Bring the kids?
Those of you with families may at some point ask yourself the question, "Should we bring the kids?" Here's the answer: No.
Let me rephrase that: No, no, no. PLEASE, for the love of Pete, do not bring your children to Las Vegas. The tourist parts of town -- mainly the Strip -- are absolutely not for kids. I realize that Las Vegas made an attempt in the mid-90s to market itself as a family-friendly destination, where parents and children could all have a great time. It was a load of hooey. Everyone knew it and the poorly conceived campaign died a quick death.
Vegas can be an overwhelming city for anyone -- there's lots of drinking, smoking, cursing, yelling and skin on display. With all that stimuli it's no surprise that crying jags, fits of rage and pants-wetting aren't uncommon occurrences... do you really want to expose your children to that sort of behavior from the horserace bettors?
I realize that some parents are going to ignore my pleas to leave the children at home, or are so desperate for a vacation that they'll take a chance and bring the kiddos. If so, make sure that someone in your group is available every minute of the day to watch the young 'uns. Don't think you can just dump them off at the rollercoaster line and head to the blackjack table as a happy couple. If you try that then an hour later discover Little Johnny dealing baccarat while wearing a nametag declaring him to be "Thanh from Vietnam," you have only yourself to blame.
If you absolutely insist on bringing the offspring, the following hotels are about as kid-friendly as it gets in Las Vegas, in order which we'd recommend them to families:
- Circus Circus
- The Stratosphere
One more thing, keep in mind Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert. Which means dry air, wind-blown skin, dry eyes and, coupled with low hydration and too much cotton candy... well, we'll let you figure out "bathroom" issues and who needs a wet wipe. (Hint: If you're in my group, the answer is me.)