM Grand Hotel)

Fee: No Entrance Fee; only pay for what you buy

 

Hershey’s Chocolate World

Holy chocolate and peanut butter heaven! Is there much else that I need to say?  Chocolate Lady of Liberty and Twizzler statues?! Yes, please! Not to mention any kind of Hershey’s candy you could want. Peppermint Hershey Kisses all year long? You bet! Besides, once you’re in the New York-New York, head upstairs for a ride on the The Big Apple Coaster and gaming time at the Arcade.

Where: Inside the New York-New York Casino

Fee: No Entrance Fee; only pay for what you buy

 

The Park: Art Installations

Between New York-New York and the Monte Carlo is an area called “The Park”. It is a strip of restaurants and retail stores, however the nighttime hit is the art installations. My kids loved the water walls and the shade structures. Make sure to visit this area at night!

Where: Located between hotels New York-New York and Monte Carlo; along the sidewalk.

Fee: No Entrance Fee

 

The Fall of Atlantis Free Show

The Forum Shops in Caesars Palace house a beautiful aquarium and free entertaining show called “The Fall of Atlantis”. The 50,000-gallon saltwater aquarium circles the center of the shops and acts as the stage for the free show which plays every hour starting at 11 A.M.  This area will fill up fast right before show time so I suggest planning on arriving early and hanging out for a bit to make sure you can get a good place to sit/stand and watch.  Besides–The Cheesecake Factory is right.there. I mean…it’s a must stop.

Where: Located inside Caesars Palace Forum Shops at the intersection of the Strip and Flamingo Road.

Fee: No Entrance Fee

 

The Fountains at Bellagio

The Fountains at Bellagio put on a wonderful free water show each night beginning in the early afternoon and ending at midnight each day.  The show begins every half hour from 3PM-8PM and every 15 minutes from 8PM-Midnight.  Simply find a place along what sidewalk facing the Bellagio pool and wait for the fun to start!

After the show, be sure to head inside to visit the free Bellagio Conservatory.  It is an impressive horticulture display with beautiful floral sights you won’t see anywhere else!

Where: Located outside the Bellagio Hotel at the intersection of Flamingo Road and the Vegas Strip.

Fee: FREE (Fountains and Conservatory)

 

Las Vegas has so much to see and experience that you will never be able to do it all in one day. Make sure you map out your visits and allow a few days, or visits, to get it all in.  As a mom who walked down the Strip at night with 4 kids, 12 and under, let me give you a heads up on a few things that parents will want to know about ahead of time.

NEED TO KNOW WHEN VISITING THE STRIP WITH KIDS:

  • There will be men and women trying to hand adults cards everyone on the sidewalks. DO NOT TAKE THEM. These are for adult entertainment and…er..activities.  The kids will see these all over the ground and most are women in minimal clothing (or covered only by star graphics).
  • Show Girls will be present on the strip. They are in full costume advertising different shows. More than half of them will be topless with pasties covering their top-half area.
  • There are homeless people most every where.  You can’t really get around this and it’s best to just prepare the kids as well.  We see them laying in the middle of the sidewalk, all along the skybridges, underneath hedges in front of the hotels–every where.
  • There is a lot of drunk individuals and this only escalates at night. If you choose to walk down the sidewalk with the kids, keep them close. There are a lot of people and they can easily get pushed around.  I never allowed my 7 and 8 year old to walk without holding my hand.  My 10 and 12 year old were to never to allow another person to get between me and them.
  • Adult shops and scantily clad women are on advertisements everywhere. They just are…so…get ready.

I personally would recommend day outings with the kids and retreating to your hotel for swimming and hotel fun at night. The Strip at night gets crowded and is an adult playground.  You won’t see many children out with the parents after 8pm on the Strip.

Looking for more kid-friendly attractions in Las Vegas?  Don’t forget to check these out!

 

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