With bright lights, thrill rides aplenty, animal attractions and pirate ship battles, Las Vegas offers fun for all the family.
There is so much to see and do in Las Vegas, and so much ‘wow’ factor, it’s impossible not to love it.
There’s no shortage of hotels where kids will be mesmerised by fun things to do, usually for free. The Mirage was one of the first to open with a major theme. Set in a lagoon with towering palm trees and waterfalls, the famous volcano erupts every few minutes after dark, spurting smoke and fire high in the air. There are white tigers to marvel at, a huge aquarium and an indoor jungle. When that’s all over and done with, there’s family dining available in four restaurants.
Circus Circus offers a double whammy for families with Adventuredome, the world’s largest indoor theme park. The incredible fun includes the USA’s only indoor, double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster, and older kids will also have a ball on the other rides. It’s not bad value either, with day passes costing US$14.95 for a junior pass or US$22.95 for a regular pass. Also in the hotel, circus acts run every half an hour from midday to midnight. It’s hard to believe that in your hotel you can watch daring trapeze artists, high-wire walkers, jugglers, magicians and a multitude of acrobats.
When there’s the need for speed, Manhattan Express roller coaster at New York-New York comes to the rescue. More than seven million thrill seekers have twisted, looped and dived around the hotel’s towers. The biggest roller coaster on the Strip, the ride lasts just under three minutes and is totally exhilarating.
Speed – The Ride at the Sahara accelerates from zero to 112 kph in four seconds as it shoots you out the side of the building before propelling you up a 68 m tower. Not to be outdone, Stratosphere will test the heart rate with the Big Shot thrill ride and the High Roller roller coaster.
The catch is, they are located 100 storeys up, so even the elevator ride to get to the top is fun.
It’s not all about speed. At Mandalay Bay kids just love Shark Reef, a huge aquarium featuring everything from sharks to turtles. Take a breather and watch the dancing fountains at the Bellagio, or watch the larger-than-life pirate ship battle out front at Treasure Island.
Take the kids on a gondola ride on the canals at the Venetian, snack on a baguette at Paris, or watch the lions at play at MGM Grand’s lion habitat.
Make sure you take the kids to M&M’s World, with three floors of chocoholic heaven. They’ll love the incredible range of colours – and want to eat the lot of them. There’s a cute 3D show as well.
If you have time, take your kids on an adventure to the Grand Canyon. Hire a car and drive (a long full day), or save up and go with Papillon Helicopters (www.papillon.com). What a buzz to fly over the incredible scenery on the way: the famous Strip, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the gobsmacking canyons.