On our first date, my husband and I learned that we had both grown up moving a lot. Each of us had lived in more than six states by the time we met. It was one of those things that drew us closer to each other.
For our first anniversary, we bought a vacation timeshare at The Grandview at Las Vegas. Although we had yet to have children, we knew we aspired to create a tradition that our family would enjoy for the rest of their lives. We wanted to give our future children the stability we missed out on growing up.
Las Vegas for Newlyweds
While the purchase was for our family’s future, it was also an investment in our marriage. Our first year as vacation resort owners was more than what we expected. Money was tighter in those days, so we took advantage of the amenities at the resort.
When we arrived, we used the shuttle service to pick up our usual groceries plus a few of our trip favorites, like sparkling wine and frozen shrimp. The in-suite kitchen saved us from dining out for each meal. It was also more convenient to grab breakfast before heading out for the day.
We spent the daytime poolside enjoying one another’s company without the usual stressors of work and other obligations. My husband – a physical fitness trainer at the time – loved to relax in one of the hot tubs as much as going to the fitness center to keep up with his routine.
Since we’re both competitive, we challenged each other at mini golf, billiards, and other resort games for stakes as high as cleaning the bathroom at our home for a month. The competitive family bonding went through the roof when we brought his brother and his future wife one year. To this day, my sister-in-law and I rib our husbands about losing to us on the air hockey table at the resort’s arcade.
As a young couple, we checked out the Las Vegas nightlife and headed to a few clubs. Although we didn’t know it at the time, we were making fun memories we would recall to one another later when up to our ears in parental responsibilities.
Young Family in Las Vegas
Our parents – and new grandparents – were apprehensive when we told them about bringing our firstborn to Las Vegas. But, we knew there was more than the glitz and glamour of The Strip and late-night partying.
We took our toddler to family-friendly areas around The Grandview at Las Vegas like Fremont Street. His eyes were wide as we strolled under the stimulating screens and blinking lights. I can still hear his giggles watching the fountain show at the Bellagio and the Mirage Erupting Volcano. A few years later, we brought the twins, and our little boy was happy to point out all the character actors on the street to his little sisters.
The resort is perfect for parents outnumbered by children. Restaurants are more of a hassle than a treat when managing three kids younger than five. It was also more cost-effective for my husband to pick up two delicious dishes for us and feed the kids their favorites.
The in-unit washer and dryer have always been a blessing, but it was especially helpful in those early years. I was always thankful to unpack clean clothes instead of stained ones sitting in filth for a week. We also didn’t need to pack as much for trips to the resort as we would for other trips since we could do a mid-trip load.
Unlike hotels, the resort had a DVD player – an absolute necessity for my daughters, who needed to watch their favorite show before bed each night. The deli was also a convenient bonus if we forgot something at home or at the grocery store.
Couples and Kids
Our vacations changed as the kids got older. Although my husband and I were satisfied spending family time by one of this resort’s five heated swimming pools, the kids wanted to see more of the entertainment capital of the world.
We took the kids to a different show each year. Our son’s favorite was the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur, while the girls loved the Cirque du Soleil shows. Some of the best experiences our family had together were free, such as seeing the kids’ faces light up walking through the Shark Reef Aquarium and seeing the live mermaid show at the Silverton Casino.
We surprised the kids by going to Wet ‘n’ Wild one year and then Cowabunga Bay another. In between waterpark years, we took them to nearby attractions. Our home is filled with photos of us through the years at the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Red Rock Canyon.
At 11 years old, our oldest son said he was ready for the thrill rides on top of The Strat. We compromised by taking him and the girls on the High Roller Observation Wheel and the New York roller coaster. He’s counting down the birthdays until he’s 16 and allowed to ride them with his father by his side.
The Future of Our Family Trips to Las Vegas
The decision my husband and I took in the purchase of a timeshare with Vacation Village Resorts was one of the best we’ve ever made. Our family thoroughly enjoys going, and we love how cost-effective and convenient the vacations are even as a family of five. Our kids have the family vacation tradition we dreamed of for them.
The Grandview at Las Vegas has grown with us from newly married to new parents. This resort has been a cornerstone of our family for more than a decade. I’ve watched my husband teach our son to swim in one of the pools. I’ve braided my daughters’ hair before putting them in a helicopter for a scenic tour that they will never forget.
I know my family will continue to love our trips to Las Vegas, especially as the kids get older and become more self-reliant. And one day, my husband and I will visit our resort again, just us alone, like we did when we first were married.
- By Lauren Brown, long time owner of Vacation Village Resorts