Jan 9, 2011

Family Fun Things to do in Las Vegas, Nevada

Contrary to what a lot of people think, Las Vegas can be very family friendly. We visit Vegas once a year and there are great things to do with our grandkids. On our most recent trip we took them to see Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis. The show is the perfect multi-generational performance. Young and old know many of The King’s songs. In keeping with the Cirque du Soleil tradition the performance is a vibrant fusion of song, dance, acrobatics, live music, and video clips of the Elvis phenomena. The show follows the King of Rock 'n' Roll from his days in Tupelo, Mississippi to the spiritual influence from his gospel singing days to his breakthrough at Sun Records. From the opening scene with a bigger-than-life blue suede shoe to the standing ovation at the end there was never a dull moment. If fact, at times it is hard to know what to watch: the Elvis video clips, the trampoline artist bouncing from one side of the stage to the other, or the performers hanging precariously from the trapeze.

Another night we went to see V - The Ultimate Variety Show located at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. If there is only time for one show this one offers something for everyone and it is very family friendly. Variety is the operative word. The energetic show has an all-star cast with amazing acts from around the world. There is faster-than-the-eye juggling, heart-stopping aerial displays that soar over the audience, and the Crazy Gauchos from Argentina with their funny routines and audience interactions while cracking their whips. And there is more – a balancing act from Russia and Jason Byrne the magician wowed all of us as he produced yellow birds out of thin air. V offers many Vegas-style presentations in one energetic, creative show at a great price.

One of my favorite days occurred when we took our granddaughter to afternoon tea at the Four Seasons Hotel. In the long-standing tradition of afternoon teas the starter included warm scones with Devonshire Cream, Strawberry Preserves and Lemon Curd. The second course included a variety of tea sandwiches featuring Cucumber and Watercress on Sourdough Bread along with other delicate sandwiches. The tea pastries were exceptional with the likes of Bittersweet Chocolate and Brandy Cherry Cake and Fresh Mango Tart. It was a wonderfully relaxing and elegant afternoon experience for our 10-year-old granddaughter.

Another day we all went to M Resort in Las Vegas for a cooking show in Studio B with Chef Tina Martini. The hotel has created a wonderful studio designed for cooking shows. The presentation was excellent but Chef Tina’s run at the M Resort has come to an end however others will follow.

There are a lot of free things to do. Everyone will learn about the natural world at the Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat, the Mirage’s Dolphin Habitat, MGM Grand’s Lion Habitat, and Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef. And, of course there is the volcano outside the Mirage and the fantastic fountain show in front of the Bellagio. Plus several casinos offer free presentations such as the acts at Circus Circus.

Just a short jaunt from the Vegas Strip, Ethel M’s has a free chocolate factory tour and an amazing Botanical Cactus Garden. At Red Rock there is a nature center and a variety of hiking trails. All family friendly.