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Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas Hotels’

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,


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Smith Family Vegas Road Trip- The Quest for the Perfect Hotel

March 18th, 2009 by bsmith | 4 Comments | Filed in Road Trips
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The Smith Family will be spending our spring break in Las Vegas.  Ken is teaching a class the week before Easter so we will be packing up the Family Adventuremobile (Otherwise known as our new to us Yukon XL) and hitting the road for our first seven day all hotel stay vacation in four years. 

There seems to be a great debate raging on the internet about whether or not Las Vegas is a good vacation spot for families.  We took Justin when he was a preschooler and had a great time.  We stayed at the Excalibur with Grandma, Great Grandma, Aunt, Uncle and Cousins.  We had fun sliding down the water slides and checking out the sights.  I have returned to Vegas on couples getaways since Ken travels there alot for business.  I also attended a wedding with my parents, and remember reveling in a kid free experience at the Bellagio buffet (I never wanted that meal to end!).  I see both sides of the issue.  Vegas has great, inexpensive opportunites for family adventure.   On the other hand, when I go with just Ken, I revel in the alone time, and don’t really want to be surrounded by preschool tantrums.  Although I must confess that I mostly just think to myself…I don’t have to deal with that until Friday- I’m so lucky! 

With this in mind I’m not booking my kids into the swankiest hotel in Vegas despite the spectacular deals right now .(The staff at the Bellagio is breathing a sigh of relief.)  I will do my best to keep my little ones behaving themselves in public and make sure they have plenty of sleep and downtime to prepare for being in the public eye.  At least I am not Angelina Jolie or Katie Holmes being trailed by reporters wherever I go.  If my kids misbehave all I will have to endure is some dirty looks not tabloid scrutiny.  (OK, did the reporter who made such a big deal about Suri Cruise not wearing a coat, ever have a preschooler who hated to cover up?…well maybe it’s just a California thing.)

Now I just have to find the right hotel… I wasn’t to fond of the Excalibur (the sheets kept coming off of the bed!).  With prices being so reasonable right now, I’m looking for a good hotel, good location, and lots of ammenities.  Circus Circus and Excalibur are nice places to visit, but I don’t want to live there.

In looking for that perfect hotel experience that will keep my kids busy and optimally behaved I have uncovered these options:

  • The Golden Nugget-  We plan to stay here on the weekend since its rates are very affordable.  We chose it for it’s amazing pool with shark tank and water slide.  Destiny is very worried about the sharks even though I constantly assure her they are behind glass.  I’m hoping there is a separate pool area where we can hang out.


  • The Hilton Grand Vacation Resort at the Flamingo-  This is our priciest option, but our room would include a kitchenette which would be invaluable because breakfast and lunch are going to get expensive for a family of five and retaurant dining alone with three kids (Ken will be working) sounds less than appealing.  The only room available has one king so we would be breaking out the air mattresses. If we were going in May and the Flamingo waterslides were open this would be a no brainer.  Unfortunately they’re not so I’m still weighing my options.


  • Trump Hotel-  Ken has ruled this one out, because it is lacking in the awesome pool.  If I were making this decision on my own it would be a contender. Great rate for a suite with kitchenette.  Kids package includes the ability to check out board games and popular children’s books. 


  • MGM Grand- The price is right for a large room with two queen beds.  The pool complex is supposed be fantastic with a lazy river.  There are fun things to do…Rainforest Cafe, see the Lions and preview TV shows.  They have an on-site child care center in case we could figure out a way to take Justin to a show.  Close to Excalibur for more fun.

I’m making the choice today…any suggestions?

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