A place known as Sin City doesn’t exactly seem like the best place to travel with kids, but Las Vegas actually does have a lot of great attractions you can enjoy with your little ones. From family-friendly places to visit in Las Vegas to outdoor and historic attractions like Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam, there are plenty of things you and your children can enjoy — without descending into the smoky depths of a casino. Finding suitable lodgings is also pretty easy. While there are some smoke-free, gaming-free hotels on the Strip, some of Las Vegas’ top family attractions are easier to find in hotels off the Strip. Here’s where to look for places to stay in Las Vegas with family.
On The Strip
A vacation rental on the Strip puts you and your family right in the thick of the action. Kids will enjoy attractions like the gondola rides at the Venetian Hotel, the replicas of the Brooklyn Bridge and a Coney Island roller coaster at the New York, New York Hotel and the Wild Life Habitat at the Flamingo Hotel. Families can chow down at one of the great buffets in the area before catching a music concert or theatrical performance at night.
The Strip happens to be the place where some of the most famous, opulent casino hotels in Vegas are situated, but it’s far from the only place to find over-the-top luxury and gaming. Off-Strip resorts in the area are great for kids because they tend to be self-contained, with many different things to do under one roof. Activities and amenities your kids might find here (and love) include pools, movie theaters and bowling alleys. Options like Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa and Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa offer something for everyone in the family, including parents who might want to let their hair down and gamble a bit.
Lake Mead happens to offer easy access to Hoover Dam, and it’s also home to a number of great lakeside resorts that offer elegant accommodations and numerous fun-in-the-sun family activities. Several major hotel chains operate large resorts on Lake Mead, and each has special amenities for families. You might find kids’ clubs and activities or rollaway beds for little ones. These hotels are far away from the noise and debauchery of the Strip, but they aren’t so far that you can’t leave the kids at the resort’s club or with a babysitter and head into town for some classic Vegas fun in between activities with the whole family.
One neighbor of Las Vegas is the lakeside community of Boulder City, a small town with controlled growth and no gaming. Boulder City is home of Lake Mead — the world’s largest reservoir — and the globally renowned Hoover Dam.
Also nearby is Henderson, NV, a town that’s earned multiple awards for livability. Attractions in Henderson include Lake Las Vegas, the Lion Habitat Ranch, Clark County Historical Museum and Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. Some regard the neighborhood of Anthem as especially suitable for families.
Summerlin, an affluent master-planned community in the area, features 150 miles of trails, more than 450 neighborhood parks, and special events like an arts festival and musical concert series. Close at hand is the visually stunning Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a popular site for bicycling.
Fun spots in Primm include Buffalo Bill’s Casino, with family-oriented action such as the steep Desperado Roller Coaster and gentler Adventure Canyon Log Flume Ride. Also in this suburb are Sandy Valley Ranch — for guided horseback tours — and Ivanpah Dry Lake, where folks participate in an esoteric sport called dry yachting.
A separate city from Las Vegas, neighboring North Las Vegas is a particularly affordable area with plenty of attractions of its own. A planetarium, helicopter tours and the Aliante Nature Discovery Park are just a few.
Located less than an hour away from Vegas, the town of Jean, NV offers activities for teen and adult thrill-seekers that include extreme skydiving, guided kayak tours, and SpeedVegas — a fast track for guided high-speed auto racing that’s open to the public.
Situated about 90 miles from Las Vegas is the town of Laughlin. The small town has its own casinos, stretching along the Colorado River, with a water taxi running between them. Jet skis can be rented. Family members can also visit Lake Mohave, make their way through mazes at Laughlin Labyrinth and take a 12-mile drive through breathtaking desert scenery at Christmas Tree Pass.
Located on the north end of Lake Mead, about 60 miles from Las Vegas, is the unincorporated town of Overton. Among its attractions are the Lost City Museum, focusing on Native American artifacts, and Valley of Fire State Park, the largest and oldest state park in Nevada, featuring areas of petrified wood in addition to ancient rock carvings referred to as petroglyphs. Approximately seven miles southeast of Overton is the intriguing St. Thomas Ghost Town.