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Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas Family Travel’

Photo Friday: Bellagio Fountains

October 21st, 2010 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in Las Vegas Adventures, Las Vegas with Kids, Uncategorized

Bellagio Fountains Las Vegas

My absolute favorite Las Vegas attraction is the Bellagio Fountains.   On my first trip to Vegas, I took in this breathtaking watershow next to my sister-in-law who was discretely nursing her baby and with my oldest son, a tired, restless preschooler.  A few years later, my husband and I stayed at the Paris Hotel for a couples getaway.  I stayed up every night looking across the street at the show  from my climate controlled hotel room until the fountains were shut down for the night.  In 2009, my oldest and I made a long  hot summer trek on foot from the MGM Grand to the Bellagio .  Justin in a typical tween way was underwhelmed by the spectacle.

Ken and Justin take in the Bellagio Fountains Las Vegas

My latest visit to the fountains, however, is  the one I will always treasure.  We were able to share the fountain show  with all three kids this summer.  Destiny and Jared danced in the darkness to the beautiful music.  Ken and Justin stood silently taking it all in.  I had a moment to reflect on how much our family has grown and changed  since that first Las Vegas visit over eight years ago. 

People don’t think of Las Vegas as a family travel destination, but it has a lot to offer if you know where to look (and what to avoid). Indeed it is my youngest child’s favorite place to visit due his desire to stay in fancy hotels.  Keep an eye on this blog in the coming months.  I’ll share more of our Smith Family adventures in this affordable, off beat family travel destination.

Happy Trails,


P.S. Family Adventure Guidebook participates in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday Blog Roundup.   This week Debbie has a great LEGO photo up.  Check it out!


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How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Cooling off in Las Vegas

September 30th, 2010 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Las Vegas Adventures

Flamingo Splashdown, Las Vegas

This is the second summer that our family has been crazy enough to head to Las Vegas in August.  Visiting during this steamy season requires some creativity, but it still can be a fun family vacation.  The secret to is pick a hotel with a great pool and bring plenty of sunscreen.  A trip or two to a museum or a bowling alley are also fun.  Throw in plenty of yummy buffets, some time to hang out in the room and watching plenty of Nick Jr. and you have the recipe for a super affordable summer getaway.

Visiting with the Flamingos, Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas

Since we were spending a whole week, we broke up our stay into two sections.  First we stayed at Mandalay Bay.  We spent our days floating down the lazy river and body surfing in the wave pool. (Although only Justin, age 11 met the height requirement).  We attended the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur on night.  The kids loved shouting “Huzzah! ” for their favorite knight and swigging soda from beer steins.  Destiny and Jared even had a chance to pet the horses.

Later in the week, we headed to the Hilton Grand Vacation Suites at the Flamingo.  I loved this resort.  The two room suite was just what we needed after life in a single room at Mandalay Bay. We could use the smaller, quieter Hilton Grand pool as well the fun but rowdy Flamingo Pool complete with very little kid friendly water slides.  We ate deli food outside around the Hilton Grand pool for most meals.  The last day, after checking out, we were able to take a final swim, and play ping pong  until it was time to head home.

Mommy and Jared Relaxing at the Flamingo Hilton Grand Vacation Resort

Can hardly wait for next summer!

Happy Trails,


Family Adventure Guidebooks participates in Spotlight Thursday on the Talking Trekaroo.  Stop by to read about fun family adventures.


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Photo Friday: The Dark Side of Family Travel

August 7th, 2009 by bsmith | 5 Comments | Filed in Las Vegas Adventures
Destiny is not a Happy Camper at the Adventurdome

Destiny is not a Happy Camper at the Adventuredome, Las Vegas

Hi All,

This ”dark night of the soul” post was actually written a few months ago on a Spring Break Trip to Las Vegas.  I am happy to report that although we have had some similiar moments since then, in general my outlook towards family travel has much improved.  What a difference a little more maturity makes! 

 My fellow travel bloggers and I spend a lot of time, trying to encourage you all to get out and travel.  We offer tips and tricks to make traveling with kids easier.  When it comes down to it, however, traveling with kids is hard…definitely worthwhile, but on the other hand very very difficult. 

Kids thrive on routine and try as you might to maintain routine while on the road it is not going to be the same.  This trip I found the quirks of my five year old Miss who must have her socks adjusted just right, and has a preferred wardrobe of about three things to be amplified to a point that it almost drove my whole family over the brink! Sleeping schedules are difficult to maintain. Toast, my four year old’s favorite food is hard to come by.  Being in constant close quarters with his younger siblings without some opportunities for escape to pursue his own interests became very difficult for nine year old Justin by the end of the trip.

Hotels are not the most kid friendly spaces for preschoolers whose voices seem physically incapable of whispering, and who long to stomp and run.  It is balance to be considerate of others while at the same time letting the kids have a good time.  Some guests will be patient with your kids idiosyncrasies.  Most smiled tolerantly as mischievous Jared tried to jump every time we got in the elevator.  (Note to other traveling moms…be sure that your kids never watch Elf !)  Most waitresses are understanding about those wiggly kids at the table and seat your family as far away from the other guests as possible…especially those young honeymooners at the corner table.  The short frustrating public tantrums…those are a bit difficult for everyone however.

Roadtrip Tantrum

My perspective may be a bit warped as I was outnumbered for the majority of the trip.  Each day I had time to fill on my own from 8 am-4pm while my husband was at work.  I experimented with keeping them out and busy, and just lazing around the hotel room and pool.  Each strategy had some benefits and some drawbacks.  Keeping the kids quiet in the hotel room got a little frustrating.  The pools were great, but once again the needs of the two age groups were hard to meet.  Justin got short shrift due to my need to keep an eye on Destiny and Jared and keep them safe.  He didn’t want to enjoy the big kid areas on his own.  Like most kids he wanted to share the fun with mom or dad.  Our adventures to the Adventuredome and the Children’s Museum were fun, but once again we were limited by Justin and Jared’s craving for adventure and Destiny’s timidity to the point of hysteria whenever she is confronted by anything remotely loud or exciting.

I think that traveling with an only child would be a very different experience.  I have very fond memories of traveling with my parents.  Even if one was busy, the other was always available to give me the attention I needed.  My parents could choose activities that were appropriate for my age level, or even if we were doing something “adult” my presence as the only child in the room gave me some positive attention.  Ken and I were able to spend some one on one time with Justin this trip.  Ken took him to Fremont Street.  I headed over to New York, New York to ride the giant fast roller coaster.  I love spending one on one time with Justin because he just talks his heart out.  He glows under my undivided attention.  He also complains A LOT, but at least I have the time to listen.  We get to share what we enjoy.  I rode the roller coaster, he grudgingly took in the Bellagio Fountains.

So why do it?  Why didn’t I just sit out this adventure and spend a quiet spring break with the kids swimming in our own familiar and somewhat freezing pool?  Because I love watching my kids rise to the occasion and work together as a team.  I love that Destiny helps me pack.  I love that Justin gives his siblings piggy pack rides on the long walk through the casino.  I love that he and Jared go off and ride some of the more exciting theme park rides.  I love that Jared gets to use the boys bathroom every once in a while under the watchful eye of dad or big brother.  Then there is the adventure…exploring unfamiliar places, swimming next to a shark tank, changing the tires on a pretend car, choosing whatever your heart desires for dinner.  Despite all our misadventures, this trip was worth it.

Destiny Gets Brave, Adventuredome, Las Vegas

Destiny Gets Brave, Adventuredome, Las Vegas

Happy Trails,


PS. This blog participates in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday.  Keep your finger on the pulse of the travel world here.

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