Monthly Archives

April 2015

Las Vegas

April 28, 2015

Spring break this year was held in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada for a family reunion with my mother and siblings. Although I live in Northern California and my other family members reside in Southern California and Northern Utah, our school schedules all aligned with the same spring break schedule and we picked Vegas as the meeting point. The bulk of our time that week was focused on family – we all stayed at the same hotel and it was a lot of swimming with cousins and playground sessions. I know Las Vegas can be polarizing for families, but I love it -there’s plenty of entertainment, fabulous swimming pools and all the playgrounds and parks were lush and groomed. Here are a few highlights of the week:

+ Shake Shack is here! It’s on the street facing the Strip at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino. It was my favorite layout of any Shake Shack I’ve visited, there’s plenty of seating and parking couldn’t be easier (park for free at the NY-NY hotel).
+ Lotus of Siam was recommended to me by my friend Nicole, who’s a professional photographer and a culinary-trained foodie. Anything she suggests I trust implicitly so going here became top of my list. We hired a babysitter and made the trek to downtown to check out this hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant. Our first dish was a curry and was just okay… I was getting worried about this meal living up to the hype. But then we tried the braised short-rib with noodles. That plate was incredible!! A total star, hands-clapping, moaning with delight plate of food. Overall a very delicious meal. Make sure to get a reservation and feel free to bring the kids, we saw a lot of families dining there.
+ Eat at Eat, which serves breakfast and lunch. Located downtown. Really good, classic food and the downtown area is emerging as such a rad place to visit.


+ take a photo in front of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign” – a total tourist trap, but that’s kinda why I love it. There was a long queue when we were there, so we just skipped the line by taking a photo just off to the side instead of in the middle.
+ Valley of Fire State Park – this is an hour northeast of Las Vegas, but really worth the drive. Look for a separate post about Valley of Fire, it was so incredible.
+ Visit the playgrounds around Las Vegas and Henderson. We visited a different playground almost every day and each one had lush green grass, covered playgrounds, bbq pits and ball fields.
+ Take an old-fashioned photo at Buffalo Old Time Photo Co. at Circus Circus. We hired them to do a huge family photo with my mother, her four children and their spouses and her twelve grandchildren. The kids LOVED dressing up. I usually find family photo sessions grating but we all had such a great time.

Most of our week was carved into spending time with extended family. On our next trip there, here’s a few places I’m hoping to check out:
+ Hike at Red Rock Canyon
+ Play at Discovery Children’s Museum
+ Water ski at Lake Mead
+ Revisit staples along the Strip like the Bellagio Fountains, Conservatory and Gardens at the Bellagio, Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay. And revisit the Downtown area, I especially want to check out Container Park.
+ If it’s summer time, hit up the splash pads at the parks around Las Vegas. They weren’t open in early April.

vegas-signNote: 3/4 of the children present. Our son Ralph was sleeping in the car so my husband stayed with him while his older siblings and I ran to get a quick pic.


Our spring break in Las Vegas was focused on my family reunion, but we hope to be back for a proper visit soon. Anything I need to make a priority next time I’m in Las Vegas?