Monday, March 9, 2009

An unfriendly city to small children, and I'm bringing two of them.

Do you remember the kingdom where no children are welcome in the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? I will have 6 full days (the 7th is lost in transit) that I will have in Las Vegas with a 4 year old and a 2 year old. Based on my prior visit there, I have concluded that Las Vegas was indeed the inspiration for that City/State and unless you are 21 or older that city is not anywhere near a playground.

I've been doing research on things I can do with the kids that are free, or as inexpensive as I can find (if they get bored I don't want to have to worry about having laid out a mint on entertainment - or my mom being the generous grandma who's already paid enough to get us out there and doing the same...) and I have come up with some ideas.

I would love to have input from others on this subject however...

Ethel M Chocolates tour and the Botanical Gardens
(seriously - a candy factory - Tess loved it at 13 months, at 4 years she's going to be over the moon.)

Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain Show at Caesar's Palace

Sunday - Thursday, every hour from 10 a.m. - 11 p.m - no charge and whoo hoo a mythology lesson included.

"You might wonder or not notice at all the statues at the middle of the fountain, but every hour from 10 am to 11 pm, the statues move amidst the stunning special effects of fire and water. It recounts how King Atlas children's greed made the gods destroy Atlantis. A winged beast appears behind the throne as fire and water consume the entire kingdom. A mesmerizing view and a learning experience for the kids." - From the Las Vegas with kids website.

The Aquarium at the Silverton Hotel

Springs Preserve (not free... yipes.)
Las Vegas natural history museum (not free but not that expensive)

Mandalay Bay Aquarium - Shark Reef

Bonnie Springs, Old Nevada (Last time we were there Tessa took a major header and ended up with a major bruise on her head for the rest of the trip.)

Red Rock Canyon - thank god my children love going for scenic drives.... and it's on the way to Bonnie Springs ;-)

We're staying in a relatively nice hotel, but I can't find info on it on the web, as face it - they want people in the casino's not the hotel rooms. On the "Cheapo Las Vegas" website I found the following review for their in house child care. "Dump your kids in this supervised play area. You can drop them off while you do sinnerly adult things, but you have to pick them up in less than four hours, not when they are eighteen. For permanent dropoffs, you need an orphanage."

It made me laugh. I don't plan on using their services, especially after reading another Mom's review on Casino Childcare a few months ago. My son is still in diapers, and I'd like them checked every now and again, and both kids fed, not plopped down in front of a TV...

I expect that I'll have a lot of time spent with family and I'm really looking forward to that. My brother's family will be wonderful to get to know and I plan on taking tons of pictures of my nephew Liam... and of course his sisters, my sister in law, my mother and my baby brother. Tessa thinks it's funny that the big guy she saw on Skype the other night via video conference is my BABY brother. She says he can't be my little brother, as a little brother can be picked up and played with, as well as picked on. I told her that the picking up part ends when they grow bigger than you, but that sibling rivalry never goes away.

She asked me at bed time tonight if when we have _(insert prospective name of considered third child not on its way currently, and not sure if it will ever be)__ would she still be my love, and would love her and Garret as much. I told her that I will always love both my Diva and my Peter Pan, as they are what makes my heart go thump thump in happiness, and if we ever had another baby it would add to the happiness and increase our families love. She liked that description and she snuggled in and told me "I will always be here for you Mommy," with the most serious of tones.

She can drive me up a wall and down the other side, and she just makes my heart melt and forget all about when she's driven me nuts when she does that. She really is my little Princess. She has asked to learn to knit, so tomorrow I will see how she fares with a knitting loom in her hands.

Peter Pan has continued on his path of "I Flying!" and tried to go down the stairs again today - without assistance nor using his legs. I was half way down when he leapt on to me. Oye. My hands are full with these two.

I am going to close up now but again, any suggestions of places to check out with two small kids while in Vegas is appreciated.

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