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
  • Excalibur
  • 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.)

21 responses to “Bring the kids?”

  1. Kelle said:

    we are with our child on many vacations, and all the weeks and weekends, so 'getting away from the kid' is just fine and very enjoyable! It is a family values choice to expose the kids to the language-sights-activities on the strip.

  2. Anna said:

    I'm totally blown by the rude comments on here. I've been there 4 times now and this will be the second time with kids and I did not see anything that kids can't see. Half naked women? Where did everyone see them?? Obviously late at night when we where all asleep in our hotel. I don't care what anyone says about Vegas being just for adults and they don't want to see snot nosed kids. Then go to an ADULTS only resort somewhere because no one tells me I can't take my kids on Vacation!!! They haven't stopped talking about how much fun they had last year in Vegas and it will be something they'll never forget :)

  3. over self entitlements said:

    I am disgusted at the remarks of any parent saying they dont want to see my snot nosed children. We always stay at the venetian and we ALWAYS bring our children wherever we go. We have 2 yr old and a 6 month old. Any self respecting parent has young ones in bed by 8, so get over the condescending remarks. There are tons of things to do, on the strip, with children. The mirage has the animals, the pirate ship @ treasure island, the gondaleers and the wax museum. The venetian even offers in room baby sitting services. Just because some people feel they have to "escape" their children like they are a prison sentence, not all of us feel that way! I want to show my children the world. Not binge drink because the pressures of home are overwhelming me.

  4. Steve the Texan said: stands by its position that children should not be brought to tourist Las Vegas, most notably the Strip. Part of that is because it exposes kids to a VERY adult environment of sex, alcohol and gambling, but also out of consideration for other visitors, many of whom are specifically looking to get away from kids for a few days.

  5. Travel with Bender (Erin) said:

    We are currently staying at the Monte Carlo in Vegas with kids... 8 nights. We have had a great time. Our kids are 2 & 4 and there is so much to do with them. I would have to say this article is outdated and not true. Bring your kids, it's a blast! And coming all the way from Australia I think we deserve the right to see Vegas as much as anyone.

  6. Lou said:

    Well after reading all your comments I am a bit dis-heartened.
    I am coming over from the UK for christmas and new year, we are off to LA to sepan christmas with family and then they are coming with us for a few days to travel to Vegas.
    Its a holiday in a life time for us and we will not leave our baby at home as she will meet her family for the first time.
    We are responsible parents and would not be out on the strip at ceertain times.
    I can honestly say to all that are being this negative, I hope we do not bump into the likes of you as I will not let you dampen our holiday mood!!

  7. Steve the Texan said:

    I would suggest that there are additional factors involved when it comes to bringing kids to Las Vegas. Namely a consideration for fellow visitors. A major complaint I hear from visitors disappointed in their visit is "there were kids everywhere [in the hotel]".

    Las Vegas -- the major tourist areas, at least -- is an adult's playground and should be treated as such.'s position on bringing children, to the Strip especially, remains this: Please don't.

  8. Kelly said:

    Vegas is a perfectly wonderful place for children and families. However, just as in any tourist destination in a larger city, you must use common sense. I always go to Las Vegas both on trips with just my wife and I, as well as family trips with the kids. Las Vegas certainly has an abundance to offer for both typs of trips. If bringing the kids, there are tons of things to enjoy together such as great dining, aquariums, animal exhibits, shopping, arcades, sports entertainment, etc, etc. etc. For the adult trips, you have the boozing and the gambling. Please don't intermix the two and everyone will find a magical experience for all.

  9. Greg said:

    We always bring our kids. We have stayed both on and off the strip. We have always had an amazing time. Common sense is all that is needed. Don't bring your kids to places where kids are not allowed to be. It's that simple. There is a tremendous amount of attractions for kids and families in Las Vegas. There are great restaurants, shopping, pools, arcades, animal exhibits, aquariums, and educational attractions. Also, the kids love the sounds and bright lights when walking briefly through the casino to get back to the comfy hotel rooms. Las Vegas is a great place for families to enjoy. Just be responsible.

  10. Don said:

    Vegas is an amazing place with or without taking the kids. If you don't like seeing kids in Vegas, please mind your own business and get back to doing whatever it is you enjoy there.

    There are TONS and TONS of fun things to do for kids and families, EVEN on the strip! Just be responsible and respectful and Vegas can be a fun place for everyone.

  11. Lori said:

    I would NEVER want to expose my children to the things I saw while in Vegas for a week. People please, justify it if you must, but you know it's not for probably couldn't get a sitter.

  12. DCraziest said:

    I went to Vegas for the first time last year and it was one of the best times I ever had. On another's definitely NOT a place for young kids-I don't care what people say...I saw more skin than a dermatologist and more T and A than a mammogram and colon cleanse put together! I would never, I repeat NEVER take my kids there...well maybe when they are old enough to actually understand the "Coupon" offers handed to them on nearly every know the one's offering T & A at a discount???? My God, there are so many other real family oriented places in the world to take a child---I think vacationing with children in Vegas is almost as irresponsible as taking them to watch a pornography in a nudy shop. The hotels are filled with smoke, drunken, mostly scantily dressed women and hardcore party-goers-as it should be. The streets are filled with adults who are there for adult entertainment, no holds barred, no censorship's Vegas, not Disneyland. And besides...I would prefer not to do my sinning in the presence of

  13. kerr eastwood said:

    I have found its ok to take the kids in the summer but no kids are seen te rest of the year which seems fair enough.travelling from UK spending thousands of dollars just to get here most people can't afford two trips so the kids have to come. I have spent 12 years visiting USA and for about the last four my children,now 14 and 17 prefer Vegas and the theme parks of LA to Florida. Their choice so it must be good. The rooms with movies means the parents can get out to party. Trust me. Its a fantastic place for fun and teenagers will love it.

  14. Mo said:

    For the sake of all the adults looking to get away from snot-nose kids (like me), DO NOT BRING THEM! Kids can go just about anywhere nowadays, and the last thing I want to do while having a good time in Vegas is get bombarded by strollers being pushed by clueless soccer moms, or have little kids running down Fremont Street amongst the drunk frat boys. THERE'S NOTHING FOR KIDS IN VEGAS...TAKE THEM TO DISNEYLAND or LEAVE THEM AT GRANDMA'S!!!!!

  15. Steve the Texan said:

    For visitors who insist on bringing children to Las Vegas, Tete does list the best choices, namely Circus Circus and Excalibur. But tourist Vegas simply is not "child friendly" at all. The various visitors bureaus do not even try to present it as such. Just the opposite in fact.

    Vegas is an adult Disneyland, pure and simple. The common sights on the Strip move to R-rated pretty quickly, and most other visitors would prefer not to have people bring their children.

    As always, the official First Time Las Vegas position on taking kids to Vegas is simply, "Don't. Please don't."

  16. Tete in Cali said:

    well i disagree, vegas is more family- friend now , then it was before. also every casino is going to have yelling,cursing . there are familys things to do people live in nice communitys so . you can bring the kids. circus- circus got (mid way ,adventure,ecailbur,games works, m&m store,

  17. Robertito said:

    Adults that go to Vegas do not want to see children, their own or yours. Please take your kids on a family vacation. You are lying to yourself, when you say that Vegas is kid friendly. Not going to Vegas may keep your kids, kids for just a little bit longer.

  18. Emily said:

    I took my kids 10,12 and 13 and they had a blast at the Stratosphere hotel it was really nice and there is only nasty stuff in the night NOT ALL THE TIME!!!!!!! It was very beautiful! And im planning on taking my kids there again. We're actually going there tomorrow

  19. Pablo Job said:

    Yes...bring your kids....NO DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES STAY ON THE STRIP...Circus Circus is garbage, Excalibur...go here to take them to the show. Stay at Red Rocks or station casinos with a Kids Quest club. We did this with our 4/2 year old boys....they had a blast! They can stay there up to 5 hours a day and it is a little kids "vegas". I didn't believe it either but they kept calling me and convinced me and my wife. I had taken them for 56k on a trip that is why they kept wanting me to come "on them". Nice try... It was AWESOME and the Red Rocks park is right of the best trips seriously...and the boys constantly ask when we are going -- actually they sound like my Red Rocks Casino Host.

  20. Steve the Texan said:

    If parents are determined to bring their children to Las Vegas, Excalibur, Circus Circus and the Stratosphere are the best available options. But make no mistake, the tourist areas of Vegas are absolutely NOT a place for kids. Disneyland is a family-friendly vacation spot; the Vegas Strip is a place where sidewalks are lined by gamuts of people trying to hand out cards and flyers for escort services.

    The position remains this: It's best to leave the children at home. Vegas is an adult playground.

  21. Peter said:

    We took our kids 3 boys from the ages 1 year to 17 years old , stayed at Ecalibur for 7 days and had an absolute blast!!! theres PLENTY of things for them to do. As far as the comments on swearing and smoke and skin on display...hog wash! thats usually in the casinos and only at night...and really?? not that bad worse is seen and heard on tv these days! Get a grip Vegas is now family friendly..get over it!

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