Vegas and “cheap” do not seem like they should appear in the same sentence. A trip to Las Vegas, Nevada often evokes mental images of bright lights, walking the strip, throwing dice, and the whirl of slot machines. The popular image of someone leaving Vegas, though, is more likely to be in the realm of an empty wallet, sleepless red eyes and shopping bags from Container Park. But this does not have to be the case! Especially not today, as modern-day Vegas has evolved into a cornucopia of fun that extends far beyond gambling to include many cheap things to do.
For those looking to enjoy your time in Las Vegas without having to fork out wads of cash, here are 25 cheap or free things to do in Vegas (don’t worry these are real things, not just walking around looking for street performers).
- Check out the Stratosphere Observation Deck
- Instagram yourself in front of the famous “Fabulous” Las Vegas sign
- Visit the aquarium at the Silverton Casino Hotel
- Go to the Springs Preserve
- Check out the Bellagio’s ‘Symphony of Fountains’
- Explore the Fremont Street Experience
- Check out the volcano at the Mirage
- Go to the Arts Factory
- Check out the Atlantis Fountain Show at Forum Shops
- Visit the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
- Explore the Seven Magic Mountains art installation
- Take your family to a circus act
- Check out the Sunset Stampede at Sam’s Town
- Visit the Hoover Dam
- Check out the Streetmosphere at the Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes
- Explore the Downtown art murals
- Visit the Underground Mob Museum
- Look out from the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck
- Go to the Wynn’s Lake of Dreams Show
- Listen to free live country music at Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill
- Take your family to M&M World
- Drive a (very) fast car at Exotic Racing
- Visit the Neon Museum
- Visit Hershey’s Chocolate World
- Take a ride on the High Roller Ferris Wheel
- Bonus: Visit the Grand Canyon
Cheap Things to Do In Vegas
While this list stays away from any “adult” activities, some are not necessarily activities that children would enjoy. However, most are family-friendly! Either way, they are all either free or at least far cheaper than spending your day gambling in a casino or shopping away your money.
1. Stratosphere Observation Deck
The Stratosphere Observation Deck is a staggering 1,149-foot-tall building, making it the largest of its kind in the entire country. This is one cheap thing you can do in Vegas with your whole family. While you are not going to spend the entire day on the Observation Deck, it is an enjoyable way to spend an hour or two with your family or partner, especially when you first get to Vegas. Why? Because the views offered by the Stratosphere Observation Deck will give you a sense of your surroundings as well as the overall Las Vegas layout in a way that only being over 1,000 feet above ground can.
2. The Strip’s “Fabulous” Las Vegas Sign
The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign is one of the most iconic and Instagramable sites in all of Vegas. While there is something to be said about living in the present and fully experiencing Vegas in person while you are visiting, there is nothing wrong with snapping a few photos—especially if they are in front of something as cool as the “Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.
3. Silverton Casino Aquarium
If you have kids and are looking for free things to do in Vegas, the Silverton Casino aquarium is a great option. The Silverton Casino is home to one of the best aquariums on the West Coast. You and your family will love spending time checking out the marine life and taking a breather from the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.
4. Springs Preserve
The 180-acre Springs Preserve has miles of trails, educational displays, desert botanical gardens, and even concerts and events. The Springs Preserve is a great place to visit just outside the Vegas strip if you want to spend a few hours outdoors and take a break from the city.
Price: $19/adult, $17/senior, $11/child
5. Bellagio’s Symphony of Fountains
The ‘Symphony of Fountains’ water show at the Bellagio is, without question, the most famous water-fountain-based performance in the world. Dancing streams of water spray in every direction, only to come together in a beautiful, almost hypnotic pattern. The show takes place every half-hour during the day and then every fifteen minutes at night, so it is certainly worth a few minutes of your time to enjoy the fountains of Bellagio.
6. Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street, which is also called “Glitter Gulch,” is a great place to spend the afternoon. Somewhere between Rodeo DR. and Dave & Busters, Fremont Street offers great shopping that can be either high-end or family-friendly. There is also a lot to do and see. You can find everything from street entertainers to a fun zipline along Fremont Street—which, by the way, is located right in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas.
7. Mirage Volcano
There is no shortage of casinos along the strip: New York-New York, Mandalay Bay, Caesar’s Palace, Luxor, MGM Grand… the list goes on. However, does every casino have a massive volcano?! The Mirage Volcano is a great, free visual that your kids are sure to enjoy. The volcano “erupts” with fireballs frequently, and you can easily catch going off in no time.
8. Arts Factory
The Arts Factory displays some of the best art that Las Vegas has to offer. Featuring both homegrown artists as well as internationally renowned painters, sculptors, and more, the Arts Factory introduces some culture into your regular Vegas programming.
9. Fall of Atlantis Fountain Show
Growing in popularity, the Atlantis Fountain Show is something you are not going to want to miss. If you enjoy the Bellagio fountain show, make sure to check this one out as well.The Fall of Atlantis Fountain show takes place right in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, plays every hour, and lasts roughly 10 minutes.
10. Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Vegas isn’t all just concrete and glass. The Conservatory at the Bellagio is a manicured garden that can rival some of the best in the world. If you love the outdoors or appreciate natural art, you are not going to want to miss this botanical garden.
11. Seven Magic Mountains
The Seven Magic Mountains is an interesting art installation just a little way outside of Las Vegas. If you have never seen them before, you are sure to be impressed and captivated by this installation.
12. Circus Act
Many of the world’s greatest circus acts travel through Las Vegas. If you or your family is interested in seeing a circus on your next vacation, head to Vegas! Most of the circus acts are also relatively cheap and should not break the bank. The Circus Circus Hotel & Casino even offers free shows.
13. Sunset Stampede
The Sunset Stampede is an exciting laser light show that you and your family are sure to love. Aside from its entertainment value, the Sunset Stampede is also very affordable.It takes place about 20 minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip inside Mystic Falls Park and is breathtaking to see.
14. Hoover Dam
Located roughly 40 minutes southeast of Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam is a modern engineering marvel that’s worth the trip. It does cost to enter the Visitors’ Center, but even driving over it and admiring the views is an experience itself.
Price: Free to visit, $10-$30/person for self-guided and guided tours
15. Streetmosphere at the Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes
A visit to the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian is not just for shopping. The street is paved with performers, singers, dancers, and more. While the Shoppes are technically family-friendly, this particular activity might be better suited for adults as it includes lots of high-concept art installations as well as high-end shopping.
16. Downtown Art Murals
Las Vegas has some of the best outdoor art in the country. Just a few blocks off the Vegas strip, you will find giant murals of all kinds. This is a great way to explore the city while enjoying some of the local art—all without spending a dime. Forget cheap things to do in Vegas! This activity is free!
17. Underground Mob Museum
It is no secret that organized crime played a major role in the creation and development of Las Vegas. The Underground Mob Museum explores that history in an interesting way that is sure to captivate both adults and children. Want to learn some interesting history about one of the wealthiest cities in the world? Visit the Underground Mob Museum!
Price: $30/adult, $17/child
18. Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck
The Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck is yet another way to see all that Vegas has to offer from a unique vantage point. Whether you are with a friend, partner, or your whole family, the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck is a fun experience that you are sure to enjoy.
Price: From $13
19. Wynn’s Lake of Dreams Show
The ‘Dreams Show’ at Wynn Lake is an interesting, almost psychedelic experience. This one is more geared toward adults. Dream Shows are also pretty inexpensive and offer a unique experience for those looking to try something new.The Lake of Dreams, at the Wynn, features a 40-foot waterfall, pine-topped mountain and, on many occasions, nightly free shows.
20. Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill
There is no shortage of great music in Las Vegas, whether it is performed by one of the countless performers that go through the city or a fixed regular. If you want to enjoy live music, Las Vegas is a great place to visit. Most shows, though, cost money. If you are looking for something cheap to do in Vegas and you love country music, Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill is the place for you. With daily live shows, good prices, and fantastic food, Toby Keith’s has become a favorite among Vegas newcomers and veterans alike. The bar also has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere that provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle that characterizes most other parts of Vegas.
21. M&M World
If you love M&Ms, you will not go wrong with a quick visit to M&M World. There are likely many, many more ways to use and eat M&Ms than you ever could have imagined. Kids, especially, are sure to love M&M World.
22. Exotics Racing
Exotics Racing offers speedfreaks the opportunity to pretend they are race car drivers, at least for the day. While Exotics Racing is one of the more expensive options on our list, you can easily argue that it is still far cheaper than a day at the casino. At Exotic Racing, you are able to pick your favorite car and then race it around the company’s 1.2-mile track at top speeds. Now, who would not have fun doing that
Price: From $99
23. Neon Museum
The Neon Museum, also called the “Neon Boneyard,” offers a hands-on way to learn about the history of Las Vegas. Everything from the booming city’s founding to its progress into the modern world is documented and illustrated in this interactive and interesting museum.
24. Hershey’s Chocolate World
The sweet tooth’s delight, Hershey’s Chocolate World is as close to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory as you are going to get. Satisfy your childhood dreams by visiting this wonderful, operational chocolate factory where you can not only buy and eat all the chocolate you can imagine—but you and your kids can also see how it is made!
25. High Roller Ferris Wheel
The High Roller is the world’s largest “observation wheel” and provides beautiful daytime and nighttime views of the strip and surround Las Vegas Valley. The wheel takes 30 minutes to complete one revolution and features 28 spacious cabins to accommodate guests. Part of The Linq hotel and located next to Harrah’s Las Vegas and the monorail, it’s a unique and relatively inexpensive experience that’ll give you breathtaking views!
BONUS: Grand Canyon
Although it is not exactly a drive around the corner, you can get to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas in 3-5 hours. If you are going to spend multiple days in Las Vegas, you should plan a day trip to the Grand Canyon. There are few natural sites left in the world that can equal the majesty and sheer magnitude of the Grand Canyon. If you want our kids to put their phones down for a few minutes and appreciate the beauty of nature, try dazzling them with the Grand Canyon, it is an experience they will never forget.
Price: $12/person + parking
There you have it, 25 free attractions or cheap things to do in Las Vegas, Nevada. Whether you are going down Fremont Street, visiting the Grand Canyon, listening to live music at Toby Keith’s, or speeding around an Exotic Racing track, there is plenty to do in Las Vegas beyond just gambling. So put away your ATM card and go have some cost-effective fun!