The husband and I were sitting around brainstorming – attempting to come up with a fun and reasonably priced location to take the family for a holiday this summer. We hadn’t actually been on a real family vacation yet. I don’t think our trip to Uncle Ned’s bungalow in North Carolina really amounted to much.
“How about Disneyland?” I suggested, knowing full well it was a bad idea.
“They’re two, “ my husband quipped, “They’re not old enough to really enjoy it. I’d rather do something a little more uncommon anyway.” I nodded in agreement. “And besides, that place is nothing but a people trap operated by a mouse.”
I stopped short – unsure of whether my husband had just said something brilliant or completely asinine.
“What about Las Vegas?!” he suggested excitedly.
Now it was official – My husband was completely mad. A Las Vegas family vacation?
Never having been one to gamble, the idea of Vegas seemed far from appealing. I mean, Vegas is nothing but streets lined with casinos right? And what about that whole “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” mantra? That’s a bit too salacious for a family vacation if you asked me.
Were my assertions correct though? Are casinos, dancing girls, and “Hangovers” all that Las Vegas has to offer? Not exactly the sort of place I’d want to take 2-year-old twins.
To be fair, I decided to do a little research. I was determined to peel back the layers on this notoriously seedy town to see if it was at all possible for a family of four to obtain a fulfilling family experience. I found that there’s way more to Las Vegas than the average person knows.
Las Vegas’ Interesting Beginnings
Las Vegas has a surprisingly sentimental, somewhat tender history that dates back to the mid-1800’s. Railroad developers decided to turn the area into a railroad stopover for travelers heading west. The growth spurt began when the Nevada Legislature formally legalized gambling. (Here’s where it starts getting seedy.) Notorious gangster Bugsy Seigel opened the Flamingo Hotel in 1946, and that’s when the Las Vegas that we now know and love today was born.
Las Vegas went from a hippy art community and “rest stop” for gold rushers to having million-dollar suites and over 38 million visitors in only one century. It’s now known as “The Jewel of the Desert” – and I’m now beginning to see why.
Okay so the History Is Cute, But What’s In It For My Family?
Within the city the family can enjoy the much celebrated fountains at the Bellagio. (Fountains made famous by that exquisite scene at the end of the movie remake of Ocean’s Eleven.) This, by far, seems to be one of the best free attractions on the strip. You’ve got jets of water choreographed to all kinds of music. It runs throughout the day every 15-30 minutes. The streets are apparently always busy with tourists waiting for the show. What kid wouldn’t love that?
There’s the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens which is changed monthly, Exploration Park which is notorious for keeping toddlers busy for hours, and I see no reason why we wouldn’t hit up the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. It’s an iconic part of the city that I guarantee would make for a photograph that my children would cherish forever.
And let me not even start on the food. THE FOOD! The images I found made me want to lick my computer screen. Celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, and Wolfgang Puck have restaurants in Las Vegas. Food seems to be its own life form there. This is a city that’s made its riches by telling people to indulge in their guilty pleasures; and food is one of the biggest. Vegas capitalizes on that and takes their food creations to amazingly delicious levels.
It would appear that Las Vegas has way more to offer than I thought. I suppose the husband was on point with this one… but let’s keep that to ourselves.