Recently my husband and I have been dying to go on vacation. We were racking our brain trying to figure out a good place to take my 2 and 4 year old that they haven’t been before. Since we live in Arizona we go to California and Colorado for most of our trips. We really wanted some place different and new. We kind of stumbled upon the idea of Vegas and amazingly both agreed it would be a fun place to go. We’ve been there before, of course, but never with toddlers. When you think of Vegas you immediately think of the creepy guys handing out cards of naked women and drunk people stumbling around. It does have all that but during the day Vegas is actually quite calm. Our trip was a complete success and the kids loved Vegas. They were actually crying because we had to leave. I’d thought I’d share a few things we did along the way in case you may be thinking of taking your toddlers.
The first thing you book for Vegas is your hotel. We stayed at The Signature at MGM. It’s a little off the strip and right behind MGM. Although you have a little extra walk if you stay there, it’s totally worth it. They have awesome prices and the rooms are huge! The one bedroom suite is very affordable and you can have a bedroom to yourself while the kids stay on the sofa bed. It also has a fully stocked kitchen with a real fridge and cooktop stove. It’s right next to Top Golf which can be extra fun if your kiddos are a little older. My only complaint was that it had a balcony you could access from the living room with no top lock. The kids could easily reach the only lock and unlock the door if they really wanted to. At 35 stories up that freaked me out a little. A lot of families stay at this hotel and it’s got amazing customer service and it’s non-smoking, which I loved. They have a Starbucks and another little coffee shop for quick meals or snacks. We ended up cooking some meals in our room with food we brought. Everyone was extremely comfortable and the kids had tons of room to play. We also loved that we could book the entire hotel stay with our Chase points.
We only stayed in Vegas Thursday night-Saturday morning so we didn’t have much time to see all the sites. We tried to maximize our time there and do what we could. The one thing I will say about Vegas is you don’t realize how far everything is or how long it takes to walk there. It takes about 1/2 hour to get anywhere. You will absolutely need to bring your stroller if your kids cannot walk long distances.
We started out Thursday night hitting up the outlet stores on the North side of the strip. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory and stopped at the Disney Store Outlet to take the kids on a little shopping spree. We thought they would like having a couple new toys to play with at the hotel to keep them busy. The Outlet was clean and full of great stores like Ugg, Banana Republic and more. It’s a great place to do some real damage to your bank account and shop till you drop. After we shopped it was late so we headed back to the hotel where the kids ripped open their new toys and played with them for a bit before passing out.
The next morning the kids woke at 7 a.m. We ate breakfast I made in the hotel and my hubby and I grabbed coffee from Starbucks. Then we headed straight to the Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Hotel. We saw real Flamingos, Koi, Turtles and tons of beautiful duck species. There are several species of birds that live in the Habitat but we were only able to spot a couple. Once we got our Flamingo fix we headed to M & M’s World. This is a four-story shop filled wall to wall with everything M & M. There’s toys, clothing, flatware and of course candy. You can also make a custom M & M’s. Throughout the day there are plays and characters that make appearances. We later learned there’s a Hersey’s Chocolate World store at New York New York which has similar items. You may want to check that out if you’re not thrilled about M & M’s. After we got our candy fix on we decided to let the kids get some energy out at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. I don’t know what I expected from a hotel aquarium but this blew me away. There was a touch pool, walk through shark tunnels and several fish tanks. There were sea turtles and jellyfish and “teeth sharks” as my son so excitedly called them. The aquarium isn’t huge but for the space it has it’s packed with animals. The kids loved it, especially the touch pools. It’s definitely a must for anyone visiting with toddlers.
After that we headed to lunch and ended up at Shake Shack. This place is heaven for adults and kids alike. The burgers are amazing and my son gobbled down the hot dog while my daughter napped. It’s a great place to stop and take a break. We also decided to go back to our hotel room for an hour or so to let everyone’s legs rest including our own.
After that we hit the town again and headed straight for Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage. The kids loved this place so much. There were Dolphin encounters and Lions, Tigers and Leopards. All the times I have visited Vegas I never knew this place existed. The coolest thing we saw here was Siegfried himself. It was our only celebrity siting on the trip. Later, we went to Caesar’s Palace and watched the FREE Fall of Atlantis show. If you’ve never seen this show, then you need to. It’s every hour on the hour and animatronic characters tell the story of the fall of Atlantis. One warning about this show is not to stand too close because they use fire effects and it can get really hot. My daughter got a little scared of the show whenever the fire came on and I think it was mostly because of the heat it was producing.
The last thing we did for the night is head over to Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. There is no cost to get in and the Gardens never disappoint. They are always beautiful and the kids loved looking at the bright beautiful flowers. There were even giant chickens pecking around in the flowers, which made it even better for kids. After our full day we were ready to go back to our room, eat dinner and head to bed.
On our last morning there we again grabbed some coffees at Starbucks and ate in our room. We decided to drive to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. My son is totally obsessed with animals so they had tons of taxidermed ones every place you could look. They also had huge life size Dinosaurs and a whole exhibit about them, which was incredible. It was worth the short 5 minute drive from the strip. Our kids really enjoyed the kid’s playzone where they could dig for fossils, go inside a submarine and learn about other neat science functions. This is a great spot for kids and they can see and touch a lot.
After the Museum it was time to head home. We were all sad to leave and there were so many things we didn’t get to do. Our legs were sore and our feet hurt from all the walking but it was worth it. We loved every minute of our trip and can’t wait to go again. We went in the winter and I’ve heard Vegas has some amazing pools for kids so we will have to come back when it’s warmer.
The one huge thing I would emphasize about going to Vegas with kids is you really need to be back in your room at 6:30 p.m. or at the latest 7 p.m. Vegas is full of a lot of crazy drunk people looking to have fun but they come out at dark for the most part. It then becomes “Sin City.” You won’t want your kids experiencing that side of Vegas so you should plan to be back in your room early. The kids will be tired anyway and leaves plenty of time for you and your significant other to spend some quality time together. Other than that tip I would totally recommend taking a trip there. You’ll have a blast.