Las Vegas isn’t really a top family destination, but with family road trip planning, many families opt to overnight in Sin City on their way to a final stop. Las Vegas tried to market as a family travel spot, but let’s face it, Vegas is really an adult destination. We’re not saying you shouldn’t take your kids to Vegas, just use common sense when you venture out after dark. Keeping that in mind, here are some of the best free family friendly things to do in Las Vegas that will keep even the littlest travelers entertained.
Catch a Ride – Once you park your family vehicle you can take public transportation or travel by foot. The monorail has to be one of my top suggestions for saving money in Las Vegas. A three day monorail pass can be less than the cost of a roundtrip taxi ride from your hotel. Plus, you can hop on and hop off as this transportation option runs along the strip. Keep in mind, you still will have to walk, but it does keep you out of traffic on The Strip.
Time Travel – Visit the Pyramids at Luxor and pay a few bucks extra to see a replica of King Tut’s Tomb. Maybe you’d rather look for a knight in shining armor at Excalibur or search for a Roman goddess at Ceasar’s Palace. Want to go forward instead of back in time? Check out the Las Vegas Hilton which is home to the former Star Trek attraction and has a few shops near the lobby area.
Sugar Rush – Next door to the MGM Grand is M & M’s World store which has a free display of our favorite candy characters. At the end of the tour, grab a free snack pack of these famous chocolate candies. The gift shop offers M & M’s in every color and logo items. Need something to wash down that candy? Hop next door to the World of Coca Cola and get a 14-16 flavor sampler from all over the globe. Price is $7 for the sampler and is located on the 2nd floor. After all this sugar, I would suggest walking the strip to wear off the sugar rush.
Dancing Fountains – No trip to Vegas is complete without a visit to the Bellagio’s water show. The fountains put on a light and music show every half hour from 3-8pm on weekdays and noon -8pm on weekends. After 8pm, shows run every 15 minutes until midnight. Can’t get enough? The Fall of Atlantis Fountain show runs daily at The Shops at Ceasar’s Forum from 10am to 10pm.
See the Animals – No, I’m not referring to the party people who come to Vegas, although people-watching is at its peak in Sin City. The Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand or the White Tiger Habitat at The Mirage are a great places to take some photographs and get out of the Nevada heat.
Watch a Volcano Erupt – Every 15 minutes this five minute show spews fire and music that kids will love. Be sure to line up early and be aware that there is a large amount of heat coming from this attraction. The attraction is located on The Strip in front of The Mirage.
Visit Venice – The Venetian Hotel also houses the Grand Canal Shoppes, an indoor replica of Venice, complete with live opera singers and walk under a gorgeous sky that never gets too cloudy. Gondola rides are available for a charge, but just watching them float by is entertainment in itself.
Things to be aware of:
- The Treasure Island Pirate Show that we’ve all heard of has been adultified. This means that no longer is there a family-friendly pirate battle, but now there are scantily-clad women pirates to re-enact the battle. The name has changed to Sirens of TI and the hotel even states parental guidance is suggested.
- Smoking is allowed in casinos. If a member of your family has any allergies or asthma, smoke from these connected areas may affect you.
- Don’t let your children pick up advertising paraphernalia from the sidewalk or from people handing them out. A colorful advertisement just may introduce your five year old to a topless woman named Destiny and the the entertainment she and her twin perform for a set price.
We love Las Vegas for a romantic escape or girlfriend getaway, but we understand that some travelers will want to experience Las Vegas as a family. We hope this list helps you get the most of any family travel that takes you through Las Vegas, Nevada. Do you know of any other free things to do in Vegas? Feel free to leave them in the comments, helping those who are planning a future family trip to Vegas.