This Thanksgiving, my husband and I decided to take the kids to Las Vegas. I was told that Vegas is a kid friendly destination and we had never been, so I was excited to visit (and it’s Zika free).
Upon our arrival at the Encore Wynn hotel, we ate a light lunch at the Jardin restaurant (our lunch restaurant of choice for the entire duration). Afterward, we walked to the Venetian Hotel where we had a little taste of Italy. We strolled through St. Marks Place and ate gelato. We then took a gondola ride and were serenaded by Antonio our gondolier to the tune of Volare. Antonio dutifully indulged my request to sing this favorite song of mine over and over. Grazie Antonio! It was quite amusing to ride along this canal of sorts with Barneys, Louis Vuitton and DVF boutiques in the background.
That evening, we ate at Carbone restaurant which we all loved. Salads, pizza and pasta, oh my! The decor was glamorous, the staff lovely, and we all enjoyed the old tunes playing in the background.
On our second day, we took a helicopter ride over the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. This was definitely the highlight of our trip. We took in a bit of history and glorious landscapes from above. Our pilot David from Maverick Helicopter Tours was hilarious and informative. We landed at the Canyons where we took photos and were treated to some champagne at 10:30 in the morning. It’s never to early for happy hour here!
After lunch, we ventured to Freemont Street which is where the last of old Vegas remains. There was a lot of people watching to say the least, and a bit seedy but still something to check off the list of places to visit. That evening we went to see the Cirque Du Soleil Beatles at the Mirage Hotel. All of us LOVED the show. The upbeat music had us grooving in our seats throughout the performance and the acrobatics were absolutely fabulous.
After the show we dined at Nobu which never disappoints. What’s great about dining out in Vegas is that there are so many restaurant options, and because they are all super sized, one is pretty much guaranteed a table at the restaurant of your liking.
Friday morning, we all ventured to the NYNY Hotel where my daughter Vivian and I braved the outdoor Big Apple roller coaster. I did not realize, until it was too late, that this was not a slow moving coaster, but rather a thrill ride that drops hundreds of feet with 2 upside down loops. While I broke out in sweats and prayed for survival, my daughter was relaxed and all smiles.
Next, it was onto the High Roller Ferris Wheel. This new (not scary) and highly popular attraction gave us fantastic views of the city. Real thrill seekers, we were told, should check out the Stratosphere. Our last stop of the day was Caesars Palace for some Black Friday shopping where we snagged some great deals.
Friday evening we saw the Le Reve show which took place in an aqua theatre at our hotel. The synchronized swimming and aerials feats of the dancers were awe inspiring and I have never seen such strength and agility. The music however was a bit dark and the story line a bit confusing for our kids to follow. They would have preferred to take in a Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez concert during our stay, but neither was performing.
Dinner after the show was at Andreas (in the Encore) which was our favorite, so much so, that we dined there again, the following evening.
On our last day we lounged pool side at the hotel. The weather was brisk but sunny, far warmer than NYC so we were all content taking in some sun.
In terms of where to stay in Vegas, the Wynn was definitely the smartest choice. After visiting many of the surrounding mammoth hotels, this was the most elegant in decor and had the least amount of traffic (relatively speaking). The only reason I would return to Vegas would be for the sans kids experience.
While each of my children appreciated different aspects of the trip, this was not their favorite. My oldest was too young to appreciate the nightlife and too old for arcades and kiddie type recreational activities. My fourteen year old prefers sun and sand. My 11 year old son did enjoy and would definitely visit Vegas again. With that said, I think this trip was still a “Wynn Wynn” situation as we experienced a new destination, spent quality time together, and visited many attractions.
Viva Las Vegas!