A List of Free Attractions, Shows and Activities
When it comes to attractions, activities and entertainment for tourists, Las Vegas is among the best in the world. With the amazing amount of varied activities offered in and around the city, visitors can easily build an impressive Las Vegas Bucket List. It’s no surprise that it has been dubbed the Entertainment Capital of the World. While top notch attractions can cost a pretty penny – and are usually worth it – there are plenty of free things to do in Las Vegas. Below is our extensive list of freebies on and off the Las Vegas Strip as well as in Downtown Vegas.
Free Things To Do in Las Vegas on the Strip
The Volcano Show at the Mirage
One of the most spectacular free attractions on Las Vegas Boulevard is the Mirage Volcano show. Out in front of the hotel is a beautiful lagoon with waterfalls and a lush landscape that surrounds a massive rock walled volcano. The volcano rumbles and roars into action spewing fire into the air and across the lagoon with thunderous sound effects that are all choreographed to an amazing soundtrack.
The Mirage Volcano Show Times
Sunday – Thursday 8:00 PM & 9:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 8:00 PM, 9:00 PM, 10:00 PM
Circus Acts at Circus Circus
Experience the great circus performers on the center stage of the Carnival Midway at Circus Circus. Grab a seat at the world’s largest permanent circus and ooh and awe while you watch the flying trapeze, aerial acts, acrobats and jugglers. The circus acts start at 11:30am and continue hourly into the night.
The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Bellagio Hotel’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens presents the most gorgeous and colorful floral showcases that sprawl its massive 14,000-square-foot and 50 foot high glass dome wonderland. With the turn of each season, the 120 horticulturists arrange a new stunningly beautiful seasonal arrangement. The Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden is open 24 hours a day and entry is free.
The Fountain Show at The Bellagio
Lining the Las Vegas Strip is the enchanting Italian inspired lake of the Bellagio Hotel. This beautiful lake is lined with over 1,000 fountains and 4,500 lights, which provide a wonderful show of choreographed dancing water, lights and music. Watch the colorful water dance, jump and shoot hundreds of feet in the air while listening to the music it is in sync with. The shows feature over 25 different songs, so you can expect something new each time you see it. The Bellagio fountain shows are free to view and take place every half hour until 8 pm and then every 15 minutes until midnight.
Pictures at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
The neon Las Vegas welcome sign is one of the most iconic signs in the world and a Vegas landmark. The sign was created in the late 50s to welcome visitors entering Las Vegas and has been a big tourist draw ever since. Snapping a picture of yourself in front of this historic site has never been easier thanks to a big parking lot and an elevated mound to get you higher up in your pictures. The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign is located on the south end of Las Vegas Blvd, below Mandalay Bay and sandwiched between McCarran International Airport and Bali Hai Golf Club.
The Indoor Tropical Rainforest at the Mirage
Just inside the front entrance of The Mirage Hotel, visitors will enter an indoor rainforest that sits under a 100-foot atrium. This tropical oasis has waterfalls, meandering streams, lagoons, lush plants, lofty palm trees, wooden bridges and much more.
The Aquarium at the Mirage
Behind the check in desk of the Mirage is a spectacular 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium that is filled with colorful corals and home to 450 tropical fish and other exotic sea creatures. The 53 foot long by 8 foot high indoor aquarium gives you plenty of viewing space, but try to visit it outside of busy check in/out times.
The Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Hotel
Just a short walk off of the Strip, the Flamingo Hotel has a beautiful 15-acre wildlife habitat that guests can visit from dawn to dusk and is free of charge. The outdoor habitat has a wonderful environment with waterfalls, fountains, islands and ponds that are surrounded by lovely foliage. Visitors can see the habitat’s signature Chilean flamingos as well as ducks, swans, turtles, koi fish, parrots and other exotic birds.
Fall of Atlantis Show
Fall of Atlantis is an animatronics show that tells the story of how Atlantis was doomed to the depths of the ocean. Atlantis is flanked by his children who show off their powers and vie for power of the kingdom. Without giving too much away, the show has fireballs, fountains and visual effects that while a bit corny, is still fun to watch – kids might especially like it even if they don’t understand what is going on. The back side of the show set is a very nice 50,000-gallon aquarium filled with hundreds of brightly colored tropical fish. The show starts at the top of the hour from 10 am to 11pm and is located at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace.
Magical Technical Tour of LOVE by Cirque du Soleil
Every Friday at 1 pm (subject to change), Cirque du Soleil invites everyone to take their Magical Technical Tour, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Beatles Love show, which is one of the best Las Vegas shows around. The tour is a half hour insider’s look at what goes on behind the scenes of the musical. The complimentary tour is open to the public and is on a first come first serve basis.
Streetmosphere at The Venetian
In the Grand Canal Shoppes of The Venetian hotel, shoppers can take a break and enjoy the “street” performers in St. Mark’s Square. Streetmosphere brings the talented charms of Italy to Las Vegas with classically trained singers, actors and musicians. The Carnevale di Venezia (Carnival of Venice) is inspired by the annual festival held in Italy and is one of the most popular shows at St. Mark’s Square. Throughout the day and night, guests can see living statues, the Gondolier March and the Venetian Trio among others.
Fiori Di Como at the Bellagio
Fiori Di Como is an art installation by artist Dale Chihuly that hangs on the ceiling inside of the Bellagio Hotel lobby. The ceiling art is comprised of thousands of hand-blown glass flowers that are layered and interwoven together to create an amazingly colorful and exquisite centerpiece of the lobby.
The Water Walls at The Park
At the entrance of The Park – a six acre outdoor area at the center of New York-New York and Monte Carlo hotels as well as T-Mobile Arena – there are two 100-foot-long water walls with cascading water streaming down the modern rocky walls. A short walk beyond the water walls is the Bliss Dance sculpture.
Bliss Dance Sculpture at The Park
Located at The Park – which is flanked by the Monte Carlo and New York-New York Hotels – the breathtaking Bliss Dance sculpture by artist Marco Cochrane towers over the outdoor dining and entertainment space. The 40 foot tall (it looks much bigger in person) sculpture depicts a woman letting loose and dancing freely. Visiting the sculpture at night is extra special as she colorfully lights up the night.
ARIA Fine Art Collection
Take a walking tour to see the ARIA Fine Art Collection that features work by renowned artists, painters, installation arts and sculptors. The art collection is located all around the ARIA, Vdara Hotel, Veer Towers, Mandarin Oriental and the Shops at Crystals. You can download the ARIA Fine Art Collection guide to help you navigate the properties.
The Waterfall Atrium and Gardens at The Palazzo
The multi-story waterfall atrium and garden space at The Palazzo is located at the entrance to the Grand Canal Shoppes. What makes the area so special are the seasonal floral landscapes, art installations, the waterfall and the skylight. While it’s not as grandiose as the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, it is a wonderful place to experience.
Rainstorm Show at Miracle Mile Shops
In the heart of the Miracle Mile Shops at the Planet Hollywood resort is an indoor rainstorm show. This fun little attraction stops all the shoppers in their tracks as the lights dim and the thunder starts to rumble. Then the lightning flashes and rain starts to pour down from the “sky” into the foggy lake. It’s a fun stop during your shopping day. The Rainstorm Show runs Monday through Thursday at the top of each hour from 10:00am – 11:00pm and Friday through Sunday every half hour from 10:00am – 11:00pm.
The Swarovski Midnight Celebration
Each night at 9pm and midnight the Swarovski shop at Grand Bazaar Shops in front of Bally’s, presents a 3 minute light-and-sound show featuring its dazzling 14-foot crystal and LED fixture that sits high atop the shops.
Free Things To Do in Downtown Las Vegas
The Viva Vision Light Show
One of the best free attractions in Downtown Las Vegas is the Viva Vision light show at the Fremont Street Experience. Through the heart and 90 feet above Fremont Street, the 1,500 foot long video screen transforms the casino lit pedestrian mall into an amazing music and light show for all of the visitors to enjoy. We have caught many of these shows and loved them all but Heart, Green Day, Imagine Dragons and The Who are our favorites. The Viva Vision show runs at the top of the hour, beginning at dusk until 1am and each one lasts about six minutes with each show different than the last.
Concerts On Fremont Street
The Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas is where you will want to go to see some great live concerts. With three concert stages along Fremont Street and a non-stop rotating schedule of musical talent hitting the stage for free concerts, a Fremont Street concert is a must.
Praying Mantis Sculpture Shooting Out Fireballs
This over-the-top fire breathing Praying Mantis stands at the entrance of Downtown Container Park. The recycled metal sculpture is an impressive 40 feet long and 55 feet high. While she is quite the sight during the day, this lady literally turns up the heat after sundown. Every night the Mantis shoots fireballs six stories into the air from her antennae with a loud roar. The show happens periodically, so you might have to hang out a bit before you see her come to life.
Visit the Pawn Stars Store
If you are a fan of the reality TV show Pawn Stars, then a stop at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop is a must. While it is free to get into the shop, visitors will have to wait in line before entering the famed pawn shop. Once you get into the store, you will see items that the store purchased during an episode, souvenirs from the shop and hundreds of cool items that were pawned. If you are lucky, they might be taping an episode of the show and you might be picked to stay in the shop while they tape. Even without the stars of the show there, it is fun just being in the shop. See our article on visiting the Tanked & Pawn Stars stores.
See the Largest Golden Nugget
What better place to see the biggest intact golden nugget in existence than at the Golden Nugget Casino. This 60 pound piece of gold, known as The Hand of Faith Nugget, is in a wall display near the casino of the hotel .
Get a Million Dollar Photo
This might be the closest that most of us will get to one million dollars in cash. Located in the casino area of Binion’s, guests can get a free photo of themselves posing with the $1 Million dollar pyramid display. The hotel will take your picture and will give you a physical copy after about a 20 minute processing wait – now, that’s old school Vegas! There are not that many free things to do in Las Vegas where you leave with a souvenir. The display is open from 9:00am – 11:30pm daily and guests must be over 21 years old.
See the Shark Tank
The Golden Nugget hotel has one of the most unique swimming pools in the world. At the center of The Tank pool is a 200,000 gallon shark tank where visitors and swimmers can get an up-close look at hundreds of sharks, rays and other fish. The pool also has a three-story water slide called the Shark Chute, that cuts right through the center of the shark tank. While the pool area is open to hotel guests and paid non-hotel guests, you can visit the pool for free during the non-swimming hours.
Rub the Blarney Stone
A piece of the world famous Blarney Stone a.k.a. the Stone of Eloquence from Blarney Castle in Ireland has a home at The D Hotel casino. Guests can stop by to rub or kiss the stone to garner some good luck or the gift of eloquence, which are both handy in Las Vegas. The tradition in Ireland has visitors dangling upside down over three stories high to give it a kiss, so this one in Vegas removes the fear of heights and the plane fare to Ireland.
Rub Buddha’s Belly
Another place to try and garner some good luck is at the California Hotel. Past the casino floor in the lobby, the hotel has a large wooden Lucky Buddha statue. Tradition holds that rubbing the belly brings you good luck, wealth and prosperity. We have tried it a few times and have had good results.
The Treehouse at Container Park
Container Park in Downtown Las Vegas is a unique and family friendly mall that was constructed from shipping containers. There is a variety of restaurants, boutique shops, entertainment and a great interactive playground for the family. The heart of the playground is The Treehouse, which has a 33 foot slide, bridges, an interactive NEOS play system and foam building blocks. This is a great free attraction to let the kids play while you relax on the sideline or even go explore with them.
The Berlin Wall Bathroom
If you would like to see a little bit of history, you might want to save your bathroom break until you get to the Main Street Station Hotel and Casino. A piece of the Berlin Wall is displayed in the men’s bathroom (sorry ladies) behind the urinals. Very unusual, but pretty cool at the same time.
Free Things To Do in Las Vegas Off the Strip
Explore the Valley Of Fire State Park
One of our favorite free activities in Las Vegas is to hike and explore the Valley of Fire State Park. The park is an hour northeast of Las Vegas and besides a small vehicle entrance fee, everything else is free for your day.
At approximately 35,000 acres, the Valley of Fire has beautiful points of interest around every turn. With so much to see and do at the park, you can easily fill your day exploring the wonders that formed millions of years ago. Our favorite areas of the park are the Beehives, Rainbow Vista, Arch Rock, Atlatl Rock and Balanced Rock. Before heading out to the park, plan out what parts of the park you want to see and make a note of how to get there. Check the weather, dress appropriately and bring some food and drinks with you.
Hike and Climb at Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is another beautiful place for those looking to explore the beauty of the Nevada desert. The area features a one-way 13-mile scenic drive with plenty of stops along the way. Park along the route and hike, climb and explore the 26 numbered hiking trails and rock climbing areas. The hiking trails range from easy to strenuous, so there should be something for everyone. As with other state parks there is a nominal vehicle entry fee, but there are lower fees for cyclists, pedestrians as well as some fee free days.
See Music Memorabilia at the Hard Rock Hotel
The Hard Rock Hotel has an impressive collection of music memorabilia throughout the hotel that guests can view at all hours and for free. The memorabilia collection has a vast range of music genres that span many decades. Visitors will be able to see concert worn clothing, guitars, drum kits, pictures, awards, signed items and much more. The extensive collection is from the best in the music industry and who played an important part in the history of music. If this music collection were in a museum, we would still pay to visit, but it is totally free for all to visit.
Sunset Stampede Laser Light and Water Show at Sam’s Town
At the center of Sam’s Town Hotel is the serene Mystic Falls Park, which is an indoor park lined with trees, waterfalls, bridges and animatronic animals. The park is a nice place to walk around, but the fun really starts in the later part of the day and into the night. Every other hour, Mystic Falls Park comes alive with the Sunset Stampede Laser Light and Water Show. The show enchants visitors with dancing water displays, colorful lights, music and a wonderful laser light show. This fun and free family friendly show happens Monday – Thursday at 6:00pm, 8:00pm, & 10:00pm and Friday – Sunday at 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm, & 10:00pm.
Aquarium and Mermaid Show at the Silverton Hotel
One of the best aquariums that you can see for free is at the Silverton Hotel and Casino, which is just a short drive south of the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel’s huge 117,000-gallon reef aquarium has over 4,000 tropical fish along with stingrays and sharks. The aquarium is famous for its daily Mermaid swims and live interactive feedings. Near the main aquarium there is also two 500-gallon jellyfish aquariums and a look-a-like Red Rock Canyon that surrounds an 18,000 gallon lake filled with Koi fish. See our Silverton Hotel Aquarium article for more information.
Clark County Wetlands Park
For those looking to get away from the Vegas hustle a bustle for a little while, this desert oasis is a short drive away. While the Wetlands Park is huge, the main attraction is the 210-acre Nature Preserve. This part of the park has miles of paved and unpaved trails, streams, bridges, variety of plants and animals and wondrous views. The park also features a Nature Center, where visitors can picnic indoors, view various artworks, participate in center’s activities and even borrow a backpack before heading out to the trails. There is a lot to see and do at the park, it is open daily and everything is absolutely free.
Tour the Ethel M Chocolate Factory
The Ethel M Chocolate Factory offers visitors a look inside of their factory to see how they make their hand crafted chocolates and sweets. There is also a shop at the end of the tour, where you get a free sample and can purchase any of their sweet goodies. Outside of the factory is the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden, which has almost four acres of beautiful cacti and succulents along walking paths. Both are free to visit and are open daily from 8am – 8pm.
Visit Acrylic Tank Manufacturing From The Tanked Show
If you are a fan of the TV show Tanked, then a stop at Acrylic Tank Manufacturing should be on your list of things to do. While they do have a tour that you can purchase to do an extensive behind the scenes tour, you can also visit the shop for free. Although we can’t guarantee you will see anyone from the show, we were fortunate enough to meet with Brett who was super nice and gave our daughter a show picture that was signed by the stars of the show.
Tour the Shelby Heritage Center
Whether you are a true gear head or just enjoy checking out high-performance muscle cars, the Shelby Heritage Center has got your fix. As the name implies, the center features many American muscle cars that famed automotive designer Carroll Shelby helped build and shape. The center has free guided tours that are offered Monday thru Friday at 10:30am and 1:30pm and Saturday’s at 10:30am.
We hope that this Free Things To Do in Las Vegas guide has helped you find some great activities and attractions to enjoy. As you can see, there are plenty of free activities and attractions in Las Vegas, so check back here as we will keep all our guides up-to-date with all of the latest that Vegas has to offer. If you have any questions or know of any suggestions, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment.
More in Las Vegas
See our Las Vegas bucket list with over 50 activities and experiences – on and off the Strip. A checklist of things to do that range from wild to mild.