While Vegas usually brings to mind thoughts of opulence, grandeur and lots and lots of cash, doing Vegas on a budget does not exactly equal depravation. True, the idea of going to a gambling city with no cash could be quite a turn-off, but casinos are not all that Las Vegas has to offer. Free local attractions cater to a variety of interests, both adult and children friendly, to allow for a budget holiday with enough activities to satisfy all members of the family. According to the Las Vegas tourism guides, the following activities are popular with tourists to the city, and best of all, they’re all free!
- The Ethel M. Chocolate Factory. Satisfy that sweet-tooth with a visit to Ethel M. Chocolates for a behind the scenes tour. Located 15 minutes from the Strip, past guests rave about the free samples provided post-tour. The self-guided Factory Tour is open seven days a week, as is the world-famous Ethel M. Botanical Cactus Garden, renowned for its large collection of cacti.
- Marjorie Barrick Museum of Natural History. The oldest building on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) campus, holds duel distinction. The building was originally a basketball court, but currently holds 2,000 years of Mesoamerican artwork. Described as an educational treasure, this museum will appeal to all ages. From live native lizard exhibitions to old Indian artifacts and ancient figurines, there’s a lot to see. Every Sunday is family funday and of course, there’s free entry every day except Monday when the museum is closed.
- CBS Television City Research Center. Visitors have the chance to be a part of network history, offering their opinions after watching screenings of as-yet unreleased television material. The center handles programming for a number of networks, including CBS, MTV and Nickelodeon and is open daily from 10am to 8:30pm.
In addition to the attractions listed above, some Vegas hotels offer freebies for visitors to enjoy even if they do not gamble. Here are a few options:
- The Bellagio Hotel. The Bellagio has a couple of free attractions, the water show and the botanical gardens, which are not to be missed. The Fountains of Bellagio water show, a stunning combination of water, music and light, starts every half hour, and the Botanical Garden, with its exotic plants and flowers, is open twenty four hours, allowing for a peaceful escape any time of the day.
- Circus Circus. This casino is a center for family fun. The Adventure Dome Theme Park features free daily clown shows, starting from noon, with additional shows on Fridays and Saturday. On the mezzanine level, guests can enjoy an incredible circus experience in the Carnival Midway, with clowns, jugglers, flying trapeze and much more, absolutely free. Performances start from 11am daily.
While there are many free attractions and activities to be had in Las Vegas, getting there and staying there are two items you generally won’t find anyone offering for free. Grabbing the best package deal to Vegas is a matter of taking the time to compare pricing information on discount hotel and flight combinations. Online booking agencies allow travelers to customize their experience with add-ons including to-and-from airport transportation, show tickets and rental cars. Bundling travel items can add up to big savings.
About the Author: Olivia Bennet is an avid traveler and writer. She lives in the UK and works for Wink Bingo.