21 Incredible Las Vegas Free Attractions

Las Vegas may be many things – Sin City, The Entertainment Capital of the World, The City of Lights – but one thing it isn't is cheap, right? After all, Vegas is infamous for being a place where you can blow your kid's college fund on world class shows, gourmet restaurants, hot nightclubs, and thrilling casino games. But it has far more to offer than that.

These days, there are dozens of attractions that will keep you and your family entertained without ever having to spend a single penny. From family-friendly Vegas free shows to fun for adults like free drinks and even free slots, there are no-cost events and attractions scattered all over Vegas that everyone can enjoy. Here are 21 of the very best Las Vegas free attractions that will make your trip a blast, without putting a dent in your wallet:

 

#1

Fountains of Bellagio

Over the years, the majestic fountains in front of the Bellagio have become as much as symbol of Las Vegas as dice, neon, and Elvis. Starting at 3pm each day, Bellagio's massive 8-acre lake bursts into action every half an hour, with hundreds of coordinated jets of water dancing along to one of more than 30 different songs from diverse artists such as Frank Sinatra and DJ Tiesto. After 8pm when darkness falls, shows run every 15 minutes while a dazzling light show illuminates the fountains while they shoot higher than a 25-story building. There are plenty of good vantage points from the sidewalk and surrounding buildings so there is no excuse to miss the most famous of Las Vegas free shows.

#2

Circus Acts at Circus Circus

Cirque du Soleil is far from the only circus in town; in fact, the world's largest permanent circus can naturally be found at the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino. From 11am to 11pm (midnight on the weekends) dozens of world class circus performers, from acrobats to trapeze artists, animal trainers to death-defying motorcyclists, entertain thousands of families a day for nothing more than the roar of applause. Located in the center of the massive child-friendly Circus Circus midway, which, with more than 200 different games and attractions is a sight all by itself, shows start every half an hour. While seating is extremely limited, there is plenty of standing room with fantastic views around the midway. Performance schedules are posted at www.circuscircus.com.

#3

Sunset Stampede at Sam's Town

Sam's Town may be situated far from the glitz and glamor of the Strip. It's worth a visit, though, as this favorite of Vegas locals has some great attractions far better than just free drinks while playing penny slots. The best among these is the Mystic Falls Park, a giant indoor replica of a western forest, featuring towering trees, raging waterfalls, quaint bridges, and lifelike animatronic wildlife. The highlight of a trip to the Mystic Falls Park, is the Sunset Stampede laser and water show. Showing every two hours from 2pm to 10pm each day, the 10-minute show might not be the main reason to visit Sam's Town, but if you find yourself at Sam's Town wondering what the locals love about it, the Sunset Stampede show is surely not to be missed.

#4

Mirage Volcano Show

A decade before the fountains at Bellagio re-imagined the idea of a Vegas free show, the fiery outdoor volcano show at the Mirage was the greatest free show in Las Vegas. And following major renovations in 2008, it has regained its glory as one of the most popular attractions on the Strip. Set to ethereal music inspired by ancient volcano myths and featuring sounds from real eruptions, the volcano shoots fire more than a dozen feet into the air while simulating a lava flow into the lagoon. There is nothing quite like being up close and feeling the heat from the flames, so come early to grab a prime spot on the sidewalk in front of the hotel for the 8pm or 9pm shows, with additional shows at 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

#5

Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour

Las Vegas is known for being Sin City, and what is more sinful than fine chocolate? The only Ethel M gourmet chocolate factory in the world is located about a 15-minute drive from the Strip, and visiting it is one of the most unique of Vegas free attractions. From the self-guided viewing aisle you can peer down at the factory floor and watch some of the finest chocolates and pecan brittle made right before your eyes. The gift shop is full of scrumptious chocolate treats and souvenirs, along with the best in Vegas free food – chocolate samples. Before heading back to the Strip, walk off those calories with a stroll through the peaceful botanical cactus garden. The Ethel M factory is open every day from 8:30am to 6pm, find directions and a map at www.ethelm.com.

#6

Hershey's Chocolate World

Hershey's Chocolate World in the New York New York is basically a gigantic monument to America's favorite chocolate company. This two-story mega store is the largest Hershey's outlet west of Pennsylvania and sells more than 800 different candy products alone. All your favorite brands are here, including Hershey's, Reese's, Jolly Rancher, and Twizzlers along with more chocolate-themed souvenirs than you ever knew existed. There are also plenty of free things to see and do if you're short on cash: take a selfie with a giant chocolate Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building, learn about the history of Hershey's, customize your very own chocolate wrapper, and even star in your very own Reese's Peanut Butter Cup commercial.

#7

M&M World

Just across the street from Hershey's Chocolate World is another cathedral to candy, the massive five-story M&M World. Of course you can buy just about every kind and color of M&Ms imaginable, and even create your own custom mix from almost two dozen different colors like purple, teal, and even old-school tan. Every manner of M&Ms merchandise is also for sale, from clever t-shirts to parody movie posters featuring your favorite characters from the commercials. The real free fun begins on the upper floors, where you have the chance to write your very own message on real M&Ms, check out the real M&M-sponsored NASCAR car, and watch a ten-minute 3D interactive film starring the whole M&Ms gang.

#8

Wine Tasting with Rock N' Roll Wine

Sure, you can get free drinks in Vegas when you play casino games, but away from the gaming floor intoxicating liquids become a lot more expensive, with wine tasting prices reaching dizzying heights. Unless it's a Rock N' Roll wine tasting, that is. Every Thursday night, this innovative winery, which recommends song pairings with its wines, holds a free wine tasting event at some of the hottest night spots in Vegas such at the Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay or Vice Versa at Vdara. Anyone 21 and over is welcome, all you have to do is RSVP at www.rocknrollwine.com.

#9

Free Slot Pulls

While most Las Vegas casinos are willing to give players free drinks or discounts on their buffets, they don't just give let people play slots for free, do they? Actually, at a couple of casinos downtown, you can indeed play free slots – one slot, at least. On Fremont street, both Binion's and the Four Queens offer anyone 21 and over a chance to take one free slot pull with the chance to win as much as $2,500. The machines are a bit hidden, but once you take your pull there is no obligation to stay and play, whether you win or lose. Of course these Las Vegas free slots aren't exactly the loosest slots in town, but they do pay out every now and then. That means there's no harm in taking a pull and seeing what happens.

#10

Fall of Atlantis at Caesar's Palace Forum Shops

It's hard to imagine a trip to the amazing Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace ever getting boring, but if you do find yourself overwhelmed with the sheer amount of luxurious goods on offer you can always stop and take in a show, without ever leaving the shopping center. Starting at 11am and repeating every hour at the top of the hour, the Fall of Atlantis show entertains young and old. Cutting-edge animatronic statues, fireballs, lasers, and even a dragon tell the story of the end of the continent of Atlantis, while stunned shoppers look on in amazement. The Fall of Atlantis is one of the most popular Vegas free shows and it can get quite crowded, so make sure you get there early in order to get as close to Atlantis as possible.

#11

Streetmosphere at the Grand Canal Shoppes

At the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, having more than 160 world-class shops in a stunning recreation of Venice wasn't interesting enough. Streetmosphere takes the whole experience far beyond just a shopping center by hosting more than 30 individual small musical and artistic performances every day. The morning kicks off with a gondolier parade through the streets to St. Mark's Square. The square is the perfect place to meet up with friends and family, especially at the top of the hour when celebrated musicians perform traditional Italian folk songs and opera singers belt out some of the most beautiful arias in existence. All the while, keep an eye out for the 'living statues' of Streetmosphere, whose complete motionlessness will impress you; and the Artiste del Arte, a musical group who wanders the streets enchanting shoppers with the authentic sounds of Venice.

#12

Swarovski Starburst

An old saying goes that in Las Vegas, “Every night is Saturday night and Saturday night is New Year's Eve.” The people at Bally's and world-renowned crystal company Swarovski took that saying to heart and created one of the most beautiful of Las Vegas free attractions. Towering almost six stories above the Grand Bazaar at Bally's, the Swarovski ball is adorned with over 900 crystals and in excess of 1,800 LED lights, creating a sparkling masterpiece unrivaled on the Strip. Although the spectacular 3-minute show rings in the New Year each and every night of the year, you don't have to stay up to midnight to see it as you can also enjoy Swarovski magic at 9pm each evening.

#13

Las Vegas Sign

In a city packed with iconic structures, none is more beloved than the world-famous 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada' sign. Erected in 1959 on the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard where the city met the desert (the back of the sign still reads “Drive Carefully and Come Back Soon”), the sign now sits comfortably inside the city limits, just a few blocks to the south of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. Built in the median, the sign used to be inaccessible to anyone not crazy enough to run through traffic. Nowadays, though, there is currently a small parking lot next to the sign which is able to be accessed from the southbound side of the road, allowing you to safely snap a selfie with what is undoubtedly the most famous symbol of Las Vegas.

#14

Bellagio Conservatory

Las Vegas may be known for many things, but lush green natural beauty is not one of them. While exotic flowers and immaculate shrubbery are hard to find in Vegas' harsh desert landscape, they can be found in abundance inside the Bellagio's incredible Conservatory. The Conservatory is located just off of the hotel's main reception, but before you enter you should probably crane your necks and look overhead to see one of the most incredible sights in all of Vegas – the stunning Fiori di Como glass sculpture by noted artist Dale Chihuly. Intended to be his interpretation of Italian flowers in the spring, the sculpture itself is worth the trip to the Bellagio.

 

If you can tear yourself away from the effervescent flowers, far more wonders await you in the Bellagio Conservatory. A staff of 120 brilliant horticulturalists design and maintain the Conservatory, expertly arranging trees, bushes, and flowers into creative displays. The whole Conservatory is transformed every season, with colorful spring flowers, fragrant summer blossoms, and hearty autumn trees all taking their respective places. The holiday display is a winter wonderland boasting a massive Christmas tree, while the new year brings a fantastic set-up celebrating the Chinese New Year. With over 15,000 daily visitors, the earlier you get there, the better.

The sign doesn't lie, it is fabulous.

#15

CBS Television City Research Center

Before any TV show hits the air, it is shown countless times to test audiences to see what they think, allowing regular people to influence which shows become hits and which never see the light of day. If you've ever wanted to be part of that process, head on over to the CBS Television City in the MGM Grand and get a chance to tell the bosses at CBS what you think of their shows before anyone else ever sees them. It's not only TV shows being tested either; you might also get the chance to test-drive new video games, mobile apps, computer programs, and more.

In order to become a part of show business, simply pick up tickets at the entrance to the research center, register for a screening that day, and then line up around 10 minutes before the starting time. Expect to spend about an hour watching the latest offering from CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, or others. It's especially a great activity for families with teenagers, as children over 10 are welcome as long as they are with an adult – you can learn more at tvcityresearch.com.

#16

Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo

If you tire of flashing neon lights, desert landscapes, and throngs of people, take a break and get whisked away to a tropical avian paradise in the Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo. This tranquil garden not only features adorable bridges crossing babbling brooks and lush exotic trees, but hundreds of birds normally found thousands of miles from the Las Vegas sands. You can marvel at real South American black swans, gorgeous Chinese pheasants, and the Flamingo's namesake – the bright pink Chilean flamingo. Open from 8am to 8pm every day, the Wildlife Habitat hosts live presentations every day at 8:30am and 11am for those that want to learn more about their amazing feathered friends.

#17

Marjorie Barrick Museum

While it's reasonable to think that Vegas is nothing more than superficial glitz with no culture to be seen, that couldn't be further from the truth. Of Vegas free attractions, few are more enlightening and educational than the Marjorie Barrick Museum on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Housing a mixture of contemporary art, western art, and centuries-old Native American artifacts, nearly everyone will see and learn something entirely new. Open till 5pm Monday though Saturday (closed on Sundays), admission is completely free though if you enjoy it there is a recommended donation of $5. To find out more about their current exhibitions, visit www.unlv.edu/barrickmuseum.

#18

Fremont Street Experience

For many years, Las Vegas didn't have its heart and soul on the Strip, but Downtown among the neon, and glamor of casinos like the Golden Nugget and the Four Queens. Centered around Fremont street, Downtown Las Vegas fell into disrepair for decades, but the 90s saw its resurgence with the pedestrianizing of Fremont street and the installation of the enormous Fremont Street Experience lighting canopy. Stretching 90 feet into the air over five blocks, Viva Vision is the world's largest video screen, featuring over 12.5 million tiny LED lights. Breathtaking light shows take place every hour, delighting millions of visitors a year.

 

The Fremont Street Experience is far more than just a fancy light show, however. There are three permanent stages, with each of them hosting free nightly entertainment of varying quality. For a schedule of upcoming shows, go to vegasexperience.com. Additionally, Fremont street has become somewhat of a mecca for buskers and street entertainers, some of whom tend to make the whole area rather less family-friendly, especially after dark. If the Strip is characterized by wealth and luxury, Downtown channels the other Vegas – fun, gritty, naughty, and just plain weird.

#19

Downtown Container Park

Another reason to head to the revitalized Downtown area is the innovative Downtown Container Park. Made from nearly 50 re-purposed shipping containers and other recycled elements, this open-air shopping center features boutique shops, excellent dining options, and some of the hottest bars downtown. Kids can enjoy the unique free Treehouse playground, which includes a thrilling slide that soars more than three stories into the air. In the meantime, adults can shop, eat, drink, or enjoy some of the best Vegas free shows on the outdoor stage. You can find the Downtown Container Park just off of Fremont street.

#20

Fremont East

Located just to the east of Fremont Street, naturally, the Fremont East shopping and nightlife district in Downtown Las Vegas is worth a stroll for anyone who loves the classic Vegas look and feel. Festooned with both classic and original neon signs, Fremont East is where the cool kids and hipsters of Las Vegas tend to congregate. Although the majority of this pedestrian-friendly area is comprised of eclectic shops, hip bars and nightclubs, and trendy restaurants, free entertainment can be found in the multitude of street performers who spill over from the packed Fremont Street Experience as well as in the many people-watching opportunities.

#21

First Friday Art Celebration

If you find yourself in town on the first Friday of the month, make sure not to miss one of the coolest Vegas free events, the appropriately named First Friday Art Celebration. Held in Downtown in and around the Arts Factory, a unique collective of artists, architects, sculptors, photographers, and musicians, the First Friday festival features dozens of local artists and artisans showing off their unique works of art, jewelry, clothing, and more. Street performers, food from local eateries, and live music – all free – complement the art and transform downtown into a Bohemian paradise, for one night a month, at least. Learn more at http://www.lasvegas.com/event/first-friday-art-celebration/11674/.

About The Author

As a member of the VegasMaster writing staff, I pride myself on delivering quality information about my favorite topic: the online gaming industry. In addition to playing a wide-variety of online casino games, I keep up on the latest iGaming news and trends. My passion for the industry has made me both an experienced player and researcher.

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