I know. When I say “Las Vegas” you don’t automatically think “Kid-Friendly” — but you could! This list of 25 things to do in Las Vegas with kids only scratches the surface. We loved our week exploring and can’t wait to go back. Take advantage of what we learned with this itinerary.
The Neon Museum
On our first evening in Las Vegas we took the kids on a history tour – Vegas Style! We enjoyed a guided tour of The Neon Museum known as the Neon Boneyard, home to the iconic neon signs chronicling Las Vegas history. We saw more than 250 rescued, refurbished and re-illuminated neon signs that trace back to the early days of Sin City.
The stories from our tour guide were my favorite. We learned that the HUGE Moulin Rouge sign was designed by Betty Willis, the same designer as the world-renowned Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Also, The Red Barn martini sign carries important history….Red Barn started as an antique store, became a bar with an at-that-time taboo Pink Hour…and then later became a favorite hangout for the gay community here.
The bright and twinkling Stardust sign illuminated the building while the casino sold tickets, drinks and family entertainment spots on the roof from 1947-1962. Why? To watch the nuclear detonations right outside the city! Can you even imagine?
These are just a sampling of the dozens and dozens of cool stories you can hear on the tour! We selected the 7pm tour because it was early enough to be comfortable with the kids, but we still saw the sun setting (in early June) and watched the lights come on as we walked around.
The Container Park
Is there ever a bad time to see a giant, metallic, female, praying mantis with a 4,000-watt sound system that shoots 6-story high flames of liquid propane from its antennae into the night sky? Nope! Never!
Bring the family to the Container Park (come early…it’s 21+ after 9pm) to see the mantis, play at The Treehouse (a playground) or catch a show on the grounds here. Come hungry. You’ll also find pizza, gelato, tacos, boba tea, and more.
Fremont Street Experience
While you’re Downtown, be sure to hit Fremont for some old-school Vegas fun. You’ll especially appreciate the cowboy themed casino signs if you do this after hearing the history of Old Vegas from The Neon Museum.
If you’re feeling brave, climb the stairs to Slotzilla where you can sail out of a 12-story high slot machine to zip line over Fremont for about a third of a mile. Ride in a seated position at 75 ft high, or go full Superman at 114 feet up.
Even if you don’t eat at The Heart Attack Grill, at least take a peek inside. You’ll see all the customers in hospital gowns and the wait staff dressed as nurses. If you don’t eat all of your food (and it can be hard to do here) be prepared for a spanking. The Bypass Burger has almost 20,000 calories alone!
MeowWolf at OmegaMart
Imagine you walk into a colorful grocery store…checking out the produce and milk. You open the door to grab some milk but notice there is a walkway behind the door. You follow it. And it leads you into a back room of 3-story slides, strobing lights, wild art and endless fun!
MeowWolf’s second location has opened in Las Vegas (New Mexico was first) and it will challenge everything you ever thought about shopping for groceries.
Discovery Children’s Museum
Three stories and 58,000 square feet mean you and the kids will be busy all day here. Favorite exhibits at the Children’s Museum include Water World (rain coats provided), DISCOVERY Lab (the first true MakerSpace in the state) and The Summit, a 70-ft climbing structure.
On The Las Vegas Strip
Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
If you didn’t get a selfie with the sign, did you really visit Vegas? You’ll find the sign at the southernmost end of the Strip (which, hilariously, is not Las Vegas but Paradise, NV.) There is plenty of parking here for you to stop, or a crosswalk if you’re walking in this area.
You might consider skipping a wax museum with the kids in other destinations. At least, my kids don’t appreciate the likes of John Wayne, Marlyn Monroe and other old-school stars. But things are different in Vegas. Madame Tussauds Las Vegas includes Marvel characters, Beyonce, and so much more.
Marvel Avengers Station
If you have a Marvel fan in your midst then try the Marvel Avengers Station exhibit. It’s an interactive experience walks you through a series of activities via a mobile app i n order to complete a mission. Plus, there are over 100 photo ops as you work your way though!
Hotel Casino Activities in Las Vegas for Kids (Free)
Fountains of Bellagio
Probably the most famous and widely watch “show” in all of Vegas, the fountain shows are free and fantastic! Every time you see it is different and unique, and it’s worth a visit in both the day time and the evening.
See a new show every 30 minutes, from 3pm to 8pm on weekdays and every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight. They run even more frequently on weekends and holidays.
Mirage Volcano Experience
While not as popular as the fountains, I think our boys liked the volcano even more! Water showers with fire high into the sky on the hour at 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, and 11pm every day.
Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
At the Flamingo’s outdoor Wildlife Habitat, you can get up close and personal with pink flamingos, exotic ducks, koi fish and so much more. The bright-pink Chilean flamingos are fun for the kids (and adults, too!)
Hotel Casino Activities in Las Vegas for Kids ($$)
TopGolf at MGM Grand
There are TopGolf locations around the country, but everything is always bigger and brighter in Vegas and this is no different! And…there’s no pressure to have a good golf swing or score a lot of points. It’s all about everyone having fun.
The Vegas location also includes the Angry Birds game, which kids live. Use the Angry Birds characters (golf balls) to smash down structures, defeat pigs, and earn as many points and stars as possible. Take note, though. There is a pool at this TopGolf location, but it’s 21+ only so prep the kids who will want to belly flop the moment they see it.
Tournament of Kings Dinner Experience
If the kids want to experience “dinner and a show” then take them to Excalibur for the Tournament of Kings Dinner Experience. It’s King Arthur – meets – Vegas, with a hearty dinner of cornish hen (and no utensils!) 10 horses strut their stuff during the show, and sword fights abound with real titanium swords, which create lots of sparks during the battle scenes!
The Grand Canal
If you want to treat the kids to Italy without the expense then take them to The Venetian where you can all enjoy a gondola ride inside the hotel. Trips begin at 10am and run until midnight on weekends; go early to avoid the long lines.
Choose from an inside or outside route, at rates ranging from $29-39 pp depending on the time of the week. Gondolas can hold up to 4 people if you want a family ride (Large family? You’ll have to take 2!) If you can’t fork over the dough, it’s still worth seeing them row the boats and sing to the patrons.
Eiffel Tower Observation Decks
If you and the family prefer Paris over Venice, then head to the Paris Hotel and Casino. An icon of the city skyline, the high-altitude Eiffel Tower attraction is located 46 stories up and is a half scale replica of the Parisian landmark. It’s a great way to see the strip and watch the dancing Bellagio Fountains.
Shark Reef Aquarium
Mandalay Bay’s 1.3M gallon aquarium tank is one of the largest in North America. Your general admission ticket allows you to see more than 2,000 animals, including sharks, giant rays, endangered green sea turtles, piranha and a Komodo dragon. Shark dives were on hold when we visited, but those shark teeth don’t lie! I’m not sure it’s something we are brave enough to do!
Mirage Pool and Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Aquarium
The pool at The Mirage was consistently rated one the of the best for “older kids” in Las Vegas. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it spectacular, except that we loved a cool dip in the pool on such a hot day (112 degrees on our visit!)
Next to the pool is the Siegfried and Roy Secret Garden and Aquarium, where you will see white tigers, white lions, bottlenose dolphins and more. If you have a dolphin-lover among you then try the experiences that include a meet-and-greet, paint with a dolphin, or a VIP experience.
Roller Coasters at Circus Circus and New York-New York
Kids love roller coasters? Take them to the Adventure Dome amusement park inside Circus Circus, where they can ride the Canyon Blaster at up to 55 mph or the El Loco with a 90 ft climb to 1.5 vertical G drop. There are bumper cars, a pirate ship, miniature golf, rock climbing, midway games, a VR room, and so much more for one price.
Your kiddos have to be 54″ to ride The Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York. You’ll take to the air at 67mph on the world’s first coaster to feature a 180-degree “heartline” twist-and-dive maneuver and 203ft drop. Nope, we skipped this one!
High Roller Observation Wheel
Head to the Linq Promenade where you can ride the Ferris wheel and (if you’re brave) take on the only zipline on The Strip. The wheel is the world’s tallest “observation wheel” and each of the pods holds up to 40 people, with fantastic views day or night from the 550-ft top point.
The zipline allows you to ride in a seated or superhero position. Just keep in mind that tickets are cheaper during the day, and weight/age restrictions apply.
Beyond the Lights
There is more to the Vegas area than flashing lights, casinos and magic shows! These stops are outside the main entertainment area, but worth the extra effort to get there.
Red Rock Canyon NCA
- The most popular hike here is Calico Tank, a 2.5 mile in-and-out with great canyon views at the end.
- Ice Box Canyon Trail is another of the same length, and most gorgeous in spring when the wildflowers are blooming.
- With kids, try Children’s Discovery Trail at under 1 mile. Again, Spring is best because the waterfall is more likely to be flowing.
- Don’t miss Petroglyph Wall, which is only a 1/4 mile jaunt to see the markings.
Probably one of America’s most famous dams, Hoover Dam is a great history lesson with a cool view. As of the time of this writing the exhibits and tours are still closed, but it’s worth the drive over the Colorado to see it. Park for $10 and you can still visit the Memorial Bridge Plaza and Walkway, hike the Historic Railway Trail, and grab a drink at the cafe.
Seven Magic Mountains
Head west on 15 toward LA and you’ll see towering, colorful rocks off to your left that make you want to stop, even if it wasn’t on the plan. Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone designed this exhibit in 2016 with a plan to keep it up for only two years, but locals and visitors love it so much that it’s still standing through the end of 2021 (with expectations to continue.) No reservations are required and it’s free to stop in.
Botanical garden, butterfly exhibit, bike trails, train rides, a playground and more…Springs Preserve is magical for families. You’ll always find something going on here, too, like guided garden tours or pop up demonstrations.
Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour and Tastings
You’ve got to tour the factory and take a chocolate tasting. They include a bit of education on how the chocolate is sourced, refined and produced, as well as the subtleties of chocolate tasting and flavor identification. And, well…tastings, of course! Don’t miss the amazing cactus garden before you go.
Visiting Las Vegas with friends or grandparents? Here is my tip. Leave the kids at the pool and go here with your main squeeze for the chocolate and wine pairing class.