Simply stated, Las Vegas as a destination isn’t as cheap as it once was. I remain a strong believer, however, that value and opportunities to save money can still be found and exploited if you know where to look.
Below, I’ll leverage the knowledge gained over countless trips to compile the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of free things to do in Las Vegas available on the internet.
The rundown is broken up by geographic area and includes the Strip, Fremont Street, and activities off the beaten path.
While I realized there were a lot of freebies still out there, I was pretty amazed by the number of activities I was able to brainstorm.
Free Things To Do On The Strip
Fountains of Bellagio: Erupting every 15-30 minutes, the fountains call Bellagio’s 8.5-acre man-made lake home and have over 1,200 individual fountains capable of shooting water to heights of over 460 feet.
See the World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain: Bellagio’s Patisserie features a 14 ft. tall chocolate waterfall that circulates up to 2,100 lbs. of chocolate.
Check out the Bellagio Conservatory: Transitioning to a fresh display seasonally, Bellagio’s Conservatory ranks as a “must-see” attraction.
Gaze up at Dale Chihuly’s “Fiori di Como”: Chihuly’s 2,100 square foot glass floral sculpture is located in Bellagio’s hotel lobby and is comprised of 2,000 backlit glass blossoms.
Mirage’s Floral Atrium: A tropical escape in the middle of the desert, Mirage’s atrium boasts lush foliage and rushing water.
Mirage’s Front Desk Aquarium: A 20,000-gallon, 50-foot-long saltwater aquarium that is home to over 450 types of fish. A visually stunning display and is completely free to check out!
Mirage’s Volcano: A show that engages all senses, Mirage’s Volcano is synced to music by the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and is downright powerful…and hot.
Stop by soon, as Mirage’s volcano has an upcoming date with the wrecking ball.
Snap a Photo in the Waterfall Atrium at Palazzo: If you follow any Las Vegas social media groups, you’ve seen the spot (pictured below). Built into the Grand Canal Shoppes, the “LOVE” lettering is difficult to miss.
See The Carved Woolly Mammoth Tusk at TI: Carved over generations, this impressive artifact is made special not only by its historic significance but also its intricate detail.
See The Siren Chopper at TI: Steps away from the woolly mammoth tusk, the motorcycle has a unique pirate theme that matches that of the broader resort.
Circus Acts at Circus Circus: The free show at Circus Circus is the “world’s longest-running circus” and showcases acts of strength, trapeze acts, juggling, and sky dancing.
Explore Art at Cosmopolitan: Cosmo has sprinkled pieces of contemporary art throughout the property including sculptures, murals, digital art, and mixed media pieces which are rotated in and out, keeping things fresh.
Cosmopolitan’s Hotel Lobby: A digital art display in Cosmopolitan’s hotel lobby, 8 separate 15-foot tall pillars are wrapped in synchronized video screens creating interesting, almost disorienting, illusions.
Related: Is the Vegas Bite Card Worth Buying? I dig into the deals.
Tipsy Robot at Planet Hollywood & The Venetian: Found at both the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and the Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian, stop by Tipsy Robot to check out the future(?) of bartending as robots make the drinks.
Rainstorm Show at Planet Hollywood: Also found in the Miracle Mile is a free show that leverages fog, rain, and lighting to simulate an indoor storm.
Although not free, the Miracle Mile Shops are also home to some rock-solid happy hour deals at both Ocean One and Flights.
Ocean One also offers an expansive (and surprisingly good) $5.99 lunch menu.
Miracle Mile Light Show: A newer addition to the mall is a firey light show that takes place on the exterior facade of the V Theater.
I plan to stop in and snap a pic in the near future, but it doesn’t exactly look like something you should make an extra trip for, rather, catch it if you’re already in the area.
Spot the Remains of The Aladdin Hotel & Casino: Those who have been coming to Las Vegas for some time know that Planet Hollywood was once known as Aladdin, an Arabian-themed resort.
That theme spilled into the “Desert Passage Shops” which are now known as the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.
Interestingly, there are still many reminders of the mall’s former identity scattered about the mall.
Park Your Car: Yes, there are still a few spots that won’t charge you for parking (see which Las Vegas resorts still offer free parking here).
Upgrade Your Pool: Topgolf offers free access to their 2-level pool which also has a swim-up bar. The 21+ pool is accessible at no charge whether you’re playing golf or not.
Peruse the Coca-Cola Store: Check out the collection of unique Coca-Cola memorabilia that’s on display at this flagship store.
Although not free, I recommend trying the soda sampler from around the world. What other countries find to be “good” is pretty eye-opening.
Walk the LINQ Promenade: Full of shops and things to do, strolling the LINQ Promenade is a must. The pedestrian walkway provides a great view of the iconic High Roller observation wheel and zip liners flying overhead.
Use Free Trams: Privately owned trams shuttle guests from property to property at no cost in several places on the Strip.
There is a shuttle that connects Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay.
Another that connects Mirage and TI.
Lastly, a free tram connects Aria, Bellagio, Park MGM, and the Crystals shopping center.
See The World’s Largest Atrium: While at Luxor, gawk at the world’s largest indoor atrium.
According to Wikipedia, the open space created inside Luxor’s pyramid weighs in at an impressive 29 million cubic feet.
See (and Smell) Wynn Botanical Gardens: A popular Las Vegas photo opp, the botanical gardens inside Wynn are an oasis in the middle of a casino.
Lake of Dreams Show at Wynn: Running every half hour nightly, Lake of Dreams utilizes over “4,000 lights, holographics and puppetry” to dazzle attendees.
The free show is best enjoyed from Bar Parasol, SW Steakhouse, Lakeside, or from the free viewing platform in the resort.
Wynn Fountain Show: Located out front of Wynn is a water show that resembles a smaller version of the Bellagio Fountains… Like, way smaller.
Explore the Wynn Plaza Shops: Nothing in this mall is cheap, but it’s worthy of a walk-through.
As to be expected by a mall associated with Wynn, the Plaza Shops are stunning and incorporate artistic displays like the one pictured below of Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh’s Arrows and Flower Neon Sign.
Explore the Fashion Show Mall: Even if you don’t have a specific purchase in mind, shoppers are likely to enjoy wandering through over 250 stores that range from discount options to luxury. You can even treat yourself to a fish pedicure.
See the Stained Glass at Tropicana: Looming above the table games near the entrance of the casino is a 4,000 sq. ft. stained-glass domed ceiling installed in the early ’70s.
There isn’t much stained glass in Las Vegas, and this decor touch is a throwback to an earlier era.
See the Makeshift Tupac Memorial: Just a couple blocks off the Strip behind Horseshoe are the cross streets of Flamingo and Koval where Tupac was shot in 1996.
There, you’ll find a telephone pole along the sidewalk with handwritten notes commemorating the late artist.
Learn Craps: For those unfamiliar with the game, it has an intimidating look but is actually pretty intuitive (and an insane amount of fun) once you know what you’re doing.
Many casinos, like Cromwell in the middle of the Strip, offer free craps lessons daily. Take advantage!
Go for a Jog: While most people ingest too many chemicals in Las Vegas for running to make sense, there are a select few who enjoy a jog with some scenery.
While running on the Strip comes with challenges, it can be done. The key is to go early in the morning before sidewalks become congested.
Take in a Dueling Piano Show: Free entertainment is tough to come by in Vegas, but there are still a few bars like The Piano Bar at Harrah’s and the Bar at Times Square at NYNY that offer free dueling piano shows.
See Big Elvis at Harrah’s: Pete Vallee, who has attracted an impressive following, performs for free as Big Elvis at Harrah’s Piano Bar. A highly regarded performance, this show is a must for fans of “The King”.
Sing, or Sit Back and Watch Karaoke: What makes karaoke shows great is the contrast in skill level. Folks from all over the talent spectrum give it their all as they sing to a room of strangers.
I put together a full list of karaoke bars in Las Vegas, although my favorite can be found at Ellis Island just off the Strip.
Take in the Themes: Especially for first-timers, walking through themed casinos like Paris, Luxor, Excalibur, and New York New York is awe-inspiring.
Walk The Park: An outdoor dining and entertainment area lying between Park MGM and NYNY, The Park’s foliage, fountains, and art, can be a welcome escape from the casino.
Check out Bliss Dance, a 40-foot sculpture of a dancing woman, or stop by for one of their Silent Disco shows.
Walk of Stars: Find your favorite entertainer’s star along the Las Vegas Strip. Artists like Elvis, Donnie & Marie, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra, among others are permanently memorialized.
Pre-Screen a Show: Located at MGM Grand, CBS offers guests the chance to view upcoming episodes of shows to solicit feedback. Participants are even given a coupon book with deals and offers as a thank you for their time.
The time commitment for this activity is about an hour in total (45 minutes for the showing, and 15 for the survey).
Explore the Fine Art Collection at Aria: Sculptures, paintings, and other fine art by artists like Frank Stella, Henry Moore, and James Turrell among others are scattered about the property, which, in my opinion, is a work of art in itself.
Time Share Presentations: While I’d never dream of wasting a portion of my trip on a sales pitch, it’s possible to earn free show tickets, tours, or meals by attending a timeshare presentation.
Just beware, these presentations commonly run over the “promised” time commitment and result in a high-pressure sales pitch. Be prepared to say “No” repeatedly and stick to it as timeshares rarely pencil out to be a good deal.
Wander the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace: I’m not a mall guy, but this gem at Caesars Palace is worth wandering through. It’s about as visually appealing as malls get.
Fall of Atlantis at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace: Fall of Atlantis is a free show detailing the downfall of the long-lost city.
While fun to catch if you happen to be in the area, the audio is difficult to understand and the show has a dated feel.
Aquarius Aquarium at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace: Located next to the Fall of Atlantis Show is this 50,000-gallon saltwater fish tank that holds 300+ tropical fish.
Check out Hershey’s Chocolate World: Chocolate fan? If so, swing into Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York New York where you shop an assortment of 800 varieties of chocolate, star in your own Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup TV ad, and take a picture with the goofballs pictured below.
M&M World: Keeping with the chocolate theme, M&M World features 4 floors of M&M candies and merchandise.
Also on display is a replica of Kyle Busch’s M&M-sponsored racecar. For a fee, guests are also able to design and print their own M&Ms.
Take a Photo at the “Welcome to Las Vegas” Sign: By far, the most recognizable photo opp in Las Vegas is a short Uber ride south of Mandalay Bay and completely free.
Note that there are often “official-looking” photographers offering to take visitor photos. They’re not employed by the city and are simply working for tips. You’re not obligated to use their services and can snap your own photos.
Related: Let me help you avoid other Las Vegas scams.
See the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat: Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat is a lush oasis that’s also home to a collection of birds, fish, and turtles.
Play Slots At Casino Royale: Think of this freebie as more of a buy one get one. If you sign up for a player’s card at Casino Royale, they will reimburse your first $20 in slot losses as free play.
Spend $20, get $20. Pretty much free right?
Million Dollar Display at Horseshoe: Emulating Binion’s display, Horseshoe has unveiled a $1 million display of their own comprised of $10,000 bills.
The bills aren’t real (they all have the exact same serial number)… but your friends back home don’t know that.
Honestly, I’d skip this one and visit the new and improved million-dollar display at Binion’s instead – That one’s the real deal.
See the Poker “Gallery of Champions”: Also at Horseshoe is a “Gallery of Champions” near the entrance to their new poker room that pays homage to the greats of the game.
Eiffel Tower Light Show: Paris recently added some sparkle in the form of $1.7 million worth of lights to their half-scale Eiffel Tower replica.
The lights are choreographed to music and dazzle guests every half hour from sunset to midnight.
See The Art at Resorts World: There are few resorts on the Strip with more intriguing artwork than Resorts World.
Below are a couple of my favorite pieces that were on display on opening night.
Related: 44 Ways to save money in Las Vegas.
See the City of Las Vegas Showgirl Sign: A newer addition to the northernmost reaches of the Strip is the City of Las Vegas sign which features two 50-foot tall illuminated showgirls, 3-D dice, a roulette wheel, and stacks of chips.
If you plan on visiting STRAT, swing over for a photo as the sign is steps away.
See the Gateway Arch: Also just outside STRAT is the photogenic Gateway Arch. While you’ll drive right under it if driving north on the Strip, I’d recommend stopping for a photo.
Recently, a viewing platform was added, allowing you to snap the perfect picture from a safe vantage point.
Pinball Hall of Fame: Located south of Mandalay Bay on the Strip, the Pinball Hall of Fame is home to row after row of pinball machines from the 1950s – 1990s.
Entry is free, however, you’ll want to bring some quarters if you intend to play. They also have change machines if you only have paper currency.
Free Things To Do in Downtown Las Vegas
Fremont Street Experience Light Show: An elevated experience following a $34 million upgrade, the overhead canopy boasts over 16 million pixels.
The screen, visible both day and night is much more stunning after the sun sets.
Live Music on Fremont Street: In addition to nightly light shows, the Fremont Street Experience hosts live musical entertainment nightly, for free.
In addition to nightly live acts, Fremont Street Experience regularly hosts big-name artists as part of their summer concert series.
Past acts have included names like Nelly, Cheap Trick, The Wallflowers, and Smash Mouth.
See Vegas Vickie: The iconic figure that once sat outdoors on Fremont Street now calls Circa’s casino floor home.
Fully restored, her neon wows and signature leg kick is back.
Catch a Game in Circa’s Sportsbook: Vegas Vickie isn’t the only signature amenity at Circa. The 3-story tall sportsbook screen is magnificent and is visible from both levels of the casino.
I suggest placing a bet on a game. Any Game. And watch it from the new center of the sports betting universe.
See the Gold at Legacy Club: Legacy Club is an upscale cocktail lounge located on the 60th level of Circa and offers spectacular views of Las Vegas.
There, you’ll find a display case stocked with 500 gold bars, individually numbered and engraved with the Circa logo.
Uniquely, there’s a screen above the display that states the collection’s current value based on the current spot price of gold.
Million Dollar Display at Binion’s: After a years-long hiatus, the famous $1 million display is back at Binion’s and is better than ever.
In a recent tweet, Binion’s shared a video of an employee stuffing the glass display with real bills, verifying its authenticity.
The new display has a more modern look and gives guests the opportunity to take a free souvenir picture.
Fremont Street Performers: While the buskers that work for tips up and down Fremont Street have varying degrees of talent, they are almost always “interesting”.
Talents on display range from musical acts and dancing to just wearing a provocative outfit that shows some skin.
Praying Mantis Fire Show: Swing by the Container Park across from El Cortez and watch the praying mantis shoot fire from its antennae nightly.
It’s loud, hot, entertaining, and best of all… free. Shows begin at sunset and don’t have a set schedule per se, but run relatively frequently.
The Playground at the Container Park: One of the few kid-friendly freebies, the treehouse playground sits in the center of the Downtown Container Park.
With plenty to climb and 30+ foot-long slides, your kids will have a blast.
Cement Your Relationship: Bring a lock from home to hook to the heart out front of the Container Park. There is also an overflow love lock location near the live entertainment stage in the park itself.
It’s rumored that no relationship sealed with a lock at the Container Park has ever faltered.
Historic Artifacts at Main Street Station: The antique collection at MSS is worth the 2-minute walk from the Fremont Street Experience.
Items scattered about the property include Winston Churchill’s snooker table, a chunk of the Berlin wall, a Louisa May Alcott Pullman Car, and so much more.
See History at Golden Gate: Opening in 1906, Golden Gate is a historic artifact in itself. It has seen some stuff over the years. Heck, the property had the first working phone in Nevada. The phone number? 1.
Golden Gate offers some really neat windows to the past that include a small door that shows one of the hotel’s original walls and a fountain that dates back to 1909.
Hand of Faith at Golden Nugget: Found by a guy with a metal detector and purchased by the Golden Nugget for over a million bucks, the Hand of Faith is on display near the hotel registration desk.
Weighing in at 61 pounds, it’s impressive.
The Tank at Golden Nugget: The Nugget’s pool complex features a 200,000-gallon aquarium stocked with fish and sharks smack dab in the middle of their pool. There’s even a transparent waterslide that goes through the middle of it.
While non-guests need to pay to swim, you can check it out for free.
Get a Free Meal at Heart Attack Grill: Do you weigh over 350 pounds? If so, just weigh in with a waitress prior to your meal and you’ll eat for free.
Uniquely, patrons at Heart Attack Grill wear a hospital gown as they dine on “Bypass Burgers” of various sizes and “Flatliner Fries”. You may not survive the meal, but that’s half the fun.
Even if you don’t eat at Heart Attack Grill, make sure you take a peek inside…it’s an experience. You can also weigh yourself for free on their outdoor scale.
People Watching: Applicable to both Fremont Street and the Strip, people watching in Las Vegas is next level. Some STRANGE people flock to Las Vegas, and they are worth watching.
Grab a seat at Whiskey Licker Up at Binion’s on a stool overlooking Fremont, or Flamingo’s outdoor bar located steps from Cromwell and watch the crowds pass.
See Remnants of The Mint: While people watching at Binion’s Whiskey Licker Up, check out the original petrified wood exterior wall of The Mint as well as a part of its original signage (pictured below).
Rub The Blarney Stone for Luck: A stone from the Blarney Castle in Ireland has found a home on the second floor of The D’s casino.
While tradition says that the stone can grant eloquence when kissed upside down, I suggest simply rubbing it for good luck.
Free things to see and do away from the Strip/Fremont
Explore Area15: Located just minutes from the Strip, admission to walk around and see the various artistic displays at Area15 is free and worth the trip.
There are other experiences & rides that cost money, but they’re optional.
Equestrian Events at South Point: South Point hosts equestrian events in their arena that are often free to the public.
Free Comedy at South Point: “The Dirty at 12:30“, is an R-rated comedy show that calls the South Point showroom home every Friday night. The free show begins at 11:59 pm and only those aged 21+ are allowed to attend.
Ride the Convention Center’s Loop: If you’re in the neighborhood, take a 2-minute Tesla ride through an underground tunnel created by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company.
The underground Loop transportation system is free and designed to save conventioneers over 20-minutes when traveling from one side of the campus to the other.
Free Airport Shuttles: I compiled a list of all resorts that offer a free airport shuttle, here.
Catch a free ride to the Strip: I also compiled a list of every off-Strip resort that offers a free Strip shuttle.
See Shark Art at Palms: A 13-foot shark sliced into 3 separate pieces and housed in 3 different tanks. The display sits in Palms’ Unknown Bar and made its debut as part of the Resort’s $620 million renovation project.
Explore the Hoover Dam: While guided tours and parking cost money, you can go view, walk, or drive over the Hoover Dam for free. It’s breathtaking.
See my recent day trip from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam, along with a tour review!
Walk the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge: After checking out the Dam, take a walk over the neighboring bridge which spans the Colorado River and offers a pedestrian walkway.
Towering 900 feet over the river below, the view from the walkway is thrilling.. and terrifying if you’re not a heights person.
Free parking is offered for pedestrians at the base of the bridge.
Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art: Located on the UNLV campus, the museum has been offering free admission since opening in 1967, although there is a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $2 for children. Hosting a unique rotation of fine and ancient art, Marjorie Barrick should be on the to-do list of art aficionados.
Explore The Arts District: Often overlooked by tourists, the Las Vegas Arts District is chock full of great restaurants, breweries, murals, and opportunities to shop.
I’m not a shopper, at all, but found the antique stores to be legitimately fun to browse.
First Friday in the Arts District: Taking place in the Arts District on the first Friday of every month, First Friday is an outdoor gathering of art and food vendors that attracts quite a crowd. With a vendor community comprised of over 100 artists and over 50 food vendors, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.
Sunset Stampede Laser Light Show at Sam’s Town: A free show set in Sam’s Town’s Mystic Falls Park, Sunset Stampede combines lasers, dancing water, and music to delight onlookers.
Swimming Mermaids at Silverton: One of the more unique free attractions in Las Vegas, visitors can watch divers dressed as mermaids swim around Silverton’s 117,000-gallon tank.
The free mermaid show occurs daily, and showtimes can be viewed via the link.
Seven Magic Mountains: An outdoor display comprised of 7 stacks of colorful rocks Seven Magic Mountains is free to explore and a short 20 minutes south of Las Vegas on I-15.
Ethel M Chocolates Tours/Cactus Garden: Ethel M offers free self-guided chocolate factory tours daily. At the end of the production line, you’ll find yourself in a chocolate shop that also sells coffee.
After touring the factory, stroll the 3-acre cactus garden which features over 300 species of plants.
Tour the Pawn Stars Pawn Shop: You’ve seen the “World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop” on TV, now stop by to see it for free.
Count’s Kustoms: Snag a free tour of the shop made famous by Pawn Stars and view their showroom Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and 10 am to 5 pm on weekends.
There you have it, a complete list of free activities in Las Vegas. Although prices seem to be on the rise across the board, there are still plenty of freebies to be found!
Related: Need more budget-friendly inspiration? Check out these Cheap Things to do in Las Vegas!
I’m a former software salesman turned Vegas aficionado. While the craps table is my preferred habitat, I pull myself away to explore new attractions, shows, restaurants, and outdoor activities around Las Vegas with the intent of sharing my experiences.
Ultimately, I just want to help folks plan a better trip and save a few bucks in the process.