Family, Kids & Las Vegas

The Cake Boss

I used to have to travel to Vegas for work many moons ago, we won’t say how many, and I always SWORE that I WOULD NEVER take my kids to Las Vegas.  And, then last week, when my husband had a conference to attend…there I was with my kids in Las Vegas having the time of our lives.  I have to admit, it has changed quite a bit and although the same ol’ seedy stuff still exists, we didn’t see anything that we wouldn’t have seen in any other big city (thank goodness…).

I think the best part of the trip, is that I got to spend so much time with my children, just one-on-one.  

New York New York Las Vegas  Chocolate Statue of Liberty M & M World Las Vegas

We loved visiting New York, New York & took a spin through Hershey World that is attached.  The kids loved the chocolate carved Statue of Liberty along with everything else in the store – lol!  However, sadly, no purchase was made because it was our first stop, we had a lot of walking in front of us & it was over 100 degrees each day…there was no way chocolate was going in my travel bag :).  But, it was fun to visit. However, we did stop at M & M world across the street on the way back & a purchase was made….but they weren’t thrilled that I limited the bag sizes they filled….lol.

Paris Las Vegas

Visiting Paris Las Vegas was on the top of my daughter’s list, so we not only visited but ate in their outdoor cafe for lunch that is fully air-conditioned.  Great food & a definite must if you are planning to visit.  We did not make it to their bakery, although I had a recommendation from a taxi driver & you can eat on the Eiffel Tower, which I would recommend for the evening to see the lights.

Bellagio Las Vegas Ceiling art at the Bellagio Las Vegas Botanical Garden Bellagio Las Vegas Bellagio Botanical Garden Gardens at Bellagio Las Vegas

We loved visiting all of the hotels, each one is its own little world with so many features to be offered.  There truly is something for everyone.  We wandered through The Bellagio & loved the ceilings that lead us to the Botanical Gardens, which were very kid-friendly.  We took one of my favorite pics of the entire trip in front of The Bellagio;

In front of The Bellagio

It’s one of my favorites, because when your teenager asks to have his picture taken with you, you soak in that moment & treasure it…..lol!

The Canal at The Venetian Shops at The Venetian The Venetian main lobby The Venetian Las Vegas 

We went to The Venetian a few different times.  The very first time we walked through we were obviously AMAZED!  I still think it’s one of my favorite hotels.  We had no idea that Buddy, The Cake Boss, was in town doing a show until we had arrived, nor did we realize he had a bakery & restaurant in the hotel.  We walked down to the bakery only to discover that there was at least an hour & a half wait.  We totally skipped the line & went on our site seeing way.  The next morning we were up early, so I told the kids we’d grab a taxi down to The Venetian, try to get to the bakery early before heading over to The Mirage for the Dolphin Habitat.  My teenager mumbled throughout this plan a bit I think there were sentences of doubt that sounded like ‘…this is going to be stupid, we’re going to have to wait in an hour in line…I don’t want to wait in an hour line…it’s not even the real bakery..yada yada yada’. Love my son, but teenage years have their moments :).  Anyway, I ignored him, stuck with my plan & assured him that if the line was that long we wouldn’t wait, but also reminded him that we had no current plan to travel to Hoboken, so we should give it a try.  We got there & were delighted to learn that there was only a 10 – 15 minute wait.  There is a viewing window just before  you get to the bakery so that you can watch them making the pastry, etc.  People were taking pictures & we were just a few people from the window.  My son walked up & announced Buddy was there – suddenly my idea wasn’t so bad after all.  The kids were totally psyched!  We watched and we snapped pictures with the other tourists.  Finally it was our turn into the bakery kiosk & just as we entered, out came Buddy & I asked for a photo for my site & just like that there was a pose, a shake of hands, a snapshot & boom he was gone.  We actually got the opportunity to meet him 4 years ago & have pictures with him then too.  After we ordered our pastry, we learned he had not been at that bakery since July 2013, so we were even more thrilled to have had this moment.

Carlo's Bakery Las Vegas Pastry at Carlo's Bakery Las VegasThe Cake Boss

Oh boy…Let’s see if I can remember what we got…I had an American Napoleon Pastry, my daughter had a cannoli Stack & my son had a mini cannoli & crumb pastry.  We even brought dad home a cookie that we thought would last the rest of our day tripping fun.  We sat on a bench along the canal in The Venetian, shared bites & ate our pastries as we chatted about how phenomenal that moment just was…

Gardens at The Wynn Las Vegas The Wynn Las Vegas Garden at The Wynn Las Vegas Waterfall at The Wynn Las Vegas

My son is quite the sports enthusiast & some how he knew that the US Men’s Basketball Team was practicing at The Wynn.  Despite the heat, I wandered down in hopes to catch a peak at the practice, but no such luck.  It was an invite only practice (ours was lost in the mail I’m certain of it…), but I was so thankful my son wanted to go.  I would not have gone otherwise & it was so worth the visit.  They had some of my favorite gardens of the entire trip & there is an outdoor waterfall with a music & light show for after dinner drinks in the evening that I got to visit with my husband later in the week = total great find!

dolphin habitat The Mirage Las Vegas Dolphins at The Mirage Las Vegas The Mirage Las Vegas Secret Garde at The Mirage Las Vegas 

 Turtle at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas Aquarium at The Mandalay Las Vegas Aquarium & Shark Reef at Mandalay Las Vegas adventuredome Circus Circus Las Vegas

So, like any vacation destination, there are no limits in Las Vegas.  You can find a million things to do… I bought the kids and I a three experience pass, kind of like the city passes you can find in larger cities.  We went to the aquarium & shark reef located at The Mandalay hotel.  We also went to the dolphin habitat & secret gardens at The Mirage.  And, finally, we went to the adventuredome located at Circus-Circus hotel.  They were all great, but the aquarium & dolphin habitat ranked over adventuredome if you can believe that?!?  In part, the adventuredome came with lines, lots of people & a whole lot of indoor roller coaster noise combined with overcrowding all at the end of our week.  If I had known, I would have arrived right when it opened & had done it at the beginning of the week vs. the end, but now I can share those of words of advice with others.

  The Blue Man Group Las Vegas procession Blue Man Group Las Vegas Opening The Blue Man Group Live in Las Vegas

One of our trip highlights was going to The Blue Man Group, which was playing at The Monte Carlo.  To add to our trip magic, we swear we bought tickets at least 4 rows back to the left.  We purchased, printed & never looked at them closely.  When we arrived, we were front row center & there were ponchos waiting on our seats for us.  Half of the experience was waiting to get sprayed with paint – lol.  It was a great, completely family friendly show that combines music, techno, variety show, comedy & audience interaction.  There is a skit in which they create a piece of artwork from paint & they handed it to my daughter, which survived the trek home (phew)!  She is sharing that story with everyone…

mandalay bay wave pool mandalay bay pool

It was one HOT trip, but the kids were troopers.  We would walk one way, which was 4 – 5 miles every day & then taxi the other.  We tried to get out in the morning & back to the pools at our hotel by 2.  The conference was at The Mandalay Bay & the pools were amazing!  They had a wave pool and a sand beach, a lazy river & several smaller, quieter pools which we migrated to by the end of the week.  

Date Night Las Vegas Evening at The Wynn Las Vegas Ceasar's Palace Las Vegas Shops at Caesar's Las Vegas siberian cherry martini at vodka vault Les Vegas

There are way too many pics to share & too many hotels & sites to chat about, so I am only trying to share the highlights of which I know there are too many of those too – lol.  We wrapped up Las Vegas with a date night.  My husband was in classes so he did not get to take in all of the experiences with us.  We went back to The Venetian for dinner & I shared my top 4 places he should see before leaving Vegas.  They included The Venetian, The Bellagio, The Wynn & Caesar’s.  He loved seeing it all & we wrapped up with my favorite find of the week, a Siberian Cherry Martini at the Vodka Vault in The Mandalay Bay.  Cheers to Las Vegas, Cheers to a great time with my kids & cheers to amazing memories!  

 

22 Comments on “Family, Kids & Las Vegas”

  1. Sounds like an absolutely fantastic family holiday Jodie. Great that the teenager had a great time too 😉
    I couldn’t have resisted buying chocolate. I could have eaten it right there and then!
    Las Vegas is great for families, if you know where to go 🙂

    1. Yes! I had no idea how much fun it would be with the kids…so glad we joined him for his conference!

  2. Hello Jodie! I had heard all sorts of horror stories of what Las Vegas used to be like in the old days so when my family wanted to go I was terrified. It turns out that Las Vegas has changed a great deal and it’s much more family friendly now. We had a blast from the youngest to the oldest! Great article! I’m happy you and your family enjoyed your vacation. Great pictures! I especially loved the one with the ‘Cake Boss’! 😀

    1. Sounds like we both felt & feel the same way – lol! I was so glad we joined him for the conference & brought the kids. I was very thankful for the one-on-one time I got with me children traveling = <3! So glad your entire crew had fun too…but by the end of the week we were all tired of the constant music & noise…

    1. You know…we still haven’t seen a Cirque du Soleil live, but I hear they are FABULOUS! Although we were thrilled with the Blue Man Group, my son is still disappointed we didn’t go to Chris Angel that was paired with a Cirque du Soleil…oh well :)!

  3. Las Vegas is an awesome place to visit! It can be anything you want it to be. And you don’t have to sin unless you want to…lol! There are museums, art work, restaurants, shows, people watching, shopping, rollercoasters, celebrities…….on and on! It is an amazing place to visit over and over!

    1. Isn’t it great to have that one younger one at home to still snuggle in the midst of any teenage mood – lol!! But, yes – you so know what I mean! Anytime I appear cool I grab it even if for a fleeting moment…

  4. Hi Jodie,
    What a special photo of all of you with The Cake Boss and what a great trip you’al had! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great day!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. I love Las Vegas! We actually married there and stayed at New York New York. I have been a couple of times (maybe more) and would visit again if I could. It’s an all ages place thanks to the theme park feel of it. Thanks for the wonderful memories!

    1. CONGRATS & how much fun!!! Yes, I could see going back but the hubs said once was enough for him – lol – he prefers quieter places :).

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