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Las Vegas is a manageable 3.5 hour drive from Orange County, Ca or a short one hour flight from LAX or John Wayne airport, making Las Vegas a popular weekend getaway for many Southern Californians. In fact, Californians make up about 20% of Las Vegas tourists.
Despite the perception that Las Vegas is for adults only, there are an array of hotels and attractions that cater to families. From pristine pools to world-class family-friendly entertainment, there is so much to do for all ages. In this article, I will show you how to plan your next Las Vegas family vacation.
This is where your vacation kicks-off, so you really want to make sure you book the hotel that is right for your family's needs. Whether that be large rooms for big families, grand pool complexes, or home to exciting Las Vegas family attractions. Don't worry, there is no shortage in amazing hotels in Las Vegas. Some of my favorites include, The Mirage, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay, because of the access to awesome pools, family-friendly shows and entertainment. To learn more about these hotels as well as some my other suggestions, see my five favorite family-hotels in Las Vegas article.
Exciting and affordable, there is no better way to spend the hot desert day in Las Vegas than by the pool. Luckily, there are ton to choose from, but of course, I have my favorites. See my article, Best Family Pools in Las Vegas, for more details about the pools' features and why they rock. Basically, you want a pool the kids will love and that will allow their imaginations to flourish. Pools with cascading waterfalls, like at The Mirage or pools with winding lazy rivers and beaches, like The Manadaly are sure make a kid's day. There is even a pool at The Golden Nugget that has a waterslide that soars through a live shark tank!
Enjoy Las Vegas Family Attractions
There are so many family attractions for all ages that it is kind of crazy. If your child love animals, be sure to check out the Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage or the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. Soar to the top of The Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel or take a relaxing Gondola ride at the Venetian for a mini global adventure in Las Vegas. For more affordable fun family attractions, see my article, 13 Affordable Las Vegas Family Attractions.
There are also many attractions that are free to enjoy and the kids will love. The Volcano at The Mirage and the live Mermaids at the Silverton are family favorites. Just walking the strip you are bound to come upon a free and exciting attraction, from water shows, to live music, and more. I give more detailed examples in my article, Free Family Activities in Las Vegas.
Teens are a tougher crowd, but don't worry there are a ton of awesome things to do in Las Vegas that teens will love. Teens will love the thrilling rides, like the Big Apple Coaster at New York New York Hotel or the VooDoo Zipline at Rio. There are also very cool immersive experiences, like Area 15, Zak Bagan's Haunted Museum, The Mob Museum, Bodies Exhibit and much more! For more details about these attractions and even more suggestions, check out Things to in Las Vegas for Teens.
Las Vegas is an entertainment capital with world-class shows around every corner. Seeing a show with the family is a great way to spend the evening. Happily, there are many shows that are fun for all ages. Whatever you are into Las Vegas has in abundance. There are comedy shows, like Terry Factor, incredible magic shows like Jen Kremer, and brilliant music and dance productions, like Michael Jackson ONE and Jabbawockeez. Vegas has amazing Cirque du Soleil shows for families too! To help break down this information, I have put together a full list and extensive reviews of 21 Las Vegas Shows for Families, so that you pick the best one for your family. I even make special suggestions for teens.
Enjoying an evening of live music and great food with the kids is not off-limits in Las Vegas. Irish pubs, like Nine Fine Irishmen at New York New York and Ri Ra Irish Pub at Mandalay have awesome house bands that really know how to make an evening lively. If you love Italian food, Casa di Amore has live music, delicious pasta dishes and a cool old-school Vegas vibe. These is just a small example, but for more information on the venues mentioned as well as more suggestions, see Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Live Music.
Go Beyond Vegas
While you are in town, take advantage of awesome nearby sites with an exciting Las Vegas day trip or mini road trip. Las Vegas is near Red Rock Canyon, Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, just to name few. From Vegas you can partake in cool day tours, like the King of Canyons Tour, that gives you a helicopter ride over Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Black Mountains, Great Wash Cliffs, and Las Vegas Strip. For those looking to extend their trip consider Zion National Park or the Grand Canyon South Rim.
That's a Wrap!
For Southern Californian families, Las Vegas is an easy and fun family getaway. There is so much more to do in Las Vegas and beyond, from exciting shows, pools, attractions to awesome natural wonders. The only problem, will not be having enough time to do it all.