I have been to Vegas a few times before, but the last time was over 5-6 years ago. Now, Vegas is probably not the first place you would think of when you think of a family fun destination. Neither did I! It turned out okay though. It was a little difficult for some parts of the trip but it was a fun 3-night trip anyway. A caveat- we didn’t party it up or anything and were out strolling around at 8:00 AM when most people are hungover and crashing in their hotel room from the night before.
Here’s what we packed and how we spent our time in Las Vegas with a baby!
I packed 1-2 outfits for each day we were going to be there (with him eating solids sometimes it gets messy). We brought his swimsuit. Brought some of the squeeze pack foods and powdered oat cereal. We did not bring a dining seat and used the high chairs available. When he ate in the room for his breakfast, we just held him and fed him (it was much messier but thankfully there were hotel towels).
Definitely, some sun protection and a hat and a receiving blanket (for sun protection) if you are going in the hotter months. When we were there it was 92 degrees Fahrenheit or 33 degrees Celsius!
We ended up bringing our Pack N Play and got it checked free of charge on our flight (most airlines usually check one thing for free for baby e.g. car seat or portable crib). Most hotels have a portable crib, but when I called our particular hotel, the reception said “yes we have cribs and they are free of charge but I would highly recommend you bring your own in case it is not available”. They did not ‘reserve’ the portable crib for your room and you would have to find out if it’s available when you check in. That was a bit too risky for me, which is ironic given that we were going to Vegas, the gambling capital of the United States. Maybe if we stayed at a fancier place the portable crib might have been guaranteed.
We were able to just pack carry on so didn’t need to pay an extra $25 per bag. Packing for this trip using carry on was easier than packing for a 12 day trip with carry on.
Getting Around with Baby
We did not pack a car seat. Commercial vehicles (e.g. shuttles and buses) do not require a car seat for infant transportation. Therefore, we booked a transport shuttle (return for $30 USD) to and from the airport. If I had more time to research, I would have found out that you can take an Airport bus (called the WAX or Westcliff Airport Express) for just $2 which stops at the Tropicana hotel (and from there you can take the Deuce or the SDX bus-$8 for 24 hours or $20 for 3 days- which goes along the strip). Easy with just carry on but harder to travel if you have a lot of stuff to carry.
Related: PC Travel Review
We packed an umbrella stroller (gate checked this) and brought his Ergo baby carrier. Both of these were essential for this trip. While traveling in and out of the airport, we just loaded our bags on the stroller and carried him in the carrier.
Vegas is not the most wheelchair or stroller friendly place. Many streets along the strip (let’s say 80% of them) you cannot cross without going up on a pedestrian bridge with an escalator. The elevators took forever and a few of them were down (then I had to go into the hotel and try and use the elevator within to get my way onto the skywalk).
I would definitely recommend getting the bus pass (we got a 24 hour one) as it makes getting along the strip much easier. They do ask you to fold your stroller though once you get on board the bus.
Things to Do In Vegas with a Baby
There are a few fun things to do with your baby in Vegas. Forget about going to nightclubs (unless one of you stays at the hotel with baby), going to loud shows, fine dining, and even gambling for hours.
Bellagio Botanical Conservatory and Botanical Garden
The Bellagio Botanical Garden was beautiful! So many flowers and plants and even birds. The theme when we were there was Japanese Spring. Baby loved it and was soothed by the water and it kind of had a womb-like feeling to it! That’s probably why he liked it so much. Best of all it is free. The decoration and display rotate a few times a year.
Bellagio Fountain Show
Another great activity that you can just ‘drop in on’ without having to plan to be at for a specific time (perfect when you have a baby, amiright?) is the Bellagio fountain show. It would have been nicer at nighttime but baby is asleep at 7:30pm. They have different songs they play so it is always interesting.
Here are the hours:
- Monday – Friday: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. (every 30 min) and 8 p.m. – midnight (every 15 min)
- Saturdays and holidays: noon – 8 p.m. (every 30 min) and 8 p.m. – midnight (every 15 min)
- Sundays: 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. (every 30 min) From 7 p.m- midnight (every 15 min).
The Las Vegas Premium Outlets South
Believe it or not, there are TWO Las Vegas Premium Outlets. One called North and one called South (just need one more called West and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West can endorse that one). The North one is an outdoor mall and has more high-end designer clothes and ‘better stores’ but the South one is indoors air-conditioned.
Las Vegas Premium Outlets South it is! The SDX bus takes you to both of them and stops directly in front of the Las Vegas Premium Outlets South.
Mandalay Bay Aquarium and Circus Circus Acts
If we had more time we would go to the Mandalay Bay shark reef aquarium (this is not free, in fact, it is $25 per adult but children under 3 are free, but the tram to get there is!). Another place to check out with kids would be Circus Circus, they have free shows starting at 11:30 daily, but we didn’t get that far.
Where to Eat in Vegas with a Baby
Obviously, there will be no designer dining with a baby. Can you imagine the looks we would get if we brought him to a high-end restaurant while he starts screaming loudly?
However, he did well in most casual places and did the best of all at a buffet! It was so busy and so loud in there that he happily ate his food (he definitely ate a lot of food). Children under 5 are free (at Bellagio).
Here is a list of the top 10 buffets in Vegas via Yelp. We ate at The Buffet at Bellagio and the food was delicious! They had this truffle penne pasta that I am still salivating over. We wanted to go to the Bacchanal buffet at Caesar’s but couldn’t make the extra block because we were too hungry.
What Made Vegas with a Baby A bit Trying
As mentioned briefly above, the Vegas strip is not a stroller friendly place. Walking the strip took a long time and it was a lot of frustration waiting for elevators and taking a detour if the elevator wasn’t working. For example, it took an hour to walk to Bellagio from Tropicana, thankfully I made it just in time for the 5pm Bellagio fountain show that my baby got to enjoy for the grand total of 4 minutes before it ended.
Related: PC Travel Review
Another thing that wasn’t ideal was the smoky casinos and stale air.
Other than that, it was a fun YOLO trip! I guess the main thing is to go with lowish expectations because traveling with a baby is a whole different ballgame. Hard to do more than ONE thing a day!
Readers, have you been to Vegas? With a baby? Any tips or must-see places?
GYM is a 40 something millennial writing about personal finance since 2009 and interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for a free dividend yield spreadsheet and the free Young Money Bootcamp PDF.