When the Mirage Hotel and Casino opened its doors on November 22, 1989, it became the first of a long line of mega resorts to appear on the Las Vegas Strip. The Mirage is ideally situated in the center of the Strip on the site previously occupied by the Castaways Hotel and Casino. The creation of the Mirage was noteworthy because it precipitated two decades of unprecedented growth in spectacular new casino resorts in Las Vegas and elsewhere, some of which are much grander and fancier than the Mirage. But at the time, the Mirage, built at a cost of a then unheard of $620 million, was the most luxurious hotel in Las Vegas. It was also the first place to open in Las Vegas that qualified as a complete resort rather than just a casino and a place to sleep and eat.
In fact, when Steve Wynn first came up with the idea for the hotel, he gave a lot of thought to the name. He wanted it to be in keeping with his vision to create a resort not only unlike any other in existence, but one which logically didn't belong in the Las Vegas desert at all. That is why he chose to call his innovative casino resort the Mirage.
Wynn no longer owns either the Mirage or the adjoining Treasure Island Hotel and Casino he built later, as he sold both properties in 2000 to MGM Resorts. Treasure Island was later sold to entrepreneur Phil Ruffin, but as of this writing, MGM Resorts International still owns the Mirage along with multiple other Las Vegas casino properties. How long the Mirage will remain under MGM ownership remains to be seen, however. There are rumors that the property may be purchased by Starwood Capital Group, former owners of the now closed Riviera Hotel and Casino.
Apart from whatever new changes the future may bring to this hotel, the Mirage, like many other casino hotels along the Las Vegas Strip has already undergone many changes over the years. But it has not lost its appeal to families. While the original Siegfried and Roy tiger show had to close down in 2003 due to Roy's serious injury, children of all ages continue to be mesmerized by the Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat on the hotel grounds. The volcano that erupts twice nightly (three times nightly on weekends) outside the main entrance and sharks and tropical fish swimming around in the 20 gallon aquarium in the lobby do not go unnoticed either.
The Mirage is a large hotel including over 3,000 rooms. Accommodations vary considerably from ordinary rooms that are quite small to spectacular suites and lavish villas. But considering the convenient location and many amenities this hotel has to offer, staying at the Mirage is not as expensive as you might think. Good deals are not hard to find, particularly during the off season. The following is an example of the kinds of accommodations that might be suitable for a family and the approximate price per night that you can expect to pay. Keep in mind that the quoted prices do not include taxes and daily resort fees. Additional beds or cribs are also extra.
Resort Queen Room - 394 square feet
This room contains two queen sized beds with Sealy Posturepedic pillow top mattresses. (There is also a Resort King Room that is the same size but with just one king sized bed.) The description of the room on the website states that it accommodates up to 4 guests, but the size of these rooms may be too small to comfortably fit additional beds. Therefore, for a family, booking two adjoining rooms may be necessary. In addition to the beds, the Resort Queen Room offers the following amenities:
- Feather down pillows (Request hypoallergenic pillows instead if anyone in your family has allergies.)
- 42" flatscreen LED TV
- Blackout shades
- Iron and ironing board
- Hair dryer
- Standard toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion)
- Oversized backlit vanity mirror
- In-room safe
- Alarm clock
- Hi-speed Wi-Fi
- iPod ready iPhone dock
- Property-wide wireless Internet access
- Access to the fitness center
During December, these rooms are available on weekdays for as little as $65/night and during the remainder of the winter, rooms are available on select weekdays for $79/night, although at other times the prices can be substantially higher. Also expect to pay a little more if you want a Strip view. If you book well in advance, even during the busier times of year, you should be able to get a good price.
Two Bedroom Tower Suite - 1,628 square feet
If your family requires more spacious accommodations, those can be arranged, starting with suites, and moving up from there to two bedroom penthouse, lanai, and villa, but at the upper end, the prices reach the stratosphere. Surprisingly, there are one bedroom tower suites that despite dimensions of 1,251 square feet, list the maximum number of guests as only two. However, two adults with two kids can comfortably fit into the 1,628 square feet two bedroom tower suite, which also includes two bathrooms and a separate living room and dining room and accommodates up to four guests. In addition to all of the above-listed amenities for the Resort Rooms, the brightly colored Two Bedroom Tower Suite includes all of the following:
- Floor to ceiling windows and sweeping views
- King-sized bed with Sealy pillow top mattress in each bedroom
- Large living room and dining area separated from the bedrooms by double doors
- 2 full size bathrooms
- Dual sink vanity
- Soaking tub and separate walk-in shower
- Plush robes and slippers
- Refrigerator with icemaker
- Wet-bar/refreshment center
- LED TVs in each bedroom and in bathrooms and living room
- Sound-bar with DVD/CD/MP3 Player, USB Port and Faux Surround Sound capabilities
This is a lot of luxury, but you will have to pay at least $290/night to enjoy it. Also, there is only one bed per room, so families with more than one child will still need to have an extra bed or crib brought up. The cost for same is $30/night.
The Mirage also offers a choice of standard accessible and fully accessible rooms at about the same cost as comparable size accommodations for non-handicapped guests.The standard accessible rooms offer all of the following special amenities:
- Electronic drapery controls, heating and air conditioning control. Electric switches and outlets are 29 inches from the floor.
- Lower peep holes in guestroom doors
- Lower closet rods
- Fire alarm with light
- Touch floor lamps
- Push button nightstand lamps
- In-room refrigerator, upon request
- Foam "egg crate" bedpads, upon request
- Telephone with amplified headset, upon request
- Door knock light, upon request
- Vibrating alarm clock, upon request
In addition, the bathrooms are specially designed with lower towel bars and amenity holders and an accessible sink, commode, and shower. There is also a safety bar surrounding the shower and commode.
Fully Accessible rooms offer all of the same features, along with the following extra features to accommodate guests in wheelchairs.
- Handimover electronic bedroom lift, enabling transfer from a wheelchair to the bed with or without assistance from a companion. The bed is lowered to height of 22 inches above the floor.
- Handimover electronic lift in the bathroom, enabling transfer from a wheelchair to the commode or shower bench with or without the assistance of a companion..
- Roll-in shower available with padded shower bench
- Bathroom phones.
In addition, guests who need wheelchairs can obtain them from the Bell Desk. Standard wheelchairs are free while there is a daily fee for motorized wheelchairs.
Depending on the season, special money saving offers may be available online. The current Winter Offer includes both a $50 dining credit at any MGM restaurant along with an upgrade to a room with a view. Rooms must be booked by February 29, 2016 and are subject to availability and exclude certain blackout dates. Rates are based on single or double occupancy and standard taxes and daily resort fees apply. A one night deposit with a credit card is require to secure the reservation.
Another way to save money is to book your flight and hotel room at the Mirage together. See www.mgmresortsvacations.com for details.
Be sure to mention all special requests such as a nonsmoking or handicapped accessible room or a room on a high floor, with a view, or near the elevator at the time of your reservation. Note that none of the rooms come with a coffeepot or microwave, and most don't come with a refrigerator either, although the latter can be requested. Ordinarily there is a charge for a refrigerator, but if you indicate it is for health reasons like to store special foods or medications, the charge will be waived. One thing you should not do is use the mini-bar as a refrigerator for your own items. Simply opening the door and moving items around to create more room will result in your incurring an extra charge. Lastly, you need to make sure that the accommodations you select adequately meet the needs of everyone in your family. We suggest you try to get any important questions answered before you make your reservation and, if you have special needs or requests, to talk to the concierge. This is the same person who will probably be helping you again after your arrival with dining reservations, show tickets, tour reservations, and transportation arrangements. The concierge can be reached by phone at 1-888-891-3991 or 1-702-791-7416.
Check-in time is 3 p.m. and check-out time is 11 a.m. If early check-in or late check-out is desired, simply inquire and see if the hotel can accommodate you.
Keep in mind that all guests at the Mirage are charged a mandatory daily resort fee of $33.60 ($32.48 plus tax). The fee is intended to cover the following services and amenities whether you use them or not.
- In-room and property wide wireless Internet access
- Access to the Fitness Center at the Mirage Spa
- Unlimited local and toll-free phone calls
- Complimentary notary service, outgoing faxes, and boarding pass printing
As a member of the MGM Resorts International group of casinos, the Mirage Hotel and Casino offers its guests and players all of the benefits of the M-Life program. If you have an M-Life card and are already a rated player at the Mirage or any of the other member casinos, there is a strong likelihood that you will be offered a lower rate than that quoted on the website. Or maybe you will even be invited to stay for free. If you have a host or feel your play is worthy of a host, you should check at least a few weeks in advance of your trip to see what the hotel can do for you. Otherwise, even if your recent play has been minimal, you might still be on the casino's list to receive special offers by mail or email. Or if you haven't received any offers in a while, contact Card Services anyway and inquire.
If you don't have an M Life card yet, you can get one free of charge as soon as you arrive at the hotel. You are under no obligation to play if you don't want to, but if you do play, always present the card because any rated play in any M-Life casino counts towards possible comps that can be used for food, shows, and the like. You can charge these costs to your room and at the end of your stay, maybe some of them will be picked up. But if not, you still come out ahead by being placed on the casino's mailing list for future special offers.
While the casino and a few other areas of the Mirage like the clubs and an adults only pool called "Bare" are off limits to children, the Mirage is probably otherwise one of the most child-friendly hotels in Las Vegas. These are some of the many things your kids can enjoy as guests of the Mirage.
All of the major Las Vegas hotels have pools, but Mirage is the coolest place to be outdoors in Vegas because at least one of its heated pools is open all year. While the main pool may be closed in the winter months for maintenance, the small pool and Jacuzzi remain open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. So all guests who want to swim and relax in the picturesque setting of palm trees and waterfalls can do so. If your family visits Vegas in January, the outside temperature may be a lot closer to 50 degrees than 100 degrees, but if you stay at the Mirage, your kids can enjoy the pool every day.
During the rest of the year, the main pool is open, too, the hours are extended, and the area really comes alive. However, admittance is strictly limited to Mirage guests only, which keeps out the rowdy locals and makes the atmosphere more peaceful and family friendly than at some of the other Vegas pools, not just in the mornings, but all day long. Of, course, like all the Las Vegas pools, the Mirage pool tends to get very crowded from midday on in the summer. Some guests have complained about the chairs being too close together.
When the main pool is open, inner tubes, rafts, and other pool toys can be rented. The Paradise Café is also open, so your family can have breakfast or lunch poolside. Complimentary fruit infused water is another nice touch.
If you prefer a more luxurious and private setting for your family, you can rent a cabana. Each cabana comes with a ceiling fan and misting system, private patio and chaise lounges, a 32" flatscreen TV, iPod docking station, Bose Wave radio, safe, mini-refrigerator, and complimentary water, soda, and a fruit and cheese plate. A personal cabana host will take your other food and beverage orders and deliver them directly to you. Reservations should be made through the concierge.
Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
Las Vegas attractions come and go, but one that should endure forever or at least as long as the Mirage Hotel, because it is intrinsically associated with it, is Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. This world famous oasis in the desert which has been a fixture at the Mirage since 1990, was the creation of legendary illusionists Siegfried and Roy and showcases their dedication to animals in a unique and unforgettable experience that is both educational and entertaining. Lush greenery and jungle themed music will put the whole family in the mood as you wander through the Secret Garden and admire and learn about white tigers and lions, leopards, and other endangered species. The adjacent Dolphin Habitat includes an underwater viewing area, shaded seating, and a café. Both the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat have a gift shop where you can purchase mementoes of your visit. The Dolphin Shop also has children's books, toys, plush animals, and logo apparel.
The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is open year-round. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m.-5p.m. The last admission is at 4 p.m., but you will need at least an hour, if not more, to fully appreciate this place. An all day pass costs $22 for adults and $17 for children age 4-12. Admission is free for children age 3 and under. All children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Note that for a limited time only, through 2/29/16, your family can take advantage of a $5 coupon on the Mirage website good for each all day admission pass purchased. The pass is good all day long with re-entry permitted. Included in the price of admission is the opportunity to view recently added tiger cubs in a special nursery between noon and 4 p.m. daily.
If any of your children are animal lovers age 8 years and older who might be interested in learning how the animals at the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat are cared for, consider booking a VIP tour. For more information, call 1-702-791-7416.
Another great deal is the 3 for $57 package. Choose any three of the following for only $57 per person!
- Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
- BODIES: The Exhibition at the Luxor
- Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor
- SCORE! Interactive Sports Exhibit at the Luxor
- Adventuredome Theme Park at Circus Circus
- CSI: The Exhibit at MGM Grand
- Big Apple Roller Coaster at NY-NY
- Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay
If you tell your kids that every night a volcano erupts with fire, smoke, and lava right in front of their hotel, they won't believe you until they see it for themselves. Head outside the main entrance Sunday-Thursday evening just before 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. or Friday or Saturday just before 7 p.m., 8 p.m., or 9 p.m. Those the times when, whether permitting, you can see this incredible man-made spectacle during the winter. The times are an hour later during the warmer months. The volcano used to erupt every half hour from dusk to midnight, but as of July, 2015, the hotel cut back the viewing times to save costs. Sadly, this is just one example of the growing trend of Las Vegas casino hotels to cut down on free entertainment. The free tram between the Mirage and Treasure Island still exists, but the free pirate show that used to draw big crowds of all ages to the TI nightly is now a part of Las Vegas history.
The Mirage is not a big shopping mecca, but if all you are looking for are everyday necessities or a few souvenirs to take home, its shops will serve the purpose. Your best bets for kids' items are the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat Shops. Otherwise, you can try these places.
Essentials and Essentials II: Open 24/7 for sundries, snacks, beverages, candy, newspapers and magazines and Mirage logo merchandise.
The Beatles Shop: This place has all of the Beatles and Cirque du Soleil merchandise your kids could possibly want.
For more extensive shopping, two huge malls are very close by: the Caesars Forum Shops and the Fashion Show Mall (take the free tram to Treasure Island and walk one block north along the Strip).
LOVE by Cirque du Soleil
What child doesn't love the timeless music of the Beatles? Like all Cirque du Soleil shows, LOVE is a complete package of music, choreography, and acrobatics, and this particular show should delight audiences of all ages. Children must be at least 5 years of age to attend.
Since the show has been running for a long time, you should not have a problem getting tickets for the night of your choice, although purchasing ahead of time is recommended. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. most nights of the year. Prices are not cheap ($79 and up), but special money saving offers can be found online. Another good place to go for discounted tickets is Tix4Tonite, conveniently located at the Fashion Show Mall within easy walking distance of the hotel.
Terry Fator Show
Terry Fator was a winner on the TV show America's Got Talent, so you know this ventriloquist's performances are going to be first rate. Fator is an accomplished comedian and singer who makes use of puppets to do impressions of celebrities. All year round guests can catch his performances at the Mirage most evenings at 7:30 p.m., but during the month of December he puts on a special holiday show called "A Very Terry Christmas." Unlike many other shows in Vegas, you will have no qualms about taking your kids to see Terry Fator. His shows are perfect for the whole family. Currently the Mirage is offering a 30% discount on tickets for select performances. Discounted tickets are also are available at Tix4Tonite.
Child Friendly Activities Nearby
There are more than enough child appropriate activities going on at the Mirage itself to keep your children happily entertained without even leaving the hotel. But being that the Mirage is smack in the middle of the Strip and close to a lot of other hotel casinos, you should try to make time to take advantage of some of what these other places have to offer, too. All of the following are just a short walk away, so no need to spend money on taxis.
- Free Dancing Fountains Show outside the hotel
- Botanical Gardens and Conservatory
- "O" by Cirque du Soleil
- Caesars Forum Shops: Every type of shop and restaurant imaginable plus the not-to be missed free spectacle, Fall of Atlantis
- Headliner entertainment at the Colosseum: Celine Dion or Mariah Carey
- Flamingo Wild Life Habitat
- Headliner entertainment in the Showroom: Donny and Marie or Olivia Newton-John
- Legends in Concert: You can't go wrong with this long-running tribute show featuring impersonations of celebrities past and present, especially since there is special reduced pricing for children.
- Mac King Comedy and Magic Show: An afternoon delight for the whole family
- Big Elvis: See this Elvis impersonator perform FREE in the Piano Lounge Monday, Wednesday, or Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., or 5 p.m.
- Million Dollar Quartet: Another musical show the whole family will enjoy
- High Roller: the world's tallest observation wheel
- LINQ outdoor entertainment, dining, and shopping mall
- Auto Collection featuring more than 250 noteworthy cars
- Free Mirage-TI Tram
- Mystere by Cirque du Soleil
- Two great places to eat very close to both the tram entrance and the Mystere Theater are Pizzeria Francesco's: Individual slices or whole pies made to order. Some of the best pizza on the Strip and Malena's Yogurt Plus: Serving frozen yogurt, ice cream, waffles, sandwiches, cookies, and more.
- Street performers: The Grand Canal Shoppes are worth a visit not just for the shopping and dining options, but also for continuous free entertainment, including dancers, stilt walkers, and even living statues. Also, every hour on the hour from noon to 6 p.m., a 15 minute show called Carnevale di Venezia takes place on St. Mark's Square where costumed performers interact with the children in the audience, and that show is also free.
- Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum: Kids always get in for a discounted price, and more discounts are available online.
Clearly, between the Mirage itself and all of surrounding hotels, family activities and entertainment are plentiful. But you will probably also want to enjoy a little alone time away from your kids, and if so, you need to give careful thought to where and how your children are going to be cared for in your absence. The Mirage does not offer any childcare or organized children's activities on the premises. However, the hotel recommends Nannies & Housekeepers USA., and if you give your approval, the concierge will make the arrangements on your behalf.
Nannies & Housekeepers USA is a licensed, bonded, and insured service that has received consistently positive reviews. All of their nannies have at least two years of experience, are CPR and first-aid certified, and have passed the important background, reference, and screening checks. Nannies can be requested anytime their service is needed to come to the hotel to look after your kids. However, the service is not cheap, so you need to ask yourself if you can afford the minimum of $180 that a single booking will cost you. The fixed rate is $45/hour for up to three children, with a four hour minimum. For more information about Nannies & Housekeepers USA,, see the article "Recommended Childcare in Las Vegas: Children with Special Needs elsewhere on this website or call 1-702-451-0021 or visit the Nannies & Housekeepers USA website www.nahusa.com.
Alternatively, if you are looking for childcare that is more affordable, you might consider taking your kids to a children's drop-off center. There are several articles on this website on the subject of Las Vegas childcare which discuss this option and a few others.
The Mirage has lots of restaurants, but only about half of them are family friendly, and those tend to be on the expensive side. The following are the places within the hotel that would probably be the best choices. Keep in mind that there are plenty of other cheaper options nearby, including the Fashion Show Mall just down the street from Treasure Island. Caesars Palace also has some surprisingly affordable full service restaurants, some of which, like Serendipity 3 and the Cheesecake Factory, have special kids menus. Also, your kids won't mind at all going to McDonald's across the street for a couple of meals.
This is the new 24/hour restaurant at the Mirage. It is close to the guest elevators, so it is the first place to eat you will see when leaving your room, but not necessarily the best place. The restaurant has lots of small tables only seating two, and the chairs with no cushioning whatsoever, look very uncomfortable. That leaves the only viable option for families the booths along the walls. The décor is also very minimalist and lacking in color.
One nice feature is that breakfast items can be ordered 24/7. However, the menus are very ambitious and clearly designed with adults in mind rather than children. All dishes are a la carte, and there is no special pricing for children. Figure on spending upwards of $20 for each person in your family. Some possible breakfast choices are cereal, pancakes, or for big appetites the All American Breakfast (2 eggs any style with a choice of meat) or an Omelet Lorraine (ham and cheese omelet), both of which come with smashed browns and toast.
The non-breakfast menu is served from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and also includes a few child-friendly dishes like soup, a grilled cheese sandwich, and a Backyard Burger.
Cravings is open for breakfast and/or brunch and dinner daily, or basically whenever you get a craving for a hearty meal. The hours and prices for adults and for children ages 5-10, as reported by www.lasvegasrestaurants.com, are shown below. Unfortunately, the Mirage website does not post prices for this or any restaurant, so it is possible that the current prices are slightly higher than indicated here. Children under age 5 eat free!
This is a branch of the world famous deli by the same name in NYC. Hours of operation are 7 days a week 8 a.m.-11 p.m. So you can come for any meal you like, including breakfast.
The deli is most famous for its overstuffed sandwiches. Keep in mind that you are paying extra for the name. Thus, for example, a "footlong" hot dog costs $8.99, burgers cost $11.99 (with cheese, bacon, and onions all extra), and omelets cost around $15. Sandwich prices vary considerably, starting at $9.99 for a grilled cheese all the way to $29.99 for a 3-decker. A hot pastrami or corned beef sandwich costs $19.99. The sandwiches are huge, but unfortunately there is a $3.00 surcharge for sharing. Save money by getting your kids the Combo Special, consisting of a half sandwich with a choice of coleslaw, potato salad, or chips, and a fountain drink.
This upscale burger joint is open from 11 a.m. until the wee hours of the morning. The milkshakes, with names like the Lunch Box (vanilla ice cream and PB&J), Nut Job (vanilla ice cream, Nutella, and slivered almonds), and Monkey Business (vanilla ice cream, bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate), will be as hard to resist as the burgers.
This place is not cheap. A burger, fries, and shake will set you back over $20/person. Budget-conscious travelers can go to McDonald's across the street.
California Pizza Kitchen
This popular pizza chain is not only a very good choice for families, but one of the more reasonably priced places to eat at the Mirage. Hours of operation are Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-midnight and Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m. While pizza is by no means the only item on the menu, that is probably what this restaurant does best. There are 18 varieties to choose from, so surely most families can find one or two to agree on for sharing.
Blizz Frozen Yogurt
Blizz Frozen Yogurt, located in the hotel promenade, is open Sun.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. 9 a.m.-midnight. Kids will have fun creating their own sundaes with whatever combinations of yogurt flavors and toppings suit their fancy. Waffles, crepes, and smoothies are other options.
Summing Up: Is the Mirage Child-Friendly?
If we were to rank all of the Las Vegas casino-hotels in terms of child friendliness, we would place the Mirage at or near the top of the list. Between the year-round swimming, Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, erupting volcano, and family friendly restaurants and entertainment, what is there not to like about the Mirage if you are a kid? Of course, every hotel has its negatives as well as its positives. These are a few of the areas where the Mirage could be better.
- Small rooms, probably necessitating booking two rooms or a suite for a family to be comfortable.
- There are no refrigerators or coffeepots in the rooms.
- Eating in the hotel can be an expensive proposition. Fortunately, for families on a budget, there are reasonably priced alternatives in the area.
On the other hand, the combination of an ideal center Strip location and an abundance of family-friendly activities both in the hotel and around it make the Mirage a great choice. The rooms are very fairly priced considering all that the resort has to offer.