Vegas things to do for minors
March 18, 2009 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend things to do in Las Vegas for 2 couples when 3 of the 4 are under 21? Budget is an issue to some point as well.
posted by albertagirl to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's lots of free stuff to look at, buy a trolley pass (the trolley travels up and down the strip) and then you can get around quite easily for cheap - wear good shoes :) MGM has the tigers on display, Pleasure Island has a free pirate show out front every hour (in the evening?)... and the casinos are just neat to look at anyway.

For something fun, last time I was there I made a game of collecting every kind of stir stick (with a logo) from each place around the strip, i just walked up and stole one or two from the bar :P It was a nice collection to have when I got home, dressed up my cocktails quite nicely. I also did that with match books and gave them to my aunt and uncle who smoke, they loved it.
posted by lizbunny at 8:11 AM on March 18, 2009

Best answer: A few years ago in Vegas as a family we took a bus out to the Grand Canyon with a stop at the Hoover Dam along the way. It was an all-day affair and obviously "touristy," but it's a nice break from the strip. I believe we left at 6 AM and didn't return until late-night--about a 4 hour bus ride if I recall. If you've never been to the GC (which some of us hadn't) you might consider it.

I would also highly recommend the Stratosphere--the amusement rides at the top ( are some of the best I've ever enjoyed. It's a quick, cheap cab ride from the strip--and go at night.

I also 2nd that "the casinos are just neat to look at." You can definitely kill a day or so simply walking the strip.
posted by eggman at 8:30 AM on March 18, 2009

Best answer: Some things I've done in Vegas when there with my kids that would probably be fun for slightly older people as well (not sure what the exact criteria for "budget is an issue" is, so some of these are more/less expensive than others):

Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay


Adventuredome Theme Park at Circus Circus

"Eiffel Tower" at the Paris Hotel/Casino (honestly, didn't seem worth the money to me)

Gondola Ride at the Venetian (never done this personally)

Roller Coaster at the New York, New York Hotel/Casino (there is a huge arcade and game area in the same vicinity of the hotel as well)

World's Greatest Magic Show
posted by The Gooch at 9:08 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Hoover Dam. Make sure you take the tour where you go inside.

The Bellagio fountains are pretty cool, and the view from the fake Eiffel Tower across the street is nice (although it does cost a lot to get up there).

Mac King is a pretty funny guy, and his show seems to be relatively cheap.
posted by equalpants at 9:10 AM on March 18, 2009

If you're doing the trolley thing, you might instead want to consider a regular bus pass. That gets you onto the Duece, in which you can ride up and down the strip on the top of a double decker bus in air conditioned comfort.

You're fine in the casinos as long as you're "just passing through". Stop and take pictures, etc, just don't try to gamble or drink.

If you like outdoors - Red Rock Canyon is good. Mt. Charleston. Lake Mead. These are, of course, predicated on the notion that you have a rental car... Hoover Dam.

E-mail if you're interested and I can recommend a bunch of nice day trips to outdoors type places.

Depending on when you're here, there may or may not be other stuff going on. Monster Jam is coming soon. Veygoose is ... sometime... Petapalooza.
posted by krisak at 9:11 AM on March 18, 2009

Best answer: The Freemont Street Experience is fun to check out as well.
posted by peewinkle at 9:24 AM on March 18, 2009

Oh, you might also be interested in shopping (window shopping?) for a girls' day out, but there's lots of things the guys would like to look at too (cars, sunglasses, etc.) There's lots of fancy stores along the strip, and a very posh mall further down towards the far end, way past Treasure Island (not pleasure island like i said above :P) There's also a huge outlet mall - we just told the taxi driver we wanted to go there. Wasn't that expensive for cab fare.

I also recommend you go down to the old strip, where things seem a bit cheaper and the ceiling-type thing (what's it called?!) that covers the main portion of the old strip gives a lightshow in the evening.
posted by lizbunny at 9:24 AM on March 18, 2009

You're fine in the casinos as long as you're "just passing through". Stop and take pictures, etc, just don't try to gamble or drink.

Ack! Don't take pictures on the casino floor (anywhere near a gaming machine or table) unless you want to be tackled by security! Seriously, don't do this.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:29 AM on March 18, 2009

Best answer: The last time we were in Vegas (with my infant son) we all enjoyed the following:

Pinball Hall of Fame

The Liberace Museum - much more interesting that I thought it would be

Mandalay Bay Aquarium - probably the thing we remember most now.

The Secret Garden, which is the Siegfried & Roy Tiger/Dolphin habitat (at the Mirage)

When we were there the Aladdin Hotel was still The Aladdin, with its beautiful Middle Eastern themed shopping area intact. No idea if its still there now that the hotel is Planet Hollywood, but we wasted an entire (hot) afternoon wandering around there. Also the shopping area in the Paris hotel and at Ceasar's Palace. Paris, especially, was a delightful indoor walk.

Gallery of Fine Art at the Bellagio.

At night, be sure to go up in the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel.
posted by anastasiav at 9:33 AM on March 18, 2009

Ack! Don't take pictures on the casino floor (anywhere near a gaming machine or table) unless you want to be tackled by security! Seriously, don't do this.

I have about an hour's worth of video from the Paris hotel, plus about 200 still shots, all taken in the casino's (from our trip in April '07). No one ever approached me about doing so. I was aware that it could be "a problem" but I also noted many, many other people taking pictures, especially in Paris and New York, New York.
posted by anastasiav at 9:35 AM on March 18, 2009

Vegas resident here! Although residents get sick of the Strip in no time, we do have our favorite places to take our friends when they visit.

1) The Rio. It has a carnival which kids should enjoy. You have beads thrown from ceiling-mounted floats that travel through the room, clowns on stilts, jugglers, dancing women in Carnival costumes, a staged dance show, etc.
2) Circus Circus. They have a mini-circus show with talented acrobats from around the world.
3) The Bellagio fountains
4) The mini-volcano (outdoors)
5) The Pirates of Treasure Island (Pirates of TI) outdoor shows. Just be aware that it gets crowded at night and little kids may or many not like that. Try to start milling around before the show starts.
6) MGM TV studios (I don't know what else to call it). Now, *I* found this boring, but some people enjoy reviewing upcoming TV series and voting on them. Not all shows are appropriate for kids, however so it depends on what is being reviewed while you're there. The fun part for kids is seeing a show before anyone else does and then when it comes on TV, being able to brag that you already know what's going to happen. By the way, you are sometimes paid money to review shows, and you always leave with coupons to various events and restaurants.
7) Desert Passage mall- has an indoor thunderstorm! Plus the mall is nicely designed. It is located inside Planet Hollywood, which in and of itself is fun to visit due to its newness and design.

(A note about the Pirates show: it's a big draw but has a T&A aspect to it that little kids won't notice but that parents of tweens often feel a bit embarrassed about. What younger kids like are the loudness, the explosions and the heat from the fire balls!)

OFF-STRIP and worth it (fun + free):
Young people and adults alike enjoy Fremont Street. It's a street, part of which has been covered over to create in indoor mall feel. There are restaurants, kiosks and live music, and at regularly scheduled intervals there is a laser light show set to music- they'll enjoy it.

The Silverton. I will not reveal anything about the aquatics-themed show but it is entertaining.

Sams Town- young people definitely enjoy the animatronics and the fireworks/water show that is put on in a darkened atmosphere. This and the Fremont should stay in their memories for years.

Red Rock Canyon
Words cannot express how beautiful the Mojave Desert is. If you are able to drive out there and do the $5/car tour, I suggest you grab your cameras and make the drive. Even without the tour you'll be mightily impressed. The desert colors, the Joshua trees and yucca, the red mountains- it's spectacular.

Regarding the rule about not taking photos inside a casino- Security guards do not tackle visitors; they want you to feel welcomed and to come back! One thing I discovered about Vegas is that customer service is generally attentive and friendly. I'm not saying it's perfect- you always get a doozey here or there, but everyone wants you to spend money, and they know you'll do so if you're having a great time.
posted by Piscean at 10:53 AM on March 18, 2009

Mudpuppie's warning may be correct, so be careful. Apparently I've only taken pictures in the casinos with the blind security personnel.

Perhaps it's best to, while on the casino floor, look for the signs that say "no pictures" and avoid taking pictures in those areas.
posted by krisak at 12:28 PM on March 18, 2009

I went to Vegas just after turning 21. The only time me and my friends were asked for ID was when we needed to cash in a big win. No one bothered to check for it while we were losing our money! Just in case you fancied a bit of a flutter...
posted by ardinno at 12:31 PM on March 18, 2009

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