Is it really a good idea to bring a kid to a casino? It may not be tops on your list for a family vacation, but it is definitely worth looking into. Casinos aren’t just for senior travel anymore.
A recent conversation about kids and casinos brought to mind my family’s weekend trip to Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, LA. Yup, that’s correct. I used ‘casino’ and ‘family’ in the same sentence, something I thought I’d never do.
Mr. CajunMama and I heard about Paragon’s new hotel with offerings for families. We decided to call and see if we could get a room, and were fortunate to secure one on a Saturday night. We hit the road after the kids’ basketball games, and were amazed at the glowing towers arising from the sugarcane fields. Little CajunMama commented that she felt like Dorothy entering the Emerald City.
The parking lot was almost full, due to Creedence Clearwater Revisited holding a concert that night, but Mr. CajunMama found us a spot (he refuses to pay anyone to park his car, but valet parking is available).
We walked into the lobby, with the kids gasping at the indoor swamp, complete with live alligators and turtles. We found out at check in that the indoor pool closes at 8pm to minors. Since it was five minutes until eight, we knew the swimming option was out for the night. LittleCajunMama (age 9) was dying to go to KidsQuest, a supervised children’s activity center. Her brother (age 11) wasn’t as excited, but he agreed to check it out for TravelingMamas.com. This allowed The Mister and I to enjoy dinner for two at one of the many restaurants available at the resort. Reservations are strongly recommended at Legend’s Steakhouse. We tried to get in, but there was an hour wait. We ended up at Roxy’s, a fifties-style diner where we enjoyed burgers and shakes. We put a few dollars in the slots, but it just wasn’t our night. We ended up going to check on the kids at KidsQuest. Our son was ready to go, but LittleCajunMama begged to stay and play. We let her play for another twenty minutes.
We purchased an in-room movie on the flat screen tv before hitting the sack in our super-luxurious rooms. The kids woke us up at 7:30 am, ready for breakfast and the indoor pool. They also begged to see a movie at the on-site movie theater, but the movies only play in the evenings. Breakfast was a steal at Roxy’s, which we found out offers a kid menu. Our family of four had a full breakfast for a total of $14.00US. What a deal!
The rest of the morning was spent enjoying the indoor lagoon pool with fountains, waterfalls, and hot tub. We were reluctant to leave Marksville and extended the day by visiting the nearby Marksville State Historic Site, which is a recognized archeological site. Not many visitors were there, so we ended up exploring the area of the bluffs and mounds with no one to bother us. We had such a wonderful time that the kids are asking when they can go to the “casino” again.
Rating of KidsQuest: 5/5 for 10 and under | 3/5 for 11 and 12 year olds
Rating of Arcade: 5/5 for 13-17 year olds | 4/5 for families
Rating of Indoor Pool: 5/5 for all around coolness by both kids. The littlest one loved Paragon Casino Resort so much, she asked to go back for her birthday.