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Looking for recommendations for Vegas

needhap

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Hi I am looking for any recommendations and tips for going to Vegas. We will be travelling with 2 teenagers and have never been to the Western US before. As our kids are school aged and I am a teacher we are limited to school holiday times. Thank you in advance.
 

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The summer in Las Vegas is really hot - like 110 degrees. If you must go during a school holiday, Christmas/New Years or Spring Break would be better.

What kind of a recommendation are you looking for? Accommodations? How will you be making the reservations? Exchange? Which exchange company?

Las Vegas has over 30 timeshare properties, so in general, it's easy to find something, but you will be looking for the highest demand times during school holidays.

***With kids - I'd seriously consider the Pacific Coast instead of Las Vegas - It is far cooler in the summer, and has more to offer to kids. I recommend the Anaheim to San Diego area.
 
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Passepartout

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For more of a 'Western U.S.' experience for teens, perhaps consider Sedona AZ, with Grand Canyon a good side trip, ditto for Phoenix. There are 'cowboy type things, hiking, touristy 'ghost towns' and the like.

Teens in Las Vegas are caught in the middle. Too old to enjoy 'kid stuff', and too young to go in to the casinos and catch lounge shows. Even hanging around a pool in 110 (40+C) heat would get tiresome.

I also second Denise's suggestion of San Diego or Anaheim California. San Diego being my top choice of all the above for teens/young adults.

Jim
 

Ty1on

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Teens in Las Vegas are caught in the middle. Too old to enjoy 'kid stuff', and too young to go in to the casinos and catch lounge shows. Even hanging around a pool in 110 (40+C) heat would get tiresome.

Having grown up as a teen in Las Vegas, I adamantly validate this. While the community has grown up and there are things here for teens that didn't exist in the 70s, I still don't think LV is an awesome destination for teenagers. Unless you want them to be reminded 50 times a day that they aren't an adult yet.
 

presley

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What do you plan on doing in Vegas? There have been several threads recently and also not so recently that discussed places to stay and things to do for families. Are you looking for activities or places to stay?
 

VegasBella

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Having grown up as a teen in Las Vegas, I adamantly validate this. While the community has grown up and there are things here for teens that didn't exist in the 70s, I still don't think LV is an awesome destination for teenagers. Unless you want them to be reminded 50 times a day that they aren't an adult yet.
OK, but for a little vacation that's planned with activities for them to do?

I think they'll be fine. Here are some suggestions:

- Enjoy the pools (Mandalay Bay has the best pool - maybe see a concert at The Beach)
- Spend a day at a water park (Wet N Wild or Cowabunga Bay)
- go to a trampoline park (indoor, active fun for all ages) like SkyZone or Gravady
- See a show. I liked LOVE (my teenaged nephew likes the Beatles too so I think they're still very much "in" for teens)
- Go skydiving. Or emulate it with indoor skydiving.
- Roller coasters at NYNY, Stratosphere, and the Adventure Dome. (El Loco looks really fun!)
- Visit the Mob Museum or Atomic History Museum if they have interests in those areas.
- If they like to shop then they might enjoy the Fashion Show Mall, Miracle Mile, or the Outlets.
- See if there's a band or comedian in town they like and get tickets!
 

Ty1on

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OK, but for a little vacation that's planned with activities for them to do?

I think they'll be fine. Here are some suggestions:

- Enjoy the pools (Mandalay Bay has the best pool - maybe see a concert at The Beach)
- Spend a day at a water park (Wet N Wild or Cowabunga Bay)
- go to a trampoline park (indoor, active fun for all ages) like SkyZone or Gravady
- See a show. I liked LOVE (my teenaged nephew likes the Beatles too so I think they're still very much "in" for teens)
- Go skydiving. Or emulate it with indoor skydiving.
- Roller coasters at NYNY, Stratosphere, and the Adventure Dome. (El Loco looks really fun!)
- Visit the Mob Museum or Atomic History Museum if they have interests in those areas.
- If they like to shop then they might enjoy the Fashion Show Mall, Miracle Mile, or the Outlets.
- See if there's a band or comedian in town they like and get tickets!

Not saying there aren't things for teens to do and see. Just saying that if I were planning a vacation for teens, there are other places to go that won't so constantly remind them that there are sins that await them, but only when they turn 21. :)
 

VegasBella

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Not saying there aren't things for teens to do and see. Just saying that if I were planning a vacation for teens, there are other places to go that won't so constantly remind them that there are sins that await them, but only when they turn 21. :)

OK, that's one opinion.

But the OP said "I am looking for any recommendations and tips for going to Vegas. We will be travelling with 2 teenagers"
NOT
"I am looking for any recommendations and tips for going to Vegas or nearby area. We are considering travelling with 2 teenagers"

So a bunch of posts wherein people tell them not to go or to leave the kids at home are not helpful.
 

DeniseM

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So a bunch of posts wherein people tell them not to go or to leave the kids at home are not helpful.

OK, that's one opinion.

ALL opinions are welcome on TUG, as long as they don't violate the TUG posting rules.
 

Ty1on

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OK, that's one opinion.

But the OP said "I am looking for any recommendations and tips for going to Vegas. We will be travelling with 2 teenagers"
NOT
"I am looking for any recommendations and tips for going to Vegas or nearby area. We are considering travelling with 2 teenagers"

So a bunch of posts wherein people tell them not to go or to leave the kids at home are not helpful.

But it is also someone who has never been to the Western US. If I were going to New England for the first time, and threw a dart and picked NYC, I would appreciate experienced people telling me there are other, possibly better, alternatives, even though I had only mentioned NYC.

Your post has great value in that it lists specific things to do if they choose to go to Las Vegas, and the other posts have value in illuminating the undeniable challenges to taking teenagers to Las Vegas, and suggesting other Southwest alternatives. Just my opinion. :)

Not that I think I will ever be inclined to visit NYC, being a Texan by birth and heart :rofl:

True story, I took my 14 year old daughter and her 14 YO friend on the Strip one time years ago, because they wanted to check something out, and I almost got into fights over the lascivious things drunk twenty-something lizards were saying to them. And I'm not a fighter.
 

needhap

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Lots of great advice

I enjoy all your advice and opinions. I have heard many times that Vegas is not a good vacation for kids and have to agree with a lot that is being said. Unfortunately my husband is convinced it will be a great vacation. I do not think there will be any talking him out of it. He will need to see it for himself. The suggestions are very helpful. I would also appreciate any info on accommodations as I am looking to exchange our 2 bedroom at Vistana villages in Orlando.
 

Ty1on

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I enjoy all your advice and opinions. I have heard many times that Vegas is not a good vacation for kids and have to agree with a lot that is being said. Unfortunately my husband is convinced it will be a great vacation. I do not think there will be any talking him out of it. He will need to see it for himself. The suggestions are very helpful. I would also appreciate any info on accommodations as I am looking to exchange our 2 bedroom at Vistana villages in Orlando.

Well if it's set in stone, it's set in stone. They'll find good stuff to do here. Red Rock and Hoover Dam are absolutely worth the short drives.
 

VegasBella

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I enjoy all your advice and opinions. I have heard many times that Vegas is not a good vacation for kids and have to agree with a lot that is being said. Unfortunately my husband is convinced it will be a great vacation. I do not think there will be any talking him out of it. He will need to see it for himself. The suggestions are very helpful. I would also appreciate any info on accommodations as I am looking to exchange our 2 bedroom at Vistana villages in Orlando.

My thoughts on whether vacations are good or not is that it's largely due to the participants' expectations, attitudes, and determination to have a good vacation. If you plan well and go in with the attitude that it will be a good vacation then you're far more likely to make it a reality than if you go wishing you'd gone somewhere else.

Like I said earlier, there is plenty for kids and teens to do here in Vegas. If there weren't, I wouldn't be raising my son here. Some more suggestions, if you visit during nice weather:
- Red Rock Canyon (go hiking, rock climbing, or just drive through). Be sure to check out the visitor's center.
- Springs Preserve
- Wetlands Park (for a flat hike or walk). Be sure to visit the museum and/or go on a tour to learn about things you might not notice otherwise.
- Hoover Dam
- Maybe take a day tour to the Grand Canyon. There are lots of them. Definitely worth it if you've never been to the west.
- Rent a boat at Lake Mead
- Go paddle boarding at Lake Las Vegas
- If you're here in Winter go up to Mt Charleston to play in the snow or go skiing/ snowboarding
- Go golfing (Vegas has some of the best golf courses in the world. And BTW they're watered with "used" water so it's environmentally responsible)
- Catch a minor league game at Cashman Field
- Floyd Lamb Park to learn some history of Vegas and see peacocks
- visit First Friday (if you're hear during the 1st Friday of the month). It's an art festival that attracts a lot of teens. Live music and entertainment too.


More indoor stuff:
- Ice skating
- indoor rock climbing (we have a lot of places for that)
- Bellagio fine art museum and other galleries
- SkateCity: we have one indoor skate park if your teens ride skateboards or scooters

Also, some tips:
- Don't plan to do a lot of walking on The Strip. Maybe do it once or do it in the AM. Everything looks closer than it is so you end up walking more than you expect. Plus, as others have mentioned if you walk around at night you'll run into some unpleasant people. I would also avoid Fremont St Experience if you want to avoid the drunks. But time of day is also important. Everything is less busy and more polite in the AM.
- Research how to get to spots without going through a casino if that bothers you. For example, you can do the Miracle Mile without going in the casino. There's shopping between the Luxor and Mandalay Bay that's also accessible without going through a casino. I avoid the casinos as much as possible just to avoid second-hand smoke. But it's also a good idea if you have kids.
- The newer, most expensive, upscale casino/hotels have the best air filtration and fewer rude drunks so maybe plan to visit those. I'm thinking Wynn, Bellagio, Aria, etc.
- Don't forget sunscreen and water, even in Winter. It's bright and arid even when the temp. is a fantastic 80 degrees.
 
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John Cummings

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***With kids - I'd seriously consider the Pacific Coast instead of Las Vegas - It is far cooler in the summer, and has more to offer to kids. I recommend the Anaheim to San Diego area.

I agree with you 100%. I would choose San Diego hands down. Great weather all year and a lot more things to do that kids and teens would enjoy. Sea World, world famous San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, LEGOLAND. There are miles and miles of beaches, and many more attractions plus San Diego is a very nice safe city.


http://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-sandiego/

http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/

http://sdzsafaripark.org/

http://california.legoland.com/
 
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presley

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I enjoy all your advice and opinions. I have heard many times that Vegas is not a good vacation for kids and have to agree with a lot that is being said. Unfortunately my husband is convinced it will be a great vacation. I do not think there will be any talking him out of it. He will need to see it for himself. The suggestions are very helpful. I would also appreciate any info on accommodations as I am looking to exchange our 2 bedroom at Vistana villages in Orlando.

If you can trade in RCI, look for one of the HGVC properties. I don't recommend Flamingo because I wouldn't be comfortable having my kids in the lockout situation. The lockouts aren't a normal door. They have one main door and the different doors to the one bedroom or the studio side.

Some of the things I recently did there that may be good for teens:

Red rock canyon; Valley of Fire; Bonnie Springs horse back riding; Mob Museum (is very long, may be boring for teens, not sure); visit Gold and Silver Pawn (only good if anyone in your group watches the TV show, Pawn Stars.

These are the things we didn't see, but wanted to:
Ethel M. Chocolate factory and cactus garden; Secret Garden; Hoover Dam; the Pinball Museum

There are some family friendly shows on the strip, also. I recommend only taking the teens to shows that are marked family friendly. Those are easy to find by just googling family friendly shows las vegas.
 
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Passepartout

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I posted this info in another thread, but it's worth repeating. On the day you go to Hoover Dam, GO EARLY! They give out timed tickets in order of your arrival. When they're gone, they're gone. The elevators into the dam only hold a few people at a time and go a long distance- and naturally, they can't just build more in the concrete structure. Iirc, the parking structure opens at 7 a.m. and the visitor center at 8 a.m. where the tickets are handed out. It's a Nat'l park, so expect security and carry nothing resembling a weapon. There is a museum about the building of the dam, and a snack bar where you can spend some of the waiting time.

Jim
 
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