Las Vegas offers a vast array of entertainment and attractions – namely, its gambling culture, but also its resort hotels, gourmet restaurants, and live shows. They helped make Sin City what it is, but can put pressure on anyone’s budget.
Thankfully, there are some free – and fun – activities that you can add to your itinerary without a fuss.
Here are our top picks of free things to do in Las Vegas:
The Fremont Street Experience
The Strip is the biggest destination in Las Vegas, but in the early days of the city, everything happened in Downtown Las Vegas. Located in the North of the city, it remains an attraction that everyone should see.
Dominating Downtown Vegas is the Fremont Street Experience, a vibrant pedestrian mall known for its extravagant light shows. And soon, those lights will be upgraded to 4k, just in time for New Year’s Eve 2020.
Even if you don’t gamble or shop, there’s tons to enjoy and see just by walking end to end. Often, you can catch a free concert on one of three different stages. Various entertainers perform everything from magic to juggling, or speed crafting. You can even check out the people riding the SlotZilla zipline overhead.
And, if you are over 350 pounds, head on over to the Heart Attack Grill to eat for free. We recommend their Butterfat Milkshakes.
The Bellagio Fountain Show
If you have seen a picture of Las Vegas, you’ve probably seen the Bellagio’s iconic fountains. Perhaps the best free attractions in the city, the fountains are open to all. Shows happen every 15 to 30 minutes throughout the day and night, so it is easy to stop in even when walking up and down the Strip.
Or, have a bite at Hexx across the street, and take in their full grandeur over some delicious chocolates.
The entire show is choreographed to music, and quite calming. It is an excellent family friendly attraction, and even works for couples. Just keep an eye out for crowds, since certain times can be a bit hectic.
Once the show is over, make sure to head inside and check out the Bellagio’s conservatory and botanical gardens. They are both free, and great for photo ops.
The Volcano Show at The Mirage
The Volcano Show is similar to the Fountain Show, but features fire, artificial fog, and sound effects, in addition to water fountains and music, to simulate a volcanic eruption on some fantasy island in the Pacific ocean. While this is a family friendly attraction, the late hours of the show times may make a viewing more convenient for adults.
The Volcano erupts every day at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm, although the schedule may change for example if there is high wind.
You can find it outside the Main Entrance of The Mirage casino resort on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Drive out to Seven Magic Mountains
There is a great art installation out there in the desert that is sure to be a hit for your Instagram.
This collection of brightly colored rocks set in stacks is only a short drive south of Las Vegas. Found just off I-15, you can even catch an Uber of Lyft.
The Seven Magic Mountains contrasts the austere desert with simple whimsy. It might not be for everybody, but when you want to take a breather and recover from Vegas life, hop on over to experience the dramatic colors and landscape.
Be sure to bring your camera and some water, or even a picnic.
The installation the brainchild of Ugo Rondinone and is a co-production of the Nevada Museum of Art and Art Production Fund.
Watch a show at Circus Circus
Well, the Circus Circus is certainly a unique property in Las Vegas. Admittedly, it is not our kind of place, but does offer a variety of free acts.
Performances happen every half hour, starting at 11:30am, including trapeze artists, acrobats, clowns, and much more. The high flying show is fun and is a great way to take a break between casinos or bars.
Circus Circus is also one of the most family-friendly resorts on the Strip, with a buffet that is like one giant kid’s menu. And if your kids are getting antsy, you can take them to the Adventuredome, although the rides there cost money. However, you may be able to get a good deal if you book ahead of time.
Be careful if you have an aversion to clowns. You cannot avoid the giant one forming the main signage for the property.
The Grand Canal Shoppes
One of the wonders of Las Vegas, The Venetian is the most iconic resort in Vegas. No one should leave without taking a stroll through the Grand Canal Shoppes, which are designed to recreate the architecture and atmosphere of Venice, complete with canals and gondola rides.
Even if you don’t shop, the spectacle of fake sky and themed streets will be more than enough to keep you entertained. You’ll even be able to watch performers in St. Mark’s Square. It’s as close as you can get to Italy without actually going there.
After you’ve sufficiently explored the mall, head over to the Palazzo, where you’ll find a giant atrium waterfall. It’s the perfect place for a photo and maybe even a kiss if you’re lucky.
But be careful, you may need a map, since this place is sprawling.
The Ethel M Chocolate Factory
In nearby Henderson, you can tour the Ethel M Chocolate Factory. Tours are free and you’ll get to see to see how they make their award winning treats.
Outside, there is a botanical garden which features a variety of cactus species across four acres.
If you are willing to spend some money, you can even do a wonderful chocolate tasting or purchase some to take home.
CBS Television City
Over at the MGM Grand, you can find the CBS Television City.
Inside you can actually watch unaired pilots that CBS is considering for their line-up.
They also offer testing for new commercials and even sometimes for new products, like gaming systems and smartphones.
You’ll take a short touch-screen survey afterwards, and you may get a swag bag of merch.
This is a great experience that you shouldn’t miss out on.