Vegas with a Toddler
If you’re going to travel with children, even Vegas can be done! Last year, we decided to take a trip to Las Vegas. This was not Flying Lad’s first trip to Vegas, as we had stopped there during our cross country road trip. On many parents trip itinerary you’re likely to find Vegas. This time, though, we were staying for a long weekend. We thought we could share some of our tips on going to Vegas with a toddler.
Getting through security at LAS is not kid-friendly.
But you’ll probably have to utilize air travel anyways. Unfortunately there’s no special line for families traveling with small children (and strollers) and the security line was long and slow. So by the time we got to the front, there were people behind us anxious about missing their flights. The woman behind me politely asked if she could go ahead of us. We were still getting our stroller and all of our other stuff on the conveyor belt, so I said yes. Maybe that was a mistake because the next person asked as well. Do these people not realize that if I let every person go in front of us, we’d never get through?!?!? So, be prepared. This shouldn’t be a problem for us going forward (hopefully) because we’ve got GOES/Pre Check now (more on our GOES application experience coming soon!).
Hotels without a casino are way more chill.
If your hotel restaurant or coffee shop is too busy/hectic, consider checking out the dining establishments at the neighboring hotels that don’t have a casino. We stayed at the Mandalay Bay and the Delano and the Four Seasons are connected to it, so just a short walk from the hustle and bustle of the Mandalay Bay was a different world. We decided to have breakfast at the Four Seasons one morning. It was so pleasant! The service was excellent. The food delicious. I really felt like I was on vacation. They were very receptive to having a toddler with us and even brought a toddler safe cup for his drink (which is dishwasher safe and we still use!). Another day, we went over to the Delano. Instead of sitting down for breakfast in the restaurant, we got takeaway from the coffee shop. Apparently they share a kitchen with the restaurant, so we could get some of the items we had seen on the restaurant’s menu and eat in a more relaxed cafe setting. And since we weren’t anywhere near a casino floor, and the lobby of the Delano is so nice, it was quite enjoyable.
Don’t waste your time traveling to or waiting for a show.
Or make sure to time it just right. Or if you happen to be in the area at just the right time, then check it out. We went to the Bellagio to see the dancing waters. Flying Lad was somewhat interested. Flying Momma figured since we were in the area that we should head over to the Caesars Forum Shops to see the Fall of Atlantis show. When we got there, we learned that the show wasn’t for 45 minutes. We decided to wait. We looked at the fish in the aquarium for a while. He ran around. Still 40 minutes to kill. Hmm…somehow we made it. Once the show started, he was mildly entertained, but was it worth the wait? Not really. Not to mention the trek back to the hotel.
Getting from the Forum Shops (center strip) back down to our hotel, the Mandalay Bay (south strip) took 45 minutes, walking and via trams. The distance between casinos is longer than it looks because when you get off the monorail, you’re dropped off in some random back corner of the hotel, and these hotels are the size of small cities, so you have to walk through all sorts of stuff (and of course casinos floors) to get where you want to go. To get between hotels is never as easy as it looks on a map, either, due to the ever present pedestrian traffic or the roundabout paths you have to take to get through the property. And there’s stairs, lots of stairs. Lots of stairs and lots of walking when you’re carrying a toddler, makes for a very tired Flying Dad. However, taking a cab didn’t seem like a great option either, as that would have involved lugging a car seat around with us. This is the sort of thing you have to keep in mind when traveling with children. Maybe we would have rented a car if we had to do it again. But then you have to find parking, and likely pay for it. Perhaps the lesson learned is to make sure you bring your stroller, stay close to the places you (really) want to go, and don’t bother going if it’s more than 2 hotels away. It’s probably not worth it.
For lunch, Flying Dad really wanted to go to HofbrauHaus as he had been there before and he’s a big fan of German beer halls… and giant beers (especially Hofbräu Dunkel) and sausages. Quick aside, this place is definitely not walking distance to the strip. You’ll be cabbing it or driving. It may not sound very toddler friendly but there is nearly always a German band playing and it can be quite raucous and fun, even for a toddler. Even though he couldn’t have beer, there was plenty of sausages and music to keep him happy! The staff at HofbrauHaus was happy to call us a cab after lunch was over.
A couple of tips on taxi rides. Take a pic of your taxicab drivers permit and cab number. If you forget anything, it’ll be easier to track it down. Also, don’t pay with a credit card. You’ll be charged a $3 fee.
If you have any tips of your own to add, please do so in the comments section below!