Las Vegas doesn’t exactly conjure up images of family-friendly fun so I was hesitant when my son’s lacrosse team was scheduled to play in the Sin City Showdown Tournament. Since we’re still pretty new to the west coast, we decided to take advantage of the situation and look at it as an opportunity for a road trip to explore new ground. We set out to find things to do with the family around Las Vegas.
The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa
Hats off to whoever chose the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa as our home base for the weekend. You would hardly guess it was only 30 minutes from The Strip. It was picturesque, serene, family friendly, and had lots of activities for the kids. There’s a pool, golf, a spa, multiple dining options, and water activities. Insider tip – We received a $5 food voucher for choosing not to have our room cleaned one day.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Since the resort was about 20 minutes from Lake Mead, we decided to head there one afternoon. It was $10 to enter the National Recreation Area, but the entrance fee allows you to come and go as many times as you want for one week. Since it was winter and cold, we obviously didn’t partake in any water activities but we did enjoy parking our car at all of the overlooks and taking pretty pictures! Insider tip – there is a park near Lake Mead called Hemenway Park where a herd of big-horn sheep likes to hang out and eat grass! We tried looking for them but sadly, they weren’t there.
Also within a half hour of our resort, was the Hoover Dam so we decided to pay it a visit. Parking at the lot nearest to the Hoover Dam was $10 but we did see other free parking options as we drove out. Those parking options would just require a little more walking. There’s no need to pay for the tour to enjoy the views from the main deck. There are plenty of photo opportunities from the main observation deck. We also decided to walk up to the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge to get a more bird’s eye view. This is not something you want to attempt if you have a fear of heights! There are well marked steps to the bridge right before you enter the Hoover Dam grounds.
Joshua Trees at the Mojave National Preserve
Located about 2 hours from Las Vegas, is the Mojave National Preserve, which is densely populated with Joshua trees as far as the eye can see. We pulled off the highway near the town of Cima, at a marked area so we could get some pictures of these cool trees.
All in all, we were pleasantly surprised that there are plenty of things to do with the family around Las Vegas!