Free Things to Do in Las Vegas

February 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Destinations, Features

Las Vegas is filled with an array of spectacular entertainment choices. It’s easy and usually worthwhile to spend lots of cash on Vegas’ unique shows, remarkable watering holes, and tasty restaurants. That being said, Las Vegas offers lots of free entertainment too. Whether you’ve had tough luck at the slot machines or you’re merely looking to stay within budget, Enduring Wanderlust has compiled nine quality things to do in Las Vegas for free.

1. Sirens of TI at Treasure Island

Treasure Island Hotel of Las Vegas features a nightly show that exhibits a range of performances. The entertainment centers around two groups of singing pirates who battle it out for supremacy. Their scantly-dressed members perform a choreographed dance as a variety of pyrotechnics light up the evening sky for a densely-filled audience. There are four shows per night starting at 5:30pm. Arrive early for a better view. Do note that guests of The Mirage-MGM Properties receive preferred access.
sirens-of-ti-las-vegas.jpg Sirens, Treasure Island © Gennaro Salamone

2. Acrobats of Circus Circus

Circus Circus Hotel has fifteen-minute indoor performances that draw adults and kids alike. Their shows include acrobats, jugglers, and clowns. The acrobats swing high in the air leaping to grasps their partners’ hands for dear life. The apex of their extravaganza is a blind-folded triple flip by the lead acrobat. It draws thundering applause from the mixed crowd. The free shows run regularly from 11:00am to midnight. There are seating and standing areas.

3. Aquariums at The Mirage or Caesars

The Mirage and Caesars Palace are both equiped with massive aquariums that are open to the public. The former has a 20,000 gallon saltwater tank within easy walking distance of their casino. It has a variety of colorful sea creatures from reefs around the world. The latter is located in the Forum Shoppes of Caesars. It’s a 50,000 gallon saltwater aquarium behind finely crafted Roman-replica statues. Feedings at the Caesars aquarium take place at 1:15pm and 5:15pm. Mandalay Bay Hotel also has a highly recommended Shark Reef, but comes with a significant entrance fee. That being said, it’s the only facility that gives visitors an opportunity to touch stingrays.

4. Fountains of Bellagio

The dancing waters of the Bellagio Fountains are one of the most popular attractions on the Vegas Strip. The beautiful movements of the water performance change regularly. The same is true for the relaxing music and soft lighting. It’s a peaceful oasis in the middle of Sin City. Watch for over 1,200 devices spraying water as high as 460 feet high. The Eiffel Tower of Paris, Las Vegas is a great place for a second view of the fountains for those paying to go up. The fountains run every 30 minutes until 8:00pm and every 15 minutes, from that point, until midnight.
bellagio-fountains-las-vegas.jpg Bellagio Fountains © Gennaro Salamone

5. Lions of MGM Grand

The MGM Grand Hotel features a rotating group of lions within a glass-enclosed area of their casino. Just a few steps away, from hundreds of slot machines, roams several character-filled lions. When they’re not roaring at the gawkers, the big cats are usually napping atop the glass-covered entrance. The lions normally live at an 8.5 acre-ranch located miles away from the MGM. Each day, from 11:00am-10:00pm, visitors may visit the lions. The exception is, between 3:30pm and 4:30pm, when new lions arrive from the ranch.

6. Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge or The Grape

Looking for a drink to calm your nerves from the lions? Need a sweet pick-me-up? Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge offers free self-guided tours of their chocolate facilities and Botanical Catus Gardens. Visitors are welcomed to roam from 8:30am to 6:00pm. Do try Ethel’s scrumptious chocolates before heading out.

The Grape wine bar offers free wine tasting every Thursday. The tastings are accompanied by live music for those arriving after 7:00pm. Las Vegas Magazine reports that Vegas’ Thurston Howlies is the most common performer with sounds of jazz and Brazilian harmonies played by the lounge band.

7. Volcano at The Mirage

The newly-redesigned volcano at The Mirage is a spectacular demostration of flames along with a thundering soundtrack. The bright oranges emitted from the volcano light up the The Strip, on a hourly basis, from dusk until dawn. The best views are reserved for visitors who arrive a few minutes early or for guests who watch the eruption from the upper floors of The Mirage.
volcano-mirage-las-vegas.jpgVolcano, The Mirage © Gennaro Salamone

8. Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Bellagio

The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens of the Bellagio Hotel feature a regulary changing display of brilliant horiculture. The designers of the garden ensure that every detail matches the sensibility of the season or holiday that is being portrayed at the time. The current display is an astounding tribute to the Chinese New Year. It includes local fauna, red lanterms, zen-like ponds, and a towering statue. The exhibition is open 24 hours a day for visitors who can’t bare to leave the slot machines or blackjack tables.

9. Chilean Flamingos of the Flamingo Las Vegas

The Flamingo Hotel of Las Vegas has a free 15-acre Wildlife Habitat filled with African penguins, Chilean flamingos, and a variety of other birds. Feeding take place at 8:30am and 3:00pm. While the area is open 24 hours a day, it’s best to arrive before dark. Many of the birds, including the star flamingos, are less visible or asleep in the evening.

Read about inexpensive things to do in London.
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gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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Comments

27 Responses to “Free Things to Do in Las Vegas”
  1. Tim says:

    Love Vegas. Very nice list here. A few favorites on there are the fountains and the volcano. Haven’t seen the pirate deal. Look interesting though…fiery explosion and all.

  2. Liz says:

    I’ve been planning of a Vegas trip for 2 years. It keeps getting pushed off :(

    Thanks for the great tips. Free tips are the best as I plan to use my funds for a little gambling!

  3. I love Vegas, my wife and I will there in three weeks. There is always so much to do and see, and as Gennaro pointed out some cool things are free. I have been to Vegas at least a dozen times and the Bellagio fountains never get old. The Conservatory at the Bellagio also never gets old, as they change it for the season/holiday.

    If you need a person to test drive some Ferrari’s from the Wynn just let me know! ;-)

  4. fly girl says:

    Chilean flamingos? I’m not a Vegas fan but I’d come just to see them and the volcano!

  5. TR says:

    I prefer the Casears aquarium of the free ones. The Shark Reef is nice also. Pirate show is funny. A little corny, but I like it.

  6. Gennaro says:

    @Liz

    You can good deals now and in the next few weeks.

    @Ryan

    Agreed about the fountains. It sucks you in. That Ferrari shop and “museum” at the Wynn in a nice little spot. I wouldn’t mind a test drive myself.

    @flygirl

    Vegas doesn’t appeal to everyone, but there is something there for everyone none-the-less. You picked two good ones :)

    @TR

    Agreed on Caesars. The Shark Reef was worth the it too. The pirates are definately a silly (songs anyway), but worth seeing.

  7. Anna says:

    Agree with Ryan. I want to test drive a Ferrari! I like the wildlife. Definately want to check out the lions, flamingos, and aquariums.

  8. Gennaro says:

    @Anna

    There is also a habitat for white tigers, leopards, and dolphins at The Mirage. There’s a fee, but it’s worth it.

  9. oh – wish I had seen this before our last visit to Vegas!! It’s such a cool place and this is definitely a good list of “must see” items!

  10. Gennaro says:

    @Tabitha

    Thanks. Vegas was better than I expected.

  11. LN says:

    I dig the Bellagio fountains too. I saw the original volcano and the new one is much better especially the music.

  12. Sire says:

    You see, you just can’t believe what everybody tells you as there are some things that can be found for free, and in Las Vegas yet. Still, I don’t find that too surprising as it is good PR to give something away if it generates interest in a product, service or even a location. You just need to know where to go, and this post certainly does that.

    Quick question. That Pirate act thing, is that the one that was shown on the movie, Miss Congeniality 2?

  13. Gennaro says:

    @Sire

    You make some excellent points about the publicity. Especially since these hotels all have casinos and want bodies to walk through their doors. Never saw Miss Congeniality 2, but if it was at Treasure Island Hotel in Vegas it’s surely it or at least something close.

    @LN

    Didn’t see the original volcano, but this one was quite interesting. Thanks for the comparison.

  14. This is great, I know a little about some of the free entertainment in Vegas. But you really out done yourselves here, this list is awesome. I am sure a lot of people can use this list. Great job, thanks for putting it all together for us.

    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

  15. Gennaro says:

    @Giovanna Garcia

    Thanks. Plenty will be spent elsewhere so it helps to have a few spots to save a few.

  16. Nomadic Matt says:

    in this economy, free is always good

  17. Ashley says:

    I love those fountains too. It’s so relaxing and usually a different show each time. I’ve seen a lot of these, but missed the acrobats at Circus Circus. I will catch that next time around. Vegas is a great city to look at during the evenings. That alone is worth the trip.

  18. Gennaro says:

    @Nomadic Matt

    No doubt. It also helps to extend trips.

    @Ashley

    The acrobats are fun to watch. Get there a bit early for seating. Though it’s only 15 minutes or so. Standing is fine.

  19. Nik says:

    Very nice, definitely will come in handy if I ever want to visit Vegas!

    At the Mandalay Hotel Shark Reef.. visitors are allowed to swim with the stingrays!?

  20. Gennaro says:

    @Nik

    Not swim, but there is an area with a shallow pool of sorts. That’s where visitors can gather and touch the stingrays. They have a nice texture. Have to go off to Belize to swim with them :)

  21. Those are definitely the best spots for free entertainment on the strip. My favorite is the Botanical Gardens in Bellagio. It is always so beautiful and fresh smelling in there.

    ~ Kristi

  22. Gennaro says:

    @Kikolani

    The garden are beautiful and constantly changing. They pick some really interesting themes. It was Chinese New Year a few weeks ago and they did a fantastic job with it.

  23. jane lamczyk says:

    Next time I’ll have to try the chocolate and wine tasting.Id like to add some other ideas.Freemont street is fantastic!On the hour they have a show outside in the mall.You look up and see a visual display that goes with music like Don Maclain’s American Pie. The drinks are like a dollar at different places.At one of the casinos there’s a .99 shrimp cocktail.There are also live bands playing.The bus is a great value also. You can ride all day for about $7.00.It really saves your feet and you can get a good view of the casinos.The Sahara used to have dollar beers and dollar hot dogs.Hope I added some new ideas.

  24. Gennaro says:

    @Jane Lamczyk – Great tips.

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