The Best 10 Things to Do in Las Vegas With Family
Not sure what to do when you're in Vegas with the family? Check out our handy round-up of fun activities to try when in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Las Vegas in early October is just right - the dry desert air is not as ovenlike as it is in the summer. Fly economy via Southwest, you'll quickly move through the taxi rank at McCarran airport. A $20 fare will get you to the Strip.
I went with my wife, brother and parents. Staying at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Paradise Road, we had the best of both worlds for our week's vacation. The Strip was within walking distance, while Fremont Street and the classic downtown area were under four miles away.
We'd been here before (my wife and I got married in Vegas in 2006), and we wanted to explore while retreading over old favorites. This is the City that Doesn't Sleep, and here are the top ten things for a family to do while taking in all the best and beauty of this famous desert gem of a metropolis.
1. Catch a Show.
See the Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage and Treasure Island.
The Cirque du Soleil and Vegas have become synonymous. We saw Mystere and The Beatles: Love. With tickets available from $74, Mystere is a festival of acrobatics, featuring astonishing trapeze work by this justly legendary international group. The Beatles: Love was more music oriented but every bit as awestriking. Kids of all ages are sure to love the cascades of color, sound, thrills and humor in both shows.
2. Stroll down The Strip.
What better way to take in the sights of the Strip than to walk it? Contrary to popular belief, Vegas is very family friendly, and you can take in the sights and excitement of street acts, the open-air charm of Harrah's casino, as well as a wealth of other attractions. It's safe, too - ticket and card touts generally don't bother passersby.
3. Visit the Hoover Dam.
A 45-minute drive from Vegas is this magisterial Wonder of the Modern World. Built in the 1930s and harnessing the talent of top engineers and architects, this marvel is a breathtaking sight and site. Check out the film in the Visitor's Center and admire the beauty and wonder of the area.
4. Try your Luck on Low-stake Slots.
Fancy an hour or two of affordable fun? The casinos of The Mirage, Treasure Island, Circus Circus, Paris and Caesar's Palace are fun and especially atmospheric. Many slots are one-cent options - why not see where a dollar can take members of the family over 21. Cash out any winnings and explore around the other casinos.
5. Ride a Gondola in The Venetian.
Take in the beauty and atmosphere indoors or outdoors at the Venetian. For $21 per person, your personal gondola experience is made unique by the talents of the Venetian's team of singing, professional gondoliers. Afterwards, enjoy a gelato in St. Mark's Square and, if you're lucky, you might catch the superb operetta daily.
6. Catch a Dinner Show at The Excalibur.
We feasted at the Tournament of Kings and enjoyed a hearty meal (eaten with fingers!) while cheering on our King (we were in the Norway section - you can pick your nation). An evening of awesome jousting, duelling, and other splendid Medieval revelry is sure to be had by all.
7. Explore Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.
Kids are sure to love this 1.3-million-gallon undersea wonderworld experience at Mandalay Bay (beside The Luxor's iconic pyramid). Housing sharks, rays, and a wealth of impressive wildlife, it's ingeniously constructed, with corridor walkways and glass-bottomed floor sections. They'll love the ray and hermit crab petting area.
8. Zipline on Fremont Street.
Head Downtown and see the Classic Vegas you know from older movies and TV! Fremont Street is the heartland of Las Vegas and represents its original spirit. The home of such neon icons as the Glitter Gulch Cowgirl, it's covered by a spectacular canopy. At the top, you can zipline from one end to the other. My brother did this one and had a great time - you can take pictures with your helmet-mounted camera.
9. Shop around in The Forum.
While many huge names define Vegas shopping, including the likes of Louis Vuitton and Fendi, The Forum at Caesar's Palace is the place to go to catch so many of them under one, massive roof. The atmosphere and scale are second to none - cathedral-like and majestic in all ways, The Forum is the way to spend an afternoon. Start with lunch at Planet Hollywood.
10. Lunch at Mon Ami Gabi and promenade in Paris.
For a "fantastique" way to do lunch, enjoy the best of French cuisine on the sunny Strip patio. Whether your palate craves escargot or quiche, your taste buds and eyes will likely convince you that you're in Paris. After a fine meal ($25 per head for our party of five took us far), people watch for a bit and then be sure to explore the streets of Paris, walk over the Seine, and admire the adjoining Eiffel Tower.
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