The 15 Best Things to Do in Las Vegas with Toddlers

USA, Nevada, Las Vegas, Strip, fountain of hotel Bellagio and Eiffel Tower
Westend61 / Getty Images

Las Vegas has spent a lot of time marketing itself as a destination for naughty behavior. After all, where else can you squeeze yourself into a sausage casing-like dress and seven-inch heels and walk through a casino with a yard-long margarita? Nowhere, that’s where. And although this city has spent a tremendous amount of money promising misbehaving adults that they’re entering a kind of morality vacuum (see also: “What happens here stays here” and “Just the right amount of wrong”), Vegas is a bonanza for the most innocent of all travelers—the toddler set. Clarification: It’s a boon to their parents, who can experience the incredible (PG-rated) productions in this city and generally not pay for kids under four. Even better, some of the city’s best family activities are free of charge for all.

This town may not have been built for you, toddler parents, but here are the best ways to make it feel like it was.

01 of 15

See Mermaids

Silverton Casino

Courtesy of Silverton Casino

Address
3333 Blue Diamond Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89139, USA
Phone +1 702-263-7777

If you hadn’t figured it out by the massive, dancing fountains and the magical show lake, we’re obsessed with water in the desert. There are few better places to exercise this obsession than the 117,000-gallon aquarium at the Silverton Casino (just south of the Strip on Las Vegas Blvd.). This free attraction holds 4,000 tropical fish, three species each of stingrays and sharks, and… mermaids! Magical “real” mermaids swim at various times each afternoon, Thursday through Sunday. Get right up close, and they’ll even wave or do a trick. The Mermaid Lounge also has two 500-gallon jellyfish aquariums lit with LED lights. And if you haven’t gotten enough, walk next door to Bass Pro Shops, where an 18,000-gallon water feature is filled with Koi, and a flowing canyon river has ducks, turtles, and sturgeon. If you’re visiting during the holidays, stop by to visit Underwater Santa, a scuba-diving Father Christmas who takes kids’ requests from inside the tank.

02 of 15

Dance with the Fountains

Tourists
Instants / Getty Images
Address
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-693-7111

The Bellagio Fountains are still the most exciting free public entertainment you can find on the Las Vegas Strip. It’s an easy toddler visit because you can roll your stroller down the very wide sidewalk and get a great view of the nine-acre show lake, where 1200 sprayers and shooters send jets of water up to 460 feet in the air. It gets packed in the summer, but there’s usually enough room to see plenty of the action when the fountains dance and sway to the music of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Lady Gaga, Cher, Andrea Bocelli, and more in its 35 permanent shows.

03 of 15

Browse a Buffet

Buffet at Wynn

Courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas

Not all little kids are welcome at all dining rooms in Las Vegas, but in the OTT world of the Vegas buffet they are, with options that will blow their tiny minds. The two best and biggest are the recently redone Wynn Buffet, where an entire pancake station features flavors like red velvet chocolate chip and you can use a self-serve ice cream station (we recommend a little supervision for this one). Better yet, children age two and under dine for free, and kids ages three to nine dine for half price. At Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, kids can dig into any of 100 new dishes at all the stations in the 25,000-square-foot, 600-seat behemoth restaurant—plus selections like Wagyu hot dogs from roving carts and one of the fanciest dessert stations you’ll ever see (think candied apples, tiny cupcakes). The buffet here might not be cheap (dinner costs $75 per person), but kids under four eat free.

04 of 15

Dream a Little Dream

Address
3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-770-7000

The three-acre Lake of Dreams at Wynn Las Vegas, which sits below a 90-foot waterfall, stuns with short bursts of light, visual effects, animatronics, and music beginning at dusk each night. And it’s completely contained within the resort. You can see it free of charge simply by taking the curving escalators down and walking out onto the patio. It has recently undergone a $14 million upgrade, updating the favorite, animatronic singing frog, introducing a trio of fabulous singing tropical birds, and reimagining David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” with an astronaut, floating toward her space capsule over the lake. Strollers are now allowed at Wynn, but we recommend trying to navigate the resort without them if possible. The area where you can stand to watch the show without entering a restaurant or bar is small and getting them through the casino floor is tough.

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05 of 15

Go to Toddler Town

The Discovery Children's Museum Opening On The Smith Center Campus
WireImage / Getty Images
Address
360 Promenade Pl, Las Vegas, NV 89106, USA
Phone +1 702-382-3445

The monumental Discovery Children’s Museum in Downtown Las Vegas is one of the greatest parent-savers Vegas has added in the last decade. Three floors are packed with fun, interactive exhibits and activities for kids of all ages. For older kids, there’s a lab and workspace for creators and builders that includes 3-D printers, laser cutter, CAD software, and a kiln. But some of our favorite exhibits are for the littles, like Toddler Town, where your kids can draw with markers, listen to animal sounds, pretend to be train engineers, and try mining by loading fake rocks and boulders into an overhead bucket system.

06 of 15

Get Close to Lions, Tigers and Dolphins

Dolphin Habitat at Mirage

MGM Mirage

Address
The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-791-7188

Wander through the tropical-themed Mirage to get to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, which feels like a hidden treasure (even to those of us who live here). Kids will love seeing the incredible white tigers, white lions, and leopards in the secret garden. Included in your visit is a visit to the bottlenose dolphin habitat. In a city where the priority is entertainment, it’s nice to know that this habitat is supported by ongoing research, education, and conservation outreach. Don’t miss the Sustainability Discovery Center where you can learn about wildlife preservation and ocean pollution. Adult admission is $25 and kids ages 4-12 cost $19, but kids ages three and under are free admission.

07 of 15

Swim with the Sharks

Jellyfish At The Shark Reef Aquarium At Mandalay Bay
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Address
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA
Phone +1 702-632-4555

Okay, not literally. You’ll walk through an aquarium tunnel at the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium where more than 2,000 animals, like sharks, giant rays, green sea turtles, piranha, and a Komodo dragon swirl around you. Hits with littlest visitors include taking photos with scuba divers, and the touch pool, where kids can feed stingrays and horseshoe crabs, and a new program that allows visitors to feed the 300-pound sea turtles and check out the 1.3-million-gallon shipwreck where the aquarium’s residents love to hang out. Adult admission is $29, but children four and under enter free of charge.

08 of 15

Float Through a Mall

Las Vegas
Robert Alexander / Getty Images
Address
3377 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-414-4525

Singing gondoliers, a gentle float down a Venetian (style) canal. The fact that the indoor gondola rides at Grand Canal Shoppes are temperature-controlled and happen under a convincingly painted but non-UV sky make them even more appealing to parents of toddlers. Kids love waving to the onlookers who line the canal, and when you disembark, there’s lots to love about the Shoppes (a treat at Carlo’s Bakery springs to mind, as does a stop at Sloan's Ice Cream Parlor). This is definitely a splurge, with prices at $29 per person on weekdays and $36 per person Friday – Sunday (no discounts for toddlers).

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09 of 15

Ride the World's Largest Observatory Wheel

High Roller Ferris Wheel
tobiasjo / Getty Images
Address
3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-322-0593

The High Roller, which anchors the LINQ entertainment corridor is 550-feet high and is the world’s largest observation wheel. It clears the former champ, the 541-foot-high Singapore Flyer, by nine feet. The wheel rotates very slowly—once every half hour—and you’ll enjoy the spectacular view of the Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock Conservation Area, and beyond from inside a fully enclosed, temperature-controlled pod. It feels stable and you’ll hardly even notice you’re moving, so even kids that don’t love rides will feel the magic. Adult day tickets cost $23.50 and kids ages 7-17 cost $8.50. Children six and under are free.

10 of 15

Join the Circus

Entrance to Circus Circus Casino and Hotel
Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images
Address
2880 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-794-3939

There are some mind-bending coasters in Adventuredome at Circus Circus—good for older kids and adults, but not the babies in your group. But there are plenty of rides and attractions that toddlers will love, like bumper cars, pirate-themed mini-golf, clown shows, mini-basketball, and a 4-D SpongeBob movie. You’ll find all the usual suspects in circus food inside Adventuredome, so if you don’t want your toddler to go into a sugar coma, check out the Blue Iguana or Westside Deli, both within easy walking distance. The Circus Buffet is free for kids three and under.

11 of 15

Have a Desert Adventure

Butterfly Habitat At The Springs Preserve
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Address
333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107, USA
Phone +1 702-822-7700

Springs Preserve, a 180-acre, $250 million Mojave Desert preserve three miles west of the Strip, takes visitors through museums, galleries, and a living collection full of Gila monsters, foxes, and that nocturnal critters like recluse spiders, sidewinders, and black widows. Little kids will love the botanical gardens, which host more than 1,200 species of native plants, and the butterfly habitat. The flash flood exhibit in the springs’ Origen Museum is an alarmingly realistic recreation of the natural desert phenomenon. If your toddler just needs to run around, they’ll love the huge animal sculptures at the playground while you enjoy the desert environment. Admission is free for kids four and under.

12 of 15

Eat all the Chocolate

Hershey's Chocolate World Grand Opening At New York-New York Hotel & Casino
Isaac Brekken / Getty Images
Address
3790 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-437-7439

Kids love Hershey’s Chocolate World in New York-New York for such crazy sights as an 800-pound chocolate Statue of Liberty and a Wall of Kisses (a wall of Hershey Kisses dispensers with any flavor you could think of). Wandering is free, but you might not get out of there without buying chocolate-themed plush toys, PJs, or jewelry. You can even personalize some candy wrappers, and the bakery that anchors the floor sells ginormous, delicious cookies. You can go right across the street to M&M’s World for more chocolate and walk the four-floor chocoholic palace, which claims the world’s biggest candy wall. You might want to discuss limits with your littles before entering these temptation zones.

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13 of 15

Learn the Seasons

Bellagio Conservatory, spring 2021

Bellagio

Address
Bellagio Hotel & Casino, 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-693-7111

The sunlit Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden transforms five times per year (for each season plus Chinese New Year), with fresh flowers, animatronic tigers, lamps, woodland creatures, and lanterns bobbing from the 50-foot-high glass ceiling. The 120 horticulturalists who care for this wonderland never install the same vignette twice, and its more than 10,000 flowers are switched out every two weeks. It’s perfect for those with strollers, since wide pathways and accessible walkways are a priority, and parents will find it just as magical as their kids. This attraction is always free of charge.

14 of 15

Ogle Flamingos

Nevada Casinos Reopen For Business After Closure For Coronavirus Pandemic
David Becker / Getty Images
Address
3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-733-3349

The Wildlife Habitat at Flamingo Las Vegas is one of those little oases on the Strip that even locals forget exists. It’s a lush tropical garden close to the Promenade entrance to the resort, and you can feed the fish in the koi pond, see the turtles, ducks, and swans, and watch the flock of Chilean flamingos, as well as pelicans and Sacred Ibis for whom this is their own semi-private little reserve. It’s especially good for those with toddlers, since the Strip can be overwhelming, and this is a little pocket of calm that’s easy to negotiate even for those pushing strollers.

15 of 15

Climb a Giant Treehouse

Container Park Village playground, downtown Las Vegas
Page Light Studios / Getty Images
Address
707 E Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA
Phone +1 702-359-9982

The Downtown Container Park is an open-air shopping and entertainment district made entirely of shipping containers and is located on historic Fremont Street. Look for the 40-foot-high, metal praying mantis at the entrance, which shoots six-story-high flames from its antennae beginning at sundown. Inside, you’ll find a giant treehouse for kids, which sits in a central area and is good for kids ages three and up. One of our favorite summer night activities with little kids is the Sunset Cinema nights, which start at sundown on Thursdays and play free kids’ movies.

 

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The 15 Best Things to Do in Las Vegas with Toddlers