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Free Things to Do in Las Vegas

Updated: July 22, 2023

The post covers a variety of fun activities you can enjoy for free in Las Vegas, including a top 10 list as well as things to do at night, and with kids. 


TOP 10 EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES THAT ARE FREE

Below are the top ten most popular things you can do for free in Sin City

Whenever possible, we will make a note to let you know whether these are either family-friendly or fun after dark.

Make sure to check out our other popular Vegas posts: 


1. View the Fountains of Bellagio

This can’t-miss kid-friendly fountain show incorporates streams of water that shoot 460 feet into the air, almost as tall as a 25-story building!

Pulsing lights timed to a selection of over 30 songs dance along the massive lake outside of the Bellagio Hotel.  

It’s a sight to behold, and a crowd favorite.

The Fountains of Bellagio schedule:

  • Monday through Friday times
  • Saturday, Sunday, and Holiday times
  • Show length is around 5 minutes

The best spots to view the show are as follows:

  • Along the edge of the lake outside the Bellagio 
  • Across the street from the steps outside Paris, or from the porch of Mon Ami Gabi restaurant
  • From the sky bridge that runs outside of Bally’s/Paris across The Strip to the Bellagio 
  • Many hotel rooms in the area

Find more family-friendly shows below.


2. Visit the Volcano at the Mirage

Think fire, lights, music, and choreography, right there on the Las Vegas Strip!

This kid-friendly show, with fire shooters and water blasts 12 feet into the air, takes place on the edge of a waterfall-filled lagoon.

The spectacle includes smoke effects as well as music that incorporates chants and other tribal elements along with sounds of actual volcanic eruptions.

The Volcano Schedule

  • Monday-Sunday times
  • Show length is around 5 minutes

Location:

  • Outside the Las Vegas Boulevard's main entrance at the Mirage

Best Viewing Spots:

  • Near the bridge leading from the front entrance. Arrive early to get a spot up front where you can feel the heat of the flames.

Find more family-friendly shows in the section below.


3. View the City Center Fine Art Collection

Experience the cultural side of Vegas.

This permanent art collection has been integrated into public spaces throughout ARIA Resort and Casino, The Shops at Crystals, Vdara Hotel & Spa, and Veer Towers.  

Stop in at the concierge at any of these City Center locations to pick up a brochure for a self-directed tour or download one found here.

Throughout these sites, you’ll find large-scale installations, paintings, photography, and sculptures in many differing styles, surrounded by superb architecture.

This is perfect for folks who want to get out and walk a bit, without suffering from the heat of the outdoors. Best of all, you can visit 24 hours a day.

And if high-end shopping (Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton) and 5-star food is your desire, you’ll find plenty along the way.

Pro-tip: use the monorail to move between the various ARIA properties.

Find more information on the ARIA website.


4. Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden

This 14,000-square-foot conservatory is a visual treat for the sense.

Here you’ll find flowers, trees, bridges, ponds, architectural recreations, and color as far as the eye can see.

Over 100 horticulturists tend to floral designs which change by season and often holiday.

Children and adults alike will find their Christmas displays especially arresting.

Hours:

  • Open 24 hours a day

Dates:

  • Check the website for floating closed dates when they change out displays (usually occurring in January, March, June, September, and December)

Location:

  • Inside the Bellagio to the right of the lobby’s front desk

Pro-tip:

  • Go either early in the morning or after 1:00 am to miss the crowds.

5. Stroll along the Fremont East Entertainment District

An Uber or bus ride away from The Strip is Fremont Street.

Here you’ll find free concerts, street performers, light shows, and more, all taking place under a canopy in the old-school, grittier part of Las Vegas.

Colorful is a word often used, referring both to the Fremont Street Experience light show, the LED show across the blocks long canopy ceiling, and the people working in and visiting Fremont.

More than 25,000 people make their way through here each day. This is where the locals go, and many visitors prefer Fremont to The Strip.

Food and drink are cheaper here as are the casinos, and slot machines are said to pay out more often.

Fremont Street hours:

  • Open 24 hours a day

Fremont Street Experience Light Show hours:

  • Hourly Monday – Sunday from 6:00 pm – 2:00 am

Location:

  • 1 mile from The Strip, approximately six blocks long

Pro-tip:

  • Look up! There are people on zip lines along the canopy.

6. Listen to Big Elvis at Harrah’s Piano Bar

Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee, known for his “dead-on renditions of Elvis’ most popular songs, is a Vegas institution.

He has one of the longest-running Elvis Presley tribute shows in Vegas.

His many fans often build their vacations around his show, and even those who aren’t originally Elvis enthusiasts are sucked in by his talent and charisma.

Showtimes:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday | 2 pm-6 pm

Location:

  • Harrah’s Piano Bar, just off Carnaval Court

Pro-tips:

  • Go a bit early as lines form as much as half an hour before the show.
  • Big Elvis sings different songs at each show, so it’s worth staying for more than one.
  • The other acts at Harrah’s Piano Bar, Dueling Pianos, and the Saxman Duo also get points for high energy and showmanship.

7. Save Money with a City Pass

It's easy to see more with an all-inclusive city pass like the Las Vegas Pass.

After paying one up-front price you get skip-the-line access and entry into as many of the 50+ attractions that you can fit into your day.

Included in the All-Inclusive Pass:

  • Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour
  • Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck
  • Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.
  • Hoover Dam Half-Day Tour
  • Madame Tussauds

All-inclusive passes are perfect for travelers who are on the go throughout their visit.

Our full city pass comparison post will help you decide exactly which pass will save you the most money.


8. Tour the Shelby Heritage Center

If you like cars, this is the place for you.

It’s described as “heaven on earth for car nuts”. In fact, you don’t need to be a fanatic to appreciate the beauty of these cars.

Stop in for a free guided tour or self-tour of what some folks call a shrine to classic Mustangs and Cobras.

Watch cars being rebuilt through the showroom windows and visit the much-praised gift shop.

Business Hours

  • Monday – Friday | 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
  • Saturday | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday | 10:00 AM – 4:00 pm

Guided Tours can be had for a price

Pro-tip

  • Tours do not require reservations
  • Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day

9. Experience the Streetmosphere at the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian Hotel & Casino

Outside and within the Venetian Hotel & Casino, you will find a cobbled street and miniature canals surrounded by Venetian architecture, bridges, and even gondolas.

It's not hard to imagine you are in Venice, Italy.

Adding to the sensory experience, inside are jugglers, classically trained singers, stilt walkers, dancers, and living statues who form what is called the Streetmosphere.

Costumed performers can be found throughout the Grand Canal Shoppes serenading guests, and a live show is performed outside of St. Mark’s Square a number of times a day.

Listen for the Gondolier March when all 12 gondoliers sing in unison before opening up the gondolas to (paid) rides.

Pay close attention to white statues as they may not be what you’re expecting. Kid-friendly.

Hours for the various shows:

Pro-tip:


10. Take Free Gambling/Gaming Lessons

If you’re a newbie or just want a refresher course, many casinos offer free gaming lessons.

They cover the fundamental rules for each game and let you play a few hands.

These popular classes also cover the etiquette and jargon around each game as well as the strategy of the games.

Here are just some of the casinos that offer complimentary lessons. Be sure to double-check the times with staff as they may change without notice.


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT FOR FREE

Since Vegas is known as a 24-hour city, much of what we’ve already listed is available to do in the evenings such as watching the Bellagio fountains and the Mirage volcano show.

Here is a list of other evening activities that won’t break the bank. 

If you're looking for more evening entertainment, check our full post that lists Las Vegas evening activities.


11. The LINQ Promenade

The LINQ Promenade stands between Flamingo and the Linq Hotel & Casino.

Here you can find dozens of restaurants, graffiti artists at work, shops, sweets, and a zip line that flies people overhead as you walk through.

The High Roller is an even larger replica of the London Eye Ferris wheel in the UK.

Full of pedestrians, lights, and energy at any time of day, this is the perfect place for window shoppers, people watchers, thrill-seekers, and foodies.  

The Promenade itself is open 24 hours a day and is completely free to explore.  


12. Fremont Street

Fremont Street is yet another 24-hour entertainment destination in Las Vegas. You can find free live music onstage, a 12-story zip line, and regular light shows after dark.

The Viva Vision light shows are not to be missed since they’re projected from the world’s largest video screen.

If you want to do a little gambling with zero risks, both Binion’s and Four Queens have free slot machine pulls at their Fremont Street entrances.


13. The Swarovski Starburst Drop

Pretend it’s New Year’s Eve every night with the three-minute Swarovski Starburst light show.

Conveniently located above the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s and right off the Las Vegas Strip, there is nothing subtle about the 4,000-pound ball of Swarovski crystals and LED lights.

During the show, the multicolored lights are synced to music.

Witness the show at 9:00 pm and midnight every day of the year.


14. Free Street Parties at Harrah’s Carnaval Court

With endless parties to choose from in Las Vegas, why not find them all?

Start with Harrah’s free, outdoor nightclub at the Carnaval Court. You’ll find DJs and live music pumped through the speakers.

Feel free to jump into the dancing crowd, or sit back and order a cocktail from one of the fancy flair bartenders throwing their bottles around.

The street parties last from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.


15. The Piano Bar at Harrah’s

For a more laid-back evening, catch a show at Harrah’s Piano Bar. They have shows every night that are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

Dueling Pianos

You’re not seeing double, because there are identical twin sisters at these dueling pianos. Shows are scheduled almost every night at 9:00 pm.

Big Elvis

Big Elvis is one of the most popular impersonators of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. He always draws a crowd to his shows on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

DJ Rusty’s Karaoke

Show off your singing skills between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday.

Saxman Duo

The Saxman Duo put on a Classic Soul Show in the mid-afternoon.

You can find them at the Piano Bar on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm.


16. The Lake of Dreams at Wynn

The Lake of Dreams at the Wynn Las Vegas is a man-made marvel, complete with a 40-foot waterfall spilling off of an artificial mountain covered in pine trees.

After dark, 4,000 lights put on a show set to music. You’ll see holographic singing frogs and dancing flowers.

You can watch from the bar at the top of the mountain, the restaurant at the base of the lake, or the open viewing area that faces the waterfall.

This light show runs every half-hour beginning at dusk and is a great family-friendly option for nighttime entertainment.


17. Play in the Backyard at the Gold Spike

If you want to avoid the crowds during the day, give “The Backyard” at the Gold Spike a try.

This recently renovated location has the reputation of being laid back and affordable, which makes it a draw for people looking for a nightclub alternative.

The Gold Spike is perfect if you’re looking for a non-gambling activity. Get comfortable in their comfortable couches and fire pits. Feeling playful? Try a game of giant Jenga, Connect Four, 4 Square, or Chess.

Other Games to Play

  • Shuffle Board
  • Twister
  • Cornhole
  • Darts
  • Fooseball
  • Skeeball

Pro-tip

  • You can find free wifi access here
  • Check the schedule for DJs and live music on weekends

Hours

  • Open 24/7

18. Mystic Falls Park

Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall has the relaxing 25,000 square-foot Mystic Falls Park in the middle of its casino,

At any hour you'll find live trees, waterfalls, walking paths, bunches, and chirping birds, the perfect place to relax and get away from the hubhub.

Things really come alive with a 10 minutes Sunset Stampeded laser light and fountain show. There are dancing fountains set to music and laser lights in loads of color.

A howling wold lets you know the show is about the start. Visit the website for the show schedule.


FREE FAMILY-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO

In this section, we will cover a variety of fun things you can do with your family without having to spend any money.

From Circus Circus acts to playgrounds, there will be something for everyone on this list!

You can find our full post about family-friendly entertainment here


19. See the Downtown Container Park

More and more cities are turning to shipping containers to build shopping centers.

Las Vegas’s Downtown Container Park is one of the largest of its kind, with plenty of options for dining and shopping.

What makes this park a great place for families to visit is the large courtyard playground in the middle of the park.

The playground has a tall, treehouse with slides, a dome that puts on light shows, and a large, metal-playing mantis.

If you’re there at the right time, you could see flames coming out of the mantis’s arms.  

NOTE: The container park is 18+ after 9:00 pm.


20. Circus Circus Acts

You don’t have to pay for Circ du Soleil to see some amazing acrobatics. Go to the Circus Circus hotel’s Carnival Midway to find free circus acts.

There are performances every day of the week. Be sure to check the schedule before you go

If you want to secure a seat in the available bleachers, you should arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the performance starts.

Acts on display include high-flying trapeze tricks, feats of strength, traditional circus clowns, juggling, slacklining, and unicycling.

The Midway itself offers carnival games, but be ready to pay at least $2 per try at any game.


21. See the Mermaid Show at the Silverton Aquarium

The Silverton Hotel has a 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium full of thousands of tropical saltwater fish. There are also sharks. stingrays, and jellyfish.

You can sit and watch the marine life for free.

If you time it right, however, you could see and interact with mermaids! They will feed the fish, as well as swim up to the glass to give high fives.

Silverton advertises the opportunity to dine with the mermaids in a VIP area, but it isn’t necessary to pay to see them in the tank.

Mermaid Swim Times

  • Thursday - Saturday
    • 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
    • 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
    • 5:00 pm - 8:15 pm
  • Sunday
    • 10:30 am - 12:45 pm
    • 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
    • 5:00 pm - 6:45 pm

Stingray Feedings

  • Daily at 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm

Also at the Bass Pro Shops at the Silverton, there is an 18,000-gallon water feature that mimics Red Rock Canyon's rock formations and live Koi in it.

There are other aquariums and flowing water features that have ducks, bluegills, turtles, catfish, carp, bass, and more.


22. Ethel M Chocolate

Open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm every day, this chocolate paradise offers you a window into the chocolate-making process with its self-guided viewing floor.

At the Ethel M Chocolate Factory, you can see how they make chocolates and other candy with large-scale efficiency and try a sample of dark or light chocolate.

After taking a look at the chocolate production line, you can also walk through their Botanical Cactus Garden.

It’s the largest succulent garden in the Southwest US, taking up four acres of space.

Keep in mind, they will try to sell you on purchasing chocolates or the tasting experience.

TIP: If you want to see the chocolate-making process, visit early in the day as the production stops after the day’s chocolate orders are completed.

And, if you didn't get enough chocolate, you might try Hershey's Chocolate World at New York-New York Hotel & Casino or the M&M's shop in the Showcase Mall.


23. The Pinball Hall of Fame Museum

Competitive or game-playing families will enjoy a trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame. 10,000 square feet of restored pinball machines are all lined up and ready to play.

The not-for-profit museum is free to enter, but make sure to have plenty of quarters ready if you want to play one of the machines.

Signs are posted around the building to let you know that proceeds gained from gameplay and candy machines are donated to the Salvation Army.

  • Open 10:00 am to 10:00 pm every day.

24. Town Square Children’s Park and Playground

Town Square is an open-air shopping mall with dining and entertainment. The Town Square Children’s Park will provide hours of fun for all the kids in your family.

You can climb into the treehouse that holds a rock wall and slides or cool off in the summer at the splash pad fountains.

A child-size hedge maze is right next to toddler-friendly playhouses, and there is a stage for kid-centric performances.

Park Hours

  • Monday - Thursday from 10:00 am - 8:30 pm
  • Friday - Saturday from 10:00 am - 9:30 pm
  • Sunday from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm

25. Experience a Rainstorm at Planet Hollywood

The Planet Hollywood Hotel Miracle Mile shopping center has a large, indoor pond nestled among the shopfronts.

It isn’t a normal water feature, though, as there are regular rainstorms (or thunderstorms) that descend on the pond.

The whole family can watch the calm water be overtaken by fog, flashes of lightning, claps of thunder, and rain.

It might be the only time you see rain in Las Vegas.

Showtimes

  • Monday - Thursday
    • Every hour from 10:00 am - 11:00 pm
  • Friday - Sunday
    • Every half-hour from 10:00 am - 11:00 pm

26. The Mob Museum

See a piece of the action at the Mob Museum.

From the Mob’s early beginnings in the 1900s and the prohibition to the mobs and gamblers of Las Vegas, you can take a deep dive into a secret world.

In other parts of the museum, you can learn how law enforcement has studied criminals, including the Mob, to catch them.

This includes fingerprinting demonstrations tapes of recorded conversations between Mob members.

There are also scavenger hunts, guided tours, and audio tours.

NOTE: Adult tickets purchased online are $29.95. All children 10 and under are FREE. Parking at the museum will be a $7 fee.


27. The Fall of Atlantis at the Forum Shops

Witness the fall of the famed underwater city at Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops.

Animatronic characters come to life and all fight to rule Atlantis. The show includes flashing lights, sound effects, fire and heat, and a 20-foot winged dragon.

It is advised to arrive a few minutes early to get close to the show, as spectators too far away can’t hear the audio.

The 8-minute show plays every hour at the following times:

  • Thursday - Monday | 12:00 pm - 8:00 am
  • Tuesday-Wednesday | Closed

28. The Las Vegas Sign

Fun fact, the Las Vegas sign isn’t even in Las Vegas. It’s a mile beyond one of the first big-name hotels on the Strip.  

But because the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is basically the unofficial logo for Las Vegas, it’s worth catching a ride over there to snap pictures in front of.


29. Seven Magic Mountains

Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone created the colorful Seven Magic Mountains art installation.

Out in the desert, about ten miles outside of Las Vegas, you'll find 7 towers of stacked boulders. The boulders are 30 feet high and painted in many colors.

The free attraction has become so popular that a planned two-year exhibit has been indefinitely extended.

Visit the Seven Magin Mountains website for additional information.


30. Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

Everyone is sure to find the Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Hotel special, especially as it's not something one would expect to find in downtown Las Vegas.

There are old sorts of birds and fish there, including Chilean Flamingos, Brown Pelicans, Stureon, Koi, Alboni Catfish, turtles, and hummingbirds.

They live in a quiet garden with waterfalls and rocks and palm trees, the perfect place to escape from the noise of the strip.


31. The Hand of Faith

Head over to the Golden Nugget to view a 61 lb golden nugget in the lobby.

This nugget, in the shape of a hand giving a blessing, is the biggest ever found with a metal detector.

It was discovered in Australia and sold for over $1 million.


32. Check out The Sphere

The $1.2 billion MSG Sphere, which when completed will be the world's largest spherical structure, is expected to open at the end of September 2023.

Concerts, sporting events, films, and award shows will take place at the venue which will have enough room for up to 25,000 people

What's impressive are the millions of LED's covering the outside of the building.

These can be programmed to advertise upcoming shows, send holiday messages, or just light up the Vegas sky with an interesting design.

This is a free experience you won't want to miss.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Folks often have questions about free things to do in Vegas. Here are a few of the most popular ones we've received.

Can you get free drinks and rooms at Las Vegas casinos?

One can certainly get free drinks. In fact, if you sit down at a slot machine near a bar, and insert your money without playing, often a server will come over to offer you a drink. The more money you play during your time there, the more free drinks you'll be given.

You'll also often get free drinks while you're gambling at a table.

The higher the value of tables and slots, and the higher your bets, the more often you'll be visited by a server. Also, good tipping often results in a return visit.

Since casinos can track your play through loyalty programs, they're able to provide comps (rewards or perks) to those who have spent a certain amount of money with them or a certain amount of time gambling.

Once you meet a certain tier or level, the hotel may offer you these comps.

Those comps could result in free or discounted hotel rooms. Or they could result in spa visits, complimentary limousines, complimentary on-site meals, and more.

Certain casinos or hotel groups have their own loyalty rewards program, ones worth signing up with. Examples include Wynn Rewards, Caesars Rewards, and M Life Rewards.

Are there any free shows in Vegas?

Yes, there are many free shows in Vegas.

You can head over to the Streetmosphere at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian for music and fashion shows.

Circus Circus has a circus show that runs each day.

Freemont Street Experience has Downtown Rocks, a free show with some of the biggest names in rock music.

There are also shows like the Mirage Volcano, the Fountains at the Bellagio, and the laser lights show Mystic Falls Park.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding free things to do in Vegas.

Where is the best free view in Vegas?

Sadly, we aren't aware of any place that offers an amazing view for free.

Many places charge for the great view, including Paris' Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck, The High Roller Observation Wheel, and the Strat.

The bars that used to let people in for happy hour now seem to be charging an entrance fee, knowing people are often just coming in for the view.

Certainly, a hotel room on a higher floor might give you a good view, depending on the location and which way it's facing.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: July 22nd, 2023
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