Kid-Friendly Activities in Las Vegas

Vegas isn’t just for poker fans and shoppers. A family Las Vegas vacation features everything from wave pools to roller coasters, with exotic animals thrown in for good measure.

I’m not the biggest advocate of taking children to Las Vegas. It’s so much more an adult playground that it seems inappropriate. When a friend asked me to accompany her and her goddaughter there, I said sure. Granted, the goddaughter was turning 18, but still, most places on the Strip are targeted for the over-21 set.

To my surprise, I discovered that there is quite a bit for kids, if you know where to look. Will I take my 9-year-old there? Probably not. However, there are plenty of great sites in Las Vegas for the whole family.

The Wave Pool

We stayed at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino for two major reasons: the beach and wave pool. The only way to access the area is to be a guest. If you have kids, I highly recommend going. You can easily spend the whole day at the 11-acre outdoor facility. There are 2,700 tons of sand, a lazy river and a wave pool. 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South, tel. 877-632-7800,

Shark Reef

Mandalay Bay also has a shark reef, with all kinds of sharks, sawfish, piranha, giant rays, moon jellies, golden crocodiles and endangered green sea turtles. The attraction is an oasis of quiet and calm that’s difficult to come by in Vegas. Tickets: adults $15.95; children 12 years and younger, $10.95.

Wildlife Habitat

More animals can be found at the Flamingo Las Vegas wildlife habitat, and appropriately enough, these include flamingos. Inside the habitat, which is found in the center of the hotel, you step outside into another world. There is lush foliage, ponds filled with koi and turtles, and the flamingos and other creatures roam around. The habitat is free. 3555 Las Vegas Blvd. South, tel. 800-732-2111,

Famous Vegas Roller Coaster

The New York New York Hotel & Casino is home to a 67-mph roller coaster. Definitely for older kids (you must be at least 54 inches tall to ride), the coaster is a bone-jarring ride that takes you up 203 feet for a fabulous view of the Strip—if your eyes are open, that is! Tickets: $14. 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South, tel. 866-815-4365,

Destinations: Las Vegas

Themes: Family Travel

Activities: Sightseeing, Swimming

User Comments

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We at Ourturn Excursions are also very passionate about kids activities, especially kids activities Las Vegas .

Las Vegas with Kids It is nice to see some family friendly activities for Las Vegas. Many people see Las Vegas as an adult only playground. We felt the same way, until we went to celebrate my Uncle's birthday. At the time time my daughter was only two and I was concerned about taking her. However even for toddlers, Las Vegas can be a playground. We took her to Dophin Quest, Sigfrey and Roy's Zoo to see Tigers, the water show at the Belliago, and wandered through hotels to see the amazing sights and gardens. Since we were surrounded by family, we had plenty of babysitters in the evening, so that my husband and I could do a little gambling and go to a few shows.