We spent this past Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with my family. We went for five nights, which is much longer than the usual 2-night party binge trip I’m used to. And we went with a baby. As it turns out, Vegas is pretty kid-friendly! Here’s how we filled our days with our toddler. We barely made it on our flight. After days of planning and packing (so much packing), we realized at the airport that we had forgotten to bring one crucial item: the keys to the house we were staying in. Thankfully Russell’s parents were able to help us out, and we made it on with a few minutes to spare. Satski did great on the flight, looking out the window, playing with Elmo, and eating snacks. The house we stayed in was empty of furniture, which was perfect for Satski. We went to the local Target and got him some new toys and a bike to ride on through the house. He loved it. He also loved taking long walks with my dad around the block. We split up meal duties with my sister and my mom so we had lots of home-cooked feasts. Satski is really into tacos these days. It was great to be able to eat at home and stay on Satski’s schedule: wake up at 6, nap at noon, eat dinner at 5, and go to bed early. We had a car so we were able to drive around Vegas quite a bit. On our first full day, we went to Springs Preserve, which is just 3 miles away from the strip but a world apart from the lights and hustle. There were exhibits on the history of Vegas, some wildlife, and walking trails. We also did the train tour. The museum was spacious and clean, and you could tell a lot of money went into it. It was just okay though. I wouldn’t recommend it if it you didn’t have a kid you were trying to entertain. This picture of Satski cracks us up. He’s like, derp… Later that night we went to check out the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. They had a seasonal Fall harvest themed display. Satski ooh’d at the owls in the trees then ran like a maniac through the casino. People were either amused or not pleased to see a kid running around their adult playground. We had dinner at Caesar’s Palace and paid nearly $100 for a mediocre meal of pasta and vegetables. Bad idea. On Wednesday we met up with an old friend at an indoor trampoline center called Gravady. They have a toddlers-only hour in the morning so the little ones can jump without being trampled by the bigger kids doing extreme tricks.
To make up for the meal the night before, we went to an affordable and way more delicious Korean BBQ place for lunch called Gangnam. We started Thanksgiving day at a nearby park with my brother.
Then we went to Circus Circus to try to win Satski an arcade prize. It was a little chaotic and we probably overstimulated the poor little guy and exposed him to too much second hand smoke, but he had a good time.
We spent over $50 trying to win a stupidly impossible bear. My dad ended up buying him a huge stuffed animal the next day from the grocery store. LOL. The original plan for Thanksgiving dinner was to go to a buffet, but Bacchanal ended up having a 5 hour wait (!!) and our plan B restaurant at the Paris Hotel was over an hour wait too. Who knew so many people go to Vegas buffets for Thanksgiving?? We aborted mission and went to a Vietnamese restaurant off the strip instead. Nothing fancy, but we went around the table saying what we were each thankful for, and it was a really nice meal together in the end. On Friday we went to Discovery Children’s Museum. Satski had a huge entourage with 5 adults (we had to pay $15 each to get in, so it was a little pricey), and he was a little too young to really engage in everything, but wow, this place is amazing! There’s a full blown town with different “jobs” kids can do. Satski had a melt-down in the grocery store when there was no real cereal in the boxes, so we had to go home. I can’t wait to go back to another Discovery museum once his imagination’s really up and running. That night we had dinner at home then went back out after putting Satski to bed. My dad babysat while Russell, my sister, brother-in-law, and I went shopping at the outlets. Freedom! On Saturday we went to the Children’s Park and Playground at the Town Square Shopping Mall. There was a really nice playground but Satski just wanted to be pushed around in one of the rental shopping carts. For dinner we made up for the Thanksgiving night fail and went out to a buffet at the M Resort. Russell and my brother-in-law went to town on the crab legs. Satski made it through the long meal by watching Youtube clips of Little Baby Bum. Afterwards, my parents babysat again and we were able to go out clubbing. We went to Omnia to see the Chainsmokers. It was so much fun partying with my brother, sister, brother-in-law and Russell. We stayed out dancing until past 2 AM. The next morning we got to “sleep in” until 8 AM while my parents woke up with Satski, and then we had to pack up and get to the airport by 11. It was pretty painful and Russell and I both ended up getting sick later that week from exhaustion, but I still think it was worth it to get one good night out in Vegas. I don’t think our vacations, or our lives in general, will be relaxing for another few years. But we love going out and experiencing the world with our son. And the quality time with extended family (and built-in babysitting) is priceless.