If you are planning to go to Vegas and are looking for a place which may be suitable for the whole family (where there are children), you are probably going to ponder booking the Circus Circus or the Excalibur, in the hope that your children won't hate you forever because you dragged them to an adult-oriented place. This page will also discuss pros and cons of these 2 Vegas resorts for the adult-only visitors.
First of all, I have to highlight that Las Vegas (and in particular all the main resorts and casinos), is not the place I would take my children (for reasons that range from the heavy smoke everywhere, to the high level of alcohol-related 'bad' behaviour). However, if you really need to take your children there, then you'll probably want to offer them something that they will also enjoy. Therefore, the budget resorts Circus Circus and Excalibur will be on the shortlist, understandably. But... Which one is best for your family?
In terms of 'things do to' for children, Circus Circus has the best set up, thanks to its huge Adventuredome: here you have a wide range of rides which cater to all ages, from toddlers to teenagers; the more sophisticated rides are great fun for adults too and, I must admit, I would have stayed there all day if it weren't for my partner who literally had to drag me away. Even if you decide not to stay at Circus Circus, if you have children you will probably want to take them there for a full day of fun: they will thank you for it.
However: their pool is small and it certainly does not offer a range of rides which would be ideal for children; the rooms are very clean although I could not describe them as 'comfortable' (the mattresses were too hard); the casino is 'depressing' in my opinion, although, to be fair, since Circus Circus targets families they might have decided that a casino is not going to be a key factor.
Despite the Disneyesque look, Excalibur is really not suitable for children. Yes, they do have a basement area where children and families can find games to play together, but they certainly cannot even compare to the great Adventuredome of Circus Circus. I view Excalibur as a mediocre compromise for those who seek budget accommodation with something for children in a slightly better location than Circus Circus'. A positive feature is, however, their huge pool area, with a large enough section designed for children, with kids water slides (which can be used by adults too, of course).
The rooms and the corridors at Excalibur could hardly be described 'child friendly': all of them are smoking (well, the non-smoking floors have people smoking in the rooms, mostly drunks, and everywhere you go you can smell and breathe smoke, no matter how hard you try not to). If you don't mind your children breathing smoke, then Excalibur is worth considering by families. However, bear in mind that it's extremely loud, with semi-naked girls dancing on several casino tables with extremely loud music, and it's filled with drunk middle age men holidaying on the cheap; we were surrounded by them on the 'non-smoking floor' (filled with smoke).
A key positive feature, however, is that the Excalibur casino is undoubtedly much more fun than the one at Circus Circus; children are not allowed on the casinos floors but, if you manage to get a baby sitter whilst you want to gamble nearby, this casino will provide better fun.