“In the end, kids won’t remember that fancy toy or game you bought for them, they will remember the time you spent with them” – Kevin Heath

 

How true are those words? Think of your own childhood, you remember the memories made and the time well spent as a family more so than any lavish toys you had. Most people think Las Vegas isn’t the place for kids but as someone who grew up in Vegas there is plenty to do for the youngsters. I’m going to give you some “on strip” ideas in this post and in another post I’ll give you “off strip” things to do that are well worth your time to travel there – some of them are even better than the things on the Strip! I’ve put my recommended ages next to each entry but these are not mandatory from each location. Let’s get started:

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay (All ages)
Address: 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Cost: Please notify them if you are a Nevada resident as there is a discounted rate.
Adult – $20
Seniors (65+) – $18
Children (Age 4-12) – $14
Children (3 & under) – FREE
Hours: Sun-Thurs 10 am – 7 pm and Fri-Sat 10 am – 9 pm
Website: http://www.sharkreef.com
Virtual Tour: http://www.motion-vr.net/mbsr/shark/shark-reef.html

This $60 million aquarium opened in June 2000 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino and houses hundreds of animals ranging from Komodo Dragons to Piranhas to Jellyfish to Sharks and everything in between! It is home to several endangered species that you may only see once in a lifetime. It takes about an hour to walk through but with the ticket purchases you are welcomed to stay as long as you’d like. There are incredible things to see and do during the tour, our son’s favorite area is a place where there is a shallow pool full of stingrays that you can touch and if you want to dish out a little more money you are able to experience one of the “Animal Encounters” programs where you are able to feed the stingrays, turtles or sharks yourself! (For pricing & program info click here). Lastly, if you are a certified scuba diver you are able to dive with the sharks for an encounter you’ll never forget (For info & pricing click here).

The Container Park (Ages 2-12 for the play area, all ages for food & shopping)

Address: 707 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Cost: FREE
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 am – 9 pm and Fri-Sat 11 am – 10 pm, Sun 11 am – 11 pm
Website: http://downtowncontainerpark.com/

This one-of-a-kind play area that was opened in December of 2013 was constructed of 43 re-purposed shipping containers and 41 locally manufactured Xtreme cubes and includes a Treehouse with a 33 foot tall slide! The play area features a NEOS play system to get your kids moving and to have fun doing it! While the kiddos are having a blast in the gated playground, mom & dad can go to all the boutique shops for a little shopping and grab a meal at one of the many dining options. Through out the year they have live entertainment (Click here for current events). Parking can be a bit tricky as there is no parking lot for the Container Park but there is metered parking around the outside of the park, in all honesty it’s probably best to take a taxi cab. To be fair, it’s not technically on the Strip, it is downtown but about 10 minutes North of the Stratosphere Casino. You could easily spend a couple hours here shopping, dining and enjoying any entertainment that might be going on.

The AdventureDome at Circus Circus (All ages)
Address: 2880 Las Vegas Blvd S., Las Vegas, NV 89109
Cost: Pricing varies greatly, click here to view options
Hours: The hours vary greatly as well, click here to view them
Website: http://www.adventuredome.com/


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You could easily spend all day in the Adventuredome riding rolling coasters, playing laser tag, a game of mini golf anyone? This unique indoor amusement park will be an action packed fun filled day for kids of all ages. They provide kiddie rides for the youngsters, family rides everyone can enjoy and extreme rides for the adrenaline junkie! It’s connected to the Circus Circus Hotel & Casino but provides a family friendly environment. The all day wristbands are probably you’re best deal as far as bang for your buck at $32 for a regular admission and $18 for a junior (juniors qualify as being 48″ and under). For a list of all rides & attractions click here.

The Midway at The Circus Circus (All ages)
Address: 2880 Las Vegas Blvd S., Las Vegas, NV 89109
Cost: $1-$3 per game
Hours: 10 am – 9 pm
Website: http://www.circuscircus.com

The Midway will always provide an awesome time for people ages 2 to 100! It has carnival style games with prizes up the wazoo! I would recommend planning to be here 1 to 2 hours, depending how addicted to the game playing you get. There is an arcade within The Midway you can also enjoy but there are no prizes to be won there. At 11 am everyday there are FREE world class circus acts for you to enjoy (Current acts & schedules can be found here). This is a great place to take the kids for some fun and to feel like a kid again yourself!

The Fun Dungeon at The Excalibur (All ages)
Address: 3850 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Cost: $1-$3 per game
Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Website: https://www.excalibur.com

The Fun Dungeon is similar to The Midway, carnival style games for a chance to win prizes and an awesome arcade to enjoy. The Fun Dungeon is located at the South end of the Strip (The Midway is on the North end) inside the Excalibur Hotel & Casino. There are more than 150 games and 65 arcade games. Our family prefers The Fun Dungeon over The Midway cause we think the games and prizes are better, plus there is more to do at The Excalibur after you’re done playing all those games!


Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat
(All ages)

Address: 3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Cost: Adult – $22, Children 4-12 – $17, Children 3 & under – FREE
Hours: 10 am – 6:30 pm (last admission at 5:30)
Website: https://www.mirage.com

Located at the Mirage Hotel & Casino, this is by far one of our most favorite things to do in Vegas. It is a fun, entertaining and educational experience. The garden and habitat is home to Bottlenose dolphins, leopards, white lions & white tigers. The dolphins have a large pool where they perform tricks that will leave you in awe. There is a trail you can take that heads underground to the bottom of the dolphin pool and you can watch from windows for a bottom level view of them diving deep down in the water swimming & playing. There are different experiences for purchase (painting with the dolphins, yoga with the dolphins, trainer for a day etc.) that can be found here. The passes are good all day and good for re-entry.


New York New York, The Big Apple Roller Coaster – 54″ tall & above
Address: 3790 Las Vegas Blvd South Las Vegas, NV 89109
Cost: $14 per ticket or $25 for an all day ride pass
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 am – 11 pm, Fri-Sat 10:30 am – midnight
Website: https://www.newyorknewyork.com

This ride only lasts a couple minutes but the memories will last a lifetime! The first plunge of this ride is so steep I actually lost my voice while screaming on the way down. The Big Apple reaches speeds up to 67 mph on the Vegas Strip and will leave you breathless.

 

 

 

Bodies – The Exhibition (Ages 10 & up)

Address: 3900 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Cost: Adults – $32, Children 4-12 – $24, Children 3 & under – FREE
Hours: 10 am – 10 pm (last admission at 9 pm)
Website: https://www.luxor.com

I gave this one a minimum age of 10 because although none of the bodies are presented in a scary or disrespectful way, I do believe some of the displays can be a little traumatic for younger kids. This exhibit features real human bodies and organs displayed in various rooms each room serving a different purpose to teach you about the skeletal, muscular, respiratory & circulatory systems. There is a room that also displays fetuses and babies to showcase the different stages of pregnancy. The entire exhibit is highly educational and very interesting. It takes about an hour to walk through and audio guides are available for an additional $5.


Titanic: Artifact Exhibition (All ages)
Address: 3900 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Cost: Adults – $32, Children 4-12 – $24, Children 0-3 – FREE
Hours: 10 am – 10 pm (last admission at 9 pm)
Website: https://www.luxor.com

I must confess, I’m partial to this exhibit because I’m completely obsessed with everything Titanic – that being said, to miss out on this would be a tragedy (am I being a bit dramatic here? Probably). This exhibit is so rich in history, education & experience. This 25,000 square foot display includes over 250 authentic artifacts recovered from the actual Titanic wreckage located miles below the Atlantic Ocean. There is even a re-created Grand Staircase and a Promenade Deck that you can walk on complete with frigid temperatures that re-create the atmosphere from that April night. It takes about an hour to walk through and you can grab an audio guide for an additional $5.

Who says Vegas isn’t for kids? These are just a handful of the fun & educational activities for children around the city. Let some of these be lasting memories that you give your family while vacationing in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Happy Travels!

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