6. Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

The flamingo habitat in Las Vegas NV

It took me several visits to finally take the time to explore the Flamingo’s beautiful Wildlife Habitat. With lush tropical plants, soothing waterfalls, beautiful Chilean flamingos, Koi ponds, and all sorts of exotic birds, a stroll around the habitat is the perfect place to take a break from the crowds. Unfortunately, you have to go right back into the crazy mess! Oh well, it is still worth it for the temporary visit to a tropical oasis!

7. The Wynn Fountain Show

Spectacular fountain show at The Wynn in Vegas

Seeing the Wynn water fountain show is just as magical and mesmerizing as the Bellagio’s, only with the benefit of being less crowded. There is never a bad view in the house here! This dynamic show features water and fire dancing along to both modern and classical tunes. While smaller scale than the Bellagio, the Wynn show is just as mesmerizing with the array of colors and fun playlist including classics like “Be Our Guest.”

8. Ethel M. Chocolate Factory tours

Eiffel tower display at Ethel M Chocolates in Henderson NV

In Henderson (just a half hour from The Strip), you can take a self guided tour of a working chocolate factory and even sign up for a tasting room experience. Aside from treating yourself to some premium chocolate, you must take a stroll through the 3 acre Cactus Garden. It’s the largest botanical cactus garden in the Southwest and one of the largest in the world. You will see all different varieties – Saguaro, prickly pear, along with 300 plant species native to the Southwest, Australia, and South America. During the holidays, the gardens are transformed into a magical wonderland of lights – one of the largest and definitely the most gorgeous in the state of Nevada. It’s all free, so be sure to add a trip to Ethel to your Vegas bucket list!

9. Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada

You’ll have to head off The Strip for this show, however, it’s well worth the drive or taxi ride to take in all the excitement (at least once). Honestly, I really do not like the overall vibe of Fremont Street, however, this entertaining show is the one exception. Taking place on the Viva Vision, the world’s largest screen (90 foot tall, 1500 ft long), and featuring over 12 million LED lights and a great soundtrack, it’s a can’t-miss for anyone seeking an adrenaline boosting party experience. What makes the experience even more special is the turning off of all casino lights right before the show – something that does not happen in Vegas! There always seems to be some sort of free concert going on, so be sure to scan the lineup! And, if you are up for a real adrenaline rush, you can zipline right under the lights!

10. Palazzo waterfall & atrium

Beautiful Love display at the Palazzo in Vegas

Strolling around the Palazzo waterfall and gardens is another nice relaxing break from The Strip. The atrium theme changes throughout the year to reflect the tone of the season. The gorgeous winter display features golden snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, poinsettias, and reindeer sculptures. There is always something new and refreshing to check out on each visit. This December, I was able to see the gorgeous Love sculpture by artist Laura Kimpton. Whenever you need a little artistic vibe and a quiet refuge from The Strip, a stroll through The Palazzo & Venetian will do. From here, you can stroll around the gorgeous Grand Canal Shoppes. Oh, and if you feel the need for a pick me (a must after all that walking!), march straight over to Espressamente Illy.

11. Mirage aquarium & rainforest

The gigantic fish tank at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Mirage is one of my favorite resorts in Vegas. I love the tropical theme, which includes a gorgeous pool area, a giant 20,000 gallon salt water fish tank in the lobby, and a lush tropical rainforest. The hotel is beautiful, offers moderate pricing, and never feels as over congested as some of the more trendy options. Take a mini vacation via a walk through the gorgeous tropical atrium, of which gardeners spend 100’s of hours each week maintaining all sorts of tropical plants and flowers, all of which is housed under an 100 foot dome. With waterfalls and palm trees, it really is a breath of fresh air from the Nevada desert. Additionally, any Vegas Vacation fans will love seeing the huge colorful saltwater tank. Not an all day activity, of course, but worth checking out if you are doing anything else in the area.

12. Venetian Italian painted ceilings

Gorgeous painted ceilings at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada

The amazing hand painted ceilings at the Venetian were designed by Italian artists to mimic the Sistine Chapel. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, you really need to take a walk through this stunning casino. The entire building is a work of art. Strolling around the resort, you will notice a number of Venice inspired replicas including Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco, Piazzetta di San Marco, the Lion of Venice Column and the Column of Saint Theodore, St Mark’s Campanile, and the Rialto Bridge.