Las Vegas

10 Free Things to do in Las Vegas

Las Vegas has a reputation for being the ideal luxury vacation destination. While it is possible to splurge, there are still numerous fun and free things to do in Las Vegas for the entire family. So if you’ve already booked your plane ticket, then start daydreaming about all the exciting and fabulous sights you’ll see and all the attractions you will visit on a shoestring budget!

Below, Cirque du Soleil has compiled some of our favorite free activities that you and the whole family can enjoy during your stay in the exciting and vibrant city of Las Vegas.

1. Take in the world-famous Bellagio fountain show

Bellagio Resort & Casino is majestic and knows how to draw a crowd with its equally magnificent musical fountain show performed in an 8.5-acre man-made lake. With over 1200 fountains and nearly 5,000 lights, the fountain can shoot to an impressive 460 feet. Shows are choreographed to a variety of music every 15-30 minutes. This is one show you’ll want to watch over and over again.

2. Appreciate the Mirage Volcano

Since 1989, the Mirage Volcano, located at The Mirage Hotel & Casino, has been attracting locals and tourists alike to watch its magical fiery eruption. It is literally one of the city’s most explosive entertainment sights! Watch this iconic volcano sculpture awaken from its slumber and explode into bright, blazing cascades of fire. Spectators can enjoy the nightly sky-illuminating eruptions to the mesmerizing sounds of a volcanic soundtrack. You'll get the feeling of being up close with an actual live volcano.

3. Watch Atlantis fall

Suppose you’re captivated by the ancient legend of the ill-fated city of Atlantis. In that case, you’ll want to head over to the Caesar’s Forum Shops to see its spectacular fall. With fireballs, water, and 9-foot talking animatronics, you’ll be in for a treat when you see them come to life.

You’ll enjoy the water and fire effects, and let’s not forget the 20-foot wingspan fire-breathing dragon at the end! Shows last approximately 10 minutes and run every day from 11 AM - 10 PM on the hour.

4. Check out how exotic race cars are produced

For all the fast car enthusiasts out there looking for free things to do in Las Vegas, you’re in for a real treat. Head on over to the Shelby Heritage Center to view more than 30 high-performance vintage muscle cars in all their glory.

Located just a few minutes from the Strip, the center offers free self-guided tours of the manufacturing facilities. You'll get to see firsthand how these beauties are made. The center is open 7 days a week. Visit their website for exact opening hours.

4. Interact with mermaids at the Silverton Aquarium

Mermaids are definitely real at the aquarium at the Silverton Casino Hotel. This 117,000-gallon aquarium is home to tropical fish, stingrays, sharks, and live, interactive, mythical mermaids! Immerse your imagination into an aquatic fantasy and be enchanted by the mermaids as they weave around corals and through tunnels while surrounded by sea creatures.

The mermaids swim several times a day from Thursday-Sunday. Not only will you be dazzled by the view, but you’ll also be impressed by how long these mermaids can hold their breath underwater!

5. Go back in time to the Golden Gate Casino

Since its opening in 1906, the Golden Gate Casino has been the oldest in Vegas and is still as popular as ever. Not a gambler? That’s ok, you’ll be able to wander around and get some glimpse of the past. You can imagine everything that must have happened there in the last century. Inside the casino, you’ll be able to see the original vintage wall of the hotel and view a fountain that was added to the property back in 1909.

Fun fact: Did you know that the first working phone in Nevada was installed in this establishment? With the phone number “1.”

6. Check out light shows and live entertainment on Fremont Street

The Fremont Street Experience (FSE) is a pedestrian mall and popular attraction on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. It is one of the best places to enjoy free live music, and nightly light shows on the giant overhead canopy 90 feet above

The Viva Vision Light Show takes you on an exciting visual journey of high-resolution digital imageries made up of over 49 million LED lamps. Each show is synced to the music of bands like Imagine Dragons, Chainsmokers and more. While graphics are available during the day, the choreographed music show starts at 6 PM every night and lights up on an hourly schedule.

7. Take a chocolate factory tour

Touring a chocolate factory sounds like a dream come true for many people, and Las Vegas is a chocolate addict’s dream paradise. The Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Henderson allows visitors to explore the factory on a self-guided tour. You’ll be able to check out chocolatiers hard at work perfecting their delicious craft. While no samples of free chocolates are available, sweet cocoa treats can be purchased at the end of your tour.

Before leaving, don’t forget to explore the beautiful cactus gardens, featuring over 300 species of plants. This outside garden is even more dazzling during the holiday season, when the place is turned into a spectacular light show, making you feel like you’ve just entered a mythical land.

8. Be entertained by street performers

People-watching is entertaining and one of the easiest free things to do in Las Vegas. We promise you’ll find all kinds of people with various degrees of talents and eccentricities. Like other major US cities, street performers are no strange phenomenon to the Las Vegas lifestyle.

If you venture along the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, you’ll be greeted by a variety of entertainers. Most performers are dancers, musicians, magicians, walking mascots, or simply costumed individuals. While these performances are entirely free, a tip will be expected if you choose to pose for a photo with a performer.

9. Make a strip art crawl pilgrimage

Maya Lin Silver River, 2009. ARIA Resort & Casino, Registration Desk

Las Vegas has numerous free public art and art installations on display. When in Vegas, you won’t want to miss Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s 35-feet Seven Magic Mountains in the Nevada desert. His land art sculpture, composed of seven towers of bold neon-colored boulders, explores the dynamic between the natural and the artificial. The stunning contrast of the vivid sculpture against the earthy, dusty desert background is captivating. This is a must-see for any art-lover.

Next, you can head over to the Aria Resort & Casino, where you’ll find a collection of multidisciplinary works of fine arts in various styles and media. From paintings and sculptures to large-scale installations, you’ll be able to admire the artistic wonders of some of today’s most innovative and acclaimed artists.

You’ll also enjoy dropping by the luxurious Cosmopolitan Hotel to check out the inspiring art selections throughout the resort. Influenced by culture and creativity, you’ll find large-scale mixed media projects and digital artworks that span across numerous screens and panels.

11. Visit the Hoover Dam

This man-made wonder, only 30 miles from Vegas, attracts nearly 7 million visitors annually. This makes it the most visited dam in the world. While you’ll need to pay for parking and guided tours, you can walk or drive over the Hoover Dam and enjoy breathtaking views of the dam and the picturesque Lake Mead.

When you want to take a moment and escape the flashy neon Vegas life, head on over to Hoover Dam and take Instagram-worthy photos of the views.

Tip: Try to arrive early to avoid the crowds, especially during the summer.

10. Explore the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

If you’re looking to get away and connect with nature, then the Flamingo Wildlife habitat is just the place. A relaxing four-acre garden with streams, waterfalls, Chilean flamingos, exotic birds and fish, this free wildlife paradise is bound to bring some joy to your day.

There you have it, our list of exciting 10 free things to do in Las Vegas. While this list is not exhaustive, you’ll at least have some fun and exciting options to choose from. Visiting Las Vegas shouldn't mean having to dig deep into your wallet. This beautiful city is yours to discover! Las Vegas may be known for its casinos, Miracle Miles Shops, and wild nightlife. But the city can be explored and enjoyed without breaking the bank.

Las Vegas FAQ

Is Vegas an expensive city to visit?

Las Vegas can be very expensive if you're looking to splurge. If you’re celebrating a big event like a honeymoon, then costs might not be too much of an issue. However, Las Vegas is much more affordable than you think for those traveling on a budget.

Choosing the time of year to visit Las Vegas can influence how much money you’ll need to budget for your trip. Avoid planning your trip at the same time as major conventions or during holidays. Summer and post-winter holiday seasons tend to be down-season, and you might benefit from lower rates. With some flexibility and careful planning, you’ll be able to explore your best options.

With an abundance of fast-food and dining restaurants, finding cheap eateries all over the city is not too difficult. You might also opt for affordable buffets after a long day of exploring the city.

When planning your daily itinerary, you can expect to pay admission fees of approximately $20-30 per activity. Combining one paid attraction with a couple of free ones makes this an economical option for those looking to save money. On average, tourists pay around $245 per day in Las Vegas.

Aside from the plane ticket, your accommodations might take the most significant bite out of your budget.

What are the most budget friendly hotels in Las Vegas?

Vegas is known for its luxurious hotels, and choosing one of the most famous ones can set you back a couple of hundreds a night. However, because Vegas has an excessive amount of hotels, you’ll sometimes find big-name hotels bringing their prices down to $50 per night to sell them.

While hotels on the Strip might be a little more expensive, you’ll be in the heart of the action and walking distance of everything.

Some best bets for hotels on the Las Vegas Strip include;

Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Harrah’s Las Vegas

The LINQ Hotel + Experience

Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Excalibur Hotel & Casino

New York-New York Hotel & Casino

Treasure Island - TI Hotel & Casino, a Radisson Hotel

Is it worth seeing a show in Las Vegas?

While there are so many free things to do in Las Vegas, you might choose to put money aside for a special treat. No trip to Las Vegas is complete without seeing at least one of the many stage performances around the city. Whether you’re into circus performances, magic acts, comedy clubs, or concerts, you’ll find something that suits your mood.

Make your Vegas trip unforgettable by checking out one of the city’s legendary shows, including;

Mystère - Cirque du Soleil - Treasure Island

David Copperfield - MGM Grand

Tournament of Kings - Excalibur

KÀ - Cirque du Soleil - MGM Grand

Blue Man Group - Luxor Hotel and Casino

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