To Leave the Nest


Adventures in Vegas with Teens in Tow

The kids and I visited Las Vegas recently – a first for all of us. I wasn’t sure if Vegas would be appropriate for teen girls but, as usual, we love new adventures. After a little research, we had a great (but exhausting) time. And we thought walking around Disney was tiring!

Las Vegas Airport

We didn’t really know what to expect upon arrival to “Sin City” but we weren’t disappointed to see video machines as soon as we stepped off the plane.

Vegas Airport Gambling

McCarran International airport was relatively small compared to Dallas-Ft. Worth airport (aren’t they all?) so getting around was relatively painless. We enjoyed stopping to see the Native American wares on our way to baggage claim. Baggage claim gave us a small sample of what to expect along the strip. Large signs advertising shows and other things to do around the city. We gathered our items and picked up our rental car.

The Mirage Hotel, Vegas

My mother chose The Mirage Hotel along the Vegas strip so we would be in the same hotel as the show we were planning to see (more on that later). I’d read somewhere to bring comfortable shoes because the walk from the front desk to our room could be a half mile! This hotel did not disappoint on that note. We were also impressed with a comedy lineup that included Ray Romano, Tim Allen, Trevor Noah and more. I had to take photos immediately and send them to my guy. We especially loved the fish tank behind the front desk. Our rooms were comfortable and offered a great view of the pool and other resorts. We were oooohing and ahhhing right from the start!

Mirage Hotel Front Desk

Mirage Vegas Pool

Mirage Vegas Room View

The Mirage Restaurants

I’m not kidding when I say that you will never even have to leave the hotel to eat if you stay at The Mirage. There were so many options for food and snacks too. During our weekend, we only ate outside the hotel once. Otherwise we enjoyed burgers at LVB Burgers, breakfast at Pantry, iced chai lattes at Starbucks, sandwiches at Carnegie Delicatessen (with the largest amount of meat I’ve ever seen on a sandwich). I’d like to say the meals weren’t expensive but I’d be lying. On average, we spent about $20 per person per meal. And that was drinking water.

Walkabout in Vegas

My brother and mother ventured off to the Grand Canyon on Saturday of our visit but the girls and I stayed behind to explore. We thought, “We’re in Vegas and we want to see Vegas!” We set out after a late breakfast and walked the Vegas Strip down to the Bellagio Hotel. We’d already checked out the fountain at the Wynn Hotel the night prior and heard that the Bellagio’s fountains were even better. We were not disappointed! Both hotel fountains dance to music but the Bellagio fountain was enormous! After enjoying a fountain show, we went in to see the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden. It was breathtaking! We walked around and also admired the beautiful glass art of Chihuly.

Bellagio Botanical Garden

Bellagio Botanical Garden Butterfly

Bellagio Ceiling Chihuly

The kids had noticed M & M World and Hershey’s Chocolate World on the drive in from the airport and wanted to venture further down the strip to those stores. Who am I to deny them chocolate?! We also decided to stop at stupidiotic because I loved the fun name and all of the quirky gifts. On our way back to the hotel, we also had to stop at Urban Outfitters because my daughters cannot pass UO without stopping.

Hersheys Chocolate World Vegas

M&M World Nascar Vegas

Along our walk, we saw all sorts of characters from Batman, Chewbacca, Spiderman, Elvis (duh), showgirls, and some damn good street musicians. If you’re planning on walking the strip for photos or anything else, bring lots of water and dollar bills for tipping.

The Best Parts of The Mirage Vegas

Never let it be said that I don’t do my best to take care of myself when I’m traveling with my kids. (Ok, it’s true that I try!) On the Saturday morning before our Vegas stroll down the Strip, I escaped to do yoga with the dolphins at our hotel. The Mirage hosts Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The kids were still sleeping and I wanted to have some alone time. On the hotel’s fitness menu, they offered a yoga class in an underwater viewing area with the dolphins swimming by. For $50, the class also included access to the spa for the day. I couldn’t resist! After the class, I had the spa to myself and spent some time in the hot tubs and steam room. It was a nice way to wake up.

Once the kids were awake, we ate breakfast and then visited the white tigers and dolphins. We were all pretty worn out (and honestly not feeling 100%) so it was soothing to simply sit with the dolphins and watch them swim. Something about being near the water always makes things better.

Yoga with Dolphins Mirage Vegas

The main reason we stayed at The Mirage – the main reason we went to Vegas – was to see The Beatles Love show by Cirque du Soleil. The kids and I are big Beatles fans and my brother insisted that we see this show years ago. The hotel is very proud of the show and in fact boasts a very large Beatles photo on the building.

I can’t say enough about this show. It was the first Cirque du Soleil show for the girls. I always say that your first Cirque show will always be your favorite. They have a great way of blowing your mind. This show in particular was moving to us because we love music – and Beatles music especially. I hope to visit Vegas again, if only to see this show again.

Mirage Beatles Love

Beatles Love

All in all, we enjoyed our adventure in Vegas. But we usually do. No matter where we go, even if it’s not typically “kid-friendly” or “teen friendly”, we have a great time.

What do you enjoy about Vegas? Any other ideas for fun with teens? Share below!


Categories:   chronicles, teens, travel



  • Posted: April 29, 2017 12:42


    Would love to visit Vegas at some point with Kelly. Loved living vicariously through you & your post! :-)