I have never been to Las Vegas, and it’s probably the last place I would think of visiting with my kids – or at least it was until I was surprised by a Vegas hotel’s reaction to complaints about a breastfeeding mom. Now my thinking is I’d want a grown-up getaway there with my husband or some girlfriends, and our days would be filled with cocktails instead of sippys and high heels instead of flip flops. Helene Vece grew up and has lived in Las Vegas for the last 35 years, and she shares her top tips for Las Vegas with kids - thanks, Helene!
Las Vegas for Toddlers
Las Vegas and toddlers normally aren’t associated as two things that go together. But, they really are! Parents with young children shouldn’t miss out on visiting the famous Las Vegas Strip because of travel concerns. In reality, Sin City has tons of activities for toddlers!
The Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, the Fountains of Bellagio, the Coney Island Emporium, and Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat are just a few of the baby and toddler-friendly attractions in Las Vegas. The best part? They are all affordable and located on glitzy Las Vegas Boulevard! Parents can see the sights while children delight in engaging and educational attractions.
First, let’s address the main concern for most moms- bathroom breaks while walking the Strip. Baby-friendly bathrooms in Las Vegas are hit and miss, except for The Bellagio! The bathrooms inside this beautiful resort are extra-large! Moms with young children don’t have to cram into a single stall with their child. The Bellagio has plenty of room for mom, a few toddlers and a stroller. The separate sitting (nursing) areas built into the lobby bathrooms are an appreciated comfort. The Bellagio is a wonderful place for families to visit because the resort is clean and the attractions are free. Little children are always fond of the dancing fountains out front of the hotel, which go off every 15 minutes. The Bellagio also hosts an indoor flower conservatory that is free, too.
Another great activity for those traveling with children is the Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage. The tickets prices are under twenty dollars each. Parents can take children in strollers to the bottom level of the Habitat for an up close and personal view of the dolphins. Large glass windows allow children to press their hands and faces against the glass as dolphins swim about- sometimes they even come face-to-face with the children! The Habitat has a large cat section filled with lions and tigers, but no bears-oh my! The lions do brag about with furious growls, so use your discretion when it comes to visiting this section of the Habitat.
The Coney Island Emporium located within the New York New York hotel is fun for parents looking to stroll around, grab a quick bite and keep the younger ones entertained. The carnival games may be for school-aged children, but the lights and sounds will make toddlers “ooh” and “awe”. Plus, the Coney Island Emporium has great ice cream. The hotel’s bathrooms do offer changing stations that will do the trick, but they are nowhere in comparison to those at The Bellagio.
About ten minutes from all the glitz and glitter of the hotels is the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum. The Museum is on Las Vegas Blvd. but families will have to take a cab to get to the location and back. Everything in Las Vegas looks close, but the Museum really isn’t. Tickets for children are $8.50. There is no charge for babies who a year old or younger. According to its website, “Lied Discovery Children’sMuseum won the 2010 Parents’ Picks Awards in the category of Best Museum in Las Vegas.” The Museum has lots to offer toddlers and the building was designed to accommodate parents traveling with several bags and multi-child strollers. Every exhibit, and there are over a hundred, incorporates an educational component.
Las Vegas has many fun (often free) activities for toddlers. And, there are several hotels that offer daycare or in-room babysitting in their concierge office. Find more information about attractions for kids and toddlers in Las Vegas at VegasKids.info.
Las Vegas photo courtesy Bob Townsend