I grew up on the West Coast, where visiting Las Vegas, Nevada frequently is the norm for many Californians. My parents, once all the kids were finally out of the door, retired to this desert oasis. I have lost count how many times I have flown into this neon city. I spent my 21st birthday here, many New Years, walked the strip into the wee hours, and the rest — well, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, baby.
On a recent trip to California and in the spirit of packing in as many friend and family visits as possible, the kids and I took a road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Since I had my kids with me this trip, I was looking for a more family-friendly visit to Vegas. I wanted to stay off the beaten path yet not too far from the strip. We chose the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa. The resort is 10 miles from downtown and about a 20-minute drive from the strip.
Red Rock Hotel and Casino
My youngest is easily overstimulated. The hotels in Las Vegas are famously large, and I was seeking something a bit manageable. Although I would not call Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa a boutique hotel, it has 800 rooms, so it is smaller than most Vegas hotels. My older sister was also joining for the trip, so we needed enough space for us all. We stayed in their Signature Suite, which was quite spacious. And after a long day out and about, we would lounge on the couch and watch a movie and eat popcorn. Not what you would picture as a wild night in Las Vegas but perfect for our family. With Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, you can have either city views or picturesque views of the canyon. Luckily we had the mountainside, which was breathtaking. It is a bit funny to travel to a city known for being wild, but at this hotel, we felt chill and relaxed.
The Signature Suite
We stayed in a one-bedroom with double beds that were again quite spacious. If you’re looking to save money by staying in one bedroom, a cot can be sent up to your room. We received an extra bed within ten minutes that was the size of a twin bed and super comfy. The Egyptian Cotton sheets on all the beds were scrumptious. The bathroom was roomy and had a deep soaking tub that my kids were obsessed with, along with more views of those gorgeous Red Rock mountains.
The Fine Print
Although the mini bar had an excellent selection of drinks and snacks for both kids and adults, our family rule is we stay away from the mini-fridge. We instead went to a Trader Joe’s nearby at the Downtown Summerlin Mall, which was about a six-minute walk from the hotel and we stocked up on snacks and milk for the kids that we kept at the wet bar, adjacent to the foyer of our suite. And yes, it’s Vegas people, of course, there is an in-room wet bar! We probably saved about $100 just by stocking up on our own snacks.
The Pools at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
There are nine pools located within Red Rock’s three acres. Yes, nine! The largest called the Sandbar Pool is surrounded by smaller pools with many only a few feet deep and perfect for kids. The area can accommodate many people and is surrounded by bars and cabanas, but the kids were welcomed with the lifeguards keeping an eagle eye on them the entire time.
Where to Eat at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
There are many dining offerings at the resort, including fine dining options. And Vegas isn’t Vegas without a buffet. The Feast Buffet seemed always to have a dedicated line and is one of the resort’s most popular restaurants. There are also two Starbucks to service your coffee needs. Our favorite restaurant was Blue Ribbon Sushi, and it wasn’t lost on us that this restaurant first originated in New York. The wait staff was tremendously friendly and accommodating of kids. The food, of course, was delish. Our favorite dish and one that we spoke about for days afterward was the Oxtail Fried Rice dish. My sister and I promised another sister that we would bring her leftovers, and we failed miserably on this promise.
Why Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa is Kid-Friendly
Sure, Vegas is fun, and kids are welcome, but it is also called Sin City, so, at a certain point, you may want to have a bit of fun and visit the casino or spa away from the kids. This is where Kids Quest comes in. Kids Quest is a state-licensed childcare center where kids ages 6 weeks to age 12 can play for up to five hours a day. Think of Kids Quest as the ultimate playdate for your kids. There are other kids, and the entire space is geared to keep them entertained and busy. Kids Quest charges by the hour with the cost around $10.50 to $11 for each child per hour. It is recommended that if you plan to use Kids Quest while you stay at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa that you send immunization records to them in advance.
Also located in the hotel is The Regal Theater 4 DX and IMAX. The theatres are quite large, especially for us space deprived New Yorkers. The screens are huge and seating is comfortable. We also appreciated that everything was so clean!
Red Rock Lanes is considered the largest bowling alley in Las Vegas. And with 72 lanes, it is an enormous space of fun for the entire family. There is an entertainment center, full-service snack bar, accessible bowling ramps, an arcade, dartboard, and more.
Stopover at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation
If you ever visit Las Vegas, I strongly suggest taking the time to visit the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation, which is located a few miles west of Las Vegas on 195,819 acres within the Mojave Desert. The Red Rock Canyons are simply stunning. STUNNING! We paid the $15 car fee and took the 13-mile Scenic Drive, stopping a few times to take in the beauty and of course, get some of the most gorgeous photos.
Other Fun in Las Vegas
What to do in and around the strip with kids. We did finally leave our hotel, and when we hit the strip, we focused on the most touristy things to do with kids.
- First, when it is dark, ride down the strip so the kids can take in all the lights and the hoopla that is Vegas. There are 32 casinos! The famous Las Vegas sign across the street from the Mandalay Bay is the traditional start of the strip.
- Stop by at the Neon Museum and visit all the iconic Las Vegas signs.
770 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, NV 89101, 702-387-6366
- Bellagio Water Show and Wynn Fountains are so Las Vegas and a must-stop with the kids.
- Circus-Circus has free circus acts every day, starting at 11:30 am, usually every hour until 10/11 pm. Circus Circus Hotel & Resort, 2880 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Although this trip was different than past visits, it was the most memorable for it involved my children getting to know the city their grandparents love. And with a flight time of a little over five hours from New York, we plan on spending more time in this desert city for many years to come!
Visit the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa website to learn more about their hotel.