Long gone are the days of $1 buffets and $25 hotel rooms in Vegas. Fast forward just a bit and buffets now start at 20 bucks, 3 star resorts are going for at least a hundred bucks, almost all resorts are charging for parking, and the dreaded resort fee is tacked on to already pricey rooms as just another useless expense that racks up your total trip costs. Add in airfare, pricey shows, & gambling, and you could have one super pricey vacation on your hands. I miss the old Vegas days when a simple weekend trip did not set you back more than a few hundred bucks.
Despite the increased prices everywhere, Vegas still has tons of free attractions & activities to enjoy. For those looking to save a few bucks, I highly recommend checking out these wonderful free shows, attractions, & activities. Here are 30 of my favorites!
1. Bellagio Fountain Show
Of course, you couldn’t possibly visit Vegas without taking in the wonders of the spectacular choreographed fountain show in front of the Bellagio. Free or not, this show is the standout on The Strip. The best part of all is that this enchanting show is different each time, so you can enjoy it countless times without every getting bored. The crowds begin to form at least 15 min before each show, so get here early if you would like a front row view!
2. The Mirage Volcano Show
While the Bellagio’s fountain show is the most beautiful, the dazzling volcano show at The Mirage wins the award for the most exciting on The Strip. I’ll never forget finishing the brutal Las Vegas Rock N’Roll Marathon (during a massive rainstorm) to the sights and sounds of this amazing musical exploding fireball show featuring the energizing soundtrack of The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart. If you only have time for one show, this spectacular volcano eruption should definitely be tops on your list.
3. The Wynn Atrium
I can’t count how many people I know that have never even heard of The Wynn. Such a shame as it is one of the most elegant resorts on The Strip. Be sure to set out a half hour or so to take a stroll through the Wynn’s amazing gardens. Really, the gorgeous floral display here gives the more congested and popular Bellagio Gardens a run for their money. A hot air balloon & carousel constructed of more than 110,000 flowers is the highlight of the whimsical, artistic display. Festive music, the scent of fresh floral, and gorgeous floral sculpture balls hanging from live trees create the perfect setting for escaping the dry desert. While great year-round, nothing really compares to the annual holiday display: a magical winter wonderland of silver and gold.
4. The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
The Bellagio Gardens display is a true work of art. Each season, the 14,000 square foot garden is transformed into a new seasonal wonder. The standout here is the Christmas display -it’s like walking through a winter wonderland of pure nostalgia. The enchanting display features a 42 foot tall Christmas tree, life size snow globe scenes, polar bears constructed of carnations, 14 foot toy soldiers, and more than 20,000 poinsettias. Cozy thoughts of Christmases past will surely come flying back as soon as you enter the festive, colorful display. The best part of all is the resort’s tremendous effort to stay green, with 90% of the trees and flowers being recycled with each changing display.
5. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
Surprisingly, it took me over 10 visits to Vegas to finally get my picture by the iconic sign. It could be the long wait, the drive off The Strip, or the numerous other activities taking priority, however, I finally took the time to get my pic by the iconic sign. Most visitors forget about the sign as you only see it driving in from L.A. Regardless, if you have the extra time, it’s a nice free photo opp to add to your vacation collection. Plus, all sorts of crazy things happen here. On our last visit, we witnessed a couple getting married by Elvis. Fun times! One word of advice – get here early to avoid a very long wait!! It’s located just south of the Mandalay Bay (5200 Las Blvd S.)