From the classic midway and free circus acts under the pink-and-white big top to the thrilling rides in The Adventuredome, Circus Circus -- with its inexpensive rooms -- has been a family favorite since it opened in 1968.
For kids and kids at heart, bare basics but fun, a circus with gambling
OK parents, this is the plain and simple truth: Your kids will never be bored here. With so many different forms of amusement, we guarantee the last thing you'll ever hear at Circus Circus is that all-too-familiar chorus of "We're bored. What can we do?"
The Horse-A-Round Snack Bar is the coolest snack bar ever. Imagine eating cotton candy on a carousel that slowly rotates above the casino floor. You can also see the free live circus acts on the midway stage from here. Once upon a time, this snack bar was a regular bar and you could order a stiff drink instead of lemonade (Hey all you Hunter S. Thompson fans, we know you wept the day they changed this.), but it's still a one-of-a-kind spot in Vegas to kick back in.
Who doesn't want to spend a small fortune trying to win a giant stuffed Minion, Scooby Doo or whatever character your child is into? Just kidding...we can assure you that you'll have a blast squirting water guns, shooting basketballs and throwing rings at the more than 200 carnival games in Circus Circus' classic midway.
We know it looks like kookiness incarnate (as no self-respecting architect would design a giant pink glass dome with a five-acre theme park beneath it), but the The Adventuredome is loads of fun and full of thrills for all ages with more than 20 rides.
As you might expect from something called the Manor Motor Lodge, the rooms are the cheapest, but also the smallest, least modern and least convenient. Housed in several three-story motel-style buildings that are detached from the property, you'll have to walk a good ways (including across a four-lane street) to get into Circus Circus' lobby and casino.
All rooms at the hotel are non-smoking; be prepared to pay a $250 cleaning fee if you light up. Smoke in designated areas, like the casino.
For a better location, consider the still small yet very affordable rooms in the Skyrise Tower. They're perfect if you've got a group of kids in tow because they're close to both The Adventuredome and the resort's pools. For a splurge, the Casino Tower was remodeled in 2012. Located above the casino, its rooms are larger and come with more modern comforts like 40-inch flat-screen TVs.
While the resort is really kid-friendly, the selection of pools (just two) is not. They are not particularly big and only accessible from the Skyrise Tower, which is a long way from the casino. In the summer months you'll find that sitting by these pools feels like you're sitting in a sea bodies.
If you have an allergy to children, this hotel is not for you. Just in case you're a bit slow on the uptake and missed this point from everything written above -- expect to see a lot of kids at Circus Circus.
Circus Circus has a slew of family-friendly restaurants that won't cost you an arm and a leg -- from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to the Pizzeria and Circus Buffet. Just don't expect to get a steak or even a burger at 2 a.m. Since Circus Circus is so family-oriented, most of the restaurants close at 10 or 11 p.m. on weekdays. Although restaurants do stay open later on weekends, we advise you not to wait until the wee hours to get dinner or your options may be limited to one -- the 24-hour Westside Deli.
Circus Circus is a long way from the center and south Strip's popular attractions. This distance isn't walkable. If you haven't got a car, your best option is to hop on a double-decker Deuce bus (the kids will love riding on top), which has a stop outside the resort's main entrance.
You can park in one of three garages at Circus Circus. The Skyrise Tower has its own dedicated garage whereas the other two garages form something of an "L" shape at the resort's congested south end. Use the one closest to the hotel because it has enclosed walkways (on the first floor that leads inside to check-in and on the second floor that goes into The Adventuredome).