Let me just say this upfront, with apologies for anyone I offend: I don't really think Vegas is a family vacation destination. To be more precise, I don't think the Vegas Strip is a family vacation destination. For all I know, there are wonderful family attractions in and around Las Vegas. There are families living in Las Vegas, after all, and I doubt that they all wander the strip with their children on weekends. Still, when I think of Las Vegas as a tourist destination, I think of the strip. And once I got over my "WTF? Are you joking?" reaction to Hubby's suggestion that we spend a night in Vegas on our way back from our visit to Zion National Park, I had to admit that there were some things on the Strip that Pumpkin would probably like.
Our original plan had been to fly in and out of Salt Lake City, and take the opportunity to explore Utah a bit. However, we burned through a lot of paid time off during Petunia's bouts of recurring fevers, and I just couldn't spare the extra days that the drive to and from Salt Lake City would add to the trip. So we decided that we'd fly in and out of Las Vegas.
We had one afternoon and evening in Vegas- and that was just enough. We decided to stay in the Excalibur, because we thought Pumpkin would like staying in a castle. And she did. Unfortunately for us, the hotel is far nicer on the outside than the inside! To be fair, we opted for the base room, not one of the recently remodeled rooms. And we only paid about $40. Of course, the sign on our wall said we should have paid far more:
Which was pretty funny, since the room literally leaked when it started raining that night. Luckily, we had a cheap cooler we'd bought for our trip to Zion:
But you don't go to Vegas to stay in your room, right?
We walked down the strip to the Bellagio to show Pumpkin the fountain show. She liked it, but was a little freaked out by the big whooshes. Petunia was pretty fascinated, too.
Pumpkin also likes trains, so we rode the monorail back from the Bellagio (well, actually from Bally's, across the street) to the MGM Grand, where we had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. Pumpkin was impressed by the animatronic elephant near our table ("It's a REAL elephant, Mommy!") Hubby and I enjoyed the drinks.
Pumpkin wasn't impressed with hers. Too much banana. She prefers Mommy's smoothies. (Awwwww.) Personally, I think it was Petunia who got the worst deal. Pumpkin also didn't care for the fake thunder and lightening. She declared that that was scary.
After dinner, we went back to our castle....
... and Petunia and I went to bed. Hubby and Pumpkin went out to see some more sights.
She was pretty impressed with the Luxor, too.
Interestingly, she also liked the real thunder and lightening associated with the storm that blew in that night. THAT wasn't scary.
All in all, our brief visit to Las Vegas with kids in tow was a success. I wouldn't go with a child much older than Pumpkin, though (she's 3.5 years old). The sleaze that covers the strip didn't even register with her. She didn't notice the rows of "magazines" at her eye level advertising girls, girls, girls or the big poster in our hotel advertising the Thunder from Down Under. She can't read yet, so she didn't notice the lewd t-shirts for sale in the souvenir shops. The only thing I had to explain is what all the adults were doing at those machines, and that came up when we deplaned at the airport upon arrival. Still, I think that for the most part, we'll leave Vegas to the grownups. Next time we visit a castle, it will probably have a big mouse outside.....