Vegas for Parents

I will admit- I was a late bloomer to Vegas. I didn’t experience Sin City in all it’s neon glory until my 30’s. I was married but no children and relished the experience to go out with my friends and just enjoy the town. The sensory overload was amazing; the lights, sounds and smells were inescapable. As I age I find myself less in love with “The Strip” side of Vegas and more in love with “Old Vegas.”

The Strip is good for your 20’s. It is all about how much skin you can show and not get arrested. It is about the party and the “see and be seen” environment. I still don’t understand why parents bring kids to The Strip. Do small children really need to see mostly naked men and women walking around or drunk people stumbling over each other? I digressed.  The Strip has everything you could want when you are young. High end hotels stretch for miles with pools and night clubs celebrities frequent. Top restaurants and bars are everywhere you look. Most hotels have some kind of live show at their venue as well. It isn’t just Wayne Newton and Sigfried and Roy anymore. Celine Deion, Brittney Spears and J. Lo are the current draws. Then there are the Circ shows. If you haven’t experienced a Circ du Soleil show it is really is a must see event when in Las Vegas (or catch one of the touring shows!)

The Strip was just packed with people; day or night. You are always running into someone or something (strollers are killer!) There are mobs of people everywhere; stopping to look at the attractions or take selfies. I stopped counting the number of bachelor and bachelorette parties I saw on the strip. You couldn’t turn around without seeing a group of guys in matching t-shirts or a gaggle of girls wearing short dresses and sashes letting everyone know who the bride and her friends were. It was crazy.

This trip, my husband and I decided we were too old for the Strip.  When we started planning, our goal was to get to Vegas, have fun and relax on a modest budget.  To do this, we decided to forgo the Strip and stay on Freemont street. My husband and I stayed at The Plaza and we will only stay on Freemont moving forward.  We payed less than $50 for our room and it had a view of Freemont Light show.  Our pool was never full. Where as the pool at The Flamingo was standing room only. The Plaza casino was never full either. We realized that we could play whatever table game or machine we wanted and actually WIN! We were able to go for a walk down Freemont in the shade on days when Vegas temps hit well into the triple digits. We were also able to find reasonably priced food and beverages wherever we went.  For us “older” folks it was a truly enjoyable vacation. We did cheat a bit. Our friend knows the good places to eat in Vegas and rented a car. We were able to eat off The Strip twice and both meals were unbelievably good and very reasonably priced. One restaurant, Hot N Juicy Crawfish is well worth the visit.  You can find them on the strip if your transportation options are limited.

We will always leave the kids at home when we go to Vegas- unless they are well into their 30’s.  However, Vegas is one of those places that if you do some planning you really can have an affordable adult vacation that you can enjoy. After all, as parents that is what we wanted.  Our parent vacation included quality time away from our kids and time spent with other adults. We wanted to eat some good food and relax.  Mission accomplished.

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