Stay in an ice hotel, attend a winter festival and wander through an ice castle.
You enjoyed Las Vegas in your B.C. (before children) years, and there’s no reason you can’t with the tots in tow. Place your bets on these kid-friendly experiences in, and around, the city.
When everyone starts to get Vegas’d out, head north into the revitalized downtown to the Container Park, located on historic Fremont Street. Boutiques and restaurants built into 44 refurbished shipping containers ring this open-air, urban space, with a playground and climbing structure at the centre. Parents can relax with a Frose cocktail from Bin 702 while the children get their ya-yas out.
Walking through a casino past bedtime provides its own unique education, but a number of museums deliver a more age-appropriate rendering of facts. At the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, learn about giant, crocodile-like dinosaurs that once patrolled the state back when it was covered by a shallow sea. Don’t miss the Wild Nevada Gallery to learn about the plants and animals that survive the extreme heat of the Mojave Desert.
Make time to visit the Grand Canyon, just a few hours from Vegas by car. Drive Route 66 to Williams, Ariz., and then climb aboard the Grand Canyon Railway to ride to the South Rim. Kids will love the singing cowboys and train robbers almost as much as the natural wonder that awaits them. Be sure to hike down part of the Bright Angel Trail into the canyon proper to really appreciate its size.
You can’t visit Vegas without catching a live performance. Cirque du Soleil is a perennial family-pleaser, with up to six different shows on offer every night from Thursday through Monday. Sit in awe during the 90-minute performance of The Beatles LOVE, a multi-sensory romp set to some of the Fab Four’s best songs. If your children aren’t Beatles fans when “Get Back” kicks off the evening, they’ll be converts by the time “All You Need Is Love” closes the performance (cue the tears).
Experience an adrenaline rush at The Adventuredome at Circus Circus Las Vegas, an amusement park that squeezes two roller coasters, bumper cars, a pirate ship swing, carousel, mini golf, laser tag, climbing wall and an arcade inside a glassed-in space that resembles a big top. Buy an all-day ride pass and do laps on El Loco, a four-person coaster that does a stomach lurching, vertical 1.5-G-force drop. Timid riders will enjoy Miner Mike, a “starter” coaster.
[This story appears in the March 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]
Discovering San Diego’s Low-Key Spots for Family Fun
Writer Lisa Kadane and her family explore San Diego like locals by visiting its lesser-known attractions. Here, she writes about her experience with her kids riding the carousel at Belmont Park, swimming at La Jolla Children's Pool and wandering through Birch Aquarium.