Aria Resort & Casino
The Aria Resort and casino is a luxurious 4-star hotel located in the center of the Las Vegas Strip. The massive 4,004 room property opened in December, 2009. The Aria is the largest hotel of the magnificent City Center complex, which also contains two non-casino hotels, the Vdara and the Mandarin Oriental. A free City Center tram stops at the high end Crystal Shops at the Aria, which connects this hotel to the Monte Carlo and Bellagio.
Another Aria feature that may interest you is that it is one of the multiple MGM resort properties in Las Vegas. Holders of the M Life players' rewards card should present the card every time they play in the Aria Casino or any other participating casino to try to earn comps to cover some of the high costs of staying at this hotel. Keep in mind that this casino's guidelines are quite high, so unless your play is at a host-worthy level, little, if anything, will be picked up. But it certainly doesn't hurt to try, and you may get offers in the mail for special deals on a future trip.
Child Friendly Activities
If you are looking for a child-friendly hotel in Las Vegas, the Aria is not one of the first places that comes to mind. However, with careful planning, kids can enjoy their stay, especially if they avail themselves of the following amenities:
- A family-friendly outdoor swimming pool. Lifeguards are on duty to assure your children's safety. You can also rent a raft for $15/day, or, for a substantially greater cost, rent a cabana with a flat screen TV and enough room for the whole family.
- Connectivity panel in the room to hook up video games that can be rented from the hotel concierge.
- Small kid-friendly arcade located close to the guest elevators on the Promenade level. The Sweet Chill ice cream parlor close by will also get your kids' attention.
- The Cirque du Soleil show Zarkana. Ticket prices range from $69 to $180 for this 90 minute extravaganza.
The Aria concierge can help you arrange many other activities that will appeal to your children. If you have the time to take a day trip, you might consider an outing to such destinations as the Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, and Hoover Dam. There are also many child-friendly activities not in the Aria itself, but very close by. For example, at the Bellagio next door, any child would be dazzled by the dancing water fountains choreographed to music and the natural wonders of the Bellagio Conservatory. Other attractions your kids would enjoy that are a quick Deuce bus or cab ride away are M&Ms World at the MGM Grand and the Big Apple Roller Coaster and Hershey's Chocolate World at New York-New York. At the Excalibur Hotel, just south of New York-New York, your kids will be eager to check out Fun Dungeon, an arcade filled with 150 games suitable even for young children. Late afternoon would be an ideal time to go, after which the whole family can take a trip back to Medieval Times with the long-running Tournament of Kings dinner show.
The Aria does not offer its own childcare services, but no worries. The management will see to it that your children are well taken care of while you are enjoying amenities at the resort (or other places around town) that are strictly for adults. The concierge can arrange a babysitting service through Nannies and Housekeepers U.S.A. The licensed babysitter will come to the hotel and keep your children entertained with toys and books.
Child Friendly Restaurants
The Aria specializes in high-end dining and, unfortunately, does not offer many options for a quick snack on the go. However, two of the restaurant, the Aria Café and the Buffet have items that will appeal to children.
This family-friendly restaurant is the largest 24/7 eatery on the Strip. The atmosphere is comfortable and relaxing, and the floor to ceiling windows provide a panoramic view.
The Aria Buffet
The Aria Buffet is another good option. However, be prepared for long lines, and keep in mind that, like all Aria restaurants, it is pricey. The following are the hours and prices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Breakfast Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. - $19.99
- Lunch Monday-Friday 11a.m. to 3 pm. - $23.99
- Brunch Sat. and Sun. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. -$29.99
- Dinner Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. - $34.99
- Dinner Friday-Sunday 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. - $39.99
- Children ages 3 and under, eat free. (Read about more free buffets for children)
The Shops at Crystals
The Shops at Crystals are primarily geared toward adults wishing to treat themselves to top-of-the-line designer clothes and other luxury items. However, there is at least one store that carries clothing for kids. If anyone should know what kinds of clothing kids like, it is Angelina Jolie, and Kids Clothing Line Angelina Jolie is the result of a joint effort by Angelina Jolie, fashion designer Stella McCartney and Disney. You can find her clothes at the Stella McCartney shop at Crystals.
Crystals also offers a few kid-friendly eateries: Pinkberry's (for frozen yogurt), Bobby's Burger Palace, and Cucina (for pizza and pasta).
Another reason to visit Crystals is to take in the magnificent art galleries. The galleries offer a unique opportunity to expand your children's horizons and add depth to their Las Vegas experience through the appreciation of fine art. The Art of Richard MacDonald presented by Cirque du Soleil includes a 49-foot waterwall and more than 100 original bronze sculptures, paintings, and drawings. The Camelot Galleries feature antique and contemporary European art work, including hand woven rugs and handmade furniture. The Rodney Lough, Jr. Wilderness Collection presents award-winning photographs of magnificent landscapes all over the world. The Gallery featuring Dale Chihuly includes spectacular creations made out of glass.
Summing Up: Is the Aria Child-Friendly?
The best answer to that question is yes and no, depending on your budget, what your priorities are, the ages of your children, and the kinds of activities that they would find enjoyable.
These are some of the negatives that should be considered, which could rule out the Aria for some families.
- Everything at the hotel—rooms, meals, entertainment—is expensive. There is also a $28 per day resort fee
- Relatively few places in the hotel to grab a quick bite, and even those eateries are upscale and pricey for what they offer
- Long lines for restaurants and taxis
On the other hand, if you can afford the Aria, you and your family won't be disappointed. The Center Strip location could not be more convenient, and the services and amenities within the hotel are outstanding, including all of the following:
- Extra-large rooms with panoramic views
- Large flat screen TVs and free Wi-Fi
- Cribs are available on request for free
- Concierge at your beck and call to make suggestions and arrangements to help make everyone's stay more enjoyable