Las Vegas With Kids: A Complete Family Guide

If you haven’t put Las Vegas on your family’s must-visit vacation spots, then you are truly missing out! Here’s a complete family guide on visiting Las Vegas with kids.

by Kimberly Pangaro | Kimberly is a proud mom of four daughters, devoted wife, and the owner of Atomic Mommy – a media company dedicated to empowering parents. When she’s not running her company or momming all day, she’s writing about family life. She’s been featured in Parents magazine and Voyage Savannah magazine. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @atomic_mommy.

Disclaimer: This is an honest review and I have not been paid for my review of the products/places mentioned.  However, if you click on the links below, I may earn a commission. To learn more about how affiliate links work, please read my affiliate disclaimer here

If there’s one place in the world I never thought I’d bring my four children on a vacation to, it was definitely Las Vegas! Can you blame me, though? I mean with all the commercials on television constantly berating me with the statement, “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” as if that doesn’t mean exactly what we all know it means.

So when it came time for my older daughter to go to her national cheer competition in Vegas, I was not happy to be spending our vacation funds on going there. Boy was I sorely mistaken in my distaste, because Las Vegas not only turned out to be fun for the kids, it was also one of the best vacations we ever had!

And so, to help other parents see this place as more than booze, babes, and gambling, I set out to create a guide!

So here it is, a complete guide to visiting Las Vegas with kids!

buildings near body of water in Las Vegas
Photo by David Vives on

Getting There

As a mom of four daughters (6yo, 9yo, 15, 16yo), I would never recommend driving across country for the simple fact that if you like your sanity then a flight is truly worth the cost!

Now, choosing which airline to fly is tricky for moms and that’s because we not only have to watch the budget isn’t blown of flights, we also have to choose flights with what I consider luxury amenities. I grew up in the 80s so back then, if a kid was bored, that was our problem and no one else cared!

Keep in mind that choosing an airline requires tact. Make sure their prices are in line with other airlines’. Find out what they offer for those prices such as snacks, drinks, and in-flight entertainment. Then, look at their boarding policies and luggage regulations. After I did all that, I chose the best airline for my large family of six — Southwest Airlines!

Their prices to Las Vegas could not be beaten by any other airline, including JetBlue. And they offer pretty much the exact standards in amenities as most other coach flights. There is one snafu though… if you buy their cheapest flights, you will not be guaranteed to sit together. Now, if you have older kids who can manage sitting on their own, great. If not, listen up.

Their boarding is basically a first come, first serve type seating style, unless you buy business tickets, have Southwest A-list status, or buy the Early Check-In upgrade. It is in your best interest to purchase the Early Check-In upgrade for all of your tickets if you have any hopes of sitting together and want to stay under budget.

This allows you to check-in at least 24 hours before your flight, thus ensuring you have a boarding place assigned to you. Once you know this information, you can then wait at your gate for the attendants to announce “Family Boarding”. This usually happens after Group A is done boarding, and before other groups begin boarding.

Because of this nifty hack, you’re able to bring your whole family (up to two adults with up to 6 kids) to the boarding line to get seats together. Keep in mind that there may be some leftover passengers on the plane due to a layover, but there will still be several rows or seats open which provide higher chances of sitting together. So, at the end of the day, my top choice of airline is Southwest because it keeps me on budget and still gets me there without any headaches!

Top Tours To Take

In case you’re thinking that the only thing to do in Las Vegas with kids is walk the strip, you’re wrong. There is so much more out there to see and do that has nothing to do with the strip.

In fact, you’d be surprised how much there is to do, and how close you are to Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and California. Here’s just a few of the things we got to do with the kids that was well worth the time and money. FYI- I booked every experience through TripAdvisor and Viator, since I could trust the reviews of others. I highly recommend you do the same and each location/trip below is linked to their direct booking sites.

Hoover Dam Mini Bus Tour

This is a half day tour, and took about 3 hours to complete, which includes the driving. It is a great experience for the little ones as most of the tour is done in the bus, with minimal walking. This is also one of the better tours because you get to visit Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam entrance, and visit the picturesque Hoover Dam walkway. Plus, you’ll pass through a historical town (the place were the builders lived during the building of Hoover Dam).

Hoover Dam tour taken from Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Kimberly Pangaro, Hoover Dam, taken from the walkway.

Wild West Sunset Horseback Ride

Quite possibly the most fun our family had, this sunset horseback ride includes a pickup and drop-off back to certain hotels on the strip, a really tasty dinner on the ranch, an end of the day bonfire surrounded by the desert’s mountains and beautiful sky, plus a calm and stunning horseback ride through the most spectacular piece of land!

If I get back to Vegas this year, I plan on doing this more than once, that’s how much my kids and I loved it! It was a ton of fun and honestly, the guides were so hospitable, sweet, kind, and generous. The only thing I will say is to check the temperature for the entire day. You’ll want to bring a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, a sweater or jacket depending on the time of year, pants, and shoes with a heel. The reason for all of this is because the weather in the desert is finicky and can change at the drop of a hat. Plus, you should bring a light backpack with water. Lastly, though the description says it allows children as young as six, be sure they can maneuver a horse because the horses do stop a lot on the trail to feed or use the potty, thus requiring a good pull on the reins to redirect them.

horseback ride in Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Kimberly Pangaro, Wild West Sunset Horseback Ride

Grand Canyon South Rim, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend

This is a fantastic tour and leaves directly from either the Bellagio or Circus Circus hotels in Vegas. Caution is required before booking this tour as it is a pretty long day, about 17 hours, with lots of walking, so this particular tour may not be the best for super young kids, but I will say that my 6 year old managed most of the day without needing to be carried.

On a positive note, there is also a lot of driving in between visiting each park, so the kiddos will have plenty of chances to rest their legs. Make sure you pack a backpack with waters, snacks, sandwiches, for every family member. Also, while the tour includes lunch, it doesn’t include breakfast or dinner. So again, pack accordingly.

Lastly, the weather is volatile in the sense that the mornings, depending on the month you go (we went in January) can be super hot, super cold, or a mix of the two throughout the day. Bring layers, that can be stored in backpacks in case of needing them.

brown valley during a grey cloudy sky
Photo by Josh Sorenson on

Emerald Cove Kayak Tour

This tour is also a half day tour, and lasted about 4 to 5 hours long, which includes the time it takes to get fitted for a kayak and hiking to the river launch point. One of the better things about this tour is that as long as your littles can swim, you are able to bring them along. This tour offers tandem kayaks, for two people, so essentially you can place one adult and one child into a kayak, making sure your entire family can enjoy this tour properly!

people on a blue kayak
Photo by Ferdie Drone on

Things To Do On or Near the Strip

Fremont Street

Full of art, awesome food, the awesome zip line ride, live and often free concerts, you’d be amazed at what you find stopping at Fremont Street. When you visit here, expect to stay all day because there is a ton of a fun stuff to do.


A supermarket on the outside, and a giant maze on the inside? What! Yep, it’s true! This immersive art experience will have you completely amazed! Whoever designed this place had kids in mind because it will keep them engaged and surprisingly satisfied for hours on end!

Take a Gandola Ride

A fun little stop in Venice Vegas style, and you’ll be transported to Venice, France! The decor in this part of town is beautiful and exudes Parisian style. Plus, hopping on a Gandola ride through a winding river is an excellent way to help the kiddos enjoy the day!

Shop The Mile Shops

These shops are tucked between Planet Hollywood and the Cabo Wabo Cantina on the strip. Tons of great stores to shop in and just steps from the strip make this location a great pit stop!

Watch a Football Game or a Concert

If you’re lucky enough to be here during pre-season or normal season games, then you are in for a treat! Check out one of the Las Vegas Raiders games or another awesome shot/concert in the new Allegiant Stadium. It is really amazing inside and will definitely keep the kiddos and family happy to be there.

Adventuredome at Circus Circus

Adventuredome is an indoor theme park featuring rides, games, and attractions suitable for all ages. Plus, they have some high-flying circus acts just flying around for free. Kids will be really engaged as they watch trapeze tricks, circus clowns, juggling artists , and more. For a good meal while you’re having the time of your life here, try the Blue Iguana Mexican- they have great food!

Where To Eat

The big bulk of your funds will go towards food when in Vegas. The hotels on the strip don’t come with mini fridges or microwaves, so you’ll need to step out to eat quite a great deal. The great thing about Vegas hotels, though, is that they all have small convenience stores that offer plenty of snacks, beverages, and daily essentials. But, if I’m being honest, this is only for those late night cravings or those mid-day “I’m tired” moments that kids inevitably fall into.

The best food you’ll ever eat is on the strip, but the prices are quite high. So, I’m going to share with your our favorite places, both on the strip and off the strip, that were both tasty and affordable. Keep in mind that I have a family of 6, so your costs might be lower than ours.

Cabo Wabo Cantina

Right on the strip, across the street from the Bellagio Fountain, you can sit outside, eat amazing tacos, and watch the fountain show front and center. The food is really good, so is the tequila sampler for adults, and the steak was awesome! Also on the pricier side because of its location, but totally worth every dime.

In-N-Out Burger

One of the best burgers you will ever eat in your while life and affordable too, this little gem is worth every ounce of its popularity and status! Looks and feels like a little 50s joint and to be honest, the six of us couldn’t get enough. We ate here several times during our stay in Vegas for the simple fact that it was very, very delicious.

Seabreeze Cafe

Right inside Mandalay Bay, this restaurant offered grade A breakfast options and kept the kids happy with their speedy service and friendly staff. A bit pricey, but that’s to be expected since its location is inside a MGM resort.

Hotels Worth Staying In

Every hotel in Las Vegas has a Casino, and they’re all full of smoke. But some hotels are better than others at maintaining air quality, offering in-hotel activities (which saves on taxi fees), and providing good food options away from the strip (which also helps staying on budget). So when planning to visit Las Vegas with kids, be sure to pick a hotel that has a great deal to offer. The ones I was lucky enough to visit definitely caught my eye as a mother and are hotels I would recommend staying in.

The Luxor

Designed to the max with Ancient Egypt in mind, with statues like Inubis and the Sphynx, this hotel is sure to stun you and the kiddos! The room rates are pretty affordable during the winter months, especially in January. So when booking a trip, be sure to check out the room prices to be on the safe side.

This hotel is also home to reps giving away “free” tickets to shows in return for your time at a timeshare presentation. Do not fall for it! We did and the presentation was eight hours long and not worth the free tickets! Not sure if the other hotels did this as we were never approached by anyone while in them. Only this hotel.

On a brighter note, there were some great fun activities to be had here like visiting the Titanic artifacts museum and checking out the Blue Man Group show.


This hotel is a great choice for families because many of the tours that operate in and around Vegas tend to do pick-ups and drop-offs at this location. Separate from that convenience, be sure to visit the fun dungeon! It’s the best arcade, in my opinion, for kids.

Mandalay Bay

Possibly one of the only hotels besides the Bellagio and Caesar’s that did not smell like smoke, this hotel smells so darn good you’ll believe you’re on some tropical island! The reason why this hotel is a favorite is because it offers a tropical vibe, with great pools, shops, and restaurants. And if your kids are bored, you can take them to Shark Reef aquarium or the Discovery Children’s Museum.

Shows Worth Seeing

Planning a trip to Las Vegas with kids will require some really great entertainment! The shows below I can personally say will be worth every dollar! The fact that my kids are 6, 9, 15, and 17, gives me a wide range to try and please on vacation. So, any time I plan to see a show, I always make sure that it’s affordable and entertaining. Here are my top choices to check out!

Tape Face

An amazing show for adults and children, the creator and featured performer in this show will not only wow your senses, but will bring to life your child’s imagination. Located in Harrah’s, it is honestly a fantastic show, full of fun and entertainment for all ages. The adults get to participate in many of the activities and even some of the kids. Be mindful though, if you go to this show you will more than likely get picked to participate because the performer doesn’t care where you sit – to him you are part of the show!

Blue Man Group

Located inside the Luxor, this show is truly a unique mind-bending and boundary pushing show that ignites the senses on fire! It’s loud, vivaciously colorful, and quite comedic! The music is very cool and if you sit in the front row, you might get to participate and even get sprayed by the paint! Be weary before you purchase these tickets if you have little ones, as it is very, very loud!

Cirque de Soleil

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a circus show full of acrobatics! Truly an awe-inspiring show of contortionists and flying humans, this show will be sure to delight the kiddos as young as one. I’ve seen this show with my kiddos many, many times and we are never disappointed!

Free Activities

Visiting Las Vegas with kids is not cheap, so it’s a good idea to plan some free activities to keep the wallet from burning. To help with this, I added some of the free activities I took my kids to visit. They were all worth the time and effort and definitely helped me stay on budget.

Belaggio Fountain

Check out the Belaggio Fountain show up close and personal. It goes off every 30 minutes Monday through Friday, from 3pm to 6:30pm. From 7pm to midnight, every night, it goes off every 15 minutes.

Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

A truly idyllic setting, the flamingo wildlife habitat is free to enter and located near Caesar’s and is on four-acres of serene land. Filled with various species and waterfalls, visiting here will definitely keep your kids happy and entertained!

Bellagio’s Chocolate Fountain

Visit the world’s largest chocolate fountain inside of the luxurious Bellagio! And guess what, to check it out is totally free! But if you or your littles do get hungry, then inside is a delicious cafe where you can purchase very tasty bakery goods.

Take A Photo in Front of Eiffel Tower

Check out Paris’s Eiffel Tower without ever having to get on a plane! Beautifully lit up at night and surrounded by amazing Parisian restaurants, decor, and French architecture, you’ll be sure to enjoy a French vacation… just not in France!

In Conclusion

So, there you have it! While the list above is pretty extensive, there is certainly a great deal more to do in Las Vegas. Some are more adult-oriented, but there is so much Vegas offers I simply couldn’t fit it all in this guide.

The one suggestion I always want to provide to families is to do your due diligence when planning a family trip to Las Vegas with kids. You’ll want to plan your budget for activities, food, hotels, taxis, tips, souvenirs, and more if you want to really enjoy your trip and not break the bank while doing so. With that said, I hope you enjoy Las Vegas with your family!

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