JoAnna Haugen writes Why Go Las Vegas, a popular travel guide with information on cheap airfares to Las Vegas, hotels and things to do in Sin City. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook for the latest news on Las Vegas.
With the casinos, shows and restaurants, it’s very easy to drop a hefty chunk of change in Las Vegas, but there are also many things to do and see for those travelling on a budget. There are also plenty of hostels in Las Vegas to choose from. If you want to save money on your Las Vegas vacation, here are our top 7 picks for cheap and free things to do next time you’re in Sin City…
1. The Botanical Gardens
Las Vegas might be in the desert, but the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are always in bloom. This indoor garden is almost 14,000 square feet in size and is maintained by a team of 140 horticulturists. The theme changes five times a year to match the seasons. The best part is that it’s FREE and open to the public 24/7. Bellagio Hotel, 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South.
2. People watch
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing just take a moment to stop and look around. Las Vegas attracts some curious creatures, and checking out this real-life zoo is incredibly amusing. Halloween and New Year’s Eve are among the best times to people watch in Las Vegas.
3. Visit the Pinball Hall of Fame
While everyone else is dropping several dollars on a single hand of poker, you can drop a quarter or two into a pinball machine and play for hours at the Pinball Hall of Fame. It costs a quarter (€.17) to play an old pinball game and two quarters to play a new one. Pinball Hall of Fame, 1610 East Tropicana Avenue, open 11am-11pm.
4. Catch the Fountains of Bellagio
The Bellagio continues to impress with its free nightly fountain show. Set to a variety of music from show tunes to classic rock (and even seasonal favorites over the holidays), the fountains have drawn crowds since their inception. Shows last 2-8 mins and arrive 15 minutes early to get a good view. Mon-Fri: every 30 mins from 3–8pm, every 15 mins from 8pm-midnight. Weekends: every 30 mins from noon–8pm, every 15 mins from 8pm-midnight. Bellagio Hotel, 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South
5. Drink for cheap
If you don’t mind leaving the classy joints in Las Vegas behind for a few minutes, make your way to one of the older hotels or casinos for cheap drinks. Slots-A-Fun offers beers and frozen margaritas on the cheap, and some of the casinos in downtown Las Vegas have slushy drinks for cheap as well. Ladies in particular can score cheap drinks at clubs and during happy hours. Drinks are less than €2. Slots-A-Fun, 2890 Las Vegas Boulevard South.
6. Marvel at the lights on Fremont Street
The Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas is home to Viva Vision, the biggest big screen in the world with 12 million lights and 550,000 watts of concert-quality sound. It really is nothing short of a fascinating movie-esque viewing opportunity, and visitors can check it out for free. In addition to several shows each night on the Viva Vision screen, the Fremont Street Experience is alive with street performers and local artists as well. Fremont Street Experience, 425 Fremont Street.
7. Admire the wildlife
You’ll have to pay to see dolphin habitat at The Mirage and the marine life at Mandalay Bay, but you are welcome to view the lions at MGM Grand and the flamingos at Flamingo Las Vegas at no cost. Though they aren’t zoos by any stretch of imagination, these animal exhibits are a fun and relaxing diversion, especially if you’re traveling with children. Both on Las Vegas Boulevard South.