Free Things to Do in Las Vegas

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 THINGS TO DO 

Below are the top ten most popular things you can do for free in Las Vegas. Whenever possible, we will make a note to let you know whether these are either family-friendly or fun after dark.


(1) View the Fountains of Bellagio

This can’t-miss kid-friendly show incorporates streams of water that shoot 460 feet into the air, 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.

Monday through Friday:

  • Every half an hour from 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • Every 15 minutes from 8:00 PM – midnight

Saturdays and Holidays:

  • Every half an hour from noon – 8:00 PM
  • Every 15 minutes from 8:00 PM – midnight

Sundays:

  • Every half an hour from 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Every 15 minutes from 7:00 PM – midnight

Show Length:

  • Around 5 minutes

Pro-tip:

  • The best spots to view the show are: 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;  From many hotel rooms in the area.

(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.

  • Hours:
    • Daily at 8:00 PM, 9:00 PM, and 10:00 PM
  • Show Length:
    • Around 5 minutes
  • Location:
    • Outside the Las Vegas Boulevard main entrance at the Mirage.
  • Pro-tip:
    • The best spot to view the show is 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.

(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.

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

  • Hours:
    • 24 hours a day
  • Pro-tip:
    • Use the monorail to move between the various ARIS properties

(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, and color as far as the eye can see.

 

 

Over 100 horticulturists tend to the 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 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 slots 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 6 PM – 1AM

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  2:00 PM, 2:30 PM, and 5 PM
  • Wednesday 2:00 PM, 2:30 PM, and 5 PM
  • Friday 2:00 PM, 2:30 PM, and 5 PM

Location

  • Harrah’s Piano Bar, just off of Carnaval Court

Pro-tip

  • 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) 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 – Saturday 9:30 AM – 6 PM
  • Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Free Guided Tours

  • Monday – Friday  10:30 AM and 1:30 PM
  • Saturday 10:30 AM
  • Sunday no tours

Pro-tip

  • Tours do not require reservations
  • Closed 12/24 & 25 and 12/31 & 1/1

 


(8) Experience the Streetmosphere at the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian Hotel & Casino

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

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.

Carnevale de Venezia at St. Mark’s Square

  • Daily at 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM

Gondolier March

  • 9:50 AM and 4:20 PM

The Venetian Trio

  • Daily and every 30 minutes between 6:30 PM and 10:00 PM

Living Statues display

  • Daily 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Pro-tip

  • If you arrive around 20 minutes before the show at St. Mark’s begins, you can get a front row seat. The show lasts for about 15 minutes.

(9) 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.

 

 

Below 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.

Boulder Station: 

  • Poker – daily at 2 PM

Circus Circus: 

  • Blackjack – daily at 10:30 AM
  • Roulette – daily at 11:30 AM.
  • Craps – daily at 12:30 PM

Excalibur:

  • Poker – daily at 11 AM
  • Craps – daily at 12:30 PM and 8 PM
  • Roulette – daily at 1 PM and 9 PM
  • Blackjack – daily at 1:30 PM and 9:30 PM

Golden Nugget: 

  • Craps – Monday – Wednesday at 10 AM; Thursday-Sunday at 10 AM & noon
  • Poker – daily at 10 AM
  • Blackjack – daily at 11 AM
  • Roulette- daily at 11:30 AM

Luxor: 

  • Craps – daily at noon
  • Black Jack – daily at noon
  • Roulette – daily at noon

Mandalay Bay: 

  • Poker – Monday – Thursday at 2 p.m.

The Venetian: 

  • Craps – Sunday-Friday at 11:00 AM and 7 PM; Saturday at 11 AM
  • Blackjack/Spanish 21 – Sunday-Friday at 11:45 AM and 7:45 PM; Saturday at 11:45 AM
  • Roulette – Sunday-Friday at noon & 8:00 PM; Saturday at noon

Stratosphere: 

  • Craps – ask a staff member
  • Roulette – ask a staff member

(10) Save 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

 


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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. 


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.  


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 risk, both Binion’s and Four Queens have free slot machine pulls at their Fremont Street entrances.


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.


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 am.


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, at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

DJ Rusty’s Karaoke

Show off your singing skills between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

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 5:00 pm.


The Lake of Dreams at Wynn

The Lake of Dreams 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 holographics, 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 from 8:00 pm to 12:30 am and is a great family-friendly option for nighttime entertainment.


Play in the Backyard at the Gold Spike

If you want to avoid the crowds during the day, give the “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

 


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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 in this list!


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.


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.

The performances run hourly, starting at 11:30 am every day and go until at least 10:30 pm. Check the schedule before you go, as later shows may be scheduled week to week into the 12:30 am hour.

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.


See the Mermaid Show at the Silverton Aquarium

The Silverton Hotel has an aquarium full of thousands of tropical saltwater fish. 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 – 1:10 pm
    • 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
    • 5:00 pm – 6:45 pm

Marine Biologist Feeding Shows

  • Daily at 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm

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 their self-guided viewing floor. 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.


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 11:00 am to 11:00 pm every day.

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 tree house 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

Experience a Rainstorm at Planet Hollywood

The Planet Hollywood hotel shopping center has a large, indoor pond nestled among the shopfronts. It isn’t a normal water feature, though, as there are regular rainstorms 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

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.

Note: Adult tickets purchased online are $23.95. All children 10 and under are FREE. Parking at the museum will be a $7 fee.


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:

  • Sunday – Thursday from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Friday – Saturday from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

 


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