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Las Vegas is known for its bright lights and gambling. There’s lots of money flying around all over this town. But as with so many other things, you don’t have to spend a bunch of money to get a lot of enjoyment and value out of your Las Vegas Vacation. If you’re trying to trim your budget and spend less, there’s still a lot you can do in Vegas for FREE!
The casinos are full of gaming tables, slot machines, fancy hotel suites, spa treatments and restaurants where you can spend all the money you have (and they’d love for you to do so). But several casinos also have some very cool free things you can stop by and enjoy.
1) Bellagio – The Bellagio, aside from having beautiful casino rooms, has a gorgeous conservatory and botanical garden inside a 50-foot-high glass ceiling. The 14,000 square feet of garden displays change with each season. Entrance is free to anyone who wants to stop by. You can find out more: https://www.mgmresorts.com/en/things-to-do/bellagio/conservatory-botanical-garden.html
2) Of course, The Bellagio is world famous for its dancing fountains. Their fountain shows combine water, music, and light to create a mesmerizing attraction. Each production is actually unique so even if you’ve seen the fountains before, there’s always something new. Shows begin every 30 minutes during the day and early evening and every 15 minutes later in the evenings. Monday – Friday shows start at 3:00 PM and end at Midnight. Saturday shows start at noon and Sunday they start at 11:00 AM. For more information visit: https://www.bellagio.com/en/entertainment/fountains-of-bellagio.html
3) Circus Circus – Yep, you can watch live circus acts (think world class tightrope walkers, acrobats, jugglers, clowns and more) for free every day starting at 11:30 AM. Find out more here: https://www.circuscircus.com/en/entertainment/circus-acts.html
4) Mirage – Outside the Mirage Casino you can watch a volcano erupting and a fire and light show every night at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 PM. It lasts about 6 minutes and is accompanied by a cool soundtrack. Visit https://www.mirage.com/en/amenities/volcano.html for more info.
5) Harrah’s – Carnaval Court – This open-air street party offers free music both from live bands and DJs day and night. The bartenders do some pretty amazing things like flipping around flaming bottles while they make your drinks. There’s no cover charge to get in. You can find out more here: https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-las-vegas/things-to-do/nightlife-carnaval-court#.W2Naz0gvzIE
6) Venetian – Enjoy some luxury shopping (window shopping counts) at the Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes. Stroll through cobblestone streets, a recreated St. Mark’s Square, watch gondolas going by and enjoy world-class singers, actors, and musicians as you do. All for free! A highlight is the living statues. Check out the Venetian Shoppes here: https://www.venetian.com/shops/grand-canal-shoppes.html
7) The Flamingo – Enjoy a small slice of tropical paradise in the Flamingo’s wildlife habitat which features, not surprisingly, Chilean flamingos. You can also view swans, other exotic birds, fish, and turtles. It’s not a large venue, but it’s fun to stop in and take some pictures and enjoy something a little different. Find out more here: https://www.caesars.com/flamingo-las-vegas/things-to-do/wildlife-habitat#.W2tYEUgvzIE
8) Ethel M’s is a chocolatier located in Henderson, Las Vegas which is about 15 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. If you are heading to Lake Mead or the Hoover Dam you’ll probably be passing nearby. Not only can you take a self-guided tour down Ethel M’s viewing aisle and watch their amazing chocolates being made, you can also visit a 3-acre botanical cactus garden that Ethel M’s is located smack dab in the middle of. In early November the botanical garden is lit up with a million lights (that’s not hyperbole, they really use a million lights) and the lights stay up until New Year’s Day. Visit: https://www.ethelm.com/category/visiting-the-factory/self+guided+viewing+aisle.do and https://www.ethelm.com/category/visiting-the-factory/botanical+cactus+garden.do for more info.
Don’t want to venture outside of Las Vegas itself but still in the mood for some chocolate?
9) Hershey’s Chocolate World is located in the New York, New York casino complex. It’s free to enter and there’s an 800 lb. Chocolate Statue of Liberty on display. https://www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld/en_us/other-locations/las-vegas.html
10) The views of the strip from above are amazing, especially at night when everything is all lit up. The High Roller the world’s tallest observation wheel is one way to get to see them. It takes you 550 feet over the Strip, but a nighttime ticket for one adult will set you back $32 for the 30-minute ride. If you want fabulous views from high up as part of your Las Vegas Vacation without the high price check out the Level 107 lounge in the Stratosphere Tower at 2000 S. Las Vegas Blvd. The elevator whisks you up over 1000 feet (almost twice as high as the High Roller) and for the price of a cocktail or a Coke you can enjoy 360-degree views of Las Vegas in all its glory. Open daily from 4:00 PM to 3:00 AM. Find out more: https://www.stratospherehotel.com/Food-Drink/107SkyLounge
11) Don’t need to get quite that high? The Delano Hotel has a glass elevator you can ride up to the 64th floor (still higher than the High Roller). Again, for the price of a drink or an appetizer you can enjoy the beautiful view. Happy Hour is from 5:00-7:00 when “bar bites” start at $6 and cocktails start at $12. Find out more here: https://www.delanolasvegas.com/en/nightlife/skyfall-lounge.html
12) Prefer the vintage neon lights? Be sure to check out Freemont Street and the East Freemont Street neighborhood for some of the most famous. Give yourself a tour of the lights after dark.
13) If you want a little more light – The Viva Vision Lights Show is free and pretty amazing. They’ve put a canopy of over 12 million LED lights high up over Freemont Street and the neon lights of the casinos and shops below are topped by an amazing light show on the canopy above every hour between 6:00 PM and 1:00 AM. Oh, and of course there’s music to go with the show! Find out more at: https://vegasexperience.com/viva-vision-light-show/
14) More free music anyone? Check out the Downtown Rocks concert series on Freemont Street where amazing musicians like Melissa Etheridge, Billy Ray Cyrus, Eddie Money, and Jefferson Starship are playing. The concerts are free. Check out who else will be there and when at: https://vegasexperience.com/free-concerts-fremont-street-experience-las-vegas-2018/
15) Not there on the right date to hear your favorite musician? That’s O.K. Freemont Street has live bands you can listen to playing along the pedestrian mall every day.
So there you have it! 15 fun and free things to do on your Las Vegas Vacation.
Going be near the “Windy City”? Check out this post on 15 fun and free things to do in Chicago.
If you’re more in a New York State of Mind check out 40 Fun & Free Things to do in New York City!
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