With a nickname like “Sin City,” Las Vegas might not seem like a vacation destination for kids, let alone toddlers. Vegas is more than casinos and parties, though. Its sunny, desert climate makes it an ideal place to visit year-round, and things to do in Vegas with toddlers include everything from attractions right at the resorts to outdoor adventures. Bonus: Many attractions are free of charge for toddlers!
Written by Lissa Poirot
Adventuredome Theme Park
Circus Circus features the Adventuredome, an indoor theme park with attractions that are tamer than the neighboring Stratosphere. They include smaller coasters and rides for the entire family to enjoy, as well as mini-golf, bumper cars, rock climbing and laser tag.
Kids won't want to miss Chocolate World, a two-story destination store that features tons of -- what else -- chocolate! Guests can select kisses of every color, taste various chocolates, personalize chocolate bar wrappers and meet Hershey characters. The store is located in the New York-New York Hotel.
High Roller Observation Wheel
Take a spin on the 550-foot High Roller Observation Wheel, located at the LINQ Hotel and Casino. The 30-minute ride provides 360-degree views of Las Vegas and the desert, with audio commentary pointing out area attractions as they come into view. Riders are comfortable in air conditioned/heated glass cabins that hold up to 40 people per ride. Family pricing is available.
Red Rock Canyon
Just 30 minutes outside of Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is part of the National Park Service and is a 13-mile preserve with hiking trails, including a short Children's Discovery Trail. Wild donkeys and tortoises may cross your path, and nearby ranches lead horseback riding trails through the desert and into Bonnie Springs, which features cowboy live action shows, a petting zoo and an Old West town replica.
Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat
Famed Vegas personalities Siegfried & Roy have a hidden wildlife habitat tucked inside the Mirage Hotel. The Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat provides an up-close look at white lions, leopards and bottlenose dolphins.
Shark Reef Aquarium
The kids can explore the 1.6-million gallon Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, featuring more than 2,000 animals and sea life, including sharks, rays, sea turtles and crocodiles. The highlight is a giant shipwreck that provides nearly 360-degree views of the sea creatures. Admission for toddlers 4 and under is free.
Not all of the fun in Vegas happens on the Strip. The 180-acre Springs Preserve is just minutes from the action, and provides a quiet respite for families to enjoy the desert environment. The majority of the preserve is dedicated to botanical gardens, with guided walks, a butterfly habitat and special workshops. A children's playground features giant animal sculptures meant for climbing, and hiking trails are available to let your little ones use up some energy. Admission is free for kids under age 4.
DISCOVERY Children's Museum
The DISCOVERY Children's Museum features nine interactive exhibits, including Toddler Town! Here, little ones can draw with markers, press buttons to listen to animal sounds, pretend they're train engineers and more.
You'll love the boutique shopping at Downtown Container Park, and your toddlers will love the The Treehouse, an interactive play structure with a slide and climbing bridges. There are other play elements throughout the shopping center, as well, including giant LEGOs. Toddlers will especially love looking up at the giant, fire-breathing bug statue at night!
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