Las Vegas for kids proves there’s something for everyone here—even if it didn’t start out that way. In the last few years, Sin City has transformed into a place where anyone can have fun, no matter their age. With the addition of roller coasters, interactive aquariums, and family-friendly shows, the list of things to do in Las Vegas with kids has really expanded lately.
There’s no doubt that most kids love animals, and many of the things to do in Las Vegas with kids involve animal encounters. Several of the mega hotels have animal encounters as part of their rich offerings and none is bigger than Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat, located at the Mirage. Kids and their families will find a magical home to white tigers, panthers, and other big cats. Friendly, intelligent bottle-nose dolphins swim through more than a million gallons of water at this magical attraction. Special behind-the-scenes tours are available, as are discounts for Nevada residents and guests of the Mirage.
The Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium is another favorite in the tale of Las Vegas for kids. This amazing place surrounds visitors with nearly 360 degrees of ocean waters, where more than 2,000 marine creatures, including 15 different species of shark, swim all around. Kids can get even closer to the sharks when they visit the touch pool, which is also home to elegant rays and scuttling horseshoe crabs.
Heading off The Strip, kids and their families could enjoy a visit to the aquarium at the Silverton Hotel. Its premiere showcase is the saltwater aquarium along with the daily feedings and live mermaid swims scheduled Thursdays through Sundays. It’s also one of the top free attractions in Las Vegas. When you’re looking for even more things to do in Las Vegas with kids off The Strip, consider a visit to Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park. This small but charming zoo is a good place to get out and take a walk to see some amazing creatures away, including the only set of Barbary apes in the U.S. The Springs Preserve is another good place to explore, especially its trails and indoor children’s exhibits.
Other Las Vegas for kids options will bring thrills—perhaps the most famous is the roller coaster at New York New York. As long as children meet the height requirement, they can experience the twists and turns of this 67-mph coaster that matches the roll of a jet fighter with its signature move, the heartline twist. Other excellent Las Vegas family hotels include the Excalibur with its theme of medieval knights, princesses, and castles; Circus Circus, with its daily circus acts; and The Orleans, with its huge pool and children's areas. If it's in your budget, the expensive Four Season offers special pampering for children.
Travelers also can look to the skies for things to do in Las Vegas with kids—specifically to the Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower. Its kid-friendly offerings include a pizza restaurant and ice cream shop along with the observation deck. Some will prefer to stay inside to soak up the views will others will dig the chance to indulge their inner daredevils with the thrill rides that overlook the Las Vegas skyline. Special packages give kids full access to the rides for the day and let mom and dad give their wallets a rest making everyone happy.
When you include day trips, your options open up even further for kid-friendly things to do. Several outfitters will come right to any of the Las Vegas hotels and pick you up for a daylong adventure through some of the most amazing sights in the American West. Some opt for the off-road tours of the red rocks while others will want to visit Hoover Dam or make the trip down to the Grand Canyon. It’s about 275 miles between Las Vegas and this natural wonder, but it’s worth the time for families looking to make some amazing memories.