Okay… I’m back! The Sloan Family Vegas Vacation is unfortunately finally over. You might be thinking, “Family vacation… in Las Vegas? Wild…”
Well, leave it to my parents to plan the perfect vacation. My brother and I each had our significant others with us… And as four twenty-somethings in the Sin City… We made out way better than “just alright.”
Are your parents planning a family vacation anytime soon? Tell them to consider Las Vegas. Mom and Dad will love feeling young again while dancing and drinking next to their twenty-something children. You’ll find happy hours, see magnificent shows, eat more than you have in the past four months, and will have a great time with who’s slowly becoming your “adult” family (When did we grow up?)
Now yes, there might be a few things in Las Vegas that you would only do with friends… But there’s also a whole list of things that you wouldn’t be able to do or see with just your friends that you can with your family (especially if you’d be working on a group of twenty-somethings’ budget). Convincing Mom and Dad that Las Vegas should be the next stop on your family vacation list? Here’s what you won’t want to miss:
1. Every hotel usually offers complimentary tickets to one of their shows, making it easy to find a place to stay among the millions of beautiful choices. Book your hotel according the show you’d like to see (for free). You’re going to want to take full advantage of anything offered complimentary. (We stayed at The Mirage and saw Terry Fator for free – HILARIOUS and a MUST SEE).
2. Drinks are expensive. But almost every bar has a happy hour. Find the deals and drink accordingly. If you’re gambling, drinks will also come to you for free. So if you want a few quick drinks but missed the happy hour, put a dollar in the slots and wait for the drink waitress to make her rounds. Trust me, she’ll be there. Short skirt, high heels, high hair. Hard to miss.
3. Cirque du Soleil – if you haven’t been to a Cirque show yet – Vegas is the place to see it. We actually saw two – “O” and “Love.” They were both unique, fascinating, and neither show travels, so these are a must see if you’re looking for something that you can only find in Vegas.
4. Humor Dad and take the trip to the Hoover Dam. It’s an engineering phenomenon and way better than you might think. Book it with your concierge and find a deal with a private tour guide – it’s definitely worth it and much more personal. It’s always beautiful in Las Vegas, so enjoy the weather and get off the strip for a little while.
5. Dinner at the Circo Restaurant in the Bellagio hotel gives you a front row view to the nightly fountain show (and some of the best food that you’ll have all week). A win-win and only affordable in the company of Mom and Dad.
6. Lunch is tricky. Every hotel has a buffet, but some are better than others. Do NOT miss the buffet at the Paris hotel. Get in before 3 p.m. and pay half the dinner price for an absolutely delicious selection of meals on meals on meals. There’s no other way to describe it.
7. Drag your butts out of bed and explore during the day. There’s lots of free shows (the fountains at the Bellagio, volcano at the Mirage, pirate ships at Treasure Island) and of course, the rides (that aren’t free) at the Stratosphere. The world’s highest thrill rides that will leave you wondering if you really are insane.
8. Caesar’s Palace – thanks to The Hangover, it’s a must see. If you’re going to gamble, you might as well do it at a place worth remembering. Scenes from the movie are all over the casinos and resort.
9. VIP Nightlife at the Palms – again – this just can’t be beat. We started out with a 45-minute limo ride cruising down the strip and had VIP passes to the four clubs at the Palms Resort and Casino. You’ll be in and out of four clubs before the “regulars” even make it through the line to their first club after paying a $50 cover fee (for even more expensive drinks). So if Mom and Dad opt out of a night out, head to the Palms, VIP Style. Skip the lines and have the night of your life. **If you don’t want to do VIP (which I don’t know why wouldn’t, but whatever), then make your one stop be the Ghostbar. Nothing compares to the view of the strip late at night from the 64th floor patio bar.
10. And lastly, before or after that wild night out at Palms, head to Fremont Street for a night out with Mom and Dad. The free lights show is stunning and plays their kind of music with live bands, free drinks, and even more sights to see.
Las Vegas is a very expensive place. Sure, you could just sit in the casinos the whole time, but why not save some money and do that at Foxwoods or in Atlantic City? I guess if it’s the summer, you could hang out at the pools. But if you’re going to go to Las Vegas, then do VEGAS. Mom and Dad are cooler than you think and probably have a little more money to spend than you and your entry-level job paychecks. They’ll find the deals and you’ll make some of the best memories as a family on this trip. I speak from experience. Dad’s air guitar and Mom getting low? It’s totally worth it.