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  1. Default Family hotel, activities, car needs

    We're planning on several days in Vegas -- it'll be halfway through our one-month trip, and it'll be something of a rest from the fast pace we plan for the rest of the trip. I have a couple questions:

    Cost is ALWAYS a consideration! Does anyone know of any great come-stay-cheap-and-see-our-timeshare deals? We'd be willing to put a couple hours into a timeshare presentation in exchange for a good price on a room!

    If we end up paying for real, we'd probably choose the Mirage. Our two girls (who'll be 12 and 15) will enjoy a great pool, especially since much of the entertainment in Vegas isn't child-appropriate. We also like the idea that it's within walking distance of many of the big touristy things. Does anyone who's more familiar than we are with Vegas have any other ideas?

    I know about the typical Vegas stuff on the strip. Any ideas for other cool stuff to do with the kids? Or maybe things for ME to do with the kids while dad takes some "time off" and does some adult stuff -- he needs a break from us occasionally. I was thinking of ATVs in the Valley of Fire. Any water parks in the Vegas area?

    By the time we reach Vegas, our car will need an oil change; we've never had a car in Vegas before, and we've had no problem walking, so we're thinking that this won't be a big deal. Anyone know a good place to leave the car for its maintenance?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Vegas if more family-friendly these days

    There are actually more things to do with kids and entertainment geared toward kids (and the kid in us all) than ever before. I'm sure if you poke around this "Going to Las Vegas!" section of the forum that you'll find lots of good tips. Another good resource is Megan Edward's Living Las Vegas.

    I also did a google for "kids las vegas" and found several websites geared toward this kind of information. Several look pretty good and like they may have tons of good information for you to make your stop in Vegas a fun time for your whole family.

    Can we help you with any other part of your roadtrip planning? Sounds like you're going to have a blast!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default An oft-repeated slogan that is out-of-date

    It is amazing how pervasive marketing slogans can become. In a mis-guided marketing promotion in the 1990's, someone starting promoting Las Vegas as a family-friendly place to visit. That perspective has been 100% reversed by the marketing staffs at virtually every resort property on the Strip. As a resident, who loves to live here -- I can tell you that Las Vegas is a fun place to live, but it is not a very family-friendly place to vacation. In fact, all hotels would prefer that adults come here and party (and leave their children with other family members back home).

    As a resident, there are plenty of youth-oriented activities -- but that does not extend, generally, to out-towners on holiday.

    There are wonderful pools and hotel amentities here -- but you won't get a recommendation from me for choosing Las Vegas as a family holiday destination. The hotels provide a great place for hosting weddings (with lots of family) and day-trips outside of the strip area (again with family) but you will, no doubt, discover some restrictions when the guests are under 21.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-28-2008 at 06:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default changed focus, but

    It is absolutely true that Vegas discovered that "kid friendly" is not the image they want give off, however, there still are plenty of things for kids to enjoy. Many of my favorite things in Vegas are simply vast variety of thing there are simply to look at on the strip, be it the lights of the strip, the dancing fountains, or the city of New York crammed into half a block. All of those things are free and can be enjoyed by kids. Several casinos still also have arcades or other things for kids to do. We were last through Vegas on a family roadtrip 5 years ago, and I still get questions about "when are we going to go back to Las Vegas?"

    The fact is that Vegas doesn't want to market itself as "family friendly" and they would rather have you leave the kids at home because you'll spend more money if you do, but they certainly aren't going out of their way to turn away families either.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Agreed

    Of course, Las Vegas has become a major holiday destination, because there are so many things to do in Las Vegas. And many of these attractions are great for kids under 21. I just try and keep "it real" here -- I can tell you that resort marketing personnel sort of "cringe" when they hear folks describe Las Vegas as "family friendly"

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Famiy-friendly, I think so

    I hate gambling. The most I have ever gambled when in Vegas was $1.50....for the entire trip!! I was last there about 7 years ago. My then 14-year old son and I played video games, went on rides, walked around to watch the various free shows, fountain shows, ship battles (now defunct?), enjoyed just walking around and looking at the various strange and wonderful architectural designs of the various big casinos, people-watching, and places like The Lucille Ball Museum, the Star Trek Experience, and such. We were there about 2.5 days and never got bored. Zero time in the casinos and I never even went into a lounge. Had a blast!

    I would say that families that are ultra-sensitive to exposing their children to odd people and people that might be doing things either immoral or illegal who walk along The Strip might find that unsettling. But I really didn't notice much of that myself.

    But, then again, everybody probably has a bit of a different definition of the word and since Mark lives there, I think his comments have a lot of value. I suppose this is an YMMV (your mileage may vary) issue.

  7. Default

    Yeah, DH and I have been to Vegas (the kids have not), and we totally agree that it's not family friendly; however, it's going to be about halfway through our cross-country driving trip, and we figure it's a good place for a two-day rest stop. Our main goals are to stay at a hotel with a great pool so that the kids and I can enjoy some time out of the car, and so that DH can get away from us a little and enjoy some time to himself.

    My real questions were about family activities that we might have in reserve; the only thing I'm really thinking of is ATVs in the Valley of Fire. We also figure the car'll need an oil change/check-up, and if anyone knows a good place to leave the car, I'd appreciate it.

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