Circus Circus Las Vegas

The first thing most people notice at Circus Circus is the pink-and-white, clown-shaped marquee out front. Then it’s the tent-shaped casino under a pink-and-white big top. Inside, there are free circus acts, a carnival midway, arcade games and Grand Slam Canyon theme park. Put it all together and you have the No. 1 hotel choice for families with children–which makes the hotel a perpetual three-ring scene.

The casino, spread over three separate gaming areas, is best compared to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Throngs of slot players congregate, and the clamor of coins and bells is nearly deafening. A haven for low rollers, the casino under the big top features low-limit table games, but how a blackjack player can concentrate while a trapeze artist in spangled tights flies overhead is beyond belief.

Thankfully, the rooms are off the midway. After several expansions, Circus Circus now offers 3,744 rooms and suites, whose decor mainly features soft blue carpeting, light-wood furniture, pastel spreads and upholstery and just a few hot-air balloons painted on the wall.

Adventure Dome–fully enclosed and completely climate controlled–is one of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas for kids. Designed to resemble a classic desert canyon, hand-painted rock gives way to caverns, pinnacles and steep cliffs while a stream flows through the stark landscaping, cascading over a 90-foot fall. Adding to the setting are eight life-size dinosaurs dwelling among two 140-foot peaks, a fossil wall, an archeological dig and Pueblo Indian cliff dwellings. The park’s rides appeal to kids of all ages and include a double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster, a wild water flume ride and a futuristic laser-tag arena.

Other amenities at Circus Circus include a very good steakhouse, an all-you-can-eat buffet, a pizzeria, swimming pools, a wedding chapel and a 384-space RV park with hookups, convenience store, laundry facilities, pool, Jacuzzi, playground and disposal stations.