As anyone who’s ever flown to Vegas can tell you, the gambling starts before you leave the airport if slot machines happen to float your boat. But it’s not common knowledge that Sin City is home to many awesomely cost-free (or nearly free) activities as well. A little birdie hooked us up with some of the best.
Don’t leave home without this thrifty list from your friends at CheapAir. Here are our 10 favorite things to do in Vegas that will save you some coin:
- Visit some free art at the Bellagio. If the constant cha-ching emanating from the casinos starts to overwhelm, take a wander through the lobby of the Bellagio. The chandelier above you by acclaimed artist Dale Chihuly is a showstopper and it’s absolutely free. Of course, if you’re feeling like a high roller and want to pick up something for yourself, you can purchase a Chihuly original from his gallery at the nearby Shops at Crystals City Center. It’ll set you back anywhere from a cool $4,000 to north of half a million dollars. Too steep? You can get a piece of original art from one of the Art-O-Mat machines scattered around the Cosmopolitan Hotel for $5. There’s one on the third floor by the escalators that’s easy to find.
- Take a hike. Sure, you can people-watch on the strip but why not go a bit farther afield? The Springs Preserve is a great place to take the kids if you have ‘em, or just clear your head after a fierce night of gambling and clubbing. There are miles of hiking trails, a botanical garden and a museum dedicated to the area history and majesty of desert flora and fauna. Adults pay $18.95, ages 5-17 is $10.95. Kids under 5 are free. There is also a generous military discount.
- Hang out with some flamingos at the Flamingo. The Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo is a permanent outdoor exhibit where visitors can take a gander at (or photo with) exotic birds, fish and turtles all in a tropical setting. The flamboyance of flamingos residing on an island is the star attraction and a bit of an oasis in the midst of the sensory overload of the Strip.
- Go downtown. Not only are the tables at the mostly old-school casinos a bit cheaper than the more glam offerings on the Strip, but there are a ton of free attractions for your wandering and people-watching pleasure.
- Check out a piece of the Berlin Wall. Yes – this is not a joke. If you’re already downtown and you have an interest in WWII history, one of the men’s rooms at the Main Street Station Hotel lets you – erm – get up close and personal with a piece of history (the urinals are embedded in a huge chunk of said wall). Ladies can ask for a security escort from the ladies’ room attendant to get a peek.
- Prepare yourself for the coming zombie hordes. You heard us. The Zombie Apocalypse Store is the premiere outfitter in the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area equipped to handle your zombie annihilating needs and brace yourselves for the onslaught of the zombie apocalpyse. Also, it will turn exhausted parents traveling with teenage boys into instant heroes.
- Chow down. The mythical all-you-can-eat, loosen your belt buffet is as ubiquitous in Vegas as the quickie wedding and Elvis impersonators. If you want the buffet experience without the price tag (some of them can get you in the vicinity of $100 these days), check out the French Market Buffet at the Orleans. It’s a bargain with the breakfast buffet starting at just $8.99. They even offer an “all day pass” for those travelers with a bottomless pit of an appetite. And speaking of quickie weddings…
- Get hitched. There are so many options it can make your head spin. For best value you can’t beat $99 out the door. The Wedding Chapel of Las Vegas has this budget option and they’ll even come to you for just a bit more scratch.
- Take in an extravaganza! It’s notoriously difficult to get any sort of discount on popular shows in Vegas. However, if you’ve got more of a “might see” rather than a “must see” attitude about catching the hottest new show in town, hosting hotels sometimes offer deep discounts right out on the street! Best to try for days when a particular show has not sold out (so – not the weekend). It’s also not a bad idea to talk to your concierge either. They’ll get a call from the show producers on a day where tickets need to be unloaded. If you can afford to slip the concierge a few bucks for his troubles, it could pay off for you. Finally, if missing the hottest show in town will break your heart but you don’t want it to break the bank, look for one of the TixForTonight kiosks around town. They do offer discounts most days for top shows.
- Wander with wine! This might be the most traditional item on our list but it’s a longtime favorite for a reason. Sin City still has no open container laws so feel free to buy a six-pack or bottle of vino at the liquor store and just wander down the Strip with your libations. It’s the world’s largest, longest running block party and you just became a part of it.
All of the Vegas hotels mentioned in this post can be purchased through CheapAir along with flights (as always) from most gateways. You can purchase travel with credit cards, cash (through Western Union) or Bitcoin! Future posts on Vegas Cheap Eats and Fine Dining are in the works. Please let us know if this subject was helpful and what other Vegas-related topics would be useful to you and yours! We love hearing from our readers and customers. Happy Travels!