Lifestyle: The Grandparents
You've got your parents coming to town and they don't want to get too wild and crazy. Wondering where to take them where they'll have fun but not be overwhelmed by Sin City? Let us help.
Q: My 65-year-old parents are coming to town. Where can I send them for some fun?
A: If we were you, we'd send them to the Gold Coast, Suncoast or The Orleans, three resorts that often feature a lot of "classic" entertainers. Check the entertainment calendar for the latest lineups. Vegas lounge acts are some of the best entertainment in town and often feature swingin' oldies music, too.
Q: Grandma loves to gamble. Where should she go?
A: If grandma likes bingo, the Gold Coast should be her first stop -- it's the most popular bingo joint in town. For a complete list of bingo parlors, check out the bingo guide. If she's looking for gambling without the pressure of hardcore gamblers, tell her to check out the Station Casinos (Aliante, Boulder Station, Palace Station, Red Rock Resort,Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Green Valley Ranch, Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho and Fiesta Henderson). The Station Casinos also offer some snazzy gifts for slot club members. Downtown also is a great place to find bargains; insiders say the buy-in for table games is less expensive.
Q: The grandparents want to see a Vegas show. What should they see?
A: The grandparents might enjoy the "The Rat Pack Is Back" at the Rio. If grandma and grandpa are more into Motown, then we have just the show for them Hitzville at Planet Hollywood revistis some of Motown's greatest hits songs and performers.
Beatles fans will enjoy LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, a tribute to the legendary band.
Q: My parents like to see the sights of Vegas without the craziness. Where can they go?
A: Vegas is more than lights and liquor. Visit Las Vegas' birthplace, the Springs Preserve. The 180-acre cultural and historical attraction is the site of a series of natural springs used by the first people to call the Las Vegas valley home. While the springs dried up in 1962, the Springs Preserve features state-of-the art displays that trace the history of the Las Vegas valley, wildlife displays, an extensive garden featuring cactus and other plants, and much more. While you are there enjoy lunch at the Springs Café, a restaurant operated by Wolfgang Puck. Your parents should take a tasty and unique tour of the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden, located in nearby Henderson. They can tour the factory for free, sample a piece of chocolate at the end of the tour (they can buy more candy if they can't resist), then tour the botanical garden, which houses some of the desert's most precious species.
For a peaceful afternoon trip, they will love the pleasant, village-like atmosphere that The District at Green Valley Ranch has to offer. Here, they can choose from a number of quaint shops and cozy restaurants. They might also enjoy the more than 150 shops and dozen restaurants in the village-like atmosphere of Town Square.
If mom and dad are animal lovers, they won't want to miss the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage. The Secret Garden features six different showcases of lions, tigers and leopards, while guests can get up close and personal with the spunky dolphins in the Dolphin Habitat research facility. This, as well as the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, is also a great place to take the grandchildren.
If mom and dad are art lovers, they will want to be sure to take a stroll though Wynn Las Vegas and the adjoining Encore, where art is everywhere. They also might enjoy the Gallery of Fine Art at the Bellagio.
For a trip down auto-memory lane, head over to the Auto Collections at The Quad. More than 350 classic cars are on display -- some are even available for purchase. Make sure they stop by and see the exquisite floral display at the Bellagio Conservatory, which is conveniently located near the valet and parking garage. If those attractions aren't enough, check out the Fremont Street Experience, which is vintage Vegas. There are also many other free attractions in Las Vegas.
Q: Now that we've trekked all over Vegas, grandpa's tummy is rumbling. What restaurants offer senior-citizen discounts?
A: To satisfy any appetite and to appease any frugal spender, try one of Vegas' famous buffets, which often offer a senior-citizen discount. Call before you stand in line to see whether the price cut is worth the wait. Many cafés in hotel properties offer senior-citizen discounts as well.
Q: Forget the slots, my grandparents are here for a different kind of green. Where are the golf courses?
A: For a complete guide to area golf courses, take a swing at our golf guide. But we'd advise against heading out during the heat of mid- and late-afternoon during the summer.
Q: How about swimming pools?
A: For a complete guide to Las Vegas pools, dive into our pool directory. Remind mom and dad to wear plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
Q: My parents have never seen the Grand Canyon. How do we get there?
A: We highly recommend seeing the Grand Canyon as well as the Hoover Dam, the Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon. There are plenty of opportunities for recreation in the Las Vegas area. And why not leave the driving to someone else? Take a bus tour, relax and enjoy these natural and man-made wonders.
Q: Grandma and grandpa won't go anywhere without their RV. Is there anywhere to park it?
Q: My parents are excited about their Vegas trip, but I'm a little nervous about their medical needs. Are there any tips you can offer?
A: First of all, be sure to carry bottled water. Nothing is worse than all-day walking in the 115-degree heat without hydration. Second, for non-emergency medical needs, there is a CVS drugstore located near the Monte Carlo and a Walgreens located at the Palazzo and another one near Encore on the Strip. If your parents need a wheelchair or other medical supplies such as oxygen, please refer to this helpful list of suppliers.
Q: Before they leave, my parents want to buy inexpensive gifts for the grandkids who don't live in Vegas. What store won't dip into the grandkids' inheritance?
A: Have them do some shopping at the Bonanza Gift Shop located on the Strip. They're sure to find some trinkets that will keep the kids happy. Kids will also love anything from M&M's World at the Showcase Mall on the Strip.