Day 3: Trump International, Botanical Gardens and Gondolas
Some people may have mixed feelings, but I was curious to check out Trump International for breakfast just to see what the fuss was about. The hotel is quiet, as it doesn’t have a casino inside of it, and there were several sparkling floor-to-ceiling light fixtures in the lobby which Viv and I loved. Jeff and I had a little bet on whether the “Make America Great Again” hats would be in the gift shop.
I honestly didn’t think they would be, but the minute you saw the gift shop, you couldn’t help but notice a large stack of mainly red hats and I knew I had lost the bet. Breakfast at DJT was yummy and overall, I’d take those huevos rancheros and free valet parking again next time.
Once nap time for Sebastian was over, we headed out for The Venetian but first stopped at the Botanical Gardens in Bellagio. There is always a different theme for these gardens, and this time the theme Chinese New Year and it was just as gorgeous as it has ever been.
What can I say about The Venetian? This is a cool hotel as it not only mixes rooms with casino, but it also throws in a high-end mall. We went straight for the gondola ride which was definitely a highlight to our trip. The gondolier sang many songs with us as we floated through the hotel and took many, many pictures. We went to dinner that night at Grand Luxe Cafe.
Day 4: Dig This and Homeward Bound
We woke up, got dressed and quickly went to our appointment at an amazing place called Dig This not far off of the strip. I found this business online when searching for things to do and although I wasn’t sure my kids were old enough, I had to at least call and see.
When I called, Walt was more than accommodating and he said he would be able to ride the machines with my kids. I never knew places like this existed, but Dig This allows kids and adults to operate excavators, bulldozers and other construction machines for a once in a lifetime experience. Sebastian has inspired a love for these machines in our family through the way he lights up when he spots one of these driving around town.
Everyone who worked here was incredible, friendly and patient with our kids. Bash and Viv were able to operate the machines with assistance, driving forward, backward, spinning in circles and picking up tires. Dig This made sure we went out with a bang.
I have only been to Vegas three times before this most recent trip and while I always see plenty of kids here, I instinctively felt like it wouldn’t be ‘Vegas’ if I ever brought my kids along. I was under the impression that there wouldn’t be a whole lot for them to do, considering much of the attraction to Las Vegas is adult entertainment.
Alas, we knew we needed to get away somewhere, and we wanted a place we could drive to. So with that requirement, and having done Palm Desert twice already, we figured we would give Vegas a shot with the whole family. Boy, was I wrong about not having much for the kids to do.
I am writing this not only to document a memory, but also give some ideas for a Vegas trip for another family with small children. This is how the we did Vegas…
Day 1: The Drive & Arrival
We left the house around 10am equip with snacks, toys, music and fully charged phones. We stopped in Barstow for food and to stretch our legs, then back in the car while the kids and I slept the rest of the way.
We checked in at Bellagio and were given a wheelchair accessible room by the woman who checked us in as a curtesy. What’s the difference? Well, the room and bathroom are considerably bigger. I wouldn’t know that had I not stayed at this hotel twice before. We settled in and had dinner at Fix. Just a tip, every restaurant we went to we requested a rounded booth so we could sandwich the kids between us (good idea).
Ready for adventure, we drove to Circus Circus for a fun show and carnival games. Vivien, our 4 year old, actually popped a balloon with a dart and won herself a prize. We topped that off with chocolate fromHershey’s Chocolate World in the NYNY Hotel and we are still working through our endless bag of kisses.
Getting the 2 year old to bed that night wasn’t easy, so the strategy ended up being that he fell asleep in the stroller and then was transferred to crib. We did that each night.
Day 2: Museum Day, Spa and Kobe Beef
As you may know, many kids want to eat the moment they wake up. Having totally forgotten this, we didn’t order room service in advance and faced hungry children at 7am. We quickly got ourselves together and went to a breakfast place I had remembered from my first time in Vegas called The Cracked Egg.
After eating we headed to The Las Vegas Museum of Natural History. Looks are deceiving here, because when I first entered, the place seemed somewhat small. After getting through the aquatic portion of the museum, we entered a space with Egyptian relics, then dinosaur fossils, then the whole of Africa. The kids could have spent the entire day there, but quite frankly, it was us parents getting worn out towards the end.
Back in the room we put Sebastian down for a nap and I went to Bellagio’s amazing gym and spa spending several hours pampering myself. That night, we decided to do dinner at Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant in our hotel. Sebastian wouldn’t eat sushi, but he amazed me at how quickly he inhaled the kobe beef. Note to self: get that recipe!