Family life

What would you do with four kid-free days in Vegas?

A free trip. The big 4-0. Anything could happen on Tracy’s first visit to Las Vegas.


Follow along as Today’s Parent senior editor Tracy Chappell shares her refreshingly positive take on parenting her two young daughters. She’s been blogging her relatable experiences for our publication since 2005.

It’s funny, how it all happened.

As you know, I’m turning 40 soon (very soon, my friends. And yes, when the blessed event happens, I’ll find something else to write about). I didn’t want a big party; what I did want, was to wake up on my 40th birthday in a city I’d never been before. I wanted to go away, which made life a lot easier for my poor husband, who was trying to figure out what I really wanted to do to mark this milestone, despite all the things I was (and was) not saying.

We had a tentative plan to go to Chicago. I’ve heard such great things about it, and it’s close and relatively inexpensive for a long weekend away. Then, long story short, Sean won a trip to Las Vegas for the August long weekend, which is when my birthday falls. So bizarre. When does something like this ever happen? Pretty much never. I wouldn’t necessarily choose to go to Vegas in the dead of a sweltering summer (and they just had some flooding there, too!), but when fate comes a-knockin’ it’s best to just throw the door open and say “come right in!”

(As an aside, we have done an uncharacteristic amount of travelling this year! We haven’t been anywhere in a long time, then we had the cruise opportunity, then Florida with my friends, and now this. I feel like a jet setter. And I like it.)

We are going with four other people, which will make it extra-fun, and also gives me peeps to hang out with while Sean does the events he has to do for this trip. We’ll have about four days in Sin City. So far, we’ve booked tickets to see the Cris Angel Cirque du Soleil show and… drumroll please… a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon (with a stop at the bottom for a champagne picnic!). I’m so excited about this. I think it’s a pretty spectacular way to ring in my 40s, don’t you? Sean did good!


I’m not a gambler, so I’d love to hear your recommendations for what to see and do in Las Vegas.

This article was originally published on Jul 26, 2013

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