If you know me, you probably think I’m one of the last people ever to enjoy Las Vegas. I mean, I like eating and drinking and hanging out by the pool and all that – but I’m not really a huge fan of crowds and loud music and the party scene. However, for some reason, I really like Las Vegas. In small doses of course.
The first time I ever visited Vegas was shortly after KP and I’d gotten engaged. It was a super quick trip, to attend a small wedding-chapel union of some friends, and we stayed the night at a local friend’s house. It wasn’t quite the typical “Vegas experience”. However, we soon made up for that and ended up going to Vegas at least a dozen times over the next decade. It helps that we had friends who were local to L.A. who worked at a casino who could get us the hookup at places.
Having kids has changed the way we’re able to do Vegas, but that hasn’t stopped us from making the 4-5 hour trip out there from L.A. I went once when pregnant with my daughter, once when she was a baby, once when my son was a baby, and now we just went again this week with both kids AND with being pregnant.
Las Vegas might not be a popular vacation with kids, but it can definitely be done. Don’t know how? See this blog post I just wrote with tips about visiting Vegas with kids in tow.
Here’s a recap:
Mon. Dec. 26 – we left the day after Christmas. At 5am. KP loves getting early morning starts to road trips, and hey, as long as *he’s* the one driving, I’ll oblige. We made a breakfast stop at Denny’s, a stretch/change stop at Primm, a gas stop at MLife, and arrived at our hotel on the strip (Vdara) a little before 11am. Luckily, KP had done a mobile check-in the night before, and our room was ready just as we arrived so we got to check in early.
We relaxed for a bit, got ourselves situated and our room set up. Then we walked over to the Bellagio and checked out the atrium decorations. CJ and I had a mommy-daughter pedicure at 4pm, while KP took the 2yr old on the monorail to see the “train” and get some snacks and father-son time in.
For dinner we all went over to Aria and got some cheeseburgers. I also gave CJ a lesson on why gambling is only for adults and not for kids, even though all the slot machines look like Chuckee Cheese’s. And S almost fell asleep in Daddy’s lap.
After bedtime, KP met up with some local friends for Monday night football and then played in a poker tournament. Meanwhile, I relaxed in a huge tub with a Lush bathball and a good book and went to bed.
Tues. Dec. 27 – I’d love to say that we slept in lazily, but S is on an annoying wake-up-at-5am-kick thing recently. Sigh. My wonderful husband KP got up and made cereal for him (that we’d brought from home) and set up the ipad for him and then we attempted to snooze a bit more until S proceeded to poop in his pullup. Sigh. Kids.
S and I went down to get coffee and we all chilled and the kids had fun looking at the 50th floor view and spotting both a helicopter and train down below.
Around 10-10:30ish we headed to the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium. CJ is super into watching this show on Netflix called “Monster Fish” and was so excited to see a piranha and some stingrays, and was quite happy to tell me about the different kinds of sharks she knew of. The kids had a good time.
For lunch, we stopped at a restaurant called SeaBreeze in Mandalay Bay that still served breakfast far (since, when asked what they wanted to eat, the kids just HAD to have pancakes). Luckily, we’d bought some little sea animals in the gift shop at the Shark Reef which kept the kids from growing TOO restless. I emphasize “TOO restless”, because the 2yr old was starting to get just a bit too crazy at this point and I can’t even tell you how much I would’ve loved a mimosa right about then…or perhaps a Sea Breeze would’ve been more appropriate, lol.
On our way back to Vdara, we stopped for gelato at in Aria. The tables had this fun little reflective ball in the middle of the table which made for some fun pictures.
At 3pm, I headed back to the spa, this time alone, for a haircut and style. Here’s a confession: I haven’t had a professional haircut in um, at least 2 years. Probably longer. I’ve been cutting my own hair. So it was nice to get a professional cut for the first time in a looong time. I probably will go back to cutting my own hair again after this for at least another couple years, lol, but at least now I have a good base to go off of. My bangs ended up a little shorter than usual, but it’s kind of fun cause it’s a bit different.
KP and the kids met me downstairs afterward; the kids were getting hungry for dinner. The nice cashier at the Market Cafe suggested we could buy a half-loaf of bread and he’d throw in some packets of peanut butter and jelly if we wanted instead of spending extra money on fancier food for the kids. We also bought a small carton of raspberries and dinner was served.
After the kids were in bed, the daughter of one of KP’s local Las Vegas friends came over to babysit so that KP and I could go out on an actual, fancy date at a fancy restaurant at Herringbone in Aria. Ooh la laa. After dinner, we met some more local friends at an Aria bar where we played, of all things, the game Catchphrase (that one of the guys randomly had in his suit pocket).
Wed. Dec. 28 – I think S slept in til 6am (yay!), but we kind of just lounged the entire morning. The kids ate cereal, KP and I got coffee and I ate some leftovers from the previous day that were in the mini-fridge. The kids played, I cuddled up in the warm blankets with my laptop, KP went to the hotel gym. We got a late checkout around noon, put all our luggage on a cart, and the bellhop took it down.
Then, even though it was 50 degrees out, we made good on our promise to take the kids swimming. Yes. Swimming. Luckily the pool water was 82 degrees, and the sun happened to be shinning right on us and it was actually kind of nice IN the water…as long as you never got out. Brrrrrr! But it was fun and the kids had a blast and there was almost no one else there.
Now that we’d worked up an appetite, we decided to chance a buffet. We walked over to Aria, and got in line. And then we waited. And the kids were not very happy. But we did it anyway.
KP and I stuffed ourselves. The kids, like usual, only picked at a few things; luckily they’d been free to get in. The food wasn’t bad, pretty good, but oh my, I’m STILL salivating over those desserts a whole day later. I both love and hate being pregnant. 🙂
Last thing before heading home, we headed over to the Bellagio once more so the kids could see the fountain show up close (we could see it from our hotel room too, but it’s a different experience up close and personal).
We got in the car as the sun was setting and S fell asleep within minutes.
All in all, it was a pretty wonderful and quick little vacation to help ease the after-Christmas letdown. I have no clue how we’re going to do this again someday with a 3rd kid too, but KP and I will find a way. Somehow. We’ll find a way.
Meanwhile, I’m putting together another post about How To Enjoy Las Vegas With Kids In Tow. When it’s up, be sure to take a look, and hey…if any of you ever want to join us on a future trip to Vegas – but ONLY if you’re willing to swap babysitting night with us, lol – let us know when you want to go! 🙂