For many people, the thought of a Las Vegas vacation might be appealing. Gaming, world-class dining, incredible shows, and upscale shopping combine to make Sin City a one-of-a-kind destination. However, for some, it seems too expensive. Show tickets can run more than $100, restaurants can be very pricy, and gambling can be an easy way to blow through excess cash quickly.
What many don’t realize is that there are some absolutely incredible free activities on the Las Vegas Strip that can help you control the costs of your Vegas vacation. Here are some of my favorites! (For more recommendations and an insider view of Vegas, check out our interview with headliner Lydia Ansel here.)
Walk through the hotels and their unique features
Each property on the Strip has a different feel, and each comes with some interesting things to look at. There are flamingos in the Flamingo and fish at Mandalay Bay. You can explore New York, Paris, and Rome via New York, New York, Paris, and Caesar’s Palace, respectively, and the Venetian recreates the magic of Venice.
The Grand Canal in the Venetian.
If you enjoy flowers, stop into Bellagio for their monthly rotating garden next to the front desk, or walk through the Wynn to see a flower-covered carousel.
Celebrating Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog in the Bellagio indoor gardens. This dog is covered in feathers to simulate fur.
Walking up and down the Strip through these properties is a truly fun way to spend several hours for no cost!
See free outdoor shows
While the headlining shows get most of the publicity, for those on a budget there are incredible shows available outside some of the hotels along the Strip – for free!
At the Mirage, you can watch a volcano erupt. Live music is playing often on the Brooklyn Bridge outside New York, New York.
If you like water, there is a small fountain show outside the Wynn that will make you smile.
The Wynn fountain show.
If you really LOVE water, make sure to spend time outside Bellagio for their world-famous fountain show. On weekends, it plays on the half hour starting at noon, and every 15 minutes in the evenings.
I can easily spend a couple of hours outside Bellagio watching this stunning display.
This is one of my favorites. Few places can touch the Las Vegas Strip when it comes to high-end shopping. Have you ever seen $4,500 shoes? Vegas has those. A $100,000 watch? Plenty to choose from. Solid gold iPhone cases? Yep.
Walking through any of the high-end malls connected to the hotels will give you a ton of amusement at these icons of wealth. As Sheldon’s mother says on The Big Bang Theory, “Well, I can’t spend $12,000 on a handbag, but it’s free to look upon those who do with righteous condemnation.”
Crystals, connected to Cosmopolitan, has some of the best window shopping.
Enjoy great music and vibes at unique bars and lounges
Many of the awesome bars and lounges on the Strip don’t have cover charges, allowing visitors on a budget to enjoy some great vibes or live music for free! Every property has places like this, so pull up a chair, sit back and enjoy. My favorites? Parasol Up/Parasol Down at the Wynn, and Chandelier at Cosmopolitan.
Chandelier is a bar inside of a huge sparkling chandelier in the middle of Cosmopolitan!
Watch the interesting people go by
Las Vegas is the best place for people watching, a sport I am pretty good at. They come to Vegas from everywhere, young and old, wealthy and poor, drunk and sober. Find a nice spot, maybe at one of the places mentioned above, and enjoy the spectatorship.
Watch the high rollers at a craps table. Gaze fondly at any number of bachelor and bachelorette parties happening every weekend. You’ll see all sorts of interesting people on the Las Vegas Strip!
While it might seem that Las Vegas exists only to separate you from your money, there are all sorts of wonderful and free things to do on the Strip! If you have any to add, please leave them in the comments below.
Note: in an earlier version of this post, some outdated information was given, including lions at MGM Grand and a pirate show at Treasure Island. Those have been removed, and I am very appreciative for my readers and their knowledge!
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