Traveling as a family is something that we have come to enjoy over the years. We don't have jobs where we have to request time off, or save up vacation pay for. And Aiden is finally at an age where he really enjoys experiencing new places and can handle the traveling.
Earlier this month The Selling Family (TSF) headed to Las Vegas!
It was the third trip Jessica and I have taken to Vegas but this was our first time we were bringing our son Aiden along to experience Vegas. I know it might not sound like a great idea to be bringing a 6 year old to Vegas but believe it or not there are quite a few cool activities and shows for kids to enjoy as well as the parents. The shows we booked and the activities we planned were all family friendly. We were super excited to go on a small family vacation to Las Vegas!
We booked our trip a month ahead of time and we planned on staying 3 nights. When we book a trip we always like to travel on weekdays Monday-Thursday so hopefully we can avoid the super busy times and not everything is so packed and busy. Here at The Selling Family we aren’t big fans of long lines and crowded places. Luckily with the lifestyle business we have built it allows us to have flexible schedules and work times so we take full advantage of that and travel on vacation to places when hopefully they aren’t as busy.
Once we decided how long we were going to be in Las Vegas, we then started to plan our travel and room accommodations and also our family activities for the trip!
This is the fun part!
Travel: Allegiant Air
We live in Central California and Las Vegas is about a 55 minute flight from a small metropolitan airport in Stockton, Ca, about 30 minutes away from our home.
It’s a small airport with only 1 terminal and only one commercial airliner flies in and out of it: Allegiant Air. Allegiant Air offers quick flights to the major cities on the west coast including Las Vegas. One of the things I love about Allegiant Air is the prices on tickets.
Now if we catch them at the right time or plan far enough in advance we can get tickets to Las Vegas for around $35 each way or $70 round trip per person. We prefer extra legroom so when we chose our seats we paid an upgrade fee so for 3 round trip tickets we paid $110 each for a total of $330 for the whole Selling Family including all the fees.
With Allegiant Air the tickets are usually really great priced but they do “get you” on the bag fees. We each took a carry on bag so we didn't have to wait around for our bags to get off the plane at the Las Vegas Airport, and we were charged $18 each for one way and $108 total for all of our bags. After the tickets, bag fees, taxes, and various fees our grand total round trip was $439. Not bad if you ask me.
Hotel Accommodations: Bellagio
We decided to stay at the Bellagio because we received an awesome offer from them via email. Now remember how I said this was Jessica and mine third trip to Vegas?
Well on our second trip to Vegas we stayed at the Bellagio because the world famous Bellagio fountains are one of my favorite things to see while in Vegas. Not only is the fountain show awesome and runs every ½ hour for the majority of the day and then every 15 minutes at night. You can check the Bellagio fountain schedule on their website.
This is one of the most popular FREE shows in Las Vegas and people line the streets to watch the show and hear the music that goes along with it. It’s a great experience which Aiden loved too and one you shouldn’t miss if you go to Vegas.
So, like I mentioned before, we stayed at the Bellagio on our second trip and while we were there we played slots using their M Life players card and began to earn “points” for playing. We racked up enough points on that trip to earn some great comps and even some show tickets from Bellagio to a show of our choosing.
After we left on our second trip, I started to get specials offers via email from Bellagio and other M Life partnered Hotels to come back and stay with them. It’s probably so their slot machines could take some more of my money! If you plan on going to Vegas to gamble I would recommend signing up for their players card to start earning points for rewards.
On this family trip I had received an offer from Bellagio offering us 3 FREE nights in a Salon Suite that had a partial fountain view from the room. 3 FREE nights isn’t bad right? Well they offered us a couple more things to entice us to come back and stay with them. They offered $250 in FREEPLAY on the slot machines and $100 in food and drink credit during our stay at the hotel.
Normally Bellagio charges around $450 a night for the suite so we knew it was a great deal. Again we received that offer because of the points we had earned playing with our M Life card during our previous trip.
With this being our second stay at the Bellagio we learned quite a few things that we liked and disliked about staying there.
I’ll start with the not so desirable aspects of staying at the Bellagio.
First off just be prepared that EVERYTHING is expensive at the Bellagio hotel. The prices at the restaurants, snack bar, and convenient store are drastically overpriced. I’m talking $5 for a 20oz soda and $10 for a cold sandwich. Steaks from room service will run $44 (without sides) and chicken tenders will cost you $22. Just be prepared that most everything there is pricey.
While we are on the subject of food this is big issue Jessica and I had with Bellagio. Not only was the food high priced it just wasn’t that great. The room service food was just ok but the menu selection was slim. Jessica is on a low carb diet and only found 2 items she wanted to order…the hamburger with no buns or a steak. During our stay we found ourselves traveling down the strip to find different places for food. Plus, Jessica placed an online grocery order so that we had real food in our room and didn't have to buy everything from the hotel store.
Another issue I had with Bellagio was the layout of the slot machines on the casino floor. Now I consider myself a bit of a slot machine connoisseur. I love playing slot machines and yes I know they are a total rip off! My issue with the slot machines at Bellagio is they don’t seem to be in any particular order based on Max Bet. They have machines where you will be betting $2 max and then you will move to the machines next to it and then its $40 max bet. So I had to be very careful about which machines that I stopped and played on because I didn’t know what the minimum and maximum bet was from one set of slot machines to the next.
Not a huge deal but something that bothered me just a little bit.
Now that we have the bad stuff out of the way let’s talk about some of the things we really liked about the Bellagio. First thing, the scenery is beautiful inside and outside of the hotel. I already talked about the fountains but inside they also have an awesome Japanese garden that is really a sight to behold. It also changes seasonally.
Featuring a huge samurai warrior and tons of Japanese art and wonderful flowers and statues. Aiden really loved taking pictures with the various statues and was impressed by the huge samurai warrior. Also inside in the lobby is a wonderful art display of glass flowers on the ceiling. It will definitely catch your attention when you walk in and people love to sit and take pictures of them.
There is also a candy shop on the inside which has a chocolate fountain flowing from the ceiling to the floor which tends to be a big hit both kids and adults alike. Along with the fountains outside you get a nice view of a replica of the Eiffel Tower across the street from the fountains.
Another thing I really liked about the Bellagio was their service and overall cleanliness of the hotel. All of the staff I encountered were friendly and helpful. The room was always spotless and everywhere I went inside and out was well kept.
A few random thoughts I had about the Bellagio was it does seem to attract an older crowd. With the piano music playing in the lobby and higher priced items, it could have just been how I seen it but it seemed to be a more older crowd in and around the hotel and casino.
Nothing wrong with that but if you are looking for something with a younger crowd and current music I would recommend going across the street to Planet Hollywood or down the strip more to New York New York.
Lastly, I wanted to touch on Aiden’s time at the Bellagio. I know most parents are always worried if taking their kid to a certain hotel is a good idea and if the kid will like it or be bored out of their mind.
I will say Bellagio seemed to be a kid friendly hotel with lots of cool things to see. Aiden really liked the fountains, gardens, chocolate fountain, and flower art. Bellagio unfortunately doesn’t have any kid friendly activities for the kids to actually do except for an arcade that we never made it to. We had to travel to other places to do some activities which I will share more about later.
While we did see quite a few kids staying at the Bellagio, it didn’t seem like there was much to do for kids other than to look at some cool stuff.
1st Show: Blue Man Group
When we were planning our trip we decided to book 2 shows for the evenings we were there.
The first show we went to was the Blue Man Group. Jessica and I had seen this show before on our second trip to Vegas and we knew that this was something we just had to take our son to see.
The show itself is around 90 minutes and plays currently at the Luxor hotel.
It is so hard to describe this show and how awesome it really is. It’s a combination of art, sound, comedy, cinema, and just insane creativeness. The Blue Man Group is a spectacle to behold and this was Aiden’s favorite part of our trip to Vegas and something I don’t think he will ever forget. It’s clever and so much fun and held our 6 year old son’s attention from start to finish.
From banging paint on drums under the blacklight in complete darkness to creating music using pvc pipes and then watching the Blue Men throw 30 marshmallows across the stage into each others mouths there is great fun to be had at this show.
Jessica even got to be part of the show, but we won't share the details so it doesn't ruin any of the experience if you go see the show 🙂
We sat in the “splash zone” in section 103 row A seats 31-33. Basically front row. Each ticket costs us $110 so a total of $330.
There are much cheaper seats available but that is the cost for up front which was a blast.
If you are taking kids, teenagers, or even grandparents to Las Vegas, I would say Blue Man Group is a fun time to be had by the whole family.
If we go again, we will do the VIP so that Aiden can actually do a meet and greet with the cast members. This is definitely a show we could see over and over again.
2nd Show: “O” at the Bellagio
Our second show that we decided to book was “O” which is a Cirque Du Soleil show that plays at the Bellagio (where we stayed).
We have seen other Cirque shows in Vegas on our others trips and we had always heard O was a great show and it always seemed to be a hard ticket to get. We were initially worried that this show wouldn’t be that great for Aiden but thought he might be entertained.
The show overall for me was great and I enjoyed the pace. For Aiden it was just “meh”. It kept his attention but I could tell he really wasn’t digging it.
There were a few moments from a swinging pirate ship to a man on fire that really peaked his interest. So even though we tried to buy tickets a month ahead of time we were still very limited on what seats were actually available for 3 people next to each other. We ended up with tickets in the right side balcony in section 300 row R seats 303. We paid $126 a ticket so $378 total.
This was where we made a mistake! The seats looked decent on the seating chart but they were turned at an angle so we were basically sitting in front and behind each other. It really didn’t have the best view either which you can see from the picture. If we had realized this before purchasing, we would have skipped this show all together.
The seating made it very difficult for Aiden, he felt like he was missing a lot of the show, and wanted to be sitting on one of our laps the whole time just so he could see a little better.
Being so high up meant we didn’t really get to appreciate the stunts and acrobatics the performers were executing because we were not ground level to see just how high they were really getting.
Overall it had some great moments but it was definitely not the experience we were looking for at $378. Bellagio has an age restriction of 5 years old to watch the show. I would suggest not bringing kids to see O if they are 10 and under.
If you plan to see this show, you will need to plan well in advance! A lot of Vegas shows can be booked just days (or even the same day) in advance…Not O!
Other Activities We Tried:
With Aiden coming with us to Las Vegas and only booking shows for the evening times that meant we had the daytimes to add some great activities geared toward a 6 year old.
During our trip we spent some time at Circus Circus at their amusement park called Adventure Dome. It’s an inside amusement park and they have rides for all ages. Roller coasters for the thrill seekers to bumper cars for the kids and all kids of different rides in between.
We were able to buy Aiden a wristband that allowed him to ride unlimited rides for the day. I believe the cost was $36 for the wristband and it was even cheaper for younger kids under 6. Aiden enjoyed the rides and we spent a few hours there.
While we were there we caught one of the free circus acts that the hotel offers for visitors inside the huge midway. It was actually a really cool show that lasted for about 15 minutes. The show was 2 uni cyclers doing various tricks and stunts using plates and bowls. It was very cool and Aiden loved it. The best thing is it was free! Circus Circus runs shows daily starting at 11am and they rotate which circus acts are going on throughout the day.
The other day we spent at the Game Works arcade. Aiden and myself are huge gamers and going to the arcade is something the whole Selling Family enjoys. We did some quick research of some arcades in town and Game Works came up and so we decided to give it a shot.
We had a blast for a couple hours and scored Aiden some sweet swag from the tickets won at the arcade. They had a great selection of arcade games along with games that gave out tickets. They also have a great bar there for parents to get drinks or order some decent food for the family (and the drinks came with refills, so BONUS).
Aiden got enough tickets to “win” some Minecraft themed prizes.
We all enjoyed our time at the arcade and even found a great Groupon for an unlimited arcade games card for $20! Make sure to check out Groupon if you plan on stopping by Game Works in Las Vegas.
Overall we had a great trip and enjoyed having Aiden along and taking him on his first Vegas Vacation!
Las Vegas Is Family Friendly
Las Vegas is definitely a city built and targeted for adults but rest assured there are plenty of things for kids to do and see while there.
Another big expense I hadn’t mentioned was taxi fares. All the places we went to we got there by taxi. Usually anywhere on the strip can be $10 to $25 dollars and around $20 to get us to and from the airport.
It adds up quickly but just keep that in mind of you don’t plan on renting a car or setting up other transportation methods. Or you can be the ultimate tourist and walk anywhere you go on the Vegas strip. There is always something to look at and do but take extra precaution if you have little ones because they might see a little bit more than you want them to! There are some interesting characters on the street and let’s just say some of them are pushing an R rated message.
Overall we found that Las Vegas could be family friendly and would all like to go again.
There are still some other shows we would all like to see (like the knights show at the Excalibur and some magic shows!) We would also like to go to a “younger crowd” hotel, like Planet Hollywood.
We can’t wait to plan our next Vegas trip and we have a lot of shows and places we want to see!
What Are Your Vegas Experiences?
Have you had a chance to go to Las Vegas? What were your favorite experiences that people should consider? Any tips for us or our readers?