3 Days in Las Vegas with Kids

Author: Dan Brewer

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I’ll be honest – the concept of taking a trip to Las Vegas with kids had never really crossed my mind. We travel with kids a lot, but we are more of an outdoor adventure family, so a family trip to Vegas was never on our radar. So, how did we end up going to Vegas with kids?

I was planning a little Mancation (without kids) to Vegas to see a few NFL football games and a U2 concert at The Sphere. When Celine discovered I was planning a trip to a sunny destination in October, she suggested that she and the kids tag along. So, what began as a little sports trip for me, turned into a trip to Los Angeles with kids, along with this 3 days in Vegas with kids.

Read on to discover how our family vacation to Las Vegas turned out…

two kids on a family vacation to Las Vegas stand in front of a replica "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.

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Is it Ok to Visit Las Vegas with Kids?

Given Las Vegas’ reputation as Sin City, a lot of you may be wondering, “Is it ok to visit Las Vegas with kids?“. A while back, Las Vegas made a real push billing itself as a family-friendly destination, but I haven’t heard much about that in a while.

The Pros of a Family Trip to Vegas

It’s true, there are some truly amazing kid-friendly activities in Las Vegas, and some really fun hotels in Vegas geared towards families. Las Vegas is big, loud and over-the-top, and kids will be blown away by the craziness of it all.

Celine Brewer, of FamilyCanTravel.com, gets ready to watch Postcard from Earth at The Sphere with her kids during a family trip to Las Vegas.
Excited for our show at The Sphere!

The Cons of a Family Trip to Vegas

But, there’s some downsides to a family trip to Vegas which we didn’t love:

  • Walking up and down the famous Las Vegas strip is a bit of a minefield with kids. There are tons of scantily clad women working the strip trying to get people to pay them for a picture.

  • In addition, there is a small army of people who do nothing but hand out business cards with pictures of almost naked women on them. These, of course, are ads for prostitutes. These people don’t hand out the picture cards to kids, of course, but the ground is littered with them, making it near impossible for kids to miss them. I found it very difficult to explain what these cards were to my 8-year old son and 10-year old daughter.

  • I was really disappointed to find 100% of the doors in the casinos were open to the outside. The casinos are trying to draw people inside, but you can just feel the powerful air conditioning blowing out into the hot desert air outside. With all the focus on global warming, surely the casinos can find a better, less wasteful, way of attracting visitors inside?

  • And, finally, the casinos still allow smoking. Yes, kids are not allowed on the casino floor, but anytime you walk into a hotel, the casino floor is mere feet away. The stench of cigarette smoke is overwhelming. It’s been years since I’ve been subjected to indoor second-hand smoke, and I had forgotten how disgusting it was.
A family walks through a casino floor in Las Vegas.

Yes, that’s a lot of cons about visiting Vegas with kids. If you’ve visited our family travel blog before, you’ll discover it’s rare for us to slag a place like this, but if you are planning a family trip to Las Vegas, we thought you should be aware of the things we didn’t like in hopes you can make a more informed decision.

A Three Day Itinerary for a Family Trip to Las Vegas

Day 1 in Las Vegas with Kids

After spending three days in Los Angeles with kids, where we visited Universal Studios Hollywood, and I caught a Los Angeles Rams game, we had a very early Monday morning flight from LA to Las Vegas.

See if it was worth it to buy an Unlimited Express Pass at Universal Studios Hollywood.

After we checked into our hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, we ventured out to explore our hotel, check out the pool, etc. before grabbing some lunch and heading out to our afternoon activities.

The Sphere Experience (including Postcard from Earth)

We’ve seen some pretty incredible things in our family travels, and The Sphere in Las Vegas ranks up there with one of the most amazing things we’ve ever seen. Wow! We’ll take a beautiful hike in a forest over a city any day, but The Sphere is a modern architectural wonder.

The Family Can Travel kids walk next to The Sphere on their way to the Postcard From Earth show.
The Sphere is impressive even in the daytime!

Our family trip to Vegas was just a few days after the grand opening of The Sphere, so we wanted to experience Las Vegas’ newest attraction first hand. The easiest, and most affordable, way to see the wonders of The Sphere was to see the Postcard from Earth show.

The creative light shows on the outside of The Sphere are just as much fun as the entertainment inside. To get the most out of the exterior show, Celine and the kids walked to The Sphere from our hotel (I had my own plans). The kids were amazed at how fun and entertaining the light show on the exterior was.

Upon entering The Sphere, the kids were entertained by AI-powered robots interacting with the crowd. The many large holograms spread throughout the lobby were pretty impressive as well.

An AI robot on display in the lobby of The Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada.

There’s really no way to describe in words how incredible watching Postcard from Earth at The Sphere is. It’s a truly overwhelming experience, which none of us will soon forget. Postcard From Earth is a 50-minute long, science-fiction – travel film which captivates the audience from the first moments.

The end screen from the Postcard From Earth show at The Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Postcard From Earth show at The Sphere was hands down the most fun thing to do with kids in Vegas.

Las Vegas Raiders Game

As mentioned in the intro, I had originally planned a solo trip to LA and Las Vegas, so I still kept the core of those plans intact. While Celine and the kids went to The Sphere to see Postcard from Earth, I walked to Allegiant Stadium to see the Las Vegas Raiders play the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

Dan Brewer, of the Family Can Travel blog, enjoys some kid-free time at a Raiders game during a family trip to Las Vegas.
Ahhh… kid-free time in Las Vegas at a Raiders game!

While a Raiders game can be a fun thing to do in Las Vegas with kids, I won’t focus too much on it here on our family travel blog. If you are interested in more details, swing over to my sports road trip website to learn more about Going to a Las Vegas Raiders Game.

Day 2 in Vegas with Kids

Walking the Las Vegas Strip

As it turns out, the daytime was the hardest, and most boring part of our family trip to Las Vegas. There is very little to do aside from walking the Las Vegas Strip and checking out the attractions within the massive casino hotels and the many, many shopping malls.

Our hotel was at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, and our main activity for the day was at the Luxor Hotel, at the south end of the strip. So, we spent our day meandering down the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.

Celine Brewer, owner of the Family Can Travel blog, walks the Las Vegas Trip with her kids.

The New York New York Hotel

Our first stop was the New York New York Hotel. We were hoping to ride the Big Apple roller coaster, but our kids weren’t tall enough. It wasn’t a wasted trip though as we enjoyed walking the NYC themed streets in the hotel and had some great pizza for lunch. We also couldn’t resist stopping in Hershey’s Chocolate World, which smelled oh so good.

an 8-year old boy smiles over his large slice of pizza at the New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas.

We spent the next few hours aimlessly wandering shopping malls. It was pretty boring to be honest. I wish I had gotten a rental car, so we could have left town and enjoyed some of the nearby hiking trails.

Blue Man Group

There are many family-friendly shows on the Las Vegas Strip, but there are not many which have family-friendly show times. Most of the shows don’t have start times until 7 or 8PM, which is just too late for our kids. We were thankful the Blue Man Group was an exception to that rule, with a 5 PM start time at the Luxor Hotel.

The Blue Man Group was a huge hit with our kids. They were captivated from the moment the show started, right until the very end. The Blue Man Group has a perfect mix of kid-friendly comedy, music and visual effects. Our kids absolutely loved it.

Two kids enjoy a good laugh at the Blue Man Group show in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Luxor Hotel.

We walked back to our hotel after the show, which was fun for the kids as they got to experience the full effect of the Las Vegas Strip lit up at night. Celine and the kids went up to the room, while I walked over to The Sphere to catch the late showing of Postcard From Earth. I too, was blown away by this incredible facility and experience.

a 10-year old girl enjoys a walk on The Strip on a 3-day family vacation to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Day 3 of our Family Trip to Las Vegas

Walking the Las Vegas Strip (Again)

We had a lot of time to kill on the final day of our family trip to Vegas, so we hit the Las Vegas Strip once more.

The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

We began our day at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas hotel. This amazing Vegas hotel is a thing of beauty and we thoroughly enjoyed exploring it. It was especially fun watching people enjoy a Venetian gondola ride on the indoor canals which wind their way through the Grand Canal Shops.

the Grand Canal Shops are a fun way to spend time with kids in Las Vegas during the day.

The Bellagio Fountains and Conservatory

Typically, the Bellagio fountains are a huge family-friendly attraction in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for us, the preparations for the Las Vegas Formula 1 race were in full swing and the bleachers were blocking the view of the famous fountains from the strip. The Bellagio fountains were still operating, and we were able to see a little bit of the show overtop the F1 seats, but it wasn’t the same.

Our visit to the Bellagio Hotel wasn’t a waste though as the Bellagio Conservatory was amazing. The talented artists at the Bellagio created a magical fall-themed garden for everyone to explore. We especially enjoyed the many colorful mushrooms scattered throughout the fantasy garden.

the Brewer family enjoys a walk through the Bellagio Conservatory - one of the best free activities for families in Las Vegas.

The M&M’S Store

Our final stop on the Las Vegas Strip was a visit to the M&M’s store. Similar to the Hershey’s store, the M&M’s shop is filled with floor after floor of chocolatey temptation. The M&M’s store seemed more colorful and fun than Hershey’s.

The Mac King Show

We wanted to take our kids to a family-friendly magic show in Las Vegas, but the options were pretty limited. We would have loved to take them to a big-name illusionists like David Copperfield, or even Criss Angel, but these shows didn’t start until around our kids bedtimes. There’s a few family-focused magic shows in Las Vegas to choose from, but we ultimately chose to see the 3PM Mac King Show at the Excalibur Hotel.

The Mac King Show was ok, but it wasn’t nearly as big of a hit with the kids as the Blue Man Group. Mac King has been performing his family-friendly magic show in Las Vegas for decades now, and while there were some really fun and amazing parts of the show, a lot of it was just ok.

the kids from the FamilyCanTravel.com blog meet Mac King after his family-friendly show in Las Vegas.
Mac King was kind enough to autograph a souvenir from the show.

U2 at The Sphere

After the Mac King Show, I left Celine and the kids at our hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, and once again walked towards the incredible Las Vegas Sphere – this time to catch the U2 show.

The Sphere is designed to be a state-of-the-art concert venue, and what an act to bring in to introduce it to the world. U2’s residency at The Sphere will be over by the time you read this, but I can tell you that if one of your favorite bands ends up playing this venue, you should do everything you can to see it. Seeing U2 play the Sphere literally blew my mind – it was incredible.

The band U2 is dwarfed by incredible visuals while playing their encore at The Sphere in Las Vegas.

Additional Things to do in Vegas with Kids

There are several kid-friendly things to do in Las Vegas which were either closed due to Formula 1 preparations, or we simply didn’t have the time to do. You may be interested in some of these additional family friendly attractions during your stay:

Bellagio Fountains

Of all the kid-friendly attractions in Las Vegas that we missed, I’m most disappointed in missing the Bellagio Fountains due to the Formula 1 race preparations. Set in an expansive 8.5-acre lake in front of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, these renowned fountains offer a mesmerizing display of water, music, and light.

Get a Family Photo Shoot in Front of the Bellagio Fountains

Mirage Volcano

Another victim of the Formula 1 race, the Mirage Volcano was also not running during our family trip to Vegas. The nightly eruptions are a spectacular display of fire, water, and music. Families can gather around the volcano, feeling the heat and witnessing the impressive pyrotechnics.

Circus Circus Performances

As the name suggests, you can enjoy a free circus show at the Circus Circus hotel. Running several times a day, the show features acrobats, jugglers and daring trapeze artists.

Silverton Aquarium

We love visiting aquariums with our kids – the only thing that kept us away from this Las Vegas aquarium is it’s somewhat remote location off the strip. If it’s location isn’t an issue, the Silverton Aquarium offers a 117,000-gallon tank, home to vibrant tropical fish, stingrays, and even mermaids who perform enchanting underwater shows. Kids will love the up-close views of the marine life as they walk through a tunnel through the aquarium.

Shark Reef Aquarium

The Shark Reef Aquarium is another family-friendly Las Vegas aquarium – this time in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. As the name suggests, you’ll see plenty of sharks, rays and other exotic fish at this amazing aquarium which focuses on education and conservation.

Discovery Children’s Museum

Located near downtown Las Vegas, by the Freemont Street Experience, the Discovery Children’s Museum is a very highly-rated attraction. With interactive exhibits covering science, art, and culture, it sparks curiosity and creativity in children of all ages.

Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo

This one appears on many lists of kid-friendly things to do in Las Vegas. We visited as the Flamingo wildlife habitat as it was right next door to the Linq Hotel. It was a complete waste of time, and we recommend you skip it.

two kids look at flamingos at the wildlife habitat at the Flamingo Hotel - a free kid-friendly attraction in Las Vegas.

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum

If your family is big of pop culture, you’ll love a visit to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in the Venetian Hotel and Resort. You’ll love the life-sized representations of over 80 celebrities ranging from Marvel superstars (such as Spiderman, and The Hulk), to musical superstars Drake, Beyonce, Snoop Dog and more. If your kids are into Marvel, there is also a 4D Marvel movie experience.

Flyover Ultimate Flying Ride

Soar over some incredible landscapes with the Ultimate Flying Ride. This multi-sensory ride will have you feel the thrill of flying, the smell of the environments and the incredible visuals of some of the most fascinating landscapes on Earth, including the American Midwest, Iceland or the incredible Canadian Rockies.

Eiffel Tower Viewing Platform

An incredible opportunity to visit the best of Paris and Las Vegas at the same time. Take an exciting glass-elevator ride to a viewing platform 460 feet in the air to the top of the half-scale Eiffel Tower replica at the Paris Hotel. Located right across the street from the Bellagio, the Eiffel Tower Viewing Platform is an incredible vantage point to watch the iconic water fountain show!

the replica Eiffel Tower stands in front of the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

Kid-Friendly Shows in Las Vegas

As mentioned, we had trouble finding kid-friendly shows in Las Vegas with a kid-friendly start time. We thought the Blue Man Show was outstanding. If your kids can handle a later bedtime than ours, you may be interested in attending one of these outstanding family-friendly Las Vegas shows:

David Copperfield

This master illusionist needs no introduction. Catch his world-famous magic and illusion show nightly at the MGM Grand Hotel.

iLuminate Show at The STRAT

Given how much our kids loved the Blue Man Group, I’m certain they’d have also loved the multi-sensory iLuminate show. Named the “Best New Act in America” by America’s Got Talent, your family will love this exciting and colorful energetic dance performance.

Blue Man Group

This iconic trio at the Luxor Hotel and Casino delivers a one-of-a-kind show combining drumming, paint, and comedy for a mesmerizing experience. Our kids LOVED this show!

an 8-year old boy on a family trip to Las Vegas stands in front of a giant Egyptian statue at the Luxor Hotel before the Blue Man Group show.
The Luxor is such a cool hotel for kids.

Tournament of Kings Dinner Show

Ever since I made Celine go to a Medieval Times show with me in Orlando, I’ve been banned from going to further medieval themed dinner shows – haha! But, trust me, these shows are a ton of fun for the whole family!

Cirque du Soleil’s “O”

At the Bellagio Hotel, this legendary water-themed spectacular features talented acrobats, divers, and gymnasts, with a stunningly designed stage and an epic soundtrack.

Jabbawockeez: Timeless

I really wanted to take our kids to this show, but the show time was just too late. Celebrating their 15th anniversary on the Las Vegas Strip, this dance crew amazes with intricately choreographed routines at MGM Grand.

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater

Gregory Popovich’s show at Planet Hollywood features rescued pets performing circus acts, perfect for animal lovers. This was the other daytime show we were considering instead of the Mac King Show. Given we didn’t love the Mac King Show, perhaps we should have chosen this kid-friendly show?

Tape Face

At Harrah’s, this unique show features a silent performer with tape over his mouth, offering a mix of humor and creativity.

Potted Potter

A few years ago, when our kids were in a huge Harry Potter phase, this show would have been the perfect choice for us.  Potted Potter is a hilarious, family-friendly stage show at Horseshoe Las Vegas that condenses all seven Harry Potter books into 70 minutes.

Are your kids Potterheads? Check out these amazing Harry Potter attractions in London.

Penn & Teller

Penn & Teller are one of my all-time favorite magic acts. I would have loved to go see them live in Vegas, had the time been more suitable. Penn & Teller are playing at the Rio, this show is suitable for children ages 5 and up, combining magic tricks, card tricks, and humorous commentary.

Where to Stay in Las Vegas with Kids

There are several family-focused casino hotels on the Las Vegas Strip which would be fun to stay at, such as Circus Circus or The Excalibur Hotel.

We ultimately chose to stay at a rather nondescript hotel on the strip called The Linq. Home of the High Roller observation wheel, The Linq Hotel doesn’t really have a theme like many of the other Strip hotels. But, we stayed here as it was affordable and central to all the things we wanted to do in Las Vegas with kids. We could walk virtually everywhere – from The Sphere, all the way to Allegiant Stadium.

the kids from the Family Can Travel blog sit on their bunk bed in the Linq Hotel in Las Vegas.

Would You Recommend a Trip to Vegas with Kids?

Did we like our Las Vegas family vacation? Well… yes and no… we enjoyed some truly incredible family-friendly activities in Vegas which I’m sure our kids will have lasting memories of. But, there is a seedy side to Las Vegas which I didn’t love exposing our kids too.

I would only recommend a family trip to Las Vegas if there is something truly special to bring you in, such as a concert or show at The Sphere. If you are just looking for a family vacation somewhere fun, I’d recommend you look elsewhere. We’ve got plenty of articles on family-friendly destinations in the USA if you need some inspiration.

Family-Friendly USA Destinations near Las Vegas

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Dan Brewer is an intrepid family travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world's most captivating destinations. With 58 countries under his belt and a sense of wanderlust that knows no bounds, he has made it his life's mission to share his travel experiences and insights with fellow families who love to travel.

When Dan isn't traveling with his wife and kids, he's either out enjoying the Canadian Rockies he calls home or working on one of his three travel sites (Family Can Travel, Travel Banff Canada and Ultimate Sports Road Trip).