May 12 2010

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Not just for grown-ups: 5 family-friendly Las Vegas hotels

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By Maria Mora

Last time my husband and I hit the Las Vegas strip, we were newlyweds with no children. We booked inexpensive Las Vegas hotels and didn’t research anything before leaving. Now, as a mom, I know to investigate hotels before booking — so I can vacation with my kids without going crazy!

The Lion King at the Miskoff Theater, Las Vegas.

The Lion King at the Miskoff Theater

You may be wondering, why would anyone in their right mind take their kids on a Las Vegas vacation? From shark reefs and circuses to water parks and “kids eat free” buffets, there are plenty of kid-friendly attractions and hotels in Las Vegas. Plus, many Las Vegas hotels offer babysitting services, so at the end of a long day doing kid-centric activities, mom and dad can hit the town. If your family is in Vegas over Memorial Day weekend, the grownups  may want to reserve a sitter and check out “The Love Festival” at the Palms, May 27 – 30. It’s an all-weekend music-fest featuring some of the hottest hip hop and electronic deejays; ticket prices start at $25.

These five Las Vegas casino hotels have exactly the sorts of features I look for when booking a trip with my young kids:

Rollercoaster in the Circus Circus Adventurdome

Rollercoaster in the Circus Circus Adventurdome

1. Circus Circus Hotel: Thanks to the Adventuredome theme park and circus-themed activities, this Las Vegas casino hotel is considered the premiere Vegas destination for travelers with kids.This may be obvious, but expect to see lots of kids at this hotel.

2. Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino: There’s a difference between traveling for the kids and traveling with the kids. The Mandalay Bay Hotel combines fun activities for kids — like a shark reef and wave pool — with more of a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere for adults.

3. Excalibur Hotel and Casino: This classic Vegas landmark has great prices for families. The Midway keeps older kids busy while grown-ups play in the casino. Try the Tournament of Kings dinner show if your kids are into knights and princesses.

The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

4. New York-New York Hotel & Casino: It’s possible to have fun at this hotel without ever leaving the property. With tons of restaurants on site, families can eat for a great price. Older kids will love the roller coaster. After bedtime, parents can book a babysitter and enjoy Cirque du Soleil Zumanity.

5. MGM Grand Hotel and Casino: While not as overtly kid-friendly as some of the other Las Vegas hotels, the MGM Grand offers spacious rooms, convenient access to the monorail, and lots of dining options right on site. Just pack a stroller when traveling with small children — this hotel is huge and involves a lot of walking.

Maria Mora is a memoir blogger and wannabe photographer. She travels extensively throughout Florida and the Caribbean with her two young sons.

More About: Nina Kokotas Hahn

Nina Kokotas Hahn is a travel writer and Chicago journalist whose work appears in Chicago magazine, HuffPost Travel and Condé Nast’s HotelChatter. Globetrotting since infancy, she’s the daughter of a travel agent and considers thrill seeking part of the DNA. Find her on Twitter at @ninakhahn.
View More Posts By Nina Kokotas Hahn
Posted on: May 12, 2010 | | Category: Family TravelCategory: Las Vegas Vacation

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