And this is particularly evident in the many luxury resorts that cater to travelers with children in tow, with loads of amenities to keep kids – and kids at heart – entertained. Bring the whole family, stay at one of these top hotels and then hit the town for a night of lively shows, like the crowd-friendly Cirque du Soleil.
Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower
This 2,427-room resort takes family fun to new heights. Take in the sights from indoor and outdoor observation decks, which rise 1,149 feet above the city. Or, get your adrenaline pumping on the resort’s three rides – Big Shot, X-Scream and Insanity – named the highest thrill rides in the United States. For the ultimate rush, guests ages 14 and older can jump 829 feet from the 109th floor of Stratosphere Tower on SkyJump Las Vegas. Other family-friendly attractions include the Amusement World Arcade, the hit tribute shows MJ Live and World’s Greatest Rock Show and the retro-themed Roxy’s Diner, which features singing servers who break into song at least once every 30 minutes from 2pm to 2am.
Circus Circus Las Vegas
No hotel in Las Vegas is as synonymous with “family-friendly” as Circus Circus. Not only is the 3,767-room resort one of the more affordable properties on the Strip (it even still has free self-parking!), but it is also home to one of America’s largest indoor theme parks: the Adventuredome. With more than 25 rides and attractions – including the world’s only indoor double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster, Canyon Blaster – the Adventuredome should be at the top of every traveler’s to-do list when visiting Las Vegas with kids. Circus Circus also has a massive midway featuring more than 200 popular video games and classic carnival games. Plus, the hotel showcases complimentary performances by circus acts daily, filled with dazzling aerialists, talented trapeze artists and comedic clowns. The resort will soon have a newly expanded pool complex that will be a splash with families. Opening exclusively to hotel guests this summer, the pool offerings will include a 50-foot slide tower with three water slides and a Splash Pad with various water features, including tilting buckets and water cannons.
It’s hard to find a kid (or even an adult) who doesn’t want to stay in a castle. This 3,981-room resort is always a hit with families, with an eye-catching exterior and a Fun Dungeon, with a multitude of arcade and carnival-style games that are popular with little princes and princesses. The resort is also home to the popular medieval-themed dinner show Tournament of Kings, which features jousting knights, dancing maidens and jaw-dropping pyrotechnics. Plus, the three-course feast is sans utensils (seriously, what kid doesn’t like to eat with their hands?). Excalibur also has one of the largest food courts on the Strip, filled with fast food favorites like Pizza Hut, Hot Dog on a Stick and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. When it’s time to cool off, the resort has four pools, including one with a water slide.
New York-New York
Themed after the Big Apple, this 2,024-room resort has its own arcade that recreates the aura of New York’s Coney Island amusement park from the early 1900s. Play a variety of coin-operated video and carnival games or go for a ride on the world’s first roller coaster to feature a 180-degree “heartline” twist and dive maneuver. Ride in classic cab cars and experience loops, twists and dives while taking in the sights of the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel is also home to New York City’s famed Shake Shack (kids will go crazy for their frozen custard). Nearby is the T-Mobile Arena, which has hosted such family-friendly events as WWE Raw and the Harlem Globetrotters since opening its doors in 2016.
Golden Nugget Las Vegas
This 2,419-room resort in downtown Las Vegas is home to one of the city’s coolest pools: The Tank. Named one of the most extreme pools in the world by Travel Channel, guests can swim around a 200,000-gallon shark tank that’s located at the center of the pool or safely speed right through it, as there’s a 30-foot water slide that runs through the aquarium and past five species of sharks (sand tiger, nurse, zebra, blacktip reef and sandbar). Behind-the-scenes tours are offered of the shark tank, where kids and adults can learn what the sharks eat, how they’re fed and even take home a souvenir shark tooth.
This 3,211-room resort is always popular with families during the summer thanks to The Beach at Mandalay Bay. An 11-acre tropical water environment, The Beach has its own sand-and-surf beach, lazy river and 1.8-million-gallon wave pool that can make waves up to 6 feet high. There’s also four additional pools and three whirlpools. The south Strip property also features the Shark Reef Aquarium, which houses more than 2,000 animals, and the world’s first Polar Journey exhibit, an interactive experience that offers a glimpse of the Earth’s polar regions. When it’s show time, check out Michael Jackson ONE, Cirque du Soleil’s electrifying tribute to the King of Pop that runs at the resort five nights a week.
Flamingo Las Vegas
Having celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016, this 3,460-room resort is one of Las Vegas’ most iconic properties. A family favorite, it has its own wildlife habitat with more than 60 birds of various species – including beautiful Chilean flamingos – as well as large fish and turtles. Additionally, there’s a family-friendly pool on its lush 15-acre grounds, with two small, curvy water slides that are open to hotel guests Memorial Day through Labor Day. The property is also located just steps away from the world’s tallest observation wheel, the High Roller, which offers special kids’ pricing, and is home to Donny and Marie Osmond’s hit residency.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino
A Strip-adjacent family favorite, this 1,885-room resort sprawls on West Tropicana Avenue. Families can bowl at the 70-lane bowling alley, watch a movie at the Century Orleans 18 movie theater or catch a show at the Orleans Arena, which hosts about 200 events every year such as the Shrine Circus and Disney Live! There’s also an arcade on property and a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. When it’s time for parents to test their luck on the casino floor, kids can check in to Kids Tyme, a supervised playful environment that offers activities for children ages 3 to 12.
The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa
This 493-room, non-gaming resort might look familiar, as it was featured in the 2001 Julia Roberts/John Cusack film America’s Sweethearts. Located in Henderson, alongside the 320-acre Lake Las Vegas, families can soak up the sun on its private white-sand beach or rent a kayak or standup paddleboard and venture out onto the water. The property also has three different pools, including a small wading pool for children and a waterpark-like pool with a slide and water features. Other nearby attractions include bike paths, boat rentals at the lake’s marina and two 18-hole champion golf courses.
South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa
Located just minutes from the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard, this 2,163-room resort has a 16-screen Century movie theater playing Hollywood’s latest hits, and a 64-lane bowling alley. Families can test their skills in the Time-Out Arcade, which offers the latest and greatest video games as well as Skee-Ball and other exciting games. The off-Strip property is also home to the country’s premier equestrian facility – South Point Arena & Equestrian Center and Priefert Pavilion – which hosts a variety of action-packed events throughout the year, like the USA BMX Nationals and the Arabian Breeders World Cup.
Las Vegas, NV – 5/11/17
By: Heather Turk
Photos: SkyJump Las Vegas at Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower (Credit: Francis & Francis); Excalibur Tournament of Kings (Credit: Photo by Erik Kabik); Sharkchute at The Tank at Golden Nugget Las Vegas (Credit: Golden Nugget Las Vegas); Flamingo Las Vegas (Credit: Flamingo Las Vegas); Upper and lower pools at The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa (Credit: The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa)