Las Vegas might not be the first place you’d think of to visit during your pregnancy. In fact, it wasn’t the first place that I would think of either. However, my girl Celine Dion is ending her nearly decade-long residency at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in June and my friend and I needed (needed, not wanted) to get out here to see her one more time. We’re absolutely expecting her to launch a world tour to coincide with her English-language album release later this year, but that doesn’t mean we’d miss a chance to see her again in such an intimate setting (4,000 people compared to 40,000!). More on Celine later, I could go on for days…
The first thing that so many of my friends, family and colleagues asked when I mentioned that I was goign to Vegas was- is it safe to go to Las Vegas during your pregnancy? For many, the first things that come to mind are the smoky casinos. I have to tell you, while there is an occasional strip hotel or two that have poor ventilation, for the most part it is barely noticeable. Plus, there are plenty of ways to avoid breathing the smoke – simply stay away from the casino floors! I didn’t even inquire about my mini trip with my midwife — I knew that I would have minimal contact with the smoke during my very brief trip, and it is honestly the only smoke I will be around for my pregnancy. DISCLAIMER: You may wish to consult with your OBGYN or midwife to determine if smoke exposure may be damaging to your pregnancy. Because there are so many other things to do and see in Las Vegas, this simply wasn’t a concern for me!
So what does Vegas have to offer the pregnant mama? LOTS! Below are my five best reasons to visit Sin City during pregnancy!
Las Vegas has turned into one of the food capitals of the world over the last decade, with so many notable chefs setting up shop at resorts up and down the strip. When we arrived, we were too excited to sit down for a meal, so we hit up Lobster ME in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. I was feeling especially hungry having not eaten since leaving my home in Pittsburgh at 3:30am (baby is hungry!), and we were pushing 16 hours since that point, and went with a combination of the Maine Lobster Roll and Lobster Mac n Cheese. The combo meal was $29, and well worth it! How delicious does this look? The roll was overflowing with fresh lobster, and the mac n cheese didn’t skimp either. I would have enjoyed some crumb topping on the mac n cheese to boot, but let’s just say I didn’t exactly send my plate back unsatisfied. In fact, I don’t think there was anything left!
I have so many favorites for food in Las Vegas, most of which I didn’t get to on this trip due to the length of the trip. One of my absolute favorites is Hyde at the Bellagio. While billed as a nightclub (doesn’t open until 5pm), Hyde boasts a great tapas menu and is definitely the best viewing spot for the fountains, in my opinion.
Another great spot is Bouchon at The Venetian. This Thomas Keller restaurant is a perfect bit of France in the middle of the Venice theme. It is classy, elegant, and expensive. The food is delicious, although you should skip the raw oysters while pregnant!
2. Shopping and Attractions
I must admit that, as much as I love being a woman, I am not much of a shopper. However, it’s pretty hard to not revel in the wonders of the shopping Vegas puts at your fingertips. Each major resort is loaded with the biggest and best brand names, with several hotel chains boasting major shopping malls in and of themselves. Caesars Forum Shops, Venetian and Palazzo’s Grand Canal Shops, and Wynn’s Esplanade Shops are my three favorite “malls.” Admittedly, since my bank account doesn’t quite support the luxury brand lifestyle just yet, I go more to walk around and enjoy the sights than fill my shopping bags, but I can’t think of a better way to prep for a new baby than by hitting up some of the shops and filling that nursery! Each of the resorts mentioned above has its own theme for its shopping, and they do not disappoint!
What I do enjoy is attractions, and Las Vegas has no shortage of attractions. From the LINQ High Roller, which takes a 30 minute spin around the sky, to the infamous Fountains at Bellagio (check the link for showtimes), there is something for everyone.
There is no shortage of shows to see when in Vegas. In fact, it’s hard to look in any direction and not see a massive billboard promoting music’s biggest residencies or catch a discount ticket booth trying to sell day-of tickets for the many variety, burlesque and Broadway-style shows playing at the resorts.
I mentioned this trip was singularly focused to see Celine Dion, and since we were only in town for a quick two nights, Celine is the only show we saw. And yes, you’re going to get a brief review!
This was my 6th time seeing Celine at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, a remarkable nearly 4300 seat venue that boasts a 125 ft wide stage. It is the most expensive theatre in Las Vegas at over $100M. It is absolutely stunning, with acoustics that are unrivaled. It also has a one-of-a-kind air hydration and filtration system, assisting its residence artists with challenges associated with regularly performing in the desert.
Celine did not disappoint. Our seats were in Section 6 of the Front Orchestra. Despite having seen this show 5 previous time (admittedly this was an entirely different set list and stage design, but still), there was one major surprise that I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t know about, being the Celine fanatic that I am. For nearly the entire last 1/3 of the show, those with front orchestra seats are permitted to rush the stage for an impromptu mosh pit like atmosphere. For someone who has paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars to sit in the best seats possible at show after show of hers, being less than three feet away from this diva was truly a remarkable experience. Seeing her in this intimate setting is impressive in and of itself – being that close just puts it on a whole new level.
Her 20 song setlist includes her most impressive and famous hits, such as “The Power of Love,” “All By Myself,” “Because You Loved Me,” and of course “My Heart Will Go On.” Here are a few of my favorite photos from the evening.
If I hadn’t spent most of my month’s salary on tickets for one of Celine’s final Vegas shows, then I might have considered some additional Vegas shows, such as La Reve – The Dream at the Wynn, something I’ve wanted to see for a long time, or even Cirque du Soleil O at the Bellagio.
4. Pool Time
One of my favorite things to do when pregnant is soak up some Vitamin D! As a Pittsburgh girl (for now), we just finished month four of a six month long winter, so a break for sunshine was much needed. Vegas is usually in the 60s at this time of year, but we had two days over 70, including the day we designated for the pool! We chose the Palazzo pool, which is just a calm and stunning space to spend a few hours. Vegas is known for it’s party pools; however, I’m guessing those are not likely to fit in with your pregnancy preferences. There are plenty of serene pools available at the resorts (must be staying at resort to utilize their pool). Most Vegas pools do close from November through mid-March, but you don’t usually find staff fighting you if you want to relax on their pool deck. The Palazzo even had lifeguards out because of how many people showed up for a 73 degree February day!
Other pools that are likely to put you in the perfect pregnancy relaxation zen might the Cosmopolitan’s Bamboo Pool, The Beach at Mandalay Bay, Cypress Pool at the Bellagio, or my personal favorite of the bunch- the Jupiter Pool in the far corner of the Garden of the Gods at Caesar’s Palace.
5. Spa Day(s)
As any woman, pregnant or not, will likely tell you, there is nothing quite like a spa day. Vegas takes spas to an entirely new level. My girlfriend and I took advantage of the Venetian’s Canyon Ranch Spa morning specials, each signing up for discounted services that took place during the hours of 7-10am. Of course, with the purchase of treatment, comes access to 134,000 square feet of relaxation and rejuvenation. This spa is quite unlike any I’ve been too, and I’ve been fortunate to frequent a lot.
My girlfriend opted for the Express Extremities service, which was a 25 minute massage of legs and calves. She said it was phenomenal. I opted for the 50 minute prenatal massage, and I have to give a serious shout out to my massage therapist, Cheyenne. Cheyenne has been doing massages for 23 years, and man was it obvious. Her attention to detail was impressive, and how she interconnected each phase of the massage was particularly noteworthy. She listened to my requests for areas of focus, and delivered. Above that, the quality of the massage table, the prenatal cushions, and the products used during the massage were superb. Canyon Ranch uses the Lalicious brand of oils and scents, which I found just the right amount of luxury and aroma. Sometimes it’s quite hard to be exposed to strong scents during a pregnancy massage, but the scents were just perfect. Another part of the massage, which was a first for me in prenatal massages, was application of body butter on the growing belly! They used Pure Fiji coconut infusion body butter, and I was a big fan of the product and this part of the massage. I use body butter regularly, and had to buy some of the Pure Fiji from the gift shop because it was just divine!
Let me talk about the shared amenities. I could go on FOR DAYS about this. The Venetian’s Canyon Ranch has more shared amenities than any spa I’ve ever been to. First, the wet areas, which fall under the appropriately titled Aquavana name. The Aquavana Experience includes, in a clothing optional environment, a Crystal Steam Room (VERY intense, the hottest steam room I’ve ever been in), multi-sensory Experiential Rain Showers, A dry-heat sauna, HydroSpa, cool air Igloo environment, a Relaxation Room that rivals any I’ve ever seen, and an herbal-infused humid light warming environment called the Herbal Laconium Room. Now, first- steam rooms, saunas, and hot tubs are not recommended for pregnant women, and I’m not recommending them here. However, after consultation with my midwives, we agreed that a few minutes in each the steam room and sauna would be okay, along with just soaking my legs in the HydroSpa. This was my medical advice, it may not be yours. DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your OBGYN or midwife prior to making a decision to participate in these activities. I absolutely enjoyed every second of my experience at Aquavana, particularly as I was suffering from a sinus cold. The only room that didn’t work for me was the Herbal Laconium Room- the aroma was just too strong for me.
In the co-ed area of the spa (bathing suit or robe required), were three co-ed relaxation spaces. The Conservatory, the Salt Grotto, and the Wave Room. I took a nap in the Wave Room, which makes you feel like you are under the water while laying in zero gravity chairs, and spent a good 30 minutes in the Salt Grotto, a Himalayan salt fountain like environment.
If you don’t elect for treatments, non-guests of the hotel may purchase a Day Pass for $61, and I assure you it will be worth every penny.
The only other spa experience I tried in Vegas (on prior trips) was the Oleksandra Spa at Treasure Island, where I had purchased a day pass, and the MGM Grand Spa, where I had a deep tissue massage. I found both of these facilities okay, but nothing spectacular. While I’ll be hard pressed to try anywhere else besides the Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian, others that I would like to try include the Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace and the Sahra Spa & Hamman at The Cosmopolitan.
At the end of the day, Las Vegas provides a perfect destination location for pregnant women. It’s more than Sin City, more than a party town. Let me know in the comments section what you think about Las Vegas as a pregnancy destination! I would do it again!