Part I of this series on recommended childcare facilities for visitors focused on hotels offering their own childcare facilities on the premises. Assuming the hotel itself is not too inconveniently situated for the family's other activities, this option is the most convenient since all the parents have to do is drop off their children at the facility within the hotel and pick them up later. There is no need to do any research on alternative childcare arrangements or to travel to a facility somewhere else. In fact, parents are not even allowed to leave the premises while the child is in care, which is somewhat of a disadvantage because it greatly restricts their own activities.
Part II of this series focused on other hotels which do not provide their own on-site childcare facility (which is true of the vast majority of hotels in the Las Vegas area and all of the Strip hotels), but do arrange for an outside babysitter to come to the hotel. Since most of the better hotels have a concierge or other staff person who will try to accommodate guests who have this request, we limited our recommendations to those which offer other child-friendly amenities and services. This option, unlike the first, includes hotels on or near the Las Vegas Strip, which most visitors find more convenient, while at the same time giving parents the freedom to leave the hotel while their children are in care. The disadvantages are that an individual babysitter cannot provide anywhere near the same range of activities as a group facility or the opportunity to play and interact with other children in a social setting.
This article will focus on another option, drop off centers where you can leave your children for an hour, a few hours or longer, and pick them up later. We were surprised that in contrast to the numerous childcare centers where parents who live and work in Las Vegas can drop off their kids daily, single visit options for visitors are apparently almost nonexistent. The childcare centers for children who have a permanent residence in Las Vegas are mostly special facilities that are part of extended hour-preschools that stay open very late (sometimes 24 hours) to accommodate the varied work shifts of their parents. The children can play, eat, and sleep at the center after class until their parents can pick them up. These centers do not accept any children who do not live in Vegas or only need looking after once in a while.
We found two exceptions: Fidgets Indoor Playground and Kinderland Indoor Play and Café. Both are licensed facilities where parents can drop off their children for short-term care and supervised activity. Both fall into the category of indoor playgrounds.
Fidgets Indoor Playground
Located approximately 30 minutes by car from the Las Vegas Strip, Fidgets Indoor Playground is a reasonably priced childcare facility offering a safe, clean, and fun playing environment for children ages 1 to 6 years old. Children play only with other kids their own age, so there is no problem of being bullied by older kids. Read more about Fidgets Indoor Playground.
Kinderland Indoor Play and Café
Located approximately 20 minutes by car from the Las Vegas Strip, Kinderland Indoor Play and Café is an indoor play area for infants and children age 6 years old and younger located in the Summerlin section of Las Vegas. It is a family owned business, offering, safe, fun, interactive activities for young children in a secure and clean environment. All nannies have passed a background check and are CPR certified. Read more on Kinderland Indoor Play and Café
Advantages and Disadvantages of Childcare Centers Where You Can Drop Off Your Children
One disadvantage is that these centers, or indoor playgrounds, only accept very young children (infants to age 6). So if you have school-age children or teenagers, these facilities won't work. Possibly a teenager could hang around the lounge area and watch a younger sibling at play for a short period of time like an hour, but if asked to do so any longer that, a teenager would get bored. A second disadvantage is that the centers are only open during the day and not at all on Sunday, so you will have to plan your own schedule accordingly. Obviously, if you have an evening activity planned, this particular childcare arrangement won't work. The only other disadvantage to using a drop off center is that you may have to travel a little out of your way to get to the facility twice, first to drop off your children and later, to pick them up.
On the other hand, childcare centers where you can drop off your children offer several advantages. The first is that the activities are comparable to what you would find in the hotel-based childcare centers, including the opportunity that a private babysitter or nanny cannot offer to play and socialize with other children. However, you are not required to remain in the immediate area. You can take off and do what you want elsewhere, as long as you and the center have an understanding on when you will return. Meanwhile, you can relax, knowing that your child is safe and in good hands. The cost is also much cheaper than a private babysitter, which is another big plus.