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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Family-friendly Las Vegas Attractions

A friend of mine said she was taking her daughter for the first time to Las Vegas. She's under 21, so going to the casinos or bar is not a thing. I haven't been to Vegas this year, which means I didn't actually write any updated lists for cool things to do for all ages, because Vegas is a town that has something for everyone, if you know where to look. 

Going to Las Vegas with under 21s? Here are some ideas for how to fill your time, no matter how long your trips is.
You can take an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower

Usually, people only know about Circus Circus, which is not the best hotel to stay at, but it has circus acts throughout the day and in the back is the Adventuredome, an indoor theme park that feels like it's outside that is for big and little kids. Eric and I spent an afternoon there on one visit and we had a great time.

The Fremont Street Experience canopy show

Here are some other ideas for your trip with those that are under legal drinking age:

  • Pinball Hall of Fame on S. Las Vegas Blvd moved a few years ago from their nondescript location on Tropicana. The new location is larger and very easy to find. You can learn a little bit more about it here.

  • Springs Preserve, which is part living history, part zoo. They have hands-on exhibits, videos, walk-thru exhibits, animal talks, and a hiking area, or you can take the tram around. The restaurant is fantastic, too. Check out my whole post on it here.

  • The Mob Museum downtown has a bunch of interactive exhibits that gives you the history of Las Vegas. I've been here several times and it's a perfect place to beat the heat and learning about where you're visiting, and it's literally one block from the excitement of Fremont Street. If you aren't traveling with kids, head downstairs to their speakeasy, where you can get some of the best drinks in the city based on prohibition times. Here's a link to my large post.

  • The Neon Museum is great for seeing retired neon signs from hotels and The Strip in general. They have a night tour and a day tour. Both are great and are a bit different. Only about 5-6 signs are wired to light up at night, but the whole space has lighting, so you can still see all the others well, too. Here are links to my full nighttime tour and daytime tour.

  • Ethel M’s Chocolate has a free little chocolate-making viewing and outside has a free cactus garden that’s really beautiful. We try to go see this every trip, because it's free and chocolate is awesome. Many nights you can visit the cactus garden all lit up. I have yet to make it there after dark though. Check out my post on that here.

  • Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef has a ton of cool aquatic animals. You will have to walk all the way to the back of the hotel, which seems like a mile, but it's probably not. I do this every 5 years or so and it's always worth the price and you completely forget you're in Las Vegas.

  • Downtown on Fremont there’s a vintage toy shop that is like a museum, but they sell everything there, called the Toy Shack. I spent a good hour here wandering around and marveling at everything. We bought a few things as well. The prices were really reasonable, even for vintage items. You can view my post with this included here.

  • Fremont Street also has free concerts on certain days, with a lot of well-known artists, and it’s free. There's a bit of a more adult vibe here, but I still think it's worth the visit. If you aren't going there during the summer, you can still enjoy free concerts, and the canopy lights up every night with random dance parties, so I highly recommend it.

  • I definitely always recommend people walk around downtown (Fremont St and then a couple blocks on both sides) to see all the street art and sculptures that came from Burning Man festivals over the years. It’s particularly great to go as the sun is going down and you can end at the Container Park to see the mantis spit fire every 15 mins or so. He dances to music. You can see my post on the downtown arts district here.

  • Everything at Area 15 is awesome, but absolutely Omega Mart. It’s an interactive museum experience with a mystery you can solve. We were there for 5 hours and only left because we were hungry. There is a lot of crawling and climbing steps, if you want to do that, so wearing comfy clothes and shoes is important - You can also just go to Area 15, but you need to have a free ticket that you can reserve online. There’s a little art park out front with amazing stuff. See my post about Omega Mart and BTS (behind the store) of Omega Mart.

  • The Park between the MGM and New York New York has some really fun places to eat, including a Hello Kitty Café, and you can see some wonderful art pieces here as well as see musicians play live music in the evenings. Here's a little piece I wrote on it in my post on freebies, which might give you other ideas for your kids.

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