Whether you are a visitor or resident, looking to do things with your significant other or the entire family, here are 10 exciting and cheap things to do in "The Entertainment Capital of the World:”
Museums, Tours and More
- Las Vegas Natural History Museum: Grab the kids and head over to the Natural History Museum, where you will find a live shark exhibit, international wildlife room, animated dinosaurs, hands-on children's activities and more. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., admission is $5 for children 3–11, free for children under 2 and $10 for adults. Seniors, students, and military members get a discounted rate with ID. If there is more than one adult traveling in your party, click here for a BOGO adult voucher.
- Ethel M's Chocolate Factory Tour: Step away from the casino and into a free, self-guided and delicious factory tour that shows guests every step of the chocolate and candy making process. Adults and children alike will enjoy the treat-filled journey, which ends with free samples. After the tour, visit the neighboring Botanical Cactus Garden, where you can explore more than 300 species of plants. And, in case you missed the cost to get in…there is none!
- Fremont-Street Experience: This famous "old-style Vegas" street show is located downtown and puts on free nightly shows jam-packed with 550,000 watts of sound and 12.5 million lights. Free concerts and other special events or acts are usually thrown in the mix. Shows begin every hour from 7 p.m. until midnight.
- Pinball Hall of Fame Museum: Founded by a former arcade chain owner whose pinball machine collection spans from the 1950s to the 1990s, this 10,000 square-foot pinball mecca is a must-see for arcade junkies. Entrance is free, and the cost to play the vintage pinball machines ranges from 25–50 cents each. The Pinball Hall of Fame is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day, and you can find a list of games to play here.
- Anderson Dairy Barnyard Buddies Tour: Where else can kids learn all about dairy farming, meet a talking cow and a rooster with attitude, explore farm scenery, see animatronic animals and more…all for free? Well, at Anderson's Dairy Barnyard, of course! The tour lasts about an hour and is appropriate for children ages 2–11. Free tours, however, must be scheduled in advance.
- Discovery Children's Museum: Sneak a little education into your Vegas trip by bringing the kids to this 58,000 square-foot museum filled with interactive exhibits, art and culture. Children often don’t know where to look first in the massive museum that is home to at least nine themed exhibitions at any given time. Admission is $12 per person, and free for children under age 1. If you happen to live in Vegas, you can receive a 50 percent discount by becoming a museum member.
- Bonnie Springs: Give your kids a taste of the Old West at Bonnie Springs, complete with cowboys, horseback riding, gunfight reenactments and a huge petting zoo. Kids will thoroughly enjoy the cowboy showdown at the saloon and exploring the Old West on this 115-acre ranch, located about 35 minutes from the strip. Admission is $5 on weekdays and $7 on weekends. Note: because of the dirt and gravel grounds, strollers are difficult to push around.
For Outdoor Lovers
- Clark County Wetlands Park: If you enjoy hiking, bird viewing, scenic views, ponds, animals and nature preserves, then this park is for you! Explore over 100 acres of wetlands and the visitor center, which is run by volunteers who educate guests about the wetlands and the animals and plants that reside within them. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the preserve is open from dawn until dusk. Admission is free.
- Hoover Dam: Known as one of the seven wonders of modern engineering, the Hoover Dam is the second highest dam in the U.S. Don't miss this incredible site, located 30 minutes from Las Vegas, right on the Arizona-Nevada border. Park on the Arizona side for free and then walk across. The views are incredible, so don’t forget your camera! Power plant tours are also available, but there is a small fee. Stop by the visitors center at the dam, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Red Rock Canyon National Preservation: Calling all biking, camping, climbing and hiking enthusiasts! Explore amazing scenery at this preservation, which is located in the Mojave Desert, just a few miles west of Las Vegas. Walk around the visitor center, check out the overlooks, or take a bike ride or hike through the conservation area, all for free! Learn about all of the places to explore at the visitor center, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There is a reason why Las Vegas has earned the nickname "The Entertainment Capital of the World." There are truly hundreds of things to do on any given day. You can learn about additional shows, events, tours, activities, restaurants, hotels and more on the city’s official website.