Taking baby to Las Vegas

Trips down to the desert have been a yearly tradition in our little family so when baby came around, my husband and I knew we wanted to take her.  First dilemma was getting paperwork in order.  A cross border trip required a baby passport and birth certificate.  For anyone in Alberta, we went to the registry about 2 weeks after she was born to pay for a birth certificate and received it about a month after she was born.  Birth certificate in hand,  I went to the passport office and received her passport within 2 weeks.  And in case anyone is wondering, yes babies need mugshots as well with no smiling and eyes open.  What a hoot that these things are valid for 5 years with a baby picture!  Also for those in Alberta, and possibly elsewhere, you’ll need to call around to find a studio that specializes in the fine art of baby passport photos and book an appointment as not everyone does it.

Next things on the list was to find accommodations.  We settled on renting a house in Summerlin and it turned out to be a fantastic choice.  We hadn’t done a lot of car travel with baby (who was almost 3 months) and wanted to minimize driving times to go hiking or on walks.  The house we chose also baby items already there  (baby swing, playmat, pack and play and baby toys) which made packing easier.  A huge bonus with the house was a backyard pool and hot tub. This meant we could let the baby nap or put her to bed early and slip outside to relax :)  I didn’t think about this till later, but not being in a hotel room allowed us to put baby to bed in the bedroom and stay up later in the living room and kitchen.  Renting in Vegas wasn’t the cheapest option but it also wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be and seemed worth it to lessen parental stress on baby’s first international adventure.

Packing … eesh that was reminiscent of trying to pack for my first backcountry camping trip.  You want to bring everything but the kitchen sink and have to whittle down the list even though you know you’ll still wind up overpacking.  I did overpack.  At least I know it won’t be as painful for future trips!

A quick note on transportation.  We wound up renting a car at the airport and thus had to bring our carseat. For anyone doing this, I highly recommend remembering to take the base out of the car BEFORE you park your car, take the shuttle to the airport, check in, and wait in the customs line. Not that I have any experience with that …

Neat petroglyphs on the hike we did

Neat handprints on the hike we did

On to the the fun part, what did we do there?  (Side note: I got several funny stares when I mentioned we were taking the baby to Vegas as for many, Vegas means gambling and drinking on the strip while for us, we think of sandstone, sun and fun outdoors)  I had really wanted to go hiking a few times in Red Rocks and set the bar high with many plans for possible baby hikes. I’m proud to say we did make it hiking in RR, though we only made it through one hike (which was appropriately named “Children’s discovery loop”).  The “easy” hikes I had envisioned going on would be a breeze for adults accustomed to hiking.  They were a whole different story with a little baby strapped on your front, uneven rocky terrain and the inability to see your feet. Throw in a mid-session baby request for food ASAP and the hike went from easy to challenging pretty quickly! We survived though, and have a great first hiking story!

Gardens at the Springs Preserve

Gardens at the Springs Preserve

After RR, we decided urban hiking might be less stressful and spent some time checking out the trails in Summerlin.  There are quite and few and they are peppered with playgrounds, picnic tables, grassy areas and pools/splash parks.  The paths were well landscaped with desert plants and it was nice to be able to plan our hikes to have easy exit points should the need arise.  And the need for frozen yogurt did arise :)

Another fun discovery was the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, it’s part botanical gardens and part science centre/museum.  We enjoyed checking out the exhibits and judging by the kids there, they seems pretty excited about it too.  It was a little pricey but a good place to hang out with a baby as there were lots of indoor exhibits to check out when we got too hot.

The rest of our time was spent lounging in the pool, enjoying the sun and having relaxed family time.

All in all, it was a great trip!  I had thought I would be all about the hiking while we were there, but turns out after a long Calgary winter with a teeny baby, I was really happy to just spend time outside together minus a million layers.  And that’s ok.  I’ve set a lot of goals since having a baby, some which I’ve met, some which turned out to be laughably unrealistic, and others which I’ve met in spirit.  I could be upset the few many that I haven’t met but honestly, I’m finding the goal setting and adventure is really where the fun is :)

Note: if you want to hike in Red Rocks it looks like it would be easiest if your baby is able to go in a back carrier.  I’m not sure what age that is as mine hasn’t gotten there yet!

If you have any other ideas on fun things to do with kids or babies in Vegas I’d love to hear in the comments!

Chilling by the pool

Chilling by the pool


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