When considering where to go on a vacation with children, Las Vegas may not be on the top of your list. However, this city boasts an extensive array of world-class, kid-friendly entertainment and dining options as well as extraordinary hotels and resorts with accommodation options to keep kids separate from the casino atmosphere. With such an exciting assortment of things to do for children of all ages, Vegas should skyrocket to the top of your list for a truly unforgettable vacation experience. Having recently visited Las Vegas with my own youngsters, we reveled in an itinerary that was jam-packed with fun frivolity, courtesy of the locales below.
Photo Courtesy of The Quad Resort & Casino
Recycle Percussion at The Quad Resort & Casino
Previously at the Tropicana, the new Recycled Percussion is now even more impressive than ever and a family vacation must. The show has been rocking the Las Vegas Strip for over two years with an unprecedented combination of extreme percussion, engaging humor and extraordinary athleticism. Whether playing on buckets, ladders, grinders or sinks, Recycled Percussion’s boundless energy and creativity blows audiences away—just as it did when featured on America’s Got Talent not too long ago. The whole family will love this interactive show where upon entering the theater, all guests are equipped with a drumstick and “instrument” of their choice from an arsenal of old pots and pans. Patrons young and old are encouraged to bang away, make noise and play along to the junk rock fun. Spoiler alert: one unique and fun part of the show is the “random cookie break” where they stop everything and run around the audience doling out freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
Starring Master Illusionist Jan Rouven from Europe, AKA “The Man with Nine Lives,” this mystifying new show will excite, bewilder and stun the entire family. Rouven has been mesmerizing audiences all over the world with his one-of-a-kind illusions and charming persona. With uniquely styled dramatic costumes and a soundtrack of contemporary hit songs, Rouven and his cast of five incredibly talented, professionally trained dancers cross many boundaries. Some of the spellbinding acts include the Hand Stab (where a volunteer from the audience plays Russian roulette with a sharp knife) and the Water Tank, which raises the thrill level rises during an act that seems to nearly drown the illusionist while he is cuffed and chained under water. Other perplexing acts include the Bed of Death, Fire Spiker and many more you just have to see to believe.
Photo Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil/Zarkana
Zarkana at Aria
Zarkana by Cirque du Soleil is an extraordinary acrobatic rock experience that blends circus arts with the surreal to create a whimsical world where physical virtuosity rubs shoulders with the strange. The show features Zark, the ringmaster of an extraordinary circus who comes back to life while guiding the audience through an abandoned theater populated by a motley collection of off-the-wall characters and incomparable acrobats. The show has been described as “a visual vortex set in a twisted musical and acrobatic fantasy universe where, little by little, chaos and craziness give way to a true celebration.” In my estimation it’s the perfect combination of theatrical and musical performance art, athleticism and comedy all wrapped up in one not-to-be-forgotten experience. The theater at Aria is as plush and luxurious as can be, and as guests find their seating the bizarre characters from the show are ambling about, taking photos and even causing mischief to the delight of all. As with all Cirque du Soleil productions, the show is a veritable feast for the senses and a journey of stimulus overload in the best possible way.
Photo Courtesy of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum at The Venetian
Modeled after the famous wax attraction based in London, England, the entire family can enjoy a close-up look at the lifelike wax creations of some of the world’s favorite personalities. Figures found inside Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum include actors, musicians, world leaders and sports stars. The interactive experience allows you to touch and take pictures with the “celebs,” during which kids will often gravitate toward their favorites like Johnny Depp, dressed as "Captain Jack Sparrow," Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and pop stars Beyonce, Rihanna and Lady GaGa. Go one-on-one with basketball legends Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neil, but of course, don’t forget Vegas crooners like Elvis and the Rat Pack. While you’re at it, hit the Oval Office for a photo opp with Barack Obama!
Photo Courtesy of The Venetian
The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian
The Grand Canal Shoppes is a luxurious 500,000-square-foot indoor shopping center nestled within The Venetian and connected to The Shoppes at The Palazzo. It features 80 upscale boutiques, luxury stores and world-class restaurants that wind along a reproduction of Venice’s Grand Canal. Enjoy a delicious gelato while taking in the “Streetmosphere” with daily performances in St. Mark’s Square, including classically trained singers, actors and musicians. The vibrant atmosphere features living statues and their seemingly immovable poses, the Artiste del Arte who serenade shoppers and up to 30 pop-up performers that delight and entertain. The main attraction for the family is the Gondola Ride where you can relax and enjoy the Venetian architecture as you float down the Grand Canal in a genuine Italian gondola. The quarter-mile-long experience includes beautiful singing from the Gondolier. Weather permitting, you can also opt for the outdoor gondola ride.
Photo Courtesy of Mob Attraction
Mob Attraction at the Tropicana
Immerse yourself in Vegas lore! The Mob Attraction is a one-of-a kind entertainment experience that plunges visitors into the historical world of the mobsters that served as the founding fathers of Las Vegas. It is an exciting and interactive journey through the city's history of organized crime. Visitors quickly become a part of the action, going face-to-face with the mob. Upon arrival, an “assignment” is supplied by a real life “mobster," while an array of actors usher visitors through various scenes, interacting with 3D holograms of famous mob movie icons like Frank Vincent and Tony Sirico. The Mob Attraction is also museum-esque, featuring an extensive collection of authentic, never-before-seen artifacts, memorabilia, photos and videos of “Bugsy” Siegel, Meyer Lansky and other notorious mob figures.