aerial view of the pool area at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, MGM Collection

Las Vegas is a delightful place to visit as a family. (Photo: Marriott International)

Las Vegas

Lights, Shows and Endless Fun: 11 Things to Do in Las Vegas with Kids

Las Vegas may be known for its nightlife, but it’s also a captivating vacation destination for families. The city offers endless things to do with kids of all ages — chances to learn and find joy and excitement at every turn. Shiny skyscrapers, electric night skies, ornate architecture and sprawling resort pools are just a few of the reasons kids love Las Vegas.  

Here are some of the best places and activities to add to your itinerary on a family trip to Vegas. As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip. 

Get Them to the Water 

Families float in a water feature at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, MGM Collection
Kids will love splashing and swimming at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, MGM Collection. (Photo: MGM Resorts International)

When it comes to kids on vacation, nothing beats swimming pools. Nothing. It’s a good thing Las Vegas has some of the most gargantuan pools in the nation. And no pool experience in Vegas beats Mandalay Bay Beach, an epic aquatic playground located at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, MGM Collection, replete with wave pool, lazy river and relaxing lagoon.  

After a full day of swimming, take the family to Bellagio, a Luxury Collection Resort & Casino, Las Vegas to see the iconic Bellagio Fountains. It’s one of the most mesmerizing, impressive water shows in the world, and it’s free. The synchronized fountains turn on every 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the time of day. It’s a surefire way to fall in love with Las Vegas. 

If you have ocean enthusiasts in tow, the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, MGM Collection is another option. Kids will love gazing at the sharks from inside the shipwreck or walking through the underwater tunnel with friendly creatures swimming around them. Don’t forget to watch the VR experience (ages 5 and up) to learn about whales and sharks around the world — it’s included in the ticket price. 

Pro Tip: The Strip is deceptively long and can get blisteringly hot during the summer. Beat the heat with several free shuttles or the Monorail. 

Attend a Kid-Friendly Show 

audience members watch performers on horses at Tournament of Kings at Excalibur Hotel & Casino, MGM Collection
Enjoy the drama and excitement of Tournament of Kings at Excalibur Hotel & Casino, MGM Collection. (Photo: MGM Resorts International)

While there are plenty of family-friendly shows in Vegas, a few in particular rate especially high among kids and adults alike. One of these shows is Jabbawockeez, a high-tech dance production at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. The hip-hop dance crew originally found the national spotlight on talent show competitions like “America’s Got Talent,” and now they’re entertaining Las Vegas audiences with stunning visual effects and world-class choreography.  

Another option is Tournament of Kings at Excalibur Hotel & Casino, MGM Collection, where a 900-seat arena hosts a live reenactment of King Arthur’s tale, complete with sword fighting, jousting and pyrotechnics. If that weren’t enough, guests get to use their bare hands to feast like kings during the show … as they should. 

If you’re traveling with teens, consider seeing Blue Man Group live at Luxor Hotel & Casino, MGM Collection. Expect a wacky, loud and dynamic performance from three men painted blue. It’s not a suitable option for little kids — but older kids will be more likely to appreciate the high-energy, unpredictable show. 

Savor Some Sweets 

Kids love candy. Adults do, too. Make everyone happy with a visit to M&Ms World, next door to MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. At this four-story love letter to the beloved American candy, visitors can order bags of just about any color combination of M&Ms they can think of, print custom messages on the candy, buy official merch or just listen to their stomachs grumble.  

Just across the street at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, MGM Collection is Hershey’s Chocolate World, a 13,000-square-foot chocolate extravaganza with interactive experiences and a huge selection of treats, collectibles and gifts.  

See the Lights 

Seeing Las Vegas at night never gets old. In fact, it’s one of the brightest cities in the world, thanks to its shimmering buildings, blinding lights and electric neon.  

You can expose your kids to the glitz and glamor in one of three ways: Look out of your hotel window. Walk the Strip, stopping to see the unique features of every resort along the way. Or visit the Neon Museum, located 15 minutes by car north of the Strip.  

This museum is where old Las Vegas signs go to rest and make room for bigger and brighter things. And it’s a great way to relive the past and see what Vegas used to look like before you or your kids were born. Classic.  

Venture Into the Great Outdoors 

an empty road with  Red Rock Canyon in the distance
Take a break from the city bustle with a trip to Red Rock Canyon. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you need a break from the city’s attention-grabbing stimuli, there are outdoor family activities in Las Vegas to explore, too. Consider the short drive to nearby Red Rock Canyon. Here you’ll find towering red sandstone peaks, petroglyphs and panoramic views along an easy, 13-mile scenic drive.  

Or you could visit the massive Hoover Dam, a must-see feat of human engineering and might over nature. Both are a great way to break up your family vacation while showing your kids how equally big the natural world can be.