While there are various reasons why Las Vegas earned the nickname “Sin City” back in the Diatribe era leading up to the 1960s, the city has changed a lot since then. In recent years, the city has somewhat belied its sinful reputation for gambling, risqué pleasures, and over-the-top indulgences in favor of a family-friendly approach to the city’s much-needed tourism industry.
Rather than over-promoting its storied history as the Gambling Capital of the World, the city now rests its laurels on its reputation for being the Entertainment Capital of the World. The city’s relatively new identity as a kid-friendly destination has cemented Las Vegas as a family-friendly vacation destination for families with kids of all ages.
Are You Ready for an Adventure?
You don’t have to wait for a trip to Vegas for your next thrill! Enjoy unique experiences when you take Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition wherever and whenever you roam. You could even uncover challenges while enjoying some time at home with your loved ones. Grab a copy and scratch off your next adventure!
Kid-Friendly Attractions and Activities
When you visit Las Vegas, you’ll find family-friendly things to do and see along The Strip, throughout the metropolis, and beyond the city’s borders. Some of these attractions and activities qualify as must-see or must-do things while others are worth seeking out if you happen to be in the area. The city’s list of the best family-friendly things to do in Las Vegas includes both free and fee-based activities and attractions, making it easy to find things that will fit within your budget.
AdventureDome Theme Park
Whether you have young kids or teens, a trip to AdventureDome Theme Park is a must during any family vacation in Las Vegas. This five-acre indoor amusement park has more than 25 rides and attractions that range from kid-friendly to better update your will before riding.
The park’s family-friendly rides include the Circus Carousel, B.C. Bus, the Ferris wheel Drifters, and Road Runner. More mature toddlers may want to try out Frog Hopper and Thunderbirds. Thrill-seekers have a variety of rides to choose from, including:
- Canyon Blaster
- El Loco
- Canyon Cars
- Sand Pirates
- Sling Shot
- Lazer Blast
When your gang is ready to take a break from the park’s exciting rides, you can play classic arcade games or do some interactive activities like play miniature golf. Alternatively, you may want to catch one of the park’s free clown shows that run throughout the day or you might want to take a seat in the 4D theater to watch a kid-friendly movie with your brood.
There is no fee to enter Adventuredome Theme Park, but you do have to pay to try the rides and other amenities. To keep things on the affordable side, it’s advisable to purchase Ride-All-Day wristbands for your group if you plan to play arcade games for a considerable length of time or try out rides multiple times.
Adventuredome Theme Park is easy to find once you’re in Sin City. Make your way over to Circus Circus and look for the giant pink dome behind the hotel and casino to find the indoor theme park.
Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden
You can enter the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens through an opening that’s located across the lobby from the Bellagio’s front desk. The conservatory rests below a 50-foot glass ceiling that has beams, made with sculpted green metal consisting of oxidized copper, arranged in floral patterns.
Both horticultural and engineering teams tend to all the plants that occupy the 14,000 square-foot botanical garden. The arrangement of the plants and all the ancillary props changes in concert with the seasons and select holidays like the Lunar New Year. When the teams change the design every season, they aim to repurpose as much of the relocated and displaced plant material as they possibly can.
When you visit the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden, you’ll see more than 30,000 flowers and plants resting in garden beds specifically designed to represent earth, fire, water, and wind. Stepping into the conservatory is like stepping into a rainforest that’s bustling with life and beauty. The expertly curated “Eco: A Season of Earthly Awareness” was made to demonstrate MGM Resorts’ global commitment to fight climate change.
There is no admission fee to enter the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden, and visitors are welcome around the clock. If you’re looking for a breathtaking, relaxing setting to take family photos or selfies, the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden should be your destination.
Once you wrap up your stay in the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden, you can step outside to check out the casino’s amazing fountains. The Fountains of Bellagio are described as the “most ambitious, complex water feature ever conceived.” If you stay and watch one of their shows, you’ll likely understand why Bellagio makes that claim.
The Fountains of Bellagio include more than 1,000 fountains that stretch out over more than 1,000 feet of real estate. Depending on the particular show you observe, you might see the fountains send water soaring as high as 460 feet in the air. Fountain shows are enhanced by music and lighting effects, making them even more entertaining.
You don’t have to pay a fee or even be a guest at the Bellagio to watch a Vegas show. Every show is unique in various ways, so there’s always a new experience in store whenever you watch the Fountains of Bellagio do their thing.
The Fountains of Bellagio perform every 30 minutes from 3 pm until 8 pm Monday through Friday. On those same days, the fountains put on a show every 15 minutes from 8 pm until midnight. If you’re in Vegas during a weekend or on a holiday, you can see the fountains in action every 30 minutes from noon until 8 pm. Nightly shows on those days run every 15 minutes from 8 pm through midnight.
Do you want to see the Fountains of Bellagio as you explore Vegas with your family? We encourage you to sign up for our app-led Las Vegas Scavenger Hunt: Film Locations in Fabulous Las Vegas. This popular hunt will take you past the fountains as well as some other iconic locations that have made their way onto the big screen over the years. Sign up for this fun-filled 4.2-mile scavenger hunt today!
Fall of Atlantis Show
If you just can’t get enough of water shows, you should head over to Caesars Palace to check out the free Fall of Atlantis Show. This brief show only lasts 11 minutes, but every moment the show continues is a sight to see. Fall of Atlantis is a dramatic display thanks to some special fire effects and a few looming nine-foot-tall animatronic figures.
The water show at Caesars Palace restarts every hour on the hour. If you happen to be shopping at The Forum Shops, you should make it a point to watch Fall of Atlantis.
Home of the Greatest Entertainers in the World
While you’re at Caesars Palace you may want to catch a show. The casino proudly bills itself as the “home of the greatest entertainers in the world.” Shows are held in The Colosseum, which looks a lot like the real thing when you look at its brightly lit exterior from The Las Vegas Strip.
Usher, an eight-time GRAMMY Award-winner, is currently a resident performer at Caesars Palace as is music icon Morrissey. Other headliners like Sting, Van Morrison, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, and Journey have performed at The Colosseum or are scheduled to later this year. In addition to concerts, The Colosseum hosts comedic shows and theatre-in-the-round performances like Absinthe. It’s worth noting that Absinthe is not a kid-friendly production unless your children are adults.
If you want to buy tickets to a family-friendly show at The Colosseum, it’s wise to do so in advance. While you might get lucky with a last-minute purchase, a lot of shows sell out pretty quickly and tickets from third-party sellers can be pricey.
Downtown Container Park
Downtown Container Park is an open-air shopping center constructed with repurposed shipping containers. The park is home to a string of amenities for kids, including a Treehouse Playground, a 33-foot slide, and a NEOS playtime system.
Visitors won’t be disappointed with all the boutique stores, eateries, and entertainment options at Downtown Container Park. Retailers include:
- Art Box
- Athena’s Jewelry Box
- House of 1,000 Pins
- KRP Boutique
- Las Vegas Magic Shop
- Live at Your Own Pace Clothing Co.
- Sugar Chop Candy & Gifts
- Ziggy’s Art Studio
When you visit Downtown Las Vegas, you’ll have a variety of dining options available to you. Here are a few of the eateries you may want to try out:
- Bin 702
- Downtown Terrace
- JoJo’s Jerky
- Mob Pie
- No.1 Boba
- Oak & Ivy
- Pinches Tacos
Live entertainment is an ongoing thing here! Catch a show while your kids play in The Playhouse. Shows are held on the park’s main stage, and they often include live concerts, movies, and more.
Shark Reef Aquarium
When you visit Las Vegas with kids, you should put “visit Shark Reef Aquarium” high up on your list of places to visit. Located at the Mandalay Bay Resort, Shark Reef Aquarium has 14 exhibits that feature more than 2,000 sea creatures, including sharks, stingrays, crocodiles, piranhas, exotic fish, and endangered sea turtles.
As you walk down the tunnel, marine life will swirl all around you in spectacular fashion. Shark Reef Aquarium enables onlookers to view a higher concentration of unusual, exotic sharks than they’d ever be able to view in one place out in the wild.
The aquarium’s touch pool is a must-visit for children who know how to interact with animals. Younger children might need some close supervision if they’ve yet to master their grip strength or they’re prone to splashing.
Shark Reef Aquarium is open daily from 10 am until 6 pm. Entry tickets are good for a one-hour window, with the last tickets being sold for the hour between 5 pm and 6 pm. During peak times, the Aquarium has been known to sell out of tickets, so it’s wise to buy a ticket and reserve the date and time you plan to visit in advance online.
If you just can’t lock down the time you’re going to visit the aquarium, you can purchase an ANYTIME ticket. The aquarium only has a limited number of ANYTIME tickets available for a given day, so act fast if this option appeals to you. With an ANYTIME ticket, you simply have to schedule the day of your visit and you can arrive at any hour on the hour during the aquarium’s operating hours to go inside. Just remember, the last timed entry is 5 pm every day.
Big Apple Coaster & Arcade
If you want to take your family fun up a notch, make your way over to the New York-New York Hotel. That hotel is home to the Big Apple Coaster & Arcade. The roller coaster snakes around the New York-New York Hotel, and it reaches speeds up to 67 miles per hour. This ride isn’t for the faint of heart as it has an opening drop of 144 feet, a drop of 203 feet further into the ride, and an eventual heart-stopping 180-degree twist.
Like the Shark Reef Aquarium, the Big Apple Coaster has timed ticket entry to better manage capacity. With that in mind, it’s advisable to reserve your visit date and preferred time in advance. The time you choose is good for the two-hour window you select online, but you must be in line no less than 30 minutes before that two-hour window expires.
To avoid having disappointed kids, you should know that riders must be at least 4’ 5” to ride the Big Apple Coaster. You should also know that the coaster’s hours of operation and availability are subject to change due to weather conditions and other circumstances.
If your children aren’t tall enough just yet or the coaster can’t run because of inclement weather, your whole family can still have fun in the Big Apple Arcade. The arcade offers visitors the chance to play video games and try their hand at some carnival games.
Are you thinking about tying the knot during your family vacation? If so, you can take the plunge as you literally do the same aboard the Big Apple Coaster while traveling at nearly 70 miles per hour. Getting married is always exciting, so why not up the ante even more? Contact New York-New York for further details.
Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
As you may have guessed given the hotel’s name, the Flamingo Hotel is home to the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat. The habitat sprawls over 15 acres and it offers an escape from all the buzz Las Vegas is known for. As you walk through the habitat, you’ll see beautiful streams, waterfalls, turtles, fish, and, of course, some exotic birds.
Here are the birds you might get to see when you visit the habitat:
- Chilean flamingos
- Ringed teal ducks
- Sacred ibis
- Brown pelicans
The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat is open seven days per week, from 7 am until 8 pm. There is no entry fee to visit the habitat, and you don’t have to make a reservation to visit.
High Roller Observation Wheel
When you make your way over to Las Vegas Boulevard, you can’t help but notice the High Roller Observation Wheel. At 550 feet high, the wheel instantly grabs an observer’s attention. Located at The LINQ Hotel, the High Roller Observation Wheel offers some of the best views of The Las Vegas Strip and beyond.
The High Roller Observation Wheel is the largest of its kind in North America and it’s one of the biggest in the world. One rotation of the wheel takes 30 minutes to complete. Passengers ride in 28 roomy glass cabins that spin one foot per second to offer guests 360-degree views of Sin City and surrounding areas.
While the High Roller Observation Wheel is meant to be a fun experience, you can make your visit to the attraction a teachable moment. The LINQ Hotel has a S.T.E.M Family Field Trip Guide available on its website that consists of a 30 – 40-minute lesson plan. The plan is meant to generate familial discussions about various topics directly related to the wheel, including:
- Architectural design
If you plan to get married during your Vegas getaway but don’t want to exchange nuptials on a roller coaster, you may want to consider tying the knot aboard the High Roller Observation Wheel. The attraction offers several VIP wedding packages, so you can choose the exact experience you want to share with your partner and the rest of your family.
Similarly, the High Roller Observation Wheel should be on your list of contenders if you’re looking for a unique place to host a destination corporate event. From team building to retirement parties, holiday bashes, and more, you can’t go wrong with a corporate event on the High Roller Observation Wheel, particularly when you incorporate team-building activities planned by Let’s Roam into your function.
Eiffel Tower Experience
Have you always dreamed of visiting the Eiffel Tower? Well, you no longer have to travel all the way to France to visit the landmark. Las Vegas is home to a half-scale replica of the real Eiffel Tower. Located on the grounds of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, the replica rises 460 feet above The Strip.
Your experience at this location starts with a glass elevator ride up to the observation deck. Once you reach the observation deck, you’ll enjoy a bird’s eye view of The Las Vegas Strip, the Fountains of Bellagio, and the valley. While the attraction is open during the day, the nighttime views are worth holding out for.
At 46 stories high, love will certainly be in the air when you visit this attraction. Widely recognized as one of the most romantic spots in Vegas, the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel is a great place to get hitched, renew vows, and celebrate special occasions like anniversaries.
If your Vegas family vacation includes a stay at The Venetian, then you’re just one moving walkway away from one of the city’s most popular venues, Madame Tussauds. This attraction is widely regarded as the greatest wax museum in the world.
When you enter Madame Tussauds, you’ll be able to pose for pictures alongside life-like replicas of some of your favorite entertainers. From Drake to Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dog, Beychella, Elvis Presley, MARVEL superheroes, Tupac, Nicki Minaj, Evil Knievel, Muhammad Ali, and more, you can snap selfies and family photos with all of them and others.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Madame Tussauds has reduced its maximum guest capacity to ensure everyone can social distance during their visit. For this reason, it’s wise to book your visit online in advance to ensure you’ll be able to tour the wax museum. If you think you might grab a drink at the Hangover Bar, be sure you bring a credit or debit card because Madame Tussauds relies on plastic, not cash to settle transactions.
By booking a stay at The Mirage Hotel and Casino, you’ll put three cool amenities within easy reach. Behind the property’s front desk, you’ll find a 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium where you can view more than 400 tropical fish. In the hotel’s lobby, you can explore an atrium rainforest. The rainforest has waterfalls, palm trees, lagoons, and mesmerizing plants.
If you walk outside the hotel, you’ll find the property’s volcano replica. The volcano erupts every night at 8 pm and 9 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, the volcano erupts a third time at 10 pm. When the volcano goes off, you’ll see fire jetting into the air along with some smoke. Booming sound effects serve to amplify the impact the nightly show has on eager onlookers.
For even more family fun, you should book a helicopter tour. You can take a comparatively quick helicopter tour over The Las Vegas Strip, or you can book a more extravagant and lengthy tour for your family.
To make a day of a helicopter tour, you can book a Helicopter Picnic Tour by Sundance Helicopters. The Helicopter Picnic Tour starts with liftoff at the airport. The tour will then take you over some key sights as it makes its way toward the Grand Canyon.
Here are some of the sights you’ll fly over en route to the Grand Canyon:
- Mojave Desert
- Hoover Dam
- Colorado River
- Lake Mead
Once the copter lands in the Grand Canyon, your family can disembark and enjoy a picnic lunch in one of the seven natural wonders of the world. After you explore the Grand Canyon for a bit, the helicopter will whisk you back to Sin City, where more adventures await.
Valley of Fire State Park
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas for a day, you may want to take a ride over to the Valley of Fire State Park. About a one-hour ride outside of Vegas, the Valley of Fire State Park is the largest state park in Nevada.
Valley of Fire State Park has breathtaking points of natural beauty in every direction. To make sure you don’t miss any of the park’s most popular views, consider taking a guided tour through the park. Some points of interest you don’t want to miss include:
- The Cabins
- Elephant Rock
- Rainbow Vista
- Arch Rock
- Atlatl Rock
- The Beehive
Again, the sights listed above are just a few of the ones you’ll want to check out while you’re at the park. There’s plenty more to see at the Valley of Fire State Park, so make sure you dedicate enough time to see everything the park has to offer.
Bootleg Canyon Ziplines
Bootleg Canyon Ziplines is also outside of Las Vegas, but it’s worth the trip. This place has four zipline runs that stretch over the Mojave Desert. Each line can reach a top speed of 60 miles per hour. If you’ve ever wanted to soar above the desert, a trip to Bootleg Canyon Ziplines can make that dream a reality for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re planning on visiting Nevada with the kids in tow, consider this list of family-friendly things to do in Vegas! There are unique and fun-filled indoor and outdoor Las Vegas attractions.
Try some family-friendly things to do in Vegas such as riding the Big Apple Coaster, seeing the peaceful Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, or exploring the Treehouse Playground at Downtown Container Park.