Where to stay with your little ones in

Vegas SunriseCredit: Tracy S. MorrisLas Vegas has a certain reputation for vice. Walk down The Strip, and you are likely to see billboards depicting exotic dancers and fliers that advertise topless reviews. In the 1990’s, Vegas attempted to clean up its act to attract families, but since then the city has done an about face by putting adult entertainment front and center. Some hotels even have rules that kids who aren’t guests are not allowed on the property at night.

If you are visiting Las Vegas with kids, there are still a few family friendly spots where you can stay with your little ones to keep them entertained. If you want to keep them off the strip, these hotel complexes are self-contained and will give your family plenty to see and do.

Circus Circus
For many years, Circus Circus was the only option for staying in Vegas with kids. Today, it’s still the only hotel that caters exclusively to families. Circus Circus is a carnival themed hotel with the Adventuredome theme park, circus acts and arcade games. The hotel has a bit of a worn look, but the rates are inexpensive compared to upscale hotels such as the Bellagio and the MGM Grand.

The Excalibur was once a kid-centric hotel that has since toned down its kid-friendly atmosphere (at this writing, one of the theatres was hosting a male-review). Kids will still enjoy the medieval theme, which includes a dinner theatre with medieval-jousting as well as arcades and swimming pools with water slides. The room rates are slightly higher than Circus Circus, but the Excalibur is still very affordable.

Mandalay Bay
The beach and swimming complex are so popular at Mandalay bay that the hotel requires all visitors to present their room key before entering the pool area. In the swimming area, kids can find plenty to do, including a wave pool and a lazy river that propels swimmers around in a circle and under a waterfall at a two-mile an hour speed. The hotel also has a large shark-reef aquarium, where kids can stroll through tunnels under the aquarium as sharks swim overhead. Parents who wish to avoid the casino all together will find that the trek from the front door to the elevator is a MGM Lion HabitatCredit: Tracy S. Morrisdirect one with nary a slot machine in sight. The elevators offer direct access to both the rooms and the beach area without forcing kids to walk through the casino.  The Mandalay Bay is a luxury hotel, with prices that are considerably higher than other kid-friendly options.

MGM Grand
When it was a family friendly hotel, The MGM Grand once had a Wizard Of Oz theme. But now the only bit of it that is left is the green glass exterior of the building. Kids will still enjoy the multiple swimming pools and the lazy river on the hotel’s property and the lion habitat. Like the Mandalay bay, the MGM grand has a luxury price tag to go with their luxury rooms.