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Las Vegas – Sin City

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By day you might say, “Vegas isn’t so bad.” Day exposes the beauty of the surrounding four mountain ranges and details of the architectural wonders throughout Las Vegas. In chilling contrast, night reveals the dark side of Vegas.

There are lots of websites that review Las Vegas hotels or shows. There are plenty of sites to provide you the top 10 things to do in Las Vegas. This is not one of those webpages. Please read this through to know what to know before you go.

Travel Advisory: Reasons to NOT visit Las Vegas

First things first, why you shouldn’t go to Las Vegas far outweighs the reasons to go to Las Vegas.

  1. Sex sells, everywhere. You may think your children or spouse does not notice but think again. Billboards, kiosks, monitors, and even elevator TVs blatantly display sexuality. Scantily clad waitresses cater to patrons. Cirque du Soleil has become cirque du risqué to compete against popular “strip” shows. Hotels are now competing to offer the most popular topless pool (known as European Bathing) and advertising these adult only attractions throughout their hotels not to mention charging an admission fee as if it were a “show”
  2. Selling sex, everywhere. Trucks drive up and down the strip with advertisements for girls on their sides. Salesmen and saleswomen work the streets at night. They line the streets passing out pornographic cards and flyers inviting passersby to sink into the sex trade. They step in front of you, they force their cards or flyers toward you. They grunt, click, whistle and smack their hands to get your attention.
  3. Smoke, everywhere. While other casino towns have embraced the no-smoking movement this is not so with Las Vegas. Unfortunately, most hotels purposely steer guests through their casino floor in hopes that you’ll stop and play a game making it next to impossible to go to a restaurant or show without exposure to smoke. It’s sad how many families expose their children to smoke while they stop to get a quick fix of gambling. Worse yet is the number of pregnant mommies in casinos.
  4. Gambling , everywhere. Though gambling in the casino context is a modern topic not directly addressed within the Bible, there are plenty of verses that address how we earn and spend money. Consider 1 Timothy 6:9 which says “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” Playing games is fun. Las Vegas gambling is a snare.
  5. The freaks come out at night is a term that was surely coined in Vegas. On a walk back from the Bellagio the street corners were full of costumed individuals waiting to have you take your picture with them. The costumes were anything from Superman, to “undercover” female police officers in scantily clad “uniforms”, a devil with a haunting cackle, drunk Elvis, and a white “statue like” mime, and lest we forget the Playboy bunnies!
  6. Misdirection, everywhere. Hotels make money when visitors are on their casino floor playing their games. They have no genuine desire to help you find your way out of the hotel, except where you depart only to enter another casino owned by the same hotel corporation. Signs providing directions are incomplete at best. Stop and ask a hotel employee directions back to the strip and you’ll get a variety of answers. One hotel concierge thought he would be funny and respond to our request for directions to the strip with “you say you want a stripper.” SERIOUSLY!

You can’t get there for here. This famous saying applies well to any attempt by a tourist to get to the Las Vegas strip from within a hotel casino. One particular famous casino has such poor signage that you could wander for an hour trying to find a way out. You almost begin to wonder if all the old patrons within the casino are merely lost, unable to escape. In this sense, there is much truth to the scene from the book/movie Percy Jackson & The Olympians, The Lightning Thief where the heroes are stuck within a casino for days, unaware (this reference is in no way an endorsement of the book/movie, but merely an illustration of a frustrating reason to avoid Las Vegas casinos).

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The Good

If you choose to go to Las Vegas below are a few of the bright spots (as of this writing):

The MGM family of hotels has offered a deal on seeing multiple exhibits. A recent $54 promotion allows visitors to see 3 exhibits from the following: Bodies, Circus Circus’ Adventuredome, CSI: The Experience, New York New York Roller Coaster, Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, Shark Reef, Spongebob 4D Ride, or Titanic.

  • Food: Vegas is home to several world famous, celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio, Todd English, Bobby Flay, Michael Mina, Emeril Lagasse, and Wolfgang Puck. One of our favorite restaurants was the House of blues in the Mandalay Bay. They have great food, great service, and great prices! And, on Sunday’s they have a gospel brunch.

 

  • Shows: There are dozens of shows available along the Las Vegas strip. There are musicals, comedies, magic acts, and acrobats of every sort. Many Vegas shows are visual masterpieces with stunning costumes and special effects. The shows feature world class performances and vocals but few shows are family friendly or Christian friendly. Two family friendly shows we found were The Lion King and Cirque du Soleil’s KA.

 

  • Animal Exhibits: Lions and tigers, dolphins and sharks, oh my! Mirage hotel and casino is home to Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat while Mandalay Bay features the 1.6 million gallon Shark Reef exhibit.

 

  • Other Exhibits: On and off the Vegas strip are some traditional and not so traditional exhibits. The Luxor features two exhibits, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition and Bodies: The Exhibition, both of which are accessible without going through the casino. Not so typical exhibits include MGM’s CSI: The Experience (visitors must be 12+ or accompanied by an adult, but the nature of this exhibit makes is suitable for adults only). Nearby M&M’s World is suitable for all ages.

 

  • The Bellagio Fountains: The fountains outside the Bellagio are timed with musical performances from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Andre Bocelli, & Celine Dion (just to name a few) and include music from opera, classical and Broadway tunes. The music is perfectly choreographed with lights and a water fountain show. The water shoots some 350 feet in the air and is spectacular. It is a MUST see and completely FREE. We also noticed that Treasure Island and the Mirage have similar water displays with Treasure Island featuring a water shooting pirate ship and the Mirage has a water shooting volcano.

 

  • Stratosphere: The Top of the World restaurant provides unmatched panoramic views of Las Vegas. The food and service were very good however the location of the stratosphere was shady so we recommend either taking a bus or taxi to the location. The view is worth it!

  • Architecture: Day or night, Las Vegas has wonderful buildings and architecture. Walk the six miles of the strip and you’ll be mesmerized by the craftsmanship of this city which boasts several of the world’s largest hotels.

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Traveling with Children

If you are in Vegas with children we recommend getting out early in the morning and walking the strip. The streets are free of the riff raff from the night before and there are many different sights to see. Also, stay at a hotel that has a great pool and go there later in the afternoon when the strip starts to get more crowded. The Mandalay Bay has a lazy river and wave pool that is a BIG hit with families. If your travels permit you to take excursions from the city, we recommend checking out the surrounding areas: Red Rock and the Hoover Dam are nearby while The
Grand Canyon will require at least one over night to allow time for the commute and to take in the scenery.

Our biggest tip is to try and get off the streets before dark or no later than 8 pm.

If you see a show make sure you connect through the casinos floors which are much “safer” than walking the streets. Though you’re off the street at night, don’t assume your children are safe to be out of the hotel room. Hotels positioned as family friendly include The Excalibur which looks like a LEGO castle but features evening pole dancers at their upstairs bar, right around the corner from shops and their food court. Not exactly what you want your children exposed to when going out for a snack.

Vegas can be done with children but you have to be aware of the time and places to avoid as well as being realistic about kids’ ability to keep up with adults.

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Las Vegas Travel Tips

  • Eating Out: While there are plenty of place to eat out, remember that restaurants often serve super-size portions. Don’t be afraid to ask the size of the portion in order to share plates. This is especially helpful when traveling with kids who aren’t likely to finish the $15 lunch you’ll be buying. Also, there are plenty of traditional fast-food and sub-shops around. Choose lunch or dinner at a Subway, Quiznos, or Pizza Hut and you’ll feel more comfortable dropping $50 to $100 per person on finer dining.

 

  • Streets at Night: When possible, stay off the streets. Use the monorail or tram where possible. But if you find yourself on the street at night, do not engage the “street workers,” do not look at them, do not extend your hand or take anything they try to give you.

 

  • Taxi: While the airport is nearly walking distance to the strip, the heat warrants taking a taxi from the airport to your final destination. A surcharge is levied on fares from the airport to your destination. You should not be charged this surcharge on your return to the airport. Cab fare to the southern end of the strip will cost approximately $20 inclusive of tip while return fare is barely $15 with tip. For reference, a taxi from the north end of the strip, the Stratosphere, to the southern end, Mandalay Bay, can run over $20 without tip depending on traffic.

 

  • Tram: A free tram runs between Mandalay Bay, The Luxor, and Excalibur Hotels that will shave some time off your commute since the shortest walk involves traveling through the casino floors.

 

  • Monorail: The monorail system runs along the back of the eastern side of the strip from the MGM Grand Station with stops at Bally’s & Paris, Flamingo & Caesar’s Palace, Harrah’s & Imperial Palace, Las Vegas Convention Center, Hilton, and Sahara stations. One way ticket price is $5 with an all-day pass available for $12 per day.

 

  • Accessibility: There are many areas that are not stroller or wheelchair friendly. Do your homework up front on where you intend to visit and then find the hotels and routes that will be most conducive to your getting around.

 

This won’t be a popular post to the nearly 2 million residents of Las Vegas, but the truth is, you should avoid Las Vegas.

Instead of a city aglow with lights like a downtown during Christmas, Las Vegas places spotlights on the bait that draws men and women to their sinful nature. Most people go to Vegas with the knowledge of the things they are willing to attend, perform, or experience. We are hoping this review will inform those who have heard that Vegas is great for families or couples. This is not a family friendly or Christian friendly destination.

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16 Comments

  1. Madame Tussauds Las Vegas – http://www.madametussauds.com/LasVegas/
    Madam Tussauds provides indoor fun for children and families, located on (3377 Las Vegas Blvd), immerse yourself in an interactive experience with A-List celebrities, Hollywood Stars, sports stars, Marvel Super Heros and more!

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    Phone number: 1.866.841.3739

  2. As I read this, I am sitting in my hotel room in downtown Las Vegas right off Fremont Street at midnight just hoping and praying the noise will stop! My husband played up what a great time this would be to the kids and the most exciting and family friendly thing we’ve done is visit the pawn shop made famous by the show, “Pawn Stars”. The hotel lobby is as you described, one big casino maze that disorients me every time I have to leave. It’s so smoky I think I’ve already gotten a respiratory illness. But up until a few hours ago, I was still optimistically scouring reviews of places to visit, or shows to see that would be worthy of our hard-earned dollars. My husband had a friend on a racing team come to town and so went to see him while I took the kids to the pool. After returning to the room right at dusk I ventured back out to pick up some food and check out the scene. I ended up getting lost and opened up a door to a balcony overlooking Fremont Street that was alive with all the characters you mentioned and then some. Even though it was outdoors, the smoke was overpowering. I went down to the street and deafening rock music played that were blasphemic and girls danced on stages with stripper moves barely dressed. I imagined that wherever my husband was he was viewing and maybe even participating in a similar scene. I saw a girl that was so drunk she was in danger of a head injury with an inevitable fall. Her boyfriend assured me he was taking care of her but before I could ask her she puked all over my shoes. This abruptly changed my desire to help and quickly turned into a desire to clean the vomit off my feet. I am so glad I left my kids in the room. Nothing is really worth the possible exposure to this, there are many more places that really are geared more towards families. The human trafficking is very high here too, so supporting most of these businesses is supporting those industries, human trafficking, sex trafficking, pornography, gambling, alcoholism and drugs.

  3. Thank you for this post. I too am reading this as I sit in my room hearing the deafening music from a nightclub upstairs at the hotel. I grew up visiting this city because I have family here. We always got to stay with family or off the strip, but this is my first time staying downtown.

    Don’t be fooled by the facade that this town puts forth. While it has many positives that seem to draw parents (shows, weather, stunning architecture, it’s cheap, etc.), Las Vegas is the last place I will choose to vacation with my family. All of the mentions in the article above are true. Especially the smoke, the respiratory distress and the sex. It’s everywhere.

    If you’re visiting family or have business, see if you can book your stay at the JW Marriott in Summerlin. They don’t have sex movies on demand and many families stay there and enjoy the pool.

    If you’re looking to spend lots of money, eat and be continuously entertained then by all means visit the Las Vegas strip. If you want to spend quality time connecting with your family, engaging in rich and rewarding activities, as well as seeing new places – go somewhere else. Las Vegas is someplace you honestly won’t miss.

  4. Im a creationists and live in las vegas NV. I forget that there is even casinos here. Locals here rarely go to the strip, certainly not down town (old vegas). When family and friends come over there amazed at all of the things to do here that have nothing to do with gambling or sex. My wife’s friend at work wouldn’t have a child with here boyfriend or buy a house with him unless they first got married… she was born and raised in vegas!!! This is a great place for Christians to visit or live. If you’re a visiting Christian stay at the Southpoint casino, the “M” casino or Red Rock Casino. These are great, clean and beautiful resort casinos off of the strip and have great prices. When you get up in the morning go have an awesome breakfast buffet on the ground level for around $7. Then go see Red rock canyon, Hoover dam, Valley of fire, Grand Canyon, Death valley, visit a ghost town, or….. see David Copperfield, Celine Dion singing on the strip, a performance show that has nothing to do with sex but has extreme acrobatic flips and stuff. These shows cost about $100 and are worth every penny. There are other things like go-carts, drive a real race car, 4 wheeler rentals, gold panning, shooting, fishing, hiking, art museums… there is so much to do here that has absolutely nothing to do with sex or gambling it boggles the mind. If you did EVERYTHING here including “sinfull activities” and spent one hour on each subject it would take you more than 48 hours to do because there are more than 48 things to do. But lets just stick with 48 things… out of the 48 hours, only 3 hours would be sinfull. #1 gabling. #2 drugs or alcohol #3 sex with a prostitute. That means 45 hours out of 48 would have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH SIN!!! If you can avoid those 3 things here, you won’t be able to avoid them in your home town. I live here with my stay at home wife and 2 children. Not me or my wife are tempted by the montra “Sin City” its just a name. The vast majority of the people that live here (away from the strip) are god loving, patriotic people. I bet i could find those 3 things in your home town but i would choose to avoid them like i do here. People that don’t live here act like this place is a bowl with extremely steep sides and sin is in the center… “there are people having sex on the sidewalk next to some thugs playing dice while they rip pages form the new testamen!” Oh please!!! Im a biblical creationist and believe that you will lose your salvation if you choose to disobey the teachings of Christ. Im not part of any cotton candy church. Im more hard core than most Christians and i say this place is a great place for Christians to visit. If you come here and have any type of sinfull experience, YOU looked for it and found it. If you are thinking of visiting Vegas and want some info on all of the great things to do here, just shoot me an email i would be glad to help. jimbob321321@yahoo.com by by!

    • But why go to Vegas? There are other towns that have shows and attractions, without the gambling, prostitution, lewdness, drunkenness, and deviant behavior so openly on display in Vegas. Sheesh, the thought of the bodily fluids contaminating the surfaces of most hotel rooms there is enough to make my skin crawl. Throw in the extremely high rates of violent crime and property crime, and the place seems like a prison with cheesy entertainment. Leave Vegas to the thugs, the hustlers, and the fools eager to be parted from their money.

    • Dear Paul,

      I am Hien from Vietnam. I am living in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon). In next Jun 2016, the 1st time, I am going to American for visiting. I am a Chrisitan and I am a Bible teacher in Bible Sunday school.
      My friends who visited Las Vegas to me that in here there are many things to see and to learn for travelers such as architect. As you said this city is not really a Sin city.
      To be honest, I am a bit afraid because my English skill is limited and i am not rich. I want to find a small room with safe and cheap. Can you give me some advice?

      Hope that I will have your reply soon.

      In Him,

      Hien
      Vietnam.

      • Any advice out there for Brother Paul ?

  5. I agree w Paul. There’s a ton of fun and free stuff to do here. In the summer there are free movies at various parks and plazas, as well as churches. I moved here in Feb 2014, and I’ve lived in AZ, NM amd WA. If you are looking for sin, you’ll find it. My experience is one as as middle aged single woman. I teach Sunday School, I have a great job, pay no state income tax, live in a a beautiful house, that I got for a song in Summerlin, and I’m mot fat nor ugly, nor do I feel in competition w the strippers here anymore than I do the Cover Girl commercials on TV. People will sin in quiet in your sleepy towns, or they’ll come here, show their boobs and throw up on your shoes. Just like some people point fingers in church at all the sinners, while others go home quietly and pray in their closets for them. It’s all about choices.

    I understand why people think the way they do, but honestly, having lived in various tax and weather climates, as well as experiencing the terrible work ethic in border states, this is where I WANT to live. there IS NO BETTER HOSPITALITY IN THE WORLD. I plan to retire here. So if you don’t want to visit, there’s always Disneyland, and hookers for your husband there too in case you want to keep an eye out for them.

  6. The whole world is sin city. Having said that, I do believe that a city choosing to call itself sin and was built upon being a place for people to come and enjoy sin is something altogether too plain to miss or ignore. I do not think believers in our Savior should defend this place nor set up permanent place here. It is already judged just as sodom and gomorrah was judged. Our Father would not have us defending what is nice about a place like this. Get your loved ones together and plan an escape. Soon this place will be uninhabitable. You should know any believer sent here it is tempoary. A lack of water and rain in a place where people live is a glaring warning from God. Remember God got Lot out before he rained judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah. And half of Lot’s family were destroyed because they loved their lifestyle in that wicked place. The Bible says Lot was a righteous man with a vexed soul from living in Sodom. Perhaps if you are believer you were sent to Vegas to warn people to leave it and not look back. Shalom.

  7. Why go to Vegas? Well, Jesus would be hanging out with the “freaks,” & all those who are indulging in the lawlessness of Vegas. It’s called sin city for a reason, but I am a Christian who had a great time walking around the strip, seeing all the people and night life. These people need Jesus and they need loved, not to be treated like a plague that is to be avoided.

    • Well said Abby.

      Luke 5: 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

      So if you go, let your light shine.

  8. I am required to go to Vegas every year at the beginning of December. I came to this sight hoping to find some tips of things to do off the strip. Instead as someone with a personal relationship with Christ who has children, I will offer my advice.

    Truthfully, if a vacation is what you are after, go to Colorado, Wyoming, and best would be Branson, MO which is a “Christian” town. If you go to Branson on a family budget, I recommend Silver Dollar City where you get lots of bang for your buck.

    If you too must be in Vegas heres my thoughts.
    Do the fountains at the Belagio and check out the beauty inside. The gelato and gormet bakery is amazing! I would definitley do the Hoover Dam. It is pretty awesome. Looking up to see the bridge that was fairly recently completed is also spectacular. If time allows, you are within driving distance to Zion National Park (2 1/2 hours)

    The Rainforest Cafe in the MGM is pretty cool. While you are there check out the lions.

    Off the strip there a few places to eat that we really enjoyed. Metro Pizza had the best pizza, salad and gelato I have ever had. Also for breakfast there is a pancake place called Baby Stacks that has every flavor of pancake you can imagine.

    When we had to take our children to Las Vegas, it educated our children to the harsh realities of a world they had never seen. Now that one has graduated with their masters, one is in nursing school and one is finishing high school, I recognize how valuable our “field” trip was to preparing them for college and the world.

    The

  9. Chinatown Plaza” Hosts Contact: Tina Lee at 702-221-8848
    2017 Chinese New Year Celebration – Year of the Rooster
    New Delicious Food, Cash Drawings, Hotel Package Raffle!

    (LAS VEGAS) – Chinatown Plaza, Inc. is hosting its annual “Chinese New Year Celebration” on Sunday, February 12, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The “Year of the Rooster” celebration will be held at “Chinatown Plaza” located at 4205 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89102.

    As the largest and most-anticipated Asian cultural event in Southern Nevada, the Chinese New Year Celebration will feature traditional foods, vendor exhibits and entertainment for the entire family. Entertainment will feature the 150-foot long dragon parade, Chinese lion dance, Chinese kung-fu and martial art demonstrations, Chinese acrobat, Chinese tea ceremony demonstration, Japanese Taiko Drummers and Korean dance. Entertainment will be between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are free.

    This year, there will be THREE “CASH PRIZE DRAWINGS” of $250, $500 and $1,000 at the event as well a “Hotel Stay & Show Package Raffle”. Adults with a purchased adult ticket is eligible to enter to win! For “Official Rules” please visit http://www.lvchinatownplaza.com

    The “Chinese New Year Celebration” held at Chinatown Plaza began in 1994. Each year, between 5,500 and 7,000 people from all over the community attend the event. Don’t miss it!

  10. Very good article!

  11. My husband and I went to Las Vegas two years ago because we were given free airfare and hotel through a vendor deal. For that price, we would have gone pretty much anywhere. We don’t have kids, and agreed it would be a terrible place to take them. There are things to do that kids would enjoy – we loved the Secret Garden/Dolphin habitat, watching the people hang gliding on Fremont Street, and the Mafia museum. There are a lot of really cool free areas of the casinos, too – we especially liked the Venetian and the Bellagio Fountains. We stayed at Paris Las Vegas, and the food in some of their restaurants was some of the best we’ve ever had. That said, we probably wouldn’t go back, unless we had a really compelling reason or another free trip. I did a lot of research before I went and it really paid off. But yeah, I’d want to keep kids off the Strip any time of day, with the moving billboards driving up and down advertising nearly naked women. In sum, it’s doable, not advisable.
    Thanks for the post.

  12. I must say these are great, clean and beautiful resort casinos off of the strip and have great prices. When you get up in the morning go have an awesome breakfast buffet on the ground level for around $7.

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