Vegas with Tweens

We spent a weekend in Vegas with kids and discovered plenty of fun things to do in Vegas with tweens. Sin city has something for everyone and funny enough, I was a young teen myself when I visited Vegas. Chris had never been before and so he requested a last minute trip to Vegas in February. What we discovered during our three nights in Vegas was that we need to return because there’s so much more to do! That said, if you have a weekend in Vegas with kids who are between 10 and 13, I think you’ll find yourself having a great time! 


Disclosure : We received complimentary access to certain Vegas attractions but, as always, opinions are TOTALLY ours! 


Spend a Family Friendly Vegas Weekend with Tweens

Canada jetlines flight

We have multiple daily flights from Canada to Vegas and from Toronto, there are some new players offering some great deals too! We recently to you all about our Canada Jetlines experience and so you already know that we flew Canada Jetlines from Toronto to Vegas in February for Chris’ birthday weekend. Our flights were on time and the journey was a smooth one. They have some great deals to various destination so be sure to take a peek at their offers. It’s also easy to stay within your budget because they include a personal item and hand luggage for every passenger, making it easy to spend a hand-luggage only weekend in Vegas! Just remember to add a suitcase for the return and pack a duffle bag if you plan to shop there! 


Things to do in Vegas with Kids

vegas with tweens

Chris and I aren’t gamblers so to be honest, the only things we missed out during our Vegas weekend with kids, is the ability to attend some 18+ shows like Mad Apple and dine at a few fancy restaurants (not because they don’t allow kids but because we don’t want to pay full tasting menu prices for our brats!). Beyond, that Vegas delivered in all the ways possibly! We will have to return and do some of the day trips because we found so much to do in the city of Vegas that we didn’t really venture away from the main strip except for Fremont street! 


Best Vegas Attractions for Kids

I really wanted a go with the flow kinda weekend in Vegas with kids so I didn’t schedule much. We booked a few attractions but got to many of the ones below by simply walking in! 


Flyover Vegas : This was a very cool indoor attraction in Vegas right on the strip (it’s very close to the Coca Cola and M’n’M stores!). If you’re looking for an immersive attraction  that will enable you to fly over beautiful vistas and landscapes, this is it. Tweens will LOVE it! Children do need to be at least 40′ tall so that’s something to keep in mind. Our 10 and 12 year old had no issues. We were gifted two rides – Wonders of the American West and Windborne: Canadian Rockies.  Chris loved  the Rockies experience while the rest of us were  fully into  the wild west experience. Upon arrival you can place your drinks or valuables in a free locker (if you have a small backpack you can bring it in with you and place it securely under your seat) and then you’re taken to a room where you’ll be given an insider’s look at the cultures and incredible locations featured in the Vegas Flyover adventure. Then you head into the ride room and are buckled into your seats. We truly felt like we were flying over the wraparound screen, because were! The motion seats, the wind and scents all come into play beautifully and reminded me of some of my favourite rides at Disney and Universal. 


Area 15 : This is yet another immersive experience that will have tweens visiting Vegas going absolutely bonkers! In the best way possible of course! Kids are allowed here until 9 p.m. on weekend so that’s something to keep in mind if you were hoping for a late night outing with kids. We checked out of our hotel at noon and then spent the entire day here (hand luggage and all) until our 10 p.m. flight. There is a full security check (a la airport style) so not only did we go through a metal detector  but our hand luggage went through a manual search too.

There are multiple experiences here and it’s about a USD10 Uber from the strip. While it’s free to visit you can also buy tickets for the various attractions. We were gifted the Level 1 access bundle but we also had separate Omega Mart tickets, if you’re doing Omega Mart then see if it’s worth getting that bundle. Even though we spent a whole day here, we didn’t get to do everything. There’s an insane amount on offer and the glow in the dark decor is very cool. There are also shops you can pop into and purchase unique items, the kids bought sushi candy at the awesome candy store on-site.

Although I wasn’t impressed by Museum Fiasco , it only took 5 minutes in there and we got some cool photos but most importantly, we were given 3d glasses here. Which would have been awesome at Wink World (had we not done that first!) – this was our favourite attraction the Level 1 pass and you can see what the experience was like in the Youtube video. Brainstorm was interesting as well because it gave us some insight on how we think. And to get active, Particle Quest had all four of us running around on an AR scavenger hunt. I failed miserably but the rest of the family did great! 

We saved the Asylum Arcade ($5 in tokens) for last so the kids could have as much time as they wanted while we sipped on cocktails. We also saved the LIFTOFF Ride for the night because it was awesome seeing Vegas lit up from the sky (there is a free open locker if you need to store things like flip flops!). 

In addition to all of this, you can also dine at the bars, restaurants and lounges here. We enjoyed a very filling early dinner at the Kaia Handroll and loved the spread here after a busy afternoon running around at Area15. 



BigBus Tours : I always love taking bus tours when we travel because it gives us a great lay of the land and some iconic views of the landmarks. Obviously with all the walking we were doing in Vegas, a Big Bus tour made complete sense. As you can see… the kids were grumpy and tired so the bus ride was the best option that afternoon after all the walking we did the day before. We used it the day we wanted to visit things away from the Strip – like Freemont Street and the Sahara Hotel. The audio stories were fantastic as it gave us some historical details which we didn’t know about and of course we could hop on and off at various spots. We mostly rode around the whole loop until the last few stops and noticed that on the long holiday weekend many people were lined up at the bus stop and some couldn’t get on to the top deck. They have a variety of ticket options and the Explore one not only gives you access to the night tour but also the High Rollers so it’s something to keep in mind if you want to do both. We did the Discover ticket only because we only had one day to use it on given our crazy schedule. 

children walking on bridge in Las Vegas

Vegas Hotels : Yes Vegas hotel hopping is a thing and it’s very budget friendly because you get loads of entertainment at no cost. Most hotels are massive (some of the world’s largest hotels can be found in Vegas after all) and have stunning decor along side the most random entertainment options ranging from arcades to shows. It’s also a great way to escape the heat on the hot days and you can find unique stores to shop and dine at. Some popular ones are : Bellagio (everyone knows their fountain show!), New York New York (ensure you walk around the food areas), Venetian, MGM Grand, Caesar’s Palace and Flamingo. 

Vegas Shows

Shows : You can’t come to Vegas and not take in a show. Yet, we did just that on this trip- sadly. Most of the shows I wanted to see were sold out due our last minute plans and some were 18+. We love Cirque du Soleil and are lucky to have seen many when they come to Toronto but I really want to see O and Mad Apple one day! Jabawockeeze and Blue Man Group are good shows for tweens too but mine weren’t in the mood for it which is why we did Battle Bots. I think magic shows would also be great options when looking for Vegas shows for kids. We did bump into some show ticket sellers who said they’d offer free tickets if we would sit through a presentation but we had no time for that! If time and interest permits, go for it.


High Roller : This is the newest Vegas attraction and it promises 360 views as you soar 550 feet above Vegas. It’s also said to be the largest observation wheel in North America.  Upon arrival you can head to the bar and grab yourself a drink – yes parents, cocktails, beer and wine can be brought onboard one of the 28 cabins. This means you can enjoy a drink during the 30 minute rotation. Here’s my tip though – if it isn’t busy, try and see if you can hold off entering a cabin that’s full. During our visit there was barely anyone around yet they tried to get 15 of us into one cabin when the next one was empty. I say this because even though each cabin can hold 40 people, there’s only seating for about 8-10 people. If you have tired little legs whining about having walked all day, then it’s a great time to rest them and sitting on the floor won’t let them take in the whole experience so, wait for that next empty cabin if you aren’t holding the line up!  Also check out this STEM handout to chat while you rotate! 

BattleBots Destruct-a-Thon : I  had not watched the TV show before but I am so glad we took the kids to this Vegas show. It was thrilling and had the entire family wide-eyed as we watching sparks fly! This is said to be the world’s first daily robot-combat show and it is hosted by Bil Dwyer from the original BattleBots TV series.  Once seated we were able to watch ferocious fights with fan favorites like Witch Doctor, Kraken, Bronco, and Mammoth, along with new bots created by the designers. There are a couple seating options and each has its perks. The general admission tickets have bench seating which allows you to see the hosts as they chat through the shows but the Platinum VIP area not only comes with snacks but also has seating upfront for kids to watch the robots up close (behind thick glass walls that withstand the flying debris of course). Our VIP tickets also gave us access to a free backstage tour after the show and this is how we got to speak with some of the robot creators and chat with them about the repair process – very cool idea for tweens who love destroying and fixing things!


Omega Mart : Okay this is a WHOLE NEW WORLD!!! If you love immersive experiences like we do, then plan to spend at least 3 hours here and ideally you’ll give yourself even more time. What looks like a supermarket filled with toy-like items is so much more. First up, please take the time to read some of the items because they are truly hilarious and appeal to the parents more than the kids! Next, chat with the employees here because they will gladly share their tips because you end up going to various portals from the main supermarket area. I can go on and on about the experience here but I think it’s best if you watch the Youtube video because you can SEE what it’s all about. There’s a pharmacy bar where you can order very cool cocktails and kids are allowed a few at a time. It can be a sensory overload here so if you  have tweens visiting Vegas who need some downtime, ask to be directed to their quieter rooms for a few moments of rest. The staff have received intensive training to help families with special needs and they are engaging and knowledgeable. 


Freemont Experience : Okay okay,  you must have heard many tell you to avoid taking kids to the Freemont area. Well, if your kids are well travelled or live in any urban centre, then they won’t be phased by seeing a few butts or whips. That’s Chris and my take anyway. We arrived here around 6 p.m. and spent a few hours roaming around, with drinks in hand popping in and out of the various stores and bars. I found an awesome taco spot and the kids enjoyed shopping for some random souvenirs here. There are street performers every where and you definitely need to walk through  the lobby of the Golden Nugget hotel to see the large… golden nugget!! 


Murphys at IceBar in Vegas

Minus 5 Ice Bar : There are a few Minus 5 Ice Bars in Vegas and we were invited to check out the one on the LINQ promenade. Upon arrival you’re given the gear to keep you warm and you’re invited to stay in the ice bar for as long as you want. On a hot Vegas day, this is a fantastic option. Akira and Apollo enjoyed sipping their drinks while Chris and I had some fun cocktails as we took in the great tunes and ice sculptures here. There’s definitely a party vibe in here and you may stumble into a couple celebratory groups. 


Shopping : I’m mixing in some shopping in with the attractions because I truly believe these spots are very tween friendly and very attraction-like!  Chocolate loving kids will love walking through the M&M store even though there’s only one small sample provided. The store spans multiple levels and has all sorts of M&Ms- you can even personalize your own version. We didn’t buy anything here but spent about 40 minutes roaming around. The kids loved  the Coca Cola store because they were handing out free samples galore. We got to taste multiple drinks from around the world whilst roaming around the store and by the time we made it to the cafe on-site (where were planning to purchase an around the world sampling tray for $15) we were full! The kids had already enjoyed the free-reign to the self-help machine so it seemed pointless to pay for more. Definitely their favourite stop to add to your list when planning a Vegas experience for kids! We also stumbled upon the Stranger Things store where we enjoyed the various rooms. The kids had not seen the show but now that we’re back, they’re hooked and recently finished season 1. Seeing the Demogorgon and free arcade machines at the store got them invested in the series. There are many more shopping experiences for those visiting Vegas with kids but those are our top three! 

If you’re looking for the latest and coolest things to do in Vegas (in general – not only with kids) then my friends at Local Adventure live in Vegas and have some great reviews to help you plan your Vegas visit. 

Also check out this Vegas with Kids Facebook group

Things we ran out of  time for : Sphere, Claw Arcade, Pinball Hall of Fame, 



Places to Eat in Vegas with Tweens 

Vegas is definitely a foodie’s delight and there’s something for every budget here. As much as we love our Michelin star dining, we did not make it to any on this trip because.. .well.. kids! As these two grow, so does their appetite and given that they like the finer things in life, it’s getting expensive!! So we found the below options to keep us all happy and on budget! Although I did some research and chatted with Vegas foodies, many of the stops below were random finds, with a few exceptions as noted. Getting a table was never an issue even on a busy weekend but some of the more popular restaurants did not have open reservations when I looked the week of our visit. So plan ahead if you REALLY want a specific experience. 


Bazaar Meat : We did not have time to enjoy the steak at this restaurant located in the Sahara Hotel because it takes over an  hour for them to prep the meal here and no way our tweens would survive a long seating but we did enjoy some appys in their bar area. And yes, the Foie Gras Cotton Candy was ordered and the cocktail I had was fantastic. 


Bacchanal Buffets : You cannot visit Vegas and not experience one of their famous buffets! I did a lot of research before narrowing down the best option for us and I chose Bacchanal at Caesars Palace not only because of the variety of seafood available but because it also looked gorgeous, having recently gone through a renovation. I chose this because we could make reservations ahead and it seemed to have an epic selection of seafood. So for Chris’ birthday we went here for a late lunch/early dinner. What I didn’t realize is the switch from brunch to dinner happened when we were there, which meant we got to taste a whack load of dishes from a variety of cuisines. Sadly Akira was in a mood and by the time she decided to eat, that stack of pancakes and waffles had disappeared! Chris and I did our best to eat as much seafood and steak as we could but we definitely didn’t get our money’s worth when it came to the kids. They were too full from the Coke store samplings that they only ate one dessert!! Crazy huh? The Crab brunch we did was USD85+tip+tax per adults and USD43+tax+tip for kids. 


KJ Dim Sum :  Located in the Rio hotel, this dim sum spot came recommended by a friend. He said they have the best Peking Duck but on this visit, I was craving dim sum. The old ladies push the carts around and you end up pointing to what you want which is an experience in itself. We waited a long time to get the egg buns and they were totally worth it! Everything I had was as good as my favourite spots in Toronto so that’s a great sign! Here’s a full list of other Vegas dim sum spot! 

Mexican : We enjoyed Mexican cuisine at a couple places during this trip. On Freemont Street, Tacos and Meches was a small store with a few tables and while their tacos were epic, I do regret not buying their Birria Ramen for a midnight snack. If you’re on the strip, then Cabo Wabo is a decent sit down spot and their resident photographer took a really nice photo of us which was our Vegas souvenir! We walked in here for a quick breakfast and they had pancakes for kids and tacos for us! There’s also Guy’s Taco Shack at the Rio Hotel, where they have a quick service window to grab burritos and tacos.


Beerhaus : If you’re looking for a laid back vibe and some happy hour deals, the Beerhaus was a fun spot to meet friends at because the kids were able to play games like Giant Jenga while we sipped on beers. Between 2 and 4 p.m. they were offering $7 menu items and beers so it was a great deal. Also the Micheladas here looked spectacular, if only I wasn’t absolutely full after having a few drinks already! 



Family Friendly Hotel in Vegas

Vegas hotel with queen beds

I knew that Groupon always had great deals for Vegas hotel but the weekend we were going, there were none! Not only that, the cheap Vegas Hotel rates I had been monitoring over the years were not in play because it was the long weekend in February. Rates for even the crappier hotels were at $300++ a night. Let’s not forget the resort fees! Even  though pools are closed in February, many hotels still charge $30+ a night on resort fees on top of the nightly rates. We ended up with a great deal by leveraging our AIRMILES rewards and so we stayed at the Rio Hotel with our tweens. The hotel wasn’t directly on the strip but it was just across the street so we took a $7 Uber from and to the hotel and walked for the rest of the day (for the most part). 

Rio hotel room Las Vegas

The Rio Hotel was undergoing renovations and we were upgraded upon arrival to a renovated room. Not only did we have two queen beds, we also had a funky couch which Akira decided was going to be her bed. We also had a spacious bathroom and vanity area with a small walk in closed area. These Vegas hotel rooms were very spacious! 

As with nearly each and every Vegas hotel, there was a lobby area with slot machines and then the hotel kept going and going via tunnels. The Rio has a quick service restaurant area but they also have multiple sit down restaurants as well. We loved KJs DimSum which came recommended by our friend Travelling Foodie. The hotel has a wine cellar, Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho, VooDoo Steak, Royal Indian Buffet, Hash House A Go Go, Pho Da Nang … the list goes on so just check it all out here

When it comes to entertainment, the Rio Vegas is home to Nevada’s largest sports wagering menu, the Sportsbook and Bar, WOW the Cirque (which I was gutted about not getting tickets for), Penn & Teller, Comedy Bar and the Chippendales. 

kids in Vegas Casinos

Yes this is a hotel where you will encounter smoke as you walk around. The only fully  smoke free hotel I know of in Vegas is the Park MGM. As for kids and casinos, we had no issues with kids walking through the floors at various hotels, often walking in-between betting tables. We visited many Vegas hotels, because it truly is an entertaining thing to do (similar to visiting malls in Dubai). I think I’d like to stay at the Mandalay Bay on our future trip because their pools look awesome. The Rio was renovating the pool area and it did look like they have multiple pools so it might be fun here too. 


Vegas with Kids Tips

akira and apollo murphy in Las Vegas Omega Mart

  • Check Groupon for deals
  • Bring comfortable footwear
  • Find hotels with pools if visiting in the summer
  • Book your shows early
  • The street performers will approach you (but less often than if you were there without kids) and even though they say they don’t want anything and you can take a picture – THEY WANT YOU  TO PAY! So walk away or be ready to cough up. I thought it would be a couple dollars but friends who were forced to take a picture said a naked cowboy ask their momcation ladies to pay USD50!!! Needless to say, they walked away and looked for hand sanitizer. He should have offered hand sanitizer for $50 and they would have gladly paid! 
  • We used Uber and the Big Bus to get around but there is a Monorail attached to a few of the hotels and I saw the Deuce city bus that was stopping at many spots. It’s USD6 for 2 hours and USD8 for 24 hours – kids under 5 are free. There’s a free Downtown Loop shuttle too but I never spotted it.


3 Day Vegas Itinerary | Things to do in Vegas with Tweens on a Weekend

Day 1  : Walk one of the Strip – Flyover, Shopping, Hotel Hopping, Minus 5 Ice Bar, High Roller, Shows like Battle Bots

Day 2 : Big Bus tour (maybe hop off on the end of the strip you didn’t walk through yet), Freemont Street 

Day 3 : Area 15 and Omega Mart



VEgas with kids

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