21 Mar
2014
Posted in: photography, travel
By    Comments Off on Touring Las Vegas with Kids

Touring Las Vegas with Kids

Bellagio fountains on the Las Vegas Strip

We finished our spring break trip in Las Vegas. Yes, we took our kids specifically to Las Vegas Boulevard…aka The Strip. Go ahead and judge.

Las Vegas Strip at night

We were originally going to watch college basketball while in Las Vegas, then decided not to once we were there. We kept our kids out late  one night, soaking in the neon lights and Bellagio fountains show. The next day we spent primarily on the Strip, again partaking in a scavenger hunt for squished penny machines. Our kids have been to Las Vegas twice before, both times on our way back from Disneyland. I knew this time would be different. The boys are older, one a tween. I was prepared for all sorts of awkward conversations and questions spurred on by dubiously dressed pedestrians. We live in the middle of conservative Wyoming. We might as well have been in a different country for how much the Las Vegas Strip has in common with our everyday life.

Las Vegas - View from Venetian

All my worries and second-guessing on whether exposing the kids (again) to the Strip was a good parenting move were just a waste of time. I truly don’t give my kiddos enough credit, or my husband and I for that matter. They knew what was appropriate and inappropriate. I’m chalking that up to decent parenting. There was minimal gawking at anyone with two exceptions: our daughter’s obsession with showgirls and a pair of completely body-painted women. Our daughter just called the various showgirls “beautiful dancers,” and we wrote off the painted ladies as artistic expression. This led to a strange conversation this week with my 9-year-old about the different types of canvas a painter might use. He was just being a curious artist with completely valid questions that had nothing to do with morality.

Sunset on the Las Vegas Strip

Our kids were more concerned with wanting to help the homeless and displaced people we came upon. They were also shown the marvelous street performance aspect of Vegas. We were treated to the acoustic guitar, a bucket/pan drumming show and my personal favorite, bagpipes that shot fire. If given the chance, stop and watch bagpipes that shoot fire even if you are with your four children, blocks from your vehicle at 9 p.m. the night before making an early morning exit for home. No regrets. The only issue we had with street performers was that darn Elmo. Our littlest wanted to hug that mangy red furball so badly. Mom has her limits though, and touching street performers is a no-go.

Las Vegas - M Resort Studio B Buffet desserts

The majority of our time in Vegas was centered around food. The boys one wish in Vegas was to eat at a large buffet. Craig researched the best options for price and quality. We ended up at The M Resort off the Strip in their Studio B Buffet. The buffet offered over 200 dishes including a variety of international inspired items. The gelato and homemade desserts were wonderful. J ate at least five scoops of gelato. We had to beg him to stop bothering the gelato-scooping woman at the counter. They could have been on a first-name basis for as often as he was at that dessert counter. The price of the buffet includes beer, wine, soda, juice, milk and a variety of drinks at the coffee bar. Studio B was clean, and the staff was pleasant and attentive.

Las Vegas - M&Ms World bulk selection

Our favorite spot in Las Vegas has to be M&Ms World. The brightly lit, colorful store holds a lot of chocolatey goodness. We treat the kids to their own small bag of M&Ms they choose themselves from the giant wall of bulk M&Ms. I prefer an almond, pretzel, peanut butter M&M mix. The kids know that their treat in the car on the long drive home is a bag of candy-coated chocolates. The Blue M&M made an appearance while we were there. That was the extent of our celebrity spotting in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas - World of Coca-Cola

We finished our last night on vacation at World of Coca-Cola on the Las Vegas Strip. The store sells a float sampler with eight different flavored mini floats from traditional Coke to grape Fanta to Sprite. This trip, we settled for individually-picked floats and the Tastes of the World sampler. The Tastes of the World sampler has 16 mini cups filled with Coca-Cola brand beverages sold in other countries including Sunfill Black Currant from Mauritius, Sunfill Mint from Djibouti and Bibo Kiwi Mango from South Africa. There was only one drink no one wanted to finish, Smart Apple from China. American soda seems much sweeter than what we sampled from around the world. If I need a soda overseas, I’ll stick with traditional Coke. World of Coca-Cola is conveniently adjacent to M&Ms World in the Showcase Mall.

The Las Vegas Strip doesn’t rank as one of my favorite places, with or without kids. I feel overwhelmed walking on the strip or through casinos. There are too many people, lights, sounds and smells for me. We still haven’t crossed a Las Vegas show from our bucket list. Our oldest did ask for a trip with mom and dad to Las Vegas for his 21st birthday in 10 years. I’m sure that will be a story. I’ll start praying now.

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