I’ve heard it one too many times. “Why in the world would you want to raise your children in THAT city?” Well, today I thought I would answer that question.
Though I am from Las Vegas I have traveled extensively. I have lived in other parts of this country and have visited all of the 50 states including Alaska and Hawaii. I have seen Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East. And yet I still can’t find a better place to raise my children. I’m not saying there aren’t other nice places to raise a family but I am a little partial to the Las Vegas Valley. Here’s why:
There is so much to do in with your little ones. Discovery Children’s Museum is an incredible place to spend the day with children. This recently renovated attraction is one of the greatest little spots in all of the city. The Springs Preserve is absolutely beautiful in the Springtime. Your children will learn a great deal about the desert, Native American history, and conservation. The Natural History Museum of Las Vegas is also must if your children happen to like dinosaurs.
9. The Weather
Wow! It goes without saying that Las Vegas has some incredible weather. Last week I flew from Las Vegas to Grand Rapids, Michigan. I left behind a sunny 73 degrees and arrived in a place where the high that day would be 39 degrees. My son is able to play baseball nearly year round in Las Vegas. We never experience tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms, mudslides, wildfires! I have lived here for over 33 years and never remember feeling an earthquake. Does it get hot here in the summer? Yep! And it makes it a perfect time to jump in the pool or head over to one of the water parks. By the way, I lived in the South for several years and I don’t miss the humidity.
8. The Nature
Lake Mead is filled with potential memories with your children. Fishing, waterskiing, boating, and more all await the family who is adventurous. Don’t forget to stop by and see the historic Hoover Dam. Redrock Canyon and Mount Charleston are two wonderful places to take the family hiking! Both have moderate trails to allow children of all ages to experience the beauty of God’s creation. In the wintertime you might miss the snow. If so, you can drive a short 45 minutes up to Mount Charleston and play all day. Skiing, tubing, and sledding are all waiting for your family, and when you’re done, you can leave all the snow up in the mountain. Do you want to build a snowman? You can do it here.
.7. Theme Parks
The Adventuredome is an attraction they built while I was a child growing up in Las Vegas. This completely indoor amusement park includes thrill rides, roller coasters, 4-D rides, and much more. Wet & Wild is a brand new water park located in Southwest Las Vegas. In Las Vegas there is just so much to do with your children.
6. Centrally Located
Heather and I like to take little trips with our children. We are only a 4 hour drive to Southern California! With Disneyland, Knott’s, Six Flags, Sea World, the beach, and many other family destinations within day trip distance. We have Death Valley to the north and the Grand Canyon to the east. All within a few hours drive. Also within a three hour drive is the beauty of Utah. We love to go camping in Zion and drive up to Bryce Canyon. We’ve even had the opportunity of checking our the Shakespearean Festival with the kids in Cedar City.
5. The Schools
Our schools seem to get their share of bad publicity. However, I personally know many teachers and educators in the Clark County School District. They are fine people who work diligently with our children to advance their academic standing and prepare them for life. The teenagers I know being educated in these schools are intelligent, well-mannered, and headed toward college. In Las Vegas we also have fantastic private schools. My children attend Liberty Baptist Academy on Lake Mead Blvd. This is an exceptional school that provides a high-class education for a surprisingly reasonable price.
4. The People
The people in Las Vegas are not often of Las Vegas. We are a melting pot with people from around the world. When we first moved back to Las Vegas I remember reading something from our Chamber of Commerce that stated only 3% of the people who live here are actually from here. This all brings a very interesting dynamic, which I really love. Friends are made easily because everyone is new to town. The ethnic diversity is inspiring. I love raising my children in a place where they have friends from Africa, the Philippines, South America, and Europe. Other parts of the country can still feel very segregated. I love that our city is a virtual kaleidoscope of ethic diversity.
3. The Parks
We have BIG parks like Floyd Lamb State Park, Sunset Park, and Bonnie Springs Ranch. We have really nice neighborhood parks like Exploration Park in Mountain’s Edge. If you have not yet taken your children to these beautiful parks you are really missing out. Enjoy the outdoor life in Las Vegas by taking advantage of our beautiful parks.
2. The Churches
Our churches are incredible. God is worshiped and the Gospel is preached throughout this entire city. I know what most people think of when they think of Las Vegas. But I also know what God thinks of when He thinks of Las Vegas. He thinks of the many wonderful houses of worship that continue to teach His Word and reach people with His truth. I am the pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in SouthWest Las Vegas. The 650 people who gather here on a weekly basis are genuinely my favorite thing about this city. I’d move here just to be part of this wonderful church… in fact… I did.
1. Parents Raise Children, Cities Don’t
This last thought is really more philosophical than the others. When people say to me with an upturned nose, “How could you raise your children in a city like that?” I always respond, “Parents raise children, cities don’t.” Understand, your children will not “turn out right” because they were raised in an ideal location. Timothy McVeigh was raised in a small town in Upstate New York. Charles Mason was from the Midwest. Even Darth Vader grew up in the quaint village on Tatooine (i’m kidding).
Seriously, Las Vegas is a wonderful place to raise your children. If they turn out “right” it might have to do more with the parenting than anything else. My parents raised 5 civic-minded, church-going, kind people who happen to be raising their own children here. Again, I believe Las Vegas is a wonderful place to raise your children!
Do you have family or friends that are “concerned” about your children growing up in Vegas? What is your favorite aspect of living in Las Vegas? What is your favorite attraction for children in Las Vegas? What school does your child attend and what is your favorite thing about that school? What church does your family attend and what is your favorite thing about that church? Please comment below: