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Vegas, Xmas, Teenagers-- Whipping up a Perfect Holiday Soufflé

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Long story short: Last year convinced my husband and me that hosting another Xmas Eve party would kill me. Or him. Or both of us. Or we'd kill his sister-in-law.

Wanting to avoid a family murder scandal (and the inevitable squabbling over who cleans up after the kill), this year we're getting out of town beforehand.

I'm kidding about killing the sister-in-law. But I'm not kidding about us getting out of town. Specifically, to Las Vegas!

But not just us two. It will be us, my sister and her husband and their three kids (21, 17,15), plus our mothers (79 and 76-- they can entertain each other and leave us younger folk alone!). The hotel is probably going to be the MGM Grand, so that's taken care of.

Here is the question: Xmastime means that the pool will be closed. We adults will be grabbing casino time as we can, but that means the kids will need things to do. What can teenage kids do in the Strip area in Vegas? The 21-year-old shouldn't have any issues. The teenagers, however....

Oh, yeah. The teenagers are both girls. So I know a partial answer: Give them maps of the Forum Shops, the shops at Bellagio, the other shopping areas on the Strip. They have cell phones, they'll call when they're hungry and/or out of money. What else is there in the Strip area?

If we go Downtown to check out Fremont Street, will there be interesting things for us all to see and do?

Any ideas for Xmas dinner (less than $50 per person)? Any general dining recommendations that are cool but won't break the bank? You advice is greatly appreciated. My husband and I travel together wonderfully-- I make suggestions, he rejects most of them, I go along with whatever he thinks will be OK, we have a wonderful time because we enjoy each other's company--, but traveling with family can be a challenge.

Thanks in advance, folks!!

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