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, 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 © 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.
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, 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.
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Gennaro 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.