Advice for Bryce Canyon and Las Vegas with 13 and 5 year old

We are contemplating going to Bryce Canyon over spring break. We thought we'd drive there through Reno and Ely, spend a couple days and then head to Las Vegas for a few more days before driving home.  Wondering if anyone has recommendations on interesting places to stop in Nevada (on highway 50), what to do in Bryce canyon with two kids who don't love to hike (but will go on 3-4 mile hikes) and what to do/where to stay in Las Vegas.  Thanks!!

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In Las Vegas one awesome thing to do is check out the Neon Museum. They have acquired many of the old neon signs and have been trying to restore many of them to their old glory. The day tour would be perfect for kids. Definitely get tickets ahead of time though, they tend to sell out.

Not on Hwy 50, but Red Rock Canyon park just outside Las Vegas is a wonderful place to visit for day hikes. 

We did a similar road trip to Bryce through Vegas a few years back.  Utah has some gorgeous country and I loved Bryce.  

For trip planning, I would strongly consider taking 395 over 50 if you have the time.  The scenery of the Eastern Sierras is gorgeous and there are lots of great little towns to stop at along the way.  You also get to pass Mono Lake, can take a detour to Bodie which is good for a few hours, and cut through Death Valley.  I would also consider Carson City in lieu of (or as a supplement to) Reno - great train history/museum which is fun for kids of any age.  Google highway 395; you'll find lots of blogs discussing places to stop and things to do along the way.

From what I recall (and its probably been about 7-8 years) there is nothing much to Ely and even less to the towns in between.  Of course, if you are visiting someone there or you just love the simplicity of desert scenery then go for it, but kids are generally less impressed by endless views of sagebrush.  

The drive from Vegas to Bryce out 15 is long and tedious; a true Nevada road trip experience.  Basically Mesquite is the only substantial town after Vegas so don't plan on stopping after Vegas until you're there.  They do have a Starbucks in one of the casinos in Mesquite which was very welcome after a long drive.  Hotels in Mesquite over Spring Break will book early since many people from Utah come down for the casinos - suggest booking in advance or planning to power through (for our trip we needed to stay the night there and had a really hard time finding a room).  St. George is a good place to stock up on essentials (it is the largest town you will see, by far, after Vegas) but it doesn't have much character (basically big box stores).  

My other advice is don't spread yourselves too thin - this is a lot to pack into a week and you will feel fatigued if you do all this driving for only 1-2 nights in Bryce.  Some people just do Bryce as a day-trip but I think that is a disservice.  2 nights is perfect there.  There is really only hiking in Bryce and Zion but the scenery is different so if you think the kids will need a change, definitely plan for a a few nights in Zion.  It will be good for them.  ;)  

As for Vegas, personally I would minimize or skip Vegas with kids.  Take them to Circus Circus in Reno and they will be happy.  If you do need to stop in Vegas, perhaps try Red Rock Resort or something outside of the Strip.    If you want to stay on the Strip, consider Vdara which is somewhat upscale but doesn't have a casino in the lobby making it a welcome retreat after a day of complete over-stimulation.  Also, I would consider staying in Vegas before the camping/National Parks tour, rather than on the way home.  Stopping in Vegas after coming out of Bryce or Zion will be a complete culture shock and make for a difficult transition on the way home.  

Enjoy your trip!  Will be a blast!

Made a similar trip with my parents years ago except we went through Death Valley.  I would highly recommend  It's a trip I still remember to this day.  Spring time is the best time of year to go.  There's a ghost town and colorful rocks, and Badwater/lowest place in North America Scotty’s Castle, Furnace Creek.  If you enter/exit via Searles Valley be sure to see Fish Head Rocks, Trona Pinnacles (Planet of the Apes was filed there), fossil falls, and Red Hill cinder cone.  If you are into rocks and crystals the mineral towns are worth visiting, Boron, Rhyolite,  We crossed the sierras through Yosemite and followed 395.  Places along 395 are Mono Lake, and Manaznar concentration camp. The water falls at Yosmite are spectacular this year.  In Las Vegas Hover Dam is worth seeing as is the National Atomic Testing Museum and the your kids should like the Area 51/UFO portion of the museum. 

​In Las Vegas I would stay in the old part.  (It's not as crazy or intense as the strip.)  Golden Nugget is affordable and has a water slide through a shark tank the kids will like.  And you are right there by Fremont Street.  If you like German food the Hofbrauhaus is fun for adults and kids.

Have a fun trip and lots of books'/videos for the kids.  It's a long drive but one you will remember.