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Vegas with kids?

Posted on Sep 28, 2014

It was fun to watch the mixture of emotions run across faces when we told people we were taking our kids to Vegas. Within seconds they went from raised eyebrows to disbelief to concern to “Huh”. Then the usual question was “is there anything for kids to DO in Vegas??” Yes, yes, we assured them that there was. After all, Vegas is full of families who actually LIVE there – they go to schools, play in parks, go to movies, etc. We told them our kids will be entertained just by walking on the strip and watching street acts, and the free shows at Circus Circus and Treasure Island. We will spend hours at the pool and maybe I’d take my daughter to the spa to get ready for the Katy Perry concert!

Well, you know what they say about best laid plans… KABOOM!!!

To start the trip, our plane was delayed because when it was flying into Bellingham it flew through some birds. Presumably some were stuck in the propellers and had to be cleaned out. Gross. Otherwise the flight was great – the $5 children’s snack pack was just perfect for two kids!

Our hotel room at Bally’s was sweet – 2 queen beds and a mini fridge (unstocked,so we bought some groceries to save money). The view was to the north, where we could see Caesar’s Palace and the High Roller (the big wheel with enclosed capsules that give an amazing 360 view of Vegas and takes 30 minutes per revolution. $25 per adult, kids under 13 free). First stop: the pool! Closes in 5 minutes. WHAAAAAT?!?! Shit.7 year old is disappointed, it’s all Mom’s fault. Good times.

It was all downhill from there.

Here are the things my kids wanted to do:

Swim in the pool
Ride up and down escalators
Eat ice cream
Go to the candy store
Play in the hotel room
Watch a little TV
Ride the elevator

Do you see anything on this list that we couldn’t have done in Vancouver? Or Kamloops? Exactly! They didn’t give a rat’s ass about the scenery, the street entertainment, the different foods, the opulence, the dancing show girls, the enormity of it all! They complained about the heat when we walked anywhere outside, they complained about the air conditioning when we were indoors. They didn’t care where we went as long as there was ice cream or candy at the end of it. If one wanted to swim, the other didn’t. They made a fort between the two beds, they jumped from bed to bed for hours, they played hide and seek, and they played ball tag with a round pillow. Just being in the hotel was entertainment enough for them.

Circus Circus was quite far, and we never seemed to have (or make) time to go. The Treasure Island free show has been permanently cancelled so that was off the table. It was too hot to stop and watch entertainment on the street, and the fountains at Bellagio were cool… for about a minute. Our daughter wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower at Paris but we couldn’t afford both so she chose the High Roller. The only kids shows were on PBS in the morning, none later when they really wanted to wind down. I finally broke down and paid $13.99 for 24 hours of Internet so they could watch some YouTube videos (and I could search for Katy tickets while they played).

I tried desperately for two days to get Katy Perry tickets. No luck. I am the worst Mom ever. I had promised her we could see Pink when she was in Vancouver but I couldn’t win tickets (and certainly couldn’t afford to buy any). Then I promised Katy Perry, but we booked the trip late and the tickets had probably sold out months before. She said she wanted to see a magic show then. Penn and Teller were not on. Brittany? Not playing. As a consolation, I bought us tickets to “America’s Got Talent”, thinking we would at least see the judges and see them press their buzzers. Nope. Turns out it was the AGT Live tour, hosted by Mel B. The acts were spectacular, but the ACTING was awful! It was awkward when Mel made a joke and the audience didn’t laugh, and when the winner conversed with the comedian it was like they forgot their lines. You could see Mel B and the winner reading from the TelePrompTer on the floor of the stage. It was pretty lame, and my daughter wanted to leave shortly after intermission. It was 9:15 and she was falling asleep. I wonder if Katy Perry would’ve been able to keep her awake?!?!

Aside from the weather, there wasn’t much difference between being in Vegas and being at a hotel in Vancouver. Sadly, it was only my bad attitude and unreal expectations that kept me from enjoying myself. There were a few times when I just let myself go with the flow of the kids, went at their pace, did what they wanted to do and not worry about all the things we were missing out on, and those were the best times for me. And probably for them too.

So when people ask if they should take their kids to Vegas, I will ask how old their kids are – if they are under 8 years old, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it. Our daughter wants our next trip to be to Mexico. I have to agree – Sandy beaches and a Kids Club sound DIVINE!!!!!!