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Las Vegas: A Guide for Families

Las Vegas is a timeless multi-billion dollar glittering icon, covering the sins which earned it the moniker "sin city" with a veneer of class. In the recent years, Vegas has made an incredible comeback as the previously proclaimed adult playground, with breathtaking new casinos, shows, and clubs while still maintaining the old school excitement that has attracted so many jack-pot seekers over the decades.

In addition to new and architecturally improved casinos, there has been an additional lure provided for Vegas-goers (families in particular) which includes the addition of theme parks, glorified roller coasters, and several other family-friendly activities. These new additions create an atmosphere that both children and adults can enjoy (and subsequently keep the kids occupied while their parents spend more time in the casinos). Never has a city so eloquently catered not just to high rollers but to families who want a small taste of everything that Vegas has to offer without emptying their wallets. Fortunately for the latter party there are several casinos who are geared towards this very principle. Below is a small sampling of some of the more family oriented casinos including the entertainment they offer for both children and adults.


Excalibur: This is one of the most family and pocket book friendly hotels, with rooms starting at $59.95 and a prime location on the strip. When you check in, make sure to obtain a coupon book which is available to all hotel guests and includes a 2 for 1 buffet, free day pass to the spa, and several other useful coupons.


Activities for mom: Excalibur has recently opened an elegant day spa which includes a gym, hot tub, sauna, and freshening rooms with everything from mouth wash to hair styling products. For those who are staying at the hotel, the free pass included in the coupon book obtained at check-in can be used to enjoy these basic amenities. One can also enjoy (for an additional charge) a choice of several different types of massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend a day in a calm, relaxing environment away from the kids.


Activities for the kids :On the lower level (right below the casino) Excalibur offers an entire floor of carnival games, an arcade, and a magic motion theatre which is sure to keep the kids busy for hours. The hotel also offers 2 outdoor pools one of which has a water slide.


Activities for dad: As with all hotel/casinos Excalibur offers every imaginable aspect of gambling, and complimentary drinks while you play ( make sure to tip the cocktail waitress a few dollars each round, this is common courtesy and will keep the drinks coming). But if you are in the mood for sports, there is a large sports bar with several big screen TVs.


Family activities: If you want to stay near your hotel, Excalibur has the Tournament of Kings which is a medieval times type show that includes a dinner of soup, Cornish game hen, potatoes, vegetables, and dessert (you can get a discount on the show if you are staying at Excalibur). Some other fun and inexpensive activities include the shark exhibit at Mandalay Bay, the M&M and Coca-Cola museums, a free bird show at the Tropicana, and gondola rides at the Venetian.


Circus Circus: This is an older hotel, located further back from the strip, however the prices are lower (starting at $41.95 a night). The hotel has the Adventure Dome, an amusement park which includes a log ride, roller coaster, and carnival games. One level above the casino is another floor dedicated to carnival and arcade games, one of the major perks being that the games can cost as little as .25 cents which will help stretch the spending money a little further. Because of its inexpensive rooms, Circus Circus tends to be more crowded, there have also been instances where the rooms were not adequately cleaned, and the buffet has received poor reviews.


Mandalay Bay: Rooms at Mandalay Bay are more expensive (starting at $119.95 a night) but the accommodations are well worth the extra money. The hotel is built resort-style with spacious rooms, state of the art casino games, and an excellent service staff. A very attractive feature is the outdoor man-made beach with a wave pool, and a winding river that can take you on a relaxing inner-tube ride in a tropical setting.


New York New York: This newer hotel is very pleasing to the eye, featuring 12 New York style skyscrapers, complete with a 150-foot recreation of the Statue of liberty (room prices start at $79.95 a night). This hotel enhances the New York feel with a huge Manhattan-style roller coaster, however just one ride can be expensive it is a better deal to buy the unlimited day pass and ride the coaster several times. In the same vicinity there is a large state of the art arcade with a few carnival games. Also worth checking out is the Coyote Ugly (you must be 21 or older) but beware of a $10.00 cover charge, and overpriced drinks which are shamelessly forced on you. But if you don’t feel like spending much money on liquor, a little dance up on stage with the Coyote Ugly girls will snag you a free shot.


This is merely a small sampling of the accommodations available in Vegas, as each hotel uses a different lure to attract more guests which makes is a wonderfully diverse city. Entertainment can be provided to any extreme, with hotels that simulate a variety of themes and destinations making it one of the most popular and well worth your dollar vacation spots in the United States.

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