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Las Vegas may seem like an adults-only kind of vacation spot, but it can be totally frugal and family-friendly if you know how to play your cards right (see what I did there?).
There are TONS of things to do absolutely free in Las Vegas. Pack up the kiddos and head to the desert, because we have a killer list of free activities everyone will love.
1. See the free circus acts at Circus Circus.
Just inside Circus Circus at Carnival Midway you can catch free trapeze circus acts starting at 11:00 a.m. daily — things like jugglers, acrobats and sword-swallowers.
Bonus: If you’re a registered hotel guest then parking is also free!
2. Download the free myVegas game on your phone and play your way to show tickets and more!
As the official mobile game of MGM hotels, myVegas gives you the opportunity to earn virtual points that you can spend in their hotels.
Check out some of these rewards:
- 25% off a room at the Aria: 8,000 points
- 2-for-1 Breakfast at Vdara: 7,500 points
- $10.00 credit at Bellagio: 10,000 points
- 1 Shark Reef ticket at Mandalay Bay: 12,500 points
- 1 All Day Scream Pass at New York, New York: 12,500 points
- 1 free hotel room at Excalibur: 15,000 points
- 1 free hotel room at MGM Grand: 50,000 points
It’s 100% free to play, but it can take time to earn rewards, so download it as soon as you start planning your trip.
3. Get souvenirs for free when you use CVS ExtraBucks and Walgreens Balance Rewards.
Both stores have gobs of kitschy souvenirs for cheap, or if that’s not your thing, stock up on snacks or drinks for free and avoid spendier Strip locations.
4. Ride one of the free Las Vegas trams to avoid taxi and Monorail costs.
Vegas blocks are huge, and cutting back on even just a little walking helped my kids’ tired feet. There are three free trams:
- The Aria Express: Park MGM -> Aria -> Bellagio (1.9 miles)
- The Mandalay Bay Tram: Mandalay Bay -> Luxor -> The Excalibur (0.7 miles)
- The Mirage Tram: The Mirage -> Treasure Island (0.5 miles)
Plus the trams are on rails above the city (just like the non-free Monorail!) so you get a fun view while you’re up there!
5. You can’t miss the free Bellagio fountain show — duh.
The Bellagio fountains go off every half hour from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and then every 15 minutes after that until midnight. Crowds start forming about 10 minutes before every show, so if you have little ones, try to get there a few minutes early to give them a good view.
TIP: The fountain show has a different feel depending on when you go. If you’re able, check it out during the day then again at night.
6. Head inside the Bellagio to walk through their free Conservatory.
The Bellagio Conservatory is 14,000 square feet of botanical bliss. The best part? The horticulturists change out the botanicals five times a year, so even if you’ve visited before, it will be new to you the next time around.
There are a few dark dates while the team changes things up, so be aware of those before you add it to the list.
7. Don’t pay for treats — get free samples at the M&M’s store.
Bags of different flavored M&M’s at the M&M’s store will run you $7.99 for a half pound(!), or you can just ask to try a sample for free.
The samples are generous, and the kids will get a kick out of picking from the overwhelming choices — like jalapeno flavored or Unicorn Mix.
8. Get free samples at the Hershey’s Store, too.
They’ll hand treats out at the counter and at the entrances. Sometimes you’ll see people passing out free coupons near New York, New York. We always grab them, just in case, but we’ve never had a problem getting samples either way.
9. Watch the free 3-D movie inside the M&M’s store.
The M&M’s store in Las Vegas has four floors of pricey merchandise, but tucked on the third floor is a free 3-D movie starring your favorite M&M’s characters.
The store gets crazy crowded as the day gets later, so get in early — especially if you’re pushing around a stroller.
10. Check out the live mermaids at the Silverton Casino.
The Silverton aquarium is 115,000 gallons with tons of fish and, yes, real live mermaids. There’s even a marine biologist on staff to answer all of your questions.
11. See some flamingos at the Flamingo Hotel’s free wildlife habitat.
They also have ducks, birds and other wildlife that take refuge in the outdoor oasis. You can walk through as much as you like for free. Just go through the main entrance of the hotel and follow the signs to the Wildlife Habitat.
12. Watch a volcano erupt in front of the Mirage.
If you stand just outside the main entrance of the Mirage hotel, you’ll be able to catch a volcano erupting — complete with fire, lava and smoke.
Check it out at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
13. Go inside Treasure Island and explore the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. gift shop.
You have to buy tickets to the actual exhibit, but the gift shop is entertaining all by itself, and totally free for all the Marvel lovers.
14. Visit the Lake of Dreams inside the Wynn — but only after 8 p.m.
The shows are free and run every hour from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The lake is real and in front of a man-made mountain. You’ll have to go inside of the Wynn resort to see it.
15. Watch the free Fall of Atlantis show inside Caesar’s Palace.
Caeser’s Palace Forum Shops are known for their high-end stores — Louis Vitton, anyone? — but you can see some great stuff for free while you window shop.
The Fall of Atlantis is a display of lights, fire and animatronic Greek gods. The show is sitting in front of a 50,000-gallon aquarium (also free), so walk around and see the fish while you wait for the show to start off every hour.
16. Take a free chocolate tour, get free samples, then tour a cactus garden at Ethel M Chocolate Factory.
Still need more free chocolate?
Ethel M Chocolate Factory is 20 minutes off the strip and offers free self-guided tours through their factory. There’s a sweet little shop where you can score some free samples, too!
Bonus! Head outside after you indulge to check out their free cactus garden! It’s the largest Botanical Cactus Garden in Nevada, with more than 300 species of cacti and other succulents.
17. Take the kids to the Pinball Hall of Fame for some old school fun.
The PBHoF is also about 20 minutes from the strip. There is no entry fee, and you can see games from as far back as 1950. You will have to pay to play, though, so you might plan on bringing some quarters to get your pinball on.
18. Check out the real-life Pawn Stars at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.
You can wander around or even shop for treasures. Keep in mind that you might have to wait outside if they’re filming anything for the show, but you might see — or even meet! — some of the History Channel program’s stars!
19. Get off the Strip and head downtown to the unique Container Park to play.
Container Park is literally made up of shipping containers stacked on top of each other to form an open-air shopping center.
The best part is the outdoor playground treehouse that kids can climb all over while you shop and relax.
20. While you’re downtown, check out the Fremont Street Experience.
The Fremont Street Experience is located in downtown Las Vegas (“old Vegas”) and is best at night because the overhead LED lights shows are amazing.