Vegas shows for the ages


Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah's

By Caroline Fontein

The entire family is coming with you to Vegas, and you want to see a show. There are plenty of options to choose from in the Entertainment Capital of the World, but ensuring that you book the best-suited show for your age group is something to consider. You might have young kids who’ll enjoy a magic show or a teenager who wants to see something more sophisticated, but still age appropriate. We put together a list of the Top 10 family-friendly shows in Vegas that appeal to families with kids of all ages.  

Mac King Comedy Magic Show
Where: Harrah’s
When: 1 and 3 p.m. Tue. – Sat.
Price From: $28.95
Mac King has a goofy sense of humor suited for kids yet his double entendres leave something for adults to laugh at too. He doesn’t use large props or pyrotechnics, but he’s endearing and his illusions and zany personality captivate the audience as soon as he takes the stage. King pulls most of his illusions from a briefcase he has on stage, making his show feel more like you’re watching a performer in your living room than on a big stage. The intimate showroom helps make everyone feel like they are part of the show. For one of his illusions he gets a child volunteer from the audience to assist him on stage. King started doing magic at a young age and integrates his love for the art form and teaching others into his show. His show takes place at 1 and 3 p.m. making it a good option for families looking for an afternoon activity that the whole family can enjoy.

 Nathan Burton Comedy Magic Show
Where: Flamingo
When: 4 p.m. Tue. – Fri., Sun.
Prices From: $26.95
Nathan Burton’s high-energy illusions captivate young audiences and impress crowds seeking a magic show with more production elements. Burton uses an array of funny props and box illusions in his show that are performed with dynamic lighting, music and inventive set pieces designed by Andy Walmsley, who has also designed sets for “American Idol,” and “America’s Got Talent.” His show also features sexy female assistants. Many of Burton’s illusions are based on instances from his childhood, giving kids in the audience something to relate to and adults something to reminisce about. During Burton’s interactive show he turns to the audience to get a child volunteer to help him with an illusion on stage. The show takes place at 4 p.m. making it a good late afternoon activity option for families who want to catch a show before dinner. 

David Copperfield
Where: MGM Grand
When: 7:30 and 10 p.m. nightly; plus 4:30 p.m. Sat.
Prices From: $94.95
A world-renowned magician, David Copperfield draws audiences of all ages. His funny yet sophisticated magic show  includes large prop illusions and sleight-of-hand magic tricks that he performs in the audience. Copperfield especially appeals to more mature audiences for his star quality, having been featured on television for performing grand-scale illusions like flying over the Grand Canyon and making the Statue of Liberty disappear. Younger audience members don’t need to know Copperfield’s resume to appreciate his show. His incredible illusions amaze people at every age. The show doesn’t have sexy female assistants or a lot of flashy productions. It’s just Copperfield’s everyman humor and his magic. Audience interaction is a big part of the show as Copperfield incorporates a person picked at random for almost every illusion. An evening show, Copperfield might not be for younger audiences whose attention span might be dwindling at 7:30 or 10 p.m. at night. However, he does have one matinee show at 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays that is better suited for groups with younger kids.

The Lion King
Where: Mandalay Bay  
When: 7:30 p.m. Mon. – Thu., 4 and 8 p.m. Sat. – Sun.
Prices From: $66.00
Any kid or adult who liked the animated version of Disney’s “The Lion King” will enjoy this show. The live version is a stunning masterpiece that takes the audiences on a journey through the African pridelands. Kids who are familiar with the cartoon version will recognize all the characters in the show like Simba, Nala and Rafiki and they can sing along to the catchy songs including “Hakuna Matata,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”  A cast of more than 40 actors wearing innovative costumes designed by Julie Taymor bring animals and the savanna to life in this sensational production. There are also more than 200 puppets in the show that represent about 25 different kinds of animals, birds, fish and insects. If you have an animal lover in the group this is the show for you. Part of the fun of seeing this show is seeing how the characters, settings and scenes are portrayed in the live version. 

Where: Imperial Palace
When: 4 p.m. Sat. – Mon., Wed. – Thu., 8 p.m. Fri.
Prices From: $70.95
If you have kids in the group that like karate, gymnastics and acrobatics or have a really short attention span, then this is the show for you. “Matsuri” features a cast of Japanese athletes that perform high-energy, aerobic-like dance moves combined with acrobatics and invigorating music. The action is non-stop as the performers dance, flip, jump and spin in an exciting series of circus-like acts. There’s no dialog or storyline, just a string of fantastic and upbeat acts. Younger audience members will be amazed by the performers’ ability to execute incredible acrobatic feats at such a fast pace and adults will get tired just watching them. These performers really do seem to defy imagination in their ability to perform so many quick movements during the exhilarating 90-minute show. Kids of every age will be captivated by this thrilling show. The afternoon show time also makes it a good option for groups with kids who need to be occupied before dinner time.  

Tournament of Kings
Where: Excalibur
When: 6 p.m. Wed. – Mon., plus 8:30 p.m. Thu. – Sun.
Prices From: $63.95
This show features sword fighting, knights on horseback, a feast fit for a king and all the Medieval action you’ve seen in the movies live. Not only will your kids get to see dueling knights and a fire-breathing dragon, but they’ll feel like they’re part of the show. Guests are seated in an arena-style setting with each section representing a different “country.” Throughout the show the sections are encouraged to get loud and cheer on the king representing their section as the knights go head to head in various competitions including horse race, jousting, sword fighting and gladiator-style battles. Not only is there entertainment but the show includes dinner too. Another fun part that younger audience members might especially enjoy is there are no utensils.  Just like what real lords and ladies would have experienced back in the Middle Ages, utensils are not provided, and patrons have to eat with their hands. If you’re looking for a group activity that includes dinner and a show “Tournament of Kings” is a fun option.

Where: MGM Grand
When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tue. – Sat.
Prices From: $116.95
This Cirque du Soleil production tells the story of Imperial twins who are separated by an attack on their Far Eastern palace and overcome adversity to defeat evil and be reunited. The twins’ story takes audiences on an exciting journey through a multitude of different settings depicted by the show’s incredible stage. Unlike other Cirque productions “KÀ” has a discernable story line that young audiences can understand as well as adults. Audiences of all ages will experience a sense of excitement as soon as they walk into the theater and see the intricate pole and beam structure located on both sides of the stage and hanging over the audience. Tribal warriors are perched on the structure and provide some pre-show entertainment before the show officially starts. One of the most mystifying elements in the show is the ever-evolving stage that transforms into a floating barge, a beach, a snowy mountain and a violent sea in the midst of a storm, among other varied landscapes. Your kids will be just as amazed as the adults in your group. The only drawback to seeing this show is that there are no matinee performances so it could be too late for really young kids.

Where: Treasure Island
When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Sat. – Wed.
Prices From: $63.99
If your kids love the circus then this is the show for you. Presented by Cirque du Soleil, “Mystère” is an over-the-top circus-style production featuring various vignettes with skillful performers who defy imagination. You won’t find a story line,  just excitement at every turn and that’s something kids can grasp as well as adults. There’s also an element of comedy in the show represented by an adult-sized baby who delights the audience with his playful antics. Adding to the show is a clown who interacts with the audience before “Mystère” officially starts. Kids will delight in his playful yet mischievous act involving lots of popcorn and an audience member. Colorful sets, inventive costumes and fantastical characters give both kids and adults something to be amazed by. “Mystère” is an evening show so really young audiences might be better suited to a show with a matinee performance time.

Where: Monte Carlo
When: 7:30 p.m. Sun. – Mon., 9:30 p.m. Thu. – Sat.
Prices From: $59.95
If you have people in your group (most likely tweeners and teenagers) that were fans of the MTV reality dance competition “America’s Best Dance Crew” then this is the show for you. An all-male dance/hip-hop crew, Jabbawockeez  won the first season of the television show and have become an international sensation. Their show “MÜS.I.C.” (pronounced Muse I See) tells a story through dance by infusing one-of-a-kind choreography with intricate synchronization and break dancing. Teenagers and/or budding dancers will especially enjoy seeing these highly-talented dancers perform live in a Vegas-style show. The two evening show times make it a good fit for both tweens and teenagers.

Legends in Concert
Where: Harrah’s
When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Mon. – Thu., 8 p.m. Fri. – Sat.
Prices From: $48.00
One of the longest running shows on the Strip, this might seem like an odd option for a young audience, but don’t be fooled. The show has a rotating cast of tribute artists who portray both iconic performers like Elvis and Barry White to more contemporary artists like Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. It’s amazing to see the tribute artists flawlessly portray famous entertainers by looking, dancing and singing just like the real thing. Visitors who want to see a more classic Vegas show with singing and dancing that appeals to a wide range of audiences will enjoy “Legends In Concert.” The show does have an ever-changing line-up so if you’re worried about making sure there are some more modern acts in the show to appeal to younger members of your group, try calling ahead to see who is scheduled to perform on the nights you are planning to book your tickets.


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