Las Vegas Newb...

Discussion in 'Las Vegas' started by JaxDad, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. JaxDad

    JaxDad DIS Veteran

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    I haven't been to Las Vegas in a looooong time, and all I did was drink and play craps in the "cheap" downtown casinos and hit the buffets! Now I'm contemplating a trip with the kids (son 14 and daughter 11). I'm really in the very early planning stages and not even sure it will become reality. The trip would be one week in the summer of next year. Las Vegas would be one destination and potentially the base for some road trips. (I want to show the kids the West, but also have some tourist fun in Las Vegas.) Here are some questions:

    -What are the best (and reasonably priced) hotels with kids? I've heard Mandalay, but wonder if that is too freaky now after the horrible mass murder that occurred there. What are others? It can be on/near the strip or have shuttles. Bonus if it's a Marriott, as I have some points.
    -What are the best kid-friendly activities in Las Vegas? Is Penn & Teller appropriate? We watch their TV show and love it. We've done Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group shows, and even though we know they vary, they would not be high on our list.
    -I'm thinking of touring the Grand Canyon via helicopter/airplane. How are those trips? What are the best ones? Will they break the bank?
    -Has anyone done a one-day road trip to Death Valley? I'd like to possibly make a long day of that along with Red Rock Canyon maybe???
    -Has anyone done a road trip to Monument Valley and Four Corners? Is it doable in two days/one overnight from Las Vegas?
    -I plan to see Hoover Dam as well, either from the Grand Canyon aircraft tour or preferably by just driving out there. What else is cool and iconically Western that I can do with one-day trips?

    Thank you!
     
  2. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    The only Marriott properties in the area don't have casinos, if that matters. The place that usually comes up for kids is Circus Circus, but it's nothing special in terms of the hotel. I stayed there in 2006 and it was OK. The most hilarious thing was that the power went out while I was playing blackjack. It was pitch black (not even emergency backup lights where we were) and when they came back on in about 20 seconds all the dealers were hunched over, covering the chip trays like they were trained to do.

    I was talking to someone at Rio where we were staying and was told Penn & Teller have a great show. I guess family friendly is a matter of opinion. They use a bit of foul language from what I've heard, but it's not supposed to be that bad.

    As far as the other things - I've done several of them. It's going to be hot though. I've been to Vegas in summer and it was hovering in the high 90s, and it could easily hit over 100ºF.

    You could do Death Valley as a day trip. I've done it before, but that was during a strange western cold spell around Thanksgiving where it was in the high 30s in Vegas. It was 75ºF at Furnace Creek, which was quite nice. I've also gone through during summer just passing through on the way home from Vegas, and it was in the 120s. With those temperatures it's basically hopping from place to place for a quick photo and back to your air conditioned car. Or maybe like those extreme European tourists who think it's a good idea to hike in those conditions. There's almost always at least one fatality per year as a result. Summer in Death Valley is a very serious endeavor because of the extreme heat.

    Other places you might consider that are pretty close are Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire. As a day trip, Monument Valley or Four Corners is pretty far away. Grand Canyon or Zion NP are more doable, although they're not that close. Maybe not as a day trip, but as a side trip with an overnight stay somewhere.

    https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/nevada/red-rock-canyon
    http://parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire
     
  3. JaxDad

    JaxDad DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I have bookmarked the sites you provided, along with many others I have. I am also looking through several guidebooks.

    I definitely won't need a casino on this trip! Of course, that makes Las Vegas a questionable destination choice, but it is usually a cheap and easy flight from the East, and there seems to be a lot to see in the general area. I'm also considering a week at Yellowstone. Flights and accommodations are trickier and more expensive for that though. And, the worst part is I can't set the travel dates yet, so won't have as long as I would like to plan and reserve stuff.
     
  4. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Yellowstone is tough. Not Yosemite tough though when it comes to reservations. I did a Yellowstone trip as a road trip from California. My manager stalled me about when I could take that much time off and in about week in January my preferred location/dates for June were unavailable and I ended up mixing around the locations.
     
  5. JaxDad

    JaxDad DIS Veteran

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    I reserved a one-week tour at Yellowstone last summer, mostly so I could get the accommodations. My tentative dates fell through, but luckily I was able to cancel without penalty, and also luckily I had held off on the airline tickets. I might try again this year.
     

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