3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Family Fun on the Vegas Strip
We don't gamble, or drink (alcohol), or do wild parties. Our hotel room even looks as neat when we leave as when we check in. That is, in most respects we are the antithesis of the Vegas strip target audience. So how do we have fun here? With ease.
It helps that we have children and many grandchildren who live in the area along with a daughter who is a department manager for MGM Resorts. In her position she meets the stars and performers of the shows and gets to know all the fine restaurants throughout the MGM Resorts properties. So we enjoy having the perfect guide.
MGM Grand, like many of the big Vegas hotel/casino properties, is a city unto itself: shopping, restaurants, and even clean entertainment are easily found. There are two distinct experiences and I love them both. In the afternoon and evenings there is an electric feeling, excitement all around with over-the-top visual and aural saturation. But I also enjoy breakfast and the quiet walks around the MGM city in the mornings when everyone is still crashed after a late night of entertainment.
All the times we've stayed at MGM Grand, we've never been disappointed in the room or service. Even the regular rooms are nicely appointed and the higher end rooms are luxurious to normal people (not that I'm accused very often of being normal).
If you qualify with your reservation, get a VIP pass and go to the front of the line at the buffet— the humongous buffet that offers seemingly miles of excellent food selections.
One evening after a thoroughly enjoyable family experience at KÀ (we love the Cirque du Soleil shows), we dropped in at the Studio Café restaurant for a 1:00am light dinner. There I had my first experience with lettuce wraps. Loved them. I've made it a point since to order them when we go to a restaurant where they are available. My wife and I were very impressed with the restaurant staff, always very friendly and helpful. Where do they get all that energy at 1:00am?
A family favorite is The Lion Habitat. We especially enjoy it at feeding time when the animal handler walks around inside the habitat throwing raw meat onto the glass walls right in front of the children. The lions leap up and attack the meat to the nervous delight of the children who stand a few inches away with just an invisible barrier between them and the lion.
The MGM Grand pool complex is one of our most favorite Grand experiences. We love the exceptionally long, meandering lazy river, drifting along with the grandchildren who sometimes ride on our backs and squeal with fun (or not-so-much) as we go under the waterfalls.
During our last visit we stayed on the 24th floor of The Signature. That gave us a breathtaking balcony view overlooking the Strip, the new City Center, and the surrounding valley. Once again the service was terrific with an exceptional staff.
Rooms in The Signature are luxurious and very comfortable. The bathroom is large enough to fit a rollaway bed if one were so inclined. It has a large glass enclosed shower, a double size whirlpool tub, double sinks, and separate room for the toilet.
The living area has a king bed, very nice kitchenette, and a comfortable living room area. Joined by family with several grandchildren, we were all able to enjoy a good lunch together here in our Vegas oasis between outings.
After a fun visit to Madame Tussauds and lunch back in our Signature room, we headed off to the pool. Unfortunately, the big MGM pool complex with its lazy river was just temporarily closed due to a chlorine leak. So instead we went to the sister property Mandalay Bay and swam in their sand beach pool. This new experience was also great. The Mandalay Bay pool has a wave maker and its own very nice lazy river. I taught the grandchildren how to body surf and we had a great time.
Nearby and in the Area
There are a host of fun things for the family within healthy walking or monorail distance. And many things can be enjoyed at no cost or low cost. During the day we enjoy going to Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium, Madame Tussauds (a lot more entertaining than I expected), and walking through many of the other resorts on The Strip.
At night we consider the Bellagio dancing fountains a "don't fail to miss" experience. After dark is also a great time to ride the Big Shot and other rides on top of the Stratosphere. Scared the liver out of me...in a very fun way.
And occasionally we go to the other Vegas to catch the Fremont Street experience.
Years ago I took the kids to try indoor skydiving. It was great fun...and embarrasing as my daughters did it better than me and I am an experienced skydiver.
One of these days I want to extend out to the larger area around Vegas for more adventures and site seeing:
- Hoover Dam
- Mojave Desert
- helicopter rides
- horseback trails
- dune buggy tours
- Grand Canyon
- and a great deal more
I'd also like to return to Circus Circus and relive old times when the children were young and we played the arcades and watched the circus performers.