Las Vegas… Baby?
Las Vegas is one of the most interesting and unusual cities on the planet. It’s a playground built for adults who want to act like rock stars for the weekend.
It’s a place where high rollers strut with a misguided sense of purpose and common folk lose their hard earned money gambling on games they barely understand. It’s where gentle old ladies curse at slot machines and stylish businessmen drink frozen cocktails from 2 foot tall pink plastic cups.
It’s a place where one can dine amongst celebrities and enjoy breakfast in Paris, lunch in New York and dinner in Venice (seriously, how cool is that?). Basically, Vegas is where normal, everyday people go to leave their daily routine behind to be entertained and amused.
We partnered with Expedia.ca for this trip and planned to showcase the family friendly side of Sin City. Las Vegas accommodates all travel styles, so we hoped to visit a few kid friendly attractions to experience the “other” side of Vegas.
One of the things we love about Las Vegas is its ability to adapt to your lifestyle.
We’ve visited many times, each at a different stage in life. If you’re looking for a kick ass party, Vegas will accommodate on a grand scale. If you’re looking to catch a live concert or show, Vegas hosts the biggest and best acts. If you’re looking to be wined and dined, Vegas has the perfect table waiting for you.
It continually impresses and outdoes itself, year after year.
But here’s the thing about Vegas… it’s not a great place for a baby.
I know, I know. If you don’t have kids, you’re likely saying, “No kidding! Why would you WANT to bring a baby to LAS VEGAS anyways?”
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Let me first give you some context. The purpose of this visit to Las Vegas was to attend a friend’s wedding. However, Baby Connor is still breast feeding, so we could not leave him at home (although we did leave our active toddler behind).
The thing is… a baby doesn’t care about what Vegas has to offer.
Baby Connor is not interested in aquariums or roller coasters or water parks. He doesn’t care about meeting Disney characters or playing at dizzying arcades. He just wants to eat, sleep and chew on things.
So, the game plan changed.
Instead, we decided to do what we wanted to do. Baby Connor likes his stroller and has no problem sleeping on the go, so why not just bring him along for the ride, right?
Here’s the problem with that line of thinking.
Most of what Vegas has to offer is not baby friendly. I was originally going to title this post “Is it okay to bring your baby to Las Vegas”, but that’s not exactly the message I’m trying to convey.
YES, you can absolutely bring your baby to Vegas. We saw hundreds of strollers during our visit, many with babies under 6 months old, and Vegas will adapt to your needs. That’s the lure of Las Vegas, after all.
BUT, when comparing this experience to previous visits, the question isn’t CAN you bring your baby to Vegas, the question is SHOULD you bring your baby to Vegas?
Having just experienced a trip to Vegas with an infant, and allowing myself some time to reflect, I would suggest not bringing your baby to Vegas (if possible). Put it this way, if we had an opportunity to return to Vegas with our baby, we would likely choose to either decline the trip or leave our baby at home with family.
Let me explain why.
You can’t bring babies into the casinos, so gambling is out.
You can’t bring babies to live shows because the shows are quite loud and your baby will likely disrupt other guests, so those are out.
You can’t bring babies to pool parties or night clubs, so those are out.
If you bring a baby to a fancy restaurant you will likely get evil stares from other guests and staff, and we’re not willing to drop a couple hundred dollars for an uncomfortable dining experience. So that’s not happening.
You can’t bring babies on the New York, New York roller coaster, so that’s out.
You can’t get rowdy at a sports bar with a beer in one hand and a baby in the other, so that’s out.
Shopping is quite difficult with a baby in tow, so that’s not fun.
Baby Connor’s skin is super sensitive, so we couldn’t do the hotel pool because of the chemicals and hot desert sun (but there were never any chairs available anyways, so it didn’t matter).
Are you picking up on a theme?
Sure, Vegas is stroller friendly and will accommodate young families, but Vegas is not built for babies. It’s built for adults who want to treat themselves to a little luxury and add some excitement to their vacation.
Often times, this means leaving the baby at home.
Don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of fun in Las Vegas and enjoyed spending time with our little man. His smiles are infectious and I don’t get to spend enough alone time with him (this is Cam writing, I know it’s sometimes hard to know who’s writing each post – but we like to keep you guessing!).
However, while we love spending time together as a family, there are better destinations to visit with an infant (here are a few). That’s said, we do enjoy Las Vegas and will absolutely return again – but not with a baby.
If you plan to visit Vegas with a baby, here are a few things we learned.
The hotel we stayed at charges $35 per night to have a baby crib in the hotel room. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s an additional charge of $175 for our five night stay (we stayed at the Mirage – this may not be the case for every hotel). Knowing this ahead of time, we purchased a travel crib for this trip, but this added another piece to our luggage pile.
Most hotels charge $25 per night for a mini fridge, so it’s best to do your homework ahead of time. While I understand that hotels are trying to prevent guests from stocking up on liquids at the grocery store, it’s still an annoying and unnecessary charge, especially when families need to refrigerate baby food.
Walking the Strip is totally doable with a stroller, but the desert sun is very hot – so plan accordingly.
There is a line-up for everything, so be prepared to wait. Most of the popular restaurants fill up fast, so make reservations ahead of time, if possible.
The Freemont Experience in downtown Las Vegas is a good place to have a beer and experience the weird side of Vegas – but it gets pretty wild as the night progresses, so arrive early (you’re likely not staying out too late with a baby anyways). The covered pedestrian area puts on a light show that will keep baby entertained for hours (see above picture for evidence).
If you’re looking for Las Vegas vacation deals, consider a flight and hotel package with Expedia.ca. They are one of our travel partners, so we are slightly biased, but we’ve used the booking engine long before we started working with them.
Have you been to Las Vegas? What did you think?
Share your experience and tips in the comments section below!