When planning a family trip, Las Vegas rarely makes the cut. With a reputation for "the naughty," this desert enclave has rightfully earned it's "Sin City" moniker for the raucous fun after dark. What you may not know is that Las Vegas actually is an increasingly family-friendly vacation spot with more and more hotels and resorts pulling out all the stops to attact America's youth.

The next time you're planning a family getaway, trade in the sand and sunshine at the beach for the sand and sunshine of the desert.

Photo Credit: John C. Bruckman

Natural Wonders

The majority of Vegas' most popular attractions can be found on The Strip where the hustle, bustle and bright lights are constantly abuzz with tourists from all corners of the world. However, the best sites to check out with the family aren't on The Strip at all. The Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Death Valley can make a trip to Las Vegas unique and memorable, even for the little ones! Taking the family to one of the nearby natural wonders is a good way to enjoy some tranquil quality togetherness time.

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Adventuredome at Circus Circus

Unless your kids are afraid of clowns, you probably have considered staying at Circus Circus for their on-site amusement park. Adventuredome is a 5.5 acre fun zone complete with 25 different rides, laser tag, mini golf and more. Around Halloween each year, Adventuredome becomes Fright Dome, a haunted theme park with foggy attractions and plenty of scares. Geared toward little kids, don't expect too many adrenaline-pumping rides, but adults will have no trouble finding a tasty beverage to enjoy nearby, while letting the kids be kids.

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Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

Arguably one of the coolest aquariums in the country for it's large collection of predators, the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay is a must-see when visiting Las Vegas with the family. Animals on display include rare golden crocodiles, piranhas, sawfish, giant rays and sharks, just to name a few. of the 2,000 species present.

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Fremont Street Experience

Tickets to shows and other entertainment can get expensive for a family, which is why the Fremont Street Experience is such a steal. Not only is it one of the coolest light shows in the country, but it's also completely free! The displays are put on hourly every night in downtown Las Vegas starting at 8:30 p.m. and boast a choreographed 12 million LED light and 550,000 watt sound system to give visitors a mind-blowing experience.

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Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil on the Las Vegas Strip are a must for anyone visiting Las Vegas. Kids love the elaborate costumes, set designs and incredible acrobatic feats! Mystere at Treasure Island was Cirque's first Vegas show and is still the family favorite. The plot line is about the circle of life and maintains a light, playful and innocent mood throughout, perfect for the children.