36 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Las Vegas

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Las Vegas welcome sign
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SIN CITY STEALS

Las Vegas may be made for high rollers and full of opportunities to spend some serious cash, but there are also plenty of attractions and experiences for visitors on a budget. As in other top tourist spots, you just have to know where to look.
crowds of tourists exploring Las Vegas strip
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WALKING TOURS OF LAS VEGAS

Every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, there are free walking tours covering about two miles of the Strip. The experience, offered by Nomad Walking Tours, focuses on the history of Las Vegas, including how the mafia influenced the city. Tour leaders also provide information about some of the city's biggest attractions and insider tips on how best to enjoy all that Sin City has to offer. Reservations are recommended but not required. Although the tours are free, tips are greatly appreciated.
Nostalgia Street Rods Tours
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NOSTALGIA STREET RODS TOURS

They're not free, but at $20, the tours offered by Nostalgia Street Rods are easily one of the least expensive attractions in Las Vegas. The exhibits span four garages and more than half a century, showcasing vintage cars and trucks from 1910 through 1965 -- everything from street rods to scooters. Tours are offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and by appointment only on weekends.
Aria Art Tours
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ARIA ART TOURS

The work of acclaimed painters, sculptors, and installation artists can be seen throughout the Aria campus, which includes Aria Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel & Spa, the Shops at Crystals, and Veer Towers. The property's fine art collection includes works from Maya Lin, Jenny Holzer, Nancy Rubins, Claes Oldenburg, and Coosje van Bruggen, among many others. The hotel offers free walking tours seven days a week (contact the concierge).
Downtown Container Park
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DOWNTOWN CONTAINER PARK

In addition to being an open-air shopping center, the Downtown Container Park includes live entertainment and an interactive playground for kids featuring a treehouse. There are free concerts, movies, and more on the park's main stage.
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden
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BELLAGIO CONSERVATORY AND BOTANICAL GARDEN

A sprawling 14,000-foot display that rotates with the seasons, the Conservatory and Botanical Garden at the Bellagio showcases the colors of spring, summer, fall, and winter, and also includes a special display celebrating Chinese New Year. The space is maintained by a 120-person staff that works throughout the year imagining, designing, and building displays that include flowers, trees, gazebos, bridges, and ponds. There is no charge to visit the display, located next to the hotel lobby.
The Flamingo's Wildlife Habitat
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THE FLAMINGO'S WILDLIFE HABITAT

Free of charge and open to the public daily, the Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo offers a refreshing escape from the city's neon lights and noise. Its 15 acres are filled with exotic birds, fish, and turtles. The main attraction is a flock of stunning Chilean flamingos.
Bellagio Fountain Show
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BELLAGIO FOUNTAIN SHOW

One of the most famous free activities in Las Vegas, the fountains in front of the Bellagio "perform" choreographed shows every 30 minutes between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. until midnight. On Saturdays and Sundays, the shows start at noon and 11 a.m. Each show combines water, music, and light in a unique performance set against the backdrop of the Las Vegas sky.
cocktail in casino
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FREE DRINKS AT CASINOS

In many casinos, drinks are free when you're playing at the gambling tables or even the penny slots. Just be sure to ask first, though, because some casinos have been phasing out this freebie. And if you do get a drink, be sure to tip the server well, especially if you want a second round.
couple in front of Las Vegas sign
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VEGAS PHOTO-OPS

Take a picture with the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, a symbol of the city known far and wide. It's such a popular attraction now that there's even a parking lot next to it. The large Vegas Vic and Sassy Sally neon signs on Fremont Street offer another free, iconic photo opportunity.
Silverton Aquarium
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SILVERTON AQUARIUM

The aquarium at the Silverton Casino holds more than 117,000 gallons of water, stingrays, sharks, and thousands of tropical fish. Being that this is Las Vegas, where nearly everything is over-the-top, there's also an occasional "mermaid" or two swimming in the tank. Interactive feedings take place daily at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Free Circus Acts at Circus Circus Hotel
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FREE CIRCUS ACTS

At the Circus Circus hotel, there's no charge to watch the trapeze acts, aerial displays, roller-skating duos, foot jugglers, and others perform. The free acts, part of the world's largest permanent circus, start at 11:30 a.m. each day.
hand playing poke with 2 aces
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GAMING LESSONS

Many casinos will gladly give you a free tutorial on how to play the games. It's in their interest to get you playing, but it's also wise to make sure you know all the rules and consider the odds before doubling down. Among the casinos offering lessons are Circus Circus, Excalibur, and the Golden Nugget.
Ethel M Chocolate Factory
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ETHEL M CHOCOLATE FACTORY

In celebration of its 35th anniversary, Ethel M Chocolates, located 15 minutes from the Strip, has remodeled its viewing aisle and chocolate shop. Visitors can watch chocolatiers prepare pecan brittle, as well as the company's signature small-batch fillings, like satin crèmes, caramels, and peanut butter, by hand every day. Self-guided tours are free. For those who want to learn even more about chocolate making, the company offers chocolate tasting classes ($15 for adults, $6 for children).
Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden
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ETHEL M BOTANICAL CACTUS GARDEN

After indulging in chocolate, walk it off with a stroll through the botanical cactus garden at the Ethel M factory, which is also free. The largest such garden in the state and one of the world's largest collections of its kind, it holds more than 300 species of plants. About half are cacti and succulents native to the American Southwest. The remainder are desert trees and shrubs from around the world, including Australia and South America.
Fall of Atlantis at Caesars Palace
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FALL OF ATLANTIS AT CAESARS PALACE

The 11-minute animatronic Fall of Atlantis show in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace starts on the hour, every hour, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. six days a week. On Saturdays, the shows are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. This is not a "must-see" attraction, according to reviews on TripAdvisor, but it's free and worth checking out if you're nearby or have young children in tow.
Volcano at the Mirage
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VOLCANO AT THE MIRAGE

Only in Las Vegas can you watch a volcano explode to music by the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart and Indian tabla sensation Zakir Hussain. The volcanic eruptions (now with "taller explosions" and "more fireballs," the Mirage website exclaims) take place Sunday through Thursday at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday at 8 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10 p.m.
card deck
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FREE SOUVENIRS

Cups and decks of cards are popular Las Vegas souvenirs, especially because they're free if you know whom and where to ask. Some pit bosses give away decks of used playing cards. If you're gambling, ask for a cup to hold your chips while moving between tables. Many casinos also provide free items in exchange for joining the players club, such as decks of cards, dice, mugs, keychains, and more. Just ask for the freebies when you sign up.
Pinball Hall of Fame
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PINBALL HALL OF FAME

The 10,000-square-foot pinball museum is the largest of its kind. Home to machines from the 1950s through the 1990s, the entire collection is owned by a man named Tim Arnold. The Pinball Hall of Fame is a nonprofit that passes earnings on to charity. If you want to test your skills as a pinball wizard, games cost 25 to 50 cents each, depending on the age of the machine.
Fremont Street Light Show
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FREMONT STREET LIGHT SHOW

It's worth wandering down Fremont Street just because, but the light show is an added draw. It features dazzling, high-resolution imagery and state-of-the-art, concert-quality sound. The 1,500-foot-long Viva Vision screen, suspended 90 feet above the street, is made up of 12.5 million energy-efficient LED lamps. Shows last about six minutes and run every hour from 6 p.m. through 1 a.m.
Free Concerts on Fremont Street
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FREE CONCERTS ON FREMONT STREET

While in the Fremont Street area, you can also take in a free concert. Performers scheduled to take part in the Downtown Rocks summer concert series May 25 to Sept. 29 include the Cult, Molly Hatchet, Billy Ray Cyrus, Everclear, and more. (The concerts are paid for by area casinos.)
Binion's Gambling Hall
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MILLION DOLLAR PHOTO

Binion's Gambling Hall isn't as well-known as some of the other casinos, but it's worth stopping by for a free souvenir photo taken of you standing behind $1,000,000. The pyramid of cash is well protected and housed in a thick plastic cover (nice try). If you've ever wondered just how much money fits into a briefcase, this is sure to give you some idea.

slot machines in casino
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THE SLOTS

Slot machines are an inexpensive way to partake in of one of Las Vegas' biggest draws: gambling. Change things up by heading to the second floor at the D Las Vegas casino to play on old-school machines. Binion's has a mix of video and reel slot machines such as Cleopatra, Red White and Blue, and new offerings like Jurassic Park.
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WORLD FAMOUS GOLD & SILVER PAWN SHOP

Featured in the TV show "Pawn Stars," the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is open and ready for business. Just be sure to arrive early to avoid lines, as the store has become one of the most popular non-casino attractions in Las Vegas. Established in 1989, World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop sells everything from fine art to antiques and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The show's stars also make occasional appearances on the shop floor to meet fans, sign autographs, and take pictures.
Anderson Dairy Tours
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ANDERSON DAIRY TOURS

The one-hour Barnyard Buddies tour at Anderson Dairy walks visitors through the entire production process. Although it's not as glitzy as other Vegas attractions, there are still animatronics and lights. This tour is intended for younger children, although teenagers and adults may enjoy it as well. Free ice cream is handed out at the end.
Marjorie Barrick Museum
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MARJORIE BARRICK MUSEUM

If you need a break from the overwhelming stimulus of the Strip, the Marjorie Barrick Museum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas houses visual arts exhibits from international artists and UNLV students. Entrance is free, although there is a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $2 for children and seniors.
Sunset Stampede Laser Light and Water Show
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SUNSET STAMPEDE LASER LIGHT AND WATER SHOW

The Sunset Stampede at Sam's Town is less crowded than some of the other free shows but no less entertaining. It chronicles the Western pioneer experience with animatronic animals, lasers, fog, music, and water features, and runs about 15 minutes. Catch it every two hours on the hour, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Former visitors recommend the later times, since the lasers are best seen when it's dark outside.
Bellagio Chocolate Fountain
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BELLAGIO CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN

The world's largest chocolate fountain, at 27 feet, is another Bellagio attraction and worth a quick peek if you're in the area. The flowing chocolate can be mesmerizing, but don't try to take a dip -- the fountain is enclosed in glass.
The Tank
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THE TANK

A pool is always a welcome relief from the hot Las Vegas sun. The pool at the Golden Nugget has a 200,000-gallon shark tank smack in the middle. Drinks, food, and cabanas can be expensive, but if you just want to take a dip and swim next to sharks and giant fish, this is a fun and relatively inexpensive destination ($25 to $35 for adults, free for kids 6 and under and hotel guests). There are also waterfalls and a 30-foot waterslide that goes "through" the tank. While at the Golden Nugget, be sure to also check out the actual golden nugget -- the largest of its kind on display.
Live Runway Shows at Fashion Show Mall
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LIVE RUNWAY SHOWS AT FASHION SHOW MALL

Fashion Show Mall Las Vegas holds New York-style runway shows that are absolutely free. The shows, which take place on select weekends and incorporate live music and dance, are held every hour from noon to 5 p.m.
The Neon Museum
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THE NEON MUSEUM

Opened in 2012, the famous and much-photographed Neon Museum is a 2-acre campus featuring more than 200 classic neon signs. Hour-long guided tours of the boneyard (where the signs are kept) are $19 for adults and $15 for 7- to 17-year-olds; children 6 and under are free. The tours take place day and night and require advance reservations.
Bugsy Siegel Memorial
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BUGSY SIEGEL MEMORIAL

Bugsy Siegel is the mobster widely credited with creating Las Vegas. Unbeknownst to many visitors, there's a bronze plaque in his honor hidden in the garden at the Flamingo. For years it was the only formal acknowledgment of the city's mob history.
Streetmosphere at The Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes
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STREETMOSPHERE AT THE VENETIAN GRAND CANAL SHOPPES

While many of the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes may be aimed at high rollers, there's plenty of free entertainment on the walkways out front. The spectacles include everything from opera singers to stilt walkers, dancers, and living statues.
Hershey's Chocolate World
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HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD

The 13,000-square-foot Hershey's Chocolate World store at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino brings together Hershey's chocolate and the New York City skyline in an 800-pound chocolate Statue of Liberty. It also gives visitors a chance to star in a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup TV ad and design customized chocolate bar wrappers.
Party at The Park
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PARTY AT THE PARK

In a 3-acre public space located between New York-New York and the Park MGM (formerly the Monte Carlo), Party at The Park features free live music every Tuesday and Wednesday at 5 p.m. There's also unique art, including the Bliss Dance sculpture and water walls, and plenty of people watching.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Experience
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BASS PRO SHOPS OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE

Like many other attractions in Vegas, the free activities at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Experience are part of a shopping venue where there's also plenty of opportunity to spend money. The store includes a 40,000-gallon freshwater aquarium, fed by a canyon waterfall featuring fish native to the area. Large dioramas feature wildlife mounts from museums and private donations in true-to-nature scenes. The unique store also includes an authentic trout stream and a live duck habitat.
Big Elvis at Harrah's Piano Bar
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BIG ELVIS AT HARRAH'S PIANO BAR

No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a little Elvis Presley. And what could be better than a free Elvis experience? Pete Vallee stars as Big Elvis in an incredibly popular impersonator show held at the Piano Bar at Harrah's. Vallee performs Elvis hits and other popular songs (he takes requests) and invites the audience to sing along.

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