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By Jodi Thornton-O’Connell
Travel Expert, Contributor
You don't have to be a high roller to reap the rewards of Las Vegas. Although the city is synonymous with bachelor parties and wedding chapels, it also makes an ideal place for family friendly fun.
Look beyond the obvious attractions on the Las Vegas Strip by seeking out family friendly hotels in Las Vegas, and plan a Vegas vacation the whole crew will enjoy when you book with Diamond Resorts.
Show kids the kind of good times that existed before there was “an app for that" with a stroll down memory lane in family friendly Las Vegas style. Bring a few rolls of quarters and spend an afternoon playing arcade games at the Pinball Hall of Fame — an affordable option for family fun in Vegas, as games range from 25 cents to 50 cents per play. The 10,000-square-foot museum has the world's largest collection of pinball machines, which date back to as early as the 1950s but have been restored to like-new condition.
To continue the quest for good old-fashioned fun, roll the dice at the Meepleville Board Game Cafe, where more than 2,000 games line the cafe's library shelves. Or, venture back to simpler times at THE FARM, a self-proclaimed agricultural time capsule where you can feed rescued farm animals and buy farm-fresh eggs laid on-site by peacocks, turkeys, geese, chickens and ducks. Enjoy some healthy family fun by sampling scrumptious, farm-made snacks like honey, fruits and veggies.
Zip, Zoom and Climb
Heading to downtown will land you right in the center of family friendly things to do in Las Vegas. Ramp up the thrills on the SlotZilla zip line and zoomline. Kids can pretend they're superheroes as they extend their arms and fly for five blocks in a prone position, 11 stories above the city's streets.
A gigantic, fire-breathing praying mantis sculpture welcomes you to Container Park, an open-air shopping center constructed out of repurposed shipping containers. Here, kids can climb a three-story interactive tree house, slip down a 33-foot-tall slide or experience an immersive 4K movie in The Dome.
Go on a Photo Safari
Kids of all ages love vibrant colors, exciting stories and Insta-worthy photo ops — and Vegas offers a bevy of places where you can find all three.
Of course, you'll want to catch a shot of the legendary “Welcome to Las Vegas" sign on the south end of the Strip, but there are other memorable places to snap a selfie. As night falls, head down Las Vegas Boulevard to view nine historic, neon signs that make up the Las Vegas Signs Project. Combine the excursion with a photo walk at the Neon Museum, which allows hobby photographers to access the museum's boneyard without anyone in the way during pre-scheduled tours several times a month.
Next, head out for a safari tour of various Vegas scenes. Drive or stroll through one of 10 neighborhoods that are part of the colorful Zap! art project that beautifies neighborhood utility casements. Pose with children at play and other whimsical characters in the Winchester neighborhood. Explore the West Las Vegas historic district, and marvel at recreation-themed art at Desert Breeze Park. Clark County Parks and Recreation has maps to each of the art sites on its website.
Want to get out of the hustle and bustle altogether? Seven Magic Mountains, just 10 miles south of downtown, thrusts stacks of colorful boulders into the desert sky — and creates the perfect backdrop for a family photo.
Indulge the Imagination Indoors
Although the Las Vegas climate is fairly mild, there may be days you want to get out of the desert heat while venturing beyond the Las Vegas family friendly resorts where you're staying. Kinderland Indoor Play & Cafe is a great option for kids younger than six years old. The venue is specifically geared toward infants, toddlers and preschoolers, offers an optional nanny service and provides gourmet coffee for parents. Older kids up to 10 years old can ride zip lines or explore tube tunnels, mazes and climbs at Kangamoo. The parents' lounge serves free coffee and tea, has a track encircling the play area and lets you relax in shiatsu chairs to watch flat-screen television.
Or, bring the kids to the Silverton Casino Aquarium over the lunch hour on Saturdays and Sundays, when the whole family can enjoy Meals with a Mermaid, a fun and whimsical weekend dining experience (advance reservations are required).
Vegas is often referred to as a playground for grown-ups, but there are plenty of more traditional play options that the whole family can enjoy. Book your family friendly Las Vegas vacation today at a Diamond Resorts property, and gain a new perspective on this city of lights and delights.
About the Author
Since 2010, Jodi Thornton-O'Connell has been enticing generations of visitors to venture beyond the ordinary into a world of discovery. Her professional background in journalism, tourism, fitness and finance merge to deliver four pillars of an ideal travel adventure: Relax, experience, afford and play.
Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.
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