Las Vegas Is More Than Just Luxury, It Is Also An Amazing Family Vacation Spot

For many, Las Vegas might conjure up immediate images of luxury resorts and the bright neon lights of casinos. In 2022, as U.S. casinos enjoyed a record-breaking year of revenue, the Las Vegas Strip remained firmly on top as the country's biggest gambling market. According to the American Gaming Association (via theĀ Associated Press), the Las Vegas StripĀ raked in $8.2 billion, while the runner-up, Atlantic City, took in $2.8 billion.

At the same time, Vegas has a reputation as the wedding capital of the world, with the city issuing over 5 million marriage licenses to date. It's a place where people elope, and it's also a popular destination for both bachelor and bachelorette parties. That's all well and good for adults looking to experience the wild side of Sin City, but what if you're in the Al Bundy boat, which is to say, married with children?

Traveling with kids isn't necessarily a deal-breaker when it comes to Las Vegas. In fact, beyond the neon nightlife, Vegas has a wealth of attractions that could make it a great spot for a family vacation. If you're on a road trip, you could make it a stopover on your way to or from the Grand Canyon. Or you could just park yourself in Vegas and enjoy these local attractions with your family.

Las Vegas before nightfall

Many of the well-known casino resorts in Las Vegas offer daytime activities that don't involve gambling. At Treasure Island, for instance, Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. holds interactive superhero exhibits for the whole family. If you're an "Ocean's Eleven" fan, the Bellagio Resort & Casino is another luxury hotel that will put you right in your favorite movie setting. However, you don't have to be a guest of the hotel to bring your kids to the free Fountains of Bellagio water show that takes place every 15 or 30 minutes, beginning in the afternoon.

During the day, the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Resort are a good way to escape the heat of the Vegas desert with your family. Gondola rides are also available, and you can combine them with tickets to the Vegas branch of the famous wax museum, Madame Tussauds, located in the same resort. Another way to cool off in Las Vegas is in the Tank Pool at the Golden Nugget, where you and your kids can ride an enclosed waterslide through a shark tank. Like the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, it's open to non-hotel guests for a fee.

Over at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, the old saying "like a kid in a candy store" takes on new meaning in the sprawling Hershey's Chocolate World. Just down the street from there, in the Showcase Mall, is the even bigger M&M's Las Vegas.

Shows and other activities

Cirque de Soleil has several live entertainment offerings in Las Vegas. Its first permanent show here was "Mystere," which has been recognized as one of its better, more family-oriented shows. Another top-rated family show in Vegas is the one Blue Man Group puts on at Luxor in the afternoon and evening. At any given time, there are also likely to be superstar pop musicians in town, holding their own Vegas residencies. So, if you think your kids can sit still long enough after all that Hershey's chocolate, you could try taking them to a concert.

One way to see neon in Las Vegas, without necessarily trying to walk the Strip at night with your kids, is at the Neon Museum. Here, you can see old Vegas signs in the "Neon Boneyard." Unlike the Strip, where people can drink on the street due to Clark County's open container laws, the Neon Museum doesn't allow alcohol consumption on the premises. So, the atmosphere, even at night, might be a little less rowdy and more family-friendly than it would be on the Strip.

Around 30 miles from Las Vegas is the Hoover Dam, a National Historic Landmark, civil engineering wonder, and the world's most-visited dam, according to the National Park Service. Even if you don't have a car, the Grand Canyon, too, is doable as a day trip. Canyon Tours, Top Canyon Tours, and other agencies offer regular family-friendly side excursions from Las Vegas.