Guest post by sklichty6
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
- Historic Railroad Hiking Trail
- Hoover Dam
Flew into Las Vegas, Nevada, picked up our rental car and drove about 45 minutes to Lake Mead. We spent the afternoon there and did the Historic Railroad Trail to the first tunnel – beautiful and easy for all ages.
Then we drove to the Hoover Dam. We didn’t stop, but drove over and back to see it from different angles, worth the detour. Not far out of the way.
Then drove to Kingman, Arizona, where we had booked a hotel. It would be about 1.5 hours from Vegas if driving straight there.
- Bright Angel Trailhead
Drove another 1.5 hours to Grand Canyon, parked at Bright Angel Trailhead. We did about 1.5 miles into the canyon. There are really neat Native American pictographs/rock carvings right by the first tunnel. It is a narrow trail, no rails, and slippery when wet. Be careful, especially with young children.
We had lunch at the Bright Angel Lodge, right by the trailhead – perfect place for ice cream with great views.
Then we drove an hour back towards Vegas and stayed in Williams. Not much to do, just a stopoff. We booked in Kingman and Williams because there is really nothing else along the way. Make sure you fill up with gas when you can, as there are long stretches of nothing but highway.
- MGM Grand
- Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
It took about 3 hours to get back to Vegas where we stayed at the MGM for 3 nights. We booked our rental car through Enterprise, and they have a spot right across the street from the hotel where you can return it. We did everything else on foot and got an Uber to the airport at the end. Make sure you’re aware that you can only cross The Strip at certain spots, so it might take you longer than you think to get where you need to go. There are hotel trains but they aren’t worth it. It’s a far walk to get to the stations, and you’d probably be close to your destination by the time you’d get to the station.
The MGM has a really nice pool area, although the lazy river requires rafts that you have to buy from them (kind of a ripoff). They have a separate adults-only pool, which was great for us with the kids as most of the partying crowd was over there.
The buffet was excellent – we ate there twice for dinner during our stay.
That evening we went to the Siegfried and Roy show with lions, tigers and dolphins. You get right up close to the animals, and every half hour they feed the dolphins. Really neat to see.
- New York-New York Hotel & Casino
- Fountains of Bellagio
We went to the the New York-New York to ride the roller coaster, as it’s right by the MGM.
The M&Ms store is also right there and has 5 floors of memorabilia. Kids loved it.
At night we walked to the Bellagio to see the fountain show – great free attraction.
- Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
- Tournament of Kings
We walked to the Shark Reef Aquarium, which was a bit far. There wasn’t really anything special about it – if you’ve been to an aquarium before, you can skip it.
For our last evening we went to the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur. It’s a medieval-themed dinner where you eat with your hands and watch knights fighting on horseback. It’s great for families, and while it’s expensive, it is worth it. Get there early as the line is very long, and wraps through the arcade. Most families have kids, and they know this, so it could get even more expensive if you’re waiting for a long time.
This was a great trip with lots of variety, and while we weren’t sure if Vegas was going to be that great with younger kids, there were plenty of family-friendly things we all enjoyed.
Traveled in March 2019