Friday, October 22, 2010

Las Vegas for the family

Las Vegas would probably be the last city you'd want to visit for a family vacation with a toddler. You're probably thinking, they didn't call it the Sin City for nothing. But despite all the cautionary tales from countless CSI reruns, we still went ahead and celebrated my birthday and our anniversary in Las Vegas early this month. P and I have always been curious about The Strip and wanted to experience the excess and grandeur for ourselves. As it turns out, there were other adventurous parents like us who were brave enough to bring thier kids along to a weekend in Vegas.

I would say the trip was a success. We were able to see what we came to see while making it as enjoyable as possible for the little one. If you're planning a family vacation in Vegas here are some kid-friendly tips that might come in handy:

If you're vacationing with minors, only walk the strip while the sun is out. Once it gets dark the crowd gets rowdy (probably because by this time most people are drunk) and all the sex peddlers come out. Not even a stroller will stop them from handing out their flyers.

The hotel buffets are a good choice for dining with toddlers. For one, they eat for free. Secondly, there's a variety of food to choose from so you have options for your picky eater. The buffets are very casual so you don't have to worry about your little one making a bit of mess during meal times.

the buffet at the Paris Hotel

Entertain yourselves for free by touring the different themed hotels. The lobby at the Bellagio is something you wouldn't want to miss. While we were there their lobby was transformed into an enchanted forest - enchanting both young and old. Other must-see free attractions are the water show at the Bellagio fountain which starts at 6pm everyday and the lion feeding at the Lion Habitat at MGM Grand everyday at 4:30pm.

enchanted forest at the Bellagio Hotel lobby

Choose your accomodations wisely. I recommend the Venetian for families for several reasons. One, the suites are very spacious. Two, there is a food court in the hotel, convenient for buying food especially since rooms don't have microwaves. Third, they have heated pools so you have the option to just have relaxing family time in the pool area. Fourth, there's a Walgreens in the hotel if you need to get supplies. Believe me, that's a real consideration if you have a toddler in tow. The next closest place you can get water and other miscellaneous items are from Walgreens and CVS near MGM Grand (which is like a mile away). Another family-friendly hotel that we want to try on our next trip (if there will ever be one) is Mandalay Bay. The hotel is situated at the end of the strip so it's close enough if you want to join in on the action but far enough so you can also enjoy some peace and quiet. Plus they have a great resort with a wave pool.

Last but not least, relax and enjoy each moment together.

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