Glitzy casinos, wild nightlife and risqué strip clubs; Las Vegas is not somewhere you would expect to take your children. Young people under 21 are forbidden to loiter in casinos and there are curfews in place for minors. However, the entertainment capital of the world is full of surprises. If you look closely you’ll find plenty of child-friendly activities and attractions. Read our guide to find out why you don’t need to leave the kids at home.
Kids love theme parks and there are plenty of high-speed thrills to be had in Vegas. Where better to start than the five-and-a-half-acre Adventuredome, America’s largest indoor theme park. Built under a large glass dome in Circus Circus, a hotel and casino on the Strip, the park features a whole host of hair-raising rides. Travelling further down the main boulevard, you can’t miss the giant Big Apple Coaster at the New York New York hotel and 10 miles from here you’ll find the water-themed amusement park, Wet ‘n’ Wild.
As well as its huge gambling culture Las Vegas is also renowned for its spectacular stage shows, some of which will appeal to younger audiences. All generations will enjoy the Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino, featuring a whole host of magic from rope and card tricks to disappearing animals and shadow puppets. Back at Circus Circus, classic circus acts running throughout the day are guaranteed to wow the kids, and other family favourites worth a mention include Gregory Popvich’s Comedy Pet Show, The Ultimate Variety Show and Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère.
On the wild side
There are some things you’d never expect to find in Las Vegas like dolphins and snow tigers. But Las Vegas really does have it all! To keep the kids entertained these animals can be found at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage Hotel. The resort works to protect rare breeds of endangered big cats, and provides a healthy and nurturing environment for bottlenose dolphins. For more aquatic-themed attractions, drop by the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef and the enormous aquarium at the Silverton Hotel.
Hidden amongst the casinos, resorts, theme parks and show venues there is an unexpected collection of museums for both adults and children to uncover. To learn more about the local area head to the Nevada State Museum, the Natural History Museum or Bolder City’s Railroad Museum, where you can take a ride on a vintage train. Back on the Strip, a shocking yet informative showcase of 13 whole body specimens and over 260 organs can be found in an exhibition at the Luxor hotel. If this sounds too gory, how about Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Pinball Hall of Fame or the Discovery Children’s Museum.
Catering for children as well as the sweet-toothed, there is a heavenly selection of chocolate-themed attractions in Las Vegas. The Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden is a 15-minute drive from the Strip. As well as discovering how the delectable chocolate is made visitors can also wander amongst the 300 types of cactus in the garden next door! On the Strip itself, four floors of chocolate are available at M&M’s World and 800 types of Hershey’s brand products can be found at the huge Hershey’s Chocolate World store.
Beyond the boulevard
Don’t forget, if you want to escape the bright lights there are some great day trips from Las Vegas that all ages will love. The magnificent Grand Canyon can be enjoyed over a couple of days, and places even closer to visit include the Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead and the architectural marvel Hoover Dam.