Again I will have to apologize for less-than-stellar photos; had to dig way back through my archives for these!

What a whirlwind this month has been. Due to the coronavirus, we have been on a state-mandated lockdown in Ohio for over a week – and prior to that we were already self-isolating for another week at least. My kids just finished their “spring break”, or as I like to call it, “Pjs and Video Games Camp” at home. We are now fully submerged – drowning? – in the adventure of “online learning”, and my boys are not impressed. Not one bit. Even as a former elementary teacher, they find me unqualified to assist in anything school-related. As a result, our days are filled with lots of moaning, whining that things “don’t work”, and angry outbursts – anything other than letting Mom help. I think we are all fantasizing about the day when we can get out and run as far away from each other as we can. But hey, at least I’m not working at an ICU right now. Of course we are thankful for all the hospital workers putting themselves at risk so we can sit around drinking working in our comfy, albeit messy, house.

So, I thought I’d do some fantasizing about a time I actually did run away from my family! When my boys were little, there were days I wanted the walls to just go ahead and close in. I remember being so fried at times, during a public toddler meltdown or some other parenting embarrassment, when someone would sympathetically look at me and say (moms, you know what’s coming) “Oh, you’ll miss these days!” And I had to use every ounce of strength I had left in my sleep-deprived body to not full-on tackle the person. No WAY would I miss this torture! The only reason I survived those years was because God gifted me with a close circle of kick-ass Mom Friends whom I could vent to with no judgement.

I knew I needed to get away, but I’m not sure what finally gave me the idea of Vegas. It was a place I wanted to see, and I knew we could get cheap flights from Denver…and it was close enough that my friends and I could escape for just a long weekend, making the husband survival rate acceptable. It didn’t take much convincing to get my friends on board, so I scoured the internet for the cheapest time to go (those were tight-budget days for all of us), and we were booked! We were able to find all sorts of specials and restaurant groupons, so the whole thing ended up being very affordable! It was such a perfect Mommy Getaway that we ended up doing it the following year, too. Here’s why every mom should consider a Girlfriend Vegas trip:

1. Amazing Food!

If your kids are still in the toddler-preschool phase, chances are you rarely consume a decent meal. I usually snacked on my kids’ leftover carrot sticks, fruit, and chicken nuggets while wiping down the debris they left behind. And my dinner was ALWAYS cold by the time I sat down to it after tending to the kids’ needs. AND let’s not forget the endless kitchen clean-up. To add insult to injury, my husband had a job where he was often on the road, enjoying fancy restaurant dinners on his company’s dime. Do I sound bitter? Yeah, well I was. I was SO ready to experience a full, hot meal and remember how wonderful delicious food could be. Las Vegas is the perfect place to find amazing food for every taste. I remember spending a whole evening at a tapas restaurant our hotel suggested (pro tip: ask a concierge or local who has the current best dining deals) – we ordered our way through the entire menu, sharing and trying it all! Everything was hot and fresh from the kitchen, no screaming kids, and NO CLEANUP. Heaven. Another time we got all dressed up and had a gourmet dinner at a super frou-frou restaurant at the top of the Mandalay Bay resort, overlooking the strip (thanks, Groupon!). And the breakfast we ate at the Venetian’s buffet is still the best brunch I ever had (definitely check this one out if you’re in Vegas)!

Glamorous (though dimly lit) restaurant at the top of Mandalay Bay
View from restaurant bar at the top of Mandalay Bay
Very small section of the massive brunch buffet at the Venetian

2. Free Drinks and Dancing

Even if you don’t drink alcohol, all the chef-owned restaurants and unique places to dine offer creative mocktails and interesting beverages. And if you DO partake in the occasional alcoholic drink, the choices are endless. The Mandalay Bay for example (where we stayed on our first trip), had an alcoholic slushee shop on the main floor! My friends and I are not gamblers, but we loved being able to goof around on the slot machines while getting free drinks – another great way to keep costs down, by the way. We spent a whole night walking around the strip, exploring the over-the-top resorts, getting free drinks, and dancing! There are DJ’s and dance floors set up in/around the resorts along the strip, so you can take a little dance party break whenever you feel like it. It was so rejuvenating to be completely off-duty and have FUN, knowing I would not have to change a diaper, clean up a mess, fend off an emergency, or figure out what to cook for someone else. I was alive again! 😆

Cocktail slushees? Yes, please!

3. Out-of-this-world Spas

Photo of Spa Mandalay from MGM Resorts

The resort spas in Vegas are like nothing I have seen anywhere else. Sometimes when I travel somewhere I try to find a similar experience but I haven’t been able to yet, at least without paying hundreds – sometimes thousands – of dollars. The best part is that if you stay at one of these resorts, usually you can buy a day pass at a discount if you don’t want to purchase a service. Just what a tired mom needs, believe me! When we stayed at the Mandalay Bay, my friends and I got massages and/or pedicures and spent most of that day lounging at their spa – it is still my favorite spa experience. The hot and cold pools were ridiculously luxurious. The following year we stayed at the MGM grand, which also had a great spa – but Mandalay Bay still wins by a smidge in my book. Hoping to return someday and visit others! SOMEone has to research these things, right?

4. Fantastic Shows

I’m sure you already know that Las Vegas is known for world-class entertainment. From Cirque du Soleil to magic shows to huge concerts, there’s something for everyone. What you may not know is that you don’t have to plan ahead and spend a lot of money on a big-ticket show to find great entertainment. In addition to street performers, there are lots of small theaters and clubs (some inside the big resorts) where you can walk right in and enjoy a show. My friends and I stumbled upon a hypnotism show during our second trip, and one of us made it on the stage as a participant. Lots of hilarious memories (and blackmail material) from that one!

Fun street performer!

5. Over-the-top Resorts

If you can find a deal to stay at one of the big resorts on the strip (like Mandalay Bay, MGM, the Venetian, etc.), GO FOR IT. These places are like Disneyland for adults. The decor is unbelievable, the pools and spas are blissful, and the restaurants are top-notch. You could really spend your whole extended weekend there, without leaving the resort. Plan your trip for a time when the resorts are affordable enough for you to swing it, because the experience is worth it. This is a trip to indulge, after all!

⬆️ Slideshow from my favorite resort, the Venetian!

New York – NY Resort
Paris Resort
Bellagio Resort

Las Vegas might not be the first place that comes to mind when you are planning a Mommy Getaway, but I can assure you it is the perfect place to recharge. Grab your friends and force yourselves to take a break – you will be much nicer moms when you get back.