Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon with littles

javeyloveschelsi

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Hello!

We are planning quite the road trip on our way to DL next month. One thing I still can't quite figure out is great restaurants and activities on our day and a half stop in Vegas. We have four children (11, 8, 4, and our youngest will almost be 2 on our trip). They are not picky eaters and do enjoy being on the go. The littlest guy (almost 2) is currently going through the official diagnosing of having regressive autism, so he can get sensory overload, but he does really, really well in public, he just happens to stim a little bit, but does not throw a fit and is a very happy little guy, but I would prefer something that isn't going to be absolutely crazy for him. Does anyone have any suggestions for things to do/see/eat with them?

Also, on our way back home, we will be staying a night in Flagstaff. We are hoping to drive up the next morning to see the Grand Canyon before heading to New Mexico. Is a half day trip worth it? Our oldest girls (11 and 8) love nature and history and asked to go. Not sure what all we can do there. So, any ideas and/or suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Thanks for all the help!

Chelsi
 

erinlynn2020

elleindisneyland
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Chelsi,
One thing I’ve found is that grand canyon lodges website has some nice planning ideas, even if you’re not staying there. Hope that helps, we’re planning our first trip, too.

Take care,
elle (earning my ears)
 
  • disneyseniors

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2014
    If you stop at the Grand Canyon be advised that there are only a few rails at major viewing sites. We went a few years ago, so not sure if this current advice. It amazed me that you can walk along the rim at a tourist area and take a few steps right off into the void. It would be scarey for me to have young children wandering close to these areas. I know it is a park, but I was really bothered by being able to step right out on a rock/cliff and look over into the canyon. I saw some adults doing just that; climbing to the rock/cliff and getting dangerously close.
    Maybe it only bothers me, but thought I would mention it for someone with little kids. I know how they like to run off! Have fun! It is a gorgeous place to see.
     

    javeyloveschelsi

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 14, 2014
    If you stop at the Grand Canyon be advised that there are only a few rails at major viewing sites. We went a few years ago, so not sure if this current advice. It amazed me that you can walk along the rim at a tourist area and take a few steps right off into the void. It would be scarey for me to have young children wandering close to these areas. I know it is a park, but I was really bothered by being able to step right out on a rock/cliff and look over into the canyon. I saw some adults doing just that; climbing to the rock/cliff and getting dangerously close.
    Maybe it only bothers me, but thought I would mention it for someone with little kids. I know how they like to run off! Have fun! It is a gorgeous place to see.
    This has definitely been a concern of mine that I just started looking into since we just recently added this idea I was hoping there were guard rails up. The two youngest will be strapped into a double stroller or I will baby wear the youngest and grip onto the older boy, if we decide to go. My other two won’t get close to the edge and aren’t ones to run off and will hold our hands as well. Although, I’m not sure my mama heart can handle the worry, so I’m definitely going to be looking into the safest areas to look from if we decide to go. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  • javeyloveschelsi

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 14, 2014
    Is the base area flat or at an incline? I know DH and I went to Pikes Peak last May and saw a ton of kids running around and I was sick with worry for them there and couldn’t imagine taking our kids there until they are MUCH, MUCH older. We even saw someone argue with a ranger because they snuck in their 6 week old and were mad they were making them leave. I wanted to go take that baby away from them, honestly. Nothing is worth risking children’s safety for our own enjoyment. It’ll still be there when they are old enough. Anyways, if it’s at an incline, we will pass. I struggled walking at Pikes Peak (I have terrible balance) and won’t even consider risking it if that’s the case.
     

    javeyloveschelsi

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 14, 2014
    Update (I know I posted on here a few minutes ago)—but, it seems we would have to park and take shuttles. I would definitely do the baby carrier then followed by my wrist “leash” for our 4 year old. The ranger program seems really great for kids and takes them to safe areas. My kids are not known runners and listen to mom and dad really well, but we will see how my mama heart feels on the trip. There appears to be quite a few railed areas which is nice. We would stay on the paved areas if we go. If we decide not to go, we may hit up Bearizona instead, that place looks like a lot of fun!
     

    mom2rtk

    Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2008
    If you stop at the Grand Canyon be advised that there are only a few rails at major viewing sites. We went a few years ago, so not sure if this current advice. It amazed me that you can walk along the rim at a tourist area and take a few steps right off into the void. It would be scarey for me to have young children wandering close to these areas. I know it is a park, but I was really bothered by being able to step right out on a rock/cliff and look over into the canyon. I saw some adults doing just that; climbing to the rock/cliff and getting dangerously close.
    Maybe it only bothers me, but thought I would mention it for someone with little kids. I know how they like to run off! Have fun! It is a gorgeous place to see.
    I totally agree. I saw kids doing so many scary things when we were there. And one wrong move can be deadly there. I saw a child climbing on one of those rails with the parents turned the other way. I had to just turn and walk away. I was afraid one wrong move and I might scare the kid into falling. I'm amazed at the amount of stupid behavior I have seen at the national parks.
     

    erinlynn2020

    elleindisneyland
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2019
    I totally agree. I saw kids doing so many scary things when we were there. And one wrong move can be deadly there. I saw a child climbing on one of those rails with the parents turned the other way. I had to just turn and walk away. I was afraid one wrong move and I might scare the kid into falling. I'm amazed at the amount of stupid behavior I have seen at the national parks.
    :eek::eek::eek:
     
  • McKelly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2004
    YES!!! I agree with other posters - BE CAREFUL. There are not many barriers along the rim. And the few that there are, can be easily scaled by a child. My kids were 15 and 17 when we went and I was SO THANKFUL we waited until they were older: and they were not runners either...
    I just about went into cardiac arrest watching THEM, as old as they were, walk along the edge!
     

    TinkSassy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2009
    My folks used a leash on me because it is what they had - LOL. I would have been over a cliff. I would use the tether backpacks or something like it to be safe.

    Las Vegas - I would take them to the strip during the day so that the lights don't over stim for your one. The fountains at the Bellagio are great and go in to see the gardens.

    Restaurant in Vegas - Battista's Hole in the Wall! This is behind Bally's right off the strip. Great food, accordion player, good atmosphere - highly recommend.
     

    oakleycat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2017
    I agree that if you want to take them to the Strip in LV, do it during the day. I just don't find it appropriate for kids at night with all the people, drinking, partying, advertising strippers/escorts, clubs, etc. The Bellagio fountains and garden exhibits are great, as is Caesars Place shops with the talking fountain show.
     

    javeyloveschelsi

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 14, 2014
    I agree that if you want to take them to the Strip in LV, do it during the day. I just don't find it appropriate for kids at night with all the people, drinking, partying, advertising strippers/escorts, clubs, etc. The Bellagio fountains and garden exhibits are great, as is Caesars Place shops with the talking fountain show.
    Yes, we decided to only stay one night instead of two in Vegas and our hotel is off of the strip and is considered very family friendly and safe. We plan to hit a buffet the afternoon we arrive and then back to the hotel for swimming and a good nights rest and leave early in the morning, hopefully beating the Sunday traffic. We decided a rest evening in Anaheim would be better than driving the morning of and trying to hit a park when we got there. Would have been fine with our oldest three, but with the little guy’s sensory and anxiety, it would be too much for him.
     

    lindsay0526

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2010
    Grand Canyon- When we did it, our kids were 2, 4, and 7. It took over an hour to get there from Flagstaff, and we were not there as long as I would have liked... but that's what you get when you are traveling with littles. I would suggest packing lunch/snacks, because I felt like there was food available in the park, but it was expensive and my kids lived on PB&Js at the time. I also don't remember there being much on the way to/from Flagstaff and the park is so big that you can't zip out to grab a bite. We did get some ice cream in the park. I feel like we parked near the Post Office and then walked the Rim Trail to the Geology Museum. It wasn't too far of a walk and the Rim Trail was very flat and paved. Have a great time!
     

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