circus circus sign

When we learned our family vacation would be in Las Vegas this year, we immediately began looking for somewhere to stay. Since this was a family vacation, we looked for the most “kid-friendly” place that was also affordable. We landed on Circus Circus Hotel and Casino because it had a ton of activities for kids, a great pool area, and low cost. Perfect.

Or so we thought until we got there. Whoa.

Let me start this review by saying Circus Circus is a fine hotel.  The pool area is great and can provide hours of fun for each member of your family.  There are several good restaurants including a pizza place and mexican food restaurant.  The major part of the casino is located away from majority of the kids attractions.  The Adventuredome includes a multitude of carnival type games and activities including a short circus show.  And the best part of the hotel, it is considerably cheaper than most others on the Las Vegas Strip.

Circus Circus Promenade









But if you want to go see the sights, eat the good food, drink the good drinks, and do so without being overrun by annoying kids, then let me encourage you to stay somewhere a little less kid-friendly. And here is why.

Chaos Chaos would be a more appropriate name.

From the moment you walk into registration, you are hit with a wall of chaos. There is a giant line of folks trying to get their room keys. While my husband registered, the girls and I sat over to the side and watched the side show of kids running around while their parents stayed glued to their phones.

Upon receiving our keys, we made our through the promenade where the restaurant and entrance to the Adventuredome. This had the same theme of kids running wild and parents not caring. Also, it seems that some folks didn’t understand the flow of people. Having someone stop abruptly in front of you happened frequently.

We got to the elevator, a completely other type of chaos. There were 4 elevators that went to floors 2-17 and 4 elevators that went to floors 17 and up. Trying to get people, especially those with language barriers, to understand this concept was difficult. So much congestion.

This chaos was non-stop. The only time it was somewhat absent was in the early morning when the kids were sleeping.

Kid-friendly = kids everywhere

I’m pretty the reason for the chaos was the “kid-friendly” nature of Circus Circus. Their main attraction is a carnival-like Adventuredome where kids can play games, ride some rides, and even see a circus show (think Treasure Island of Pinocchio). Kids running everywhere. Parents with little or no interest in trying to contain them or teach them the slightest bit of manners.  Also, these unruly kids overran the pool area.

But Amy, you went on a Vegas vacation with kids. What did you expect?

I didn’t go on a vacation with other people’s kids. Coincidentally, I went with my kids, who, for the most part, are well behaved and polite. While I can’t control other people’s kids or their parenting skills, I can choose to be away from that type of behavior.

Kid-friendly sounds great, but in all reality, it’s only great if you can handle the chaos that comes with other people’s children.

Transportation is expensive.

Circus Circus is FAR away from everything else. It was a $20 cab ride everytime we wanted to go to the main part of the strip. By going there twice a day, it turned out to be almost $80 a day. Stupid.

Most certainly, taking Uber might have been cheaper.  Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t believe in Uber (it’s ridiculous).  So please bare in mindful we definitely took a more expensive transportation route.

That still doesn’t change the fact that the hotel over a mile from the main area of the Strip.  Of course, this is likely done on purpose.  After spending 5 days there, I’m convinced they don’t really want you to leave the hotel. They want you to spend money right there so they locate everything right there. But there is so much more down by the rest of the strip. Much better restaurants, great shops, the fountains, the Eiffel Tower, whatever. I could name you a 100 better activity options on the main strip than there is at Circus Circus.

Don’t intend to workout or work or do anything productive.

While we were there, I was participating in Tone It Up’s Summer Tone Up program. So I really wanted to work out every morning before we got the day started. The first day, I excitedly went down to the exercise room at 6am (partly because the time change forced me up at 5am). Unfortunately, the workout room left something to be desired.  Majority of the machines didn’t work.  The dumbbell set include no weights under 20 pounds.  I did find an elliptical that worked, but if you’re like me, you’ll find this isn’t a satisfying workout. Luckily, we walked about 4 miles every day so I was able to get some cardio in.








By the grace of God, there was a Starbucks in the lobby.  Hallelujah.  Some beacon of normalcy in the chaotic world of Circus Circus.  Every bit of my coffee loving body was excited.

One morning, I woke up really early and decided to go downstairs to write at Starbucks while the rest of my family slept in.  Think again.  No internet connection.  This has to be the only Starbucks in the world with no Wifi.  None.  Additionally, I couldn’t connect my hotspot through my phone because no cell service. Seriously.

And that was pretty typical. The only place that had WiFi was in the room and it was spotty. Cell service was little to non-existent in most areas of the hotel. They just want you to spend money and have no connection to the outside world!

Cheap Mall Kiosks Filled the Hotel

Fidget spinners, souvenirs and light up shoe stands are everywhere. Every few feet there was another one of these stands with it’s cheap merchandise trying to entice your children.


We convinced our girls that they could probably find the same stuff somewhere else (and cheaper). But I saw so many parents fork out more money just to buy this junk. And I just felt sorry for them.

Be prepared for solicitors.

So. Many. Solicitors. Everywhere. All the time. Telling us how we can get free tickets to shows or cheaper rooms or whatever. All you have to do is spend 4 hours of your morning listening to a time share presentation.

You want to be polite, but my goodness. They are relentless. Following you. Walking directly in your path so that you have to stop.

Of course, each hotels contains these solicitors.  However, it seemed they were every 10 feet at Circus Circus.  Many families, particularly those where English isn’t their main language, get roped in by these folks. I guess you gotta appreciate the hustle to some degree, but geez.

In conclusion

All in all, Circus Circus is a good hotel option when going to Las Vegas with kids.  I just want to make sure parents know what they are getting themselves into.

If all of this sounds good to you and you’re willing to sacrifice for a cheap nightly rate, then Circus Circus is your place.  Just understand you may end up spending more than expected.  And you may have to deal with chaotic bratty kids.

If this doesn’t sound like you, learn from us and get you a room at somewhere a lot less kid-friendly.