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Circus Circus Midway & Arcade Review – Take a Look Inside!

Key Points:

  • Put bluntly, this is the premier arcade experience in Las Vegas. It doesn’t get bigger or better.
  • While there are a ton of arcade games, what impressed me was the abundance and variety of carnival-style midway games.
  • While most arcades have a prize counter, Circus Circus boasts an entire retail store full of prizes.

It’s no secret – Circus Circus is the home base for families looking for kid-friendly things to do in Las Vegas.

Home to a waterpark, free circus acts, Adventuredome Amusement Park, and a sprawling arcade, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.

Up until now, I hadn’t made visiting the arcade at Circus Circus a priority, preferring instead to belly up to the craps table or their selection of old-school token slots that are found on the casino floor.

With that in mind, I figured it would be fun to finally stop in and share my experience so that you can determine if the Arcade and Midway at Circus Circus deserve to be slotted into your itinerary.

Circus Circus Exterior at Night
I’m going in – ©dacasdo/123RF.COM

Inside the Arcade & Midway

The Midway at Circus Circus is located on the second level above the casino and is home to “200 of today’s most popular and yesterday’s most classic games”.

Conveniently, gameplay credits are loaded onto a card which is then scanned to play the game of your choice. Tickets are then awarded based on your performance, which are tracked on the same card and can be redeemed for prizes.

Now, I obviously knew an arcade existed at Circus Circus, but because I prefer vices to innocent pleasures, I had yet to really explore it.

Needless to say, I had underestimated the size and scope of this bad boy.

This place is massive compared to other arcades on the Strip and is easily the biggest of the bunch (although Excalibur’s Fun Dungeon is a close 2nd).

I’m embarrassed to admit I got a little lost on a couple of occasions.

Arcade games with a neon sign above that says "Shake Rattle & Roll"
A large room packed from wall to wall with arcade games.
A room full of arcade games.
A room of arcade games with two air hockey tables in the foreground.

Here are a few more games that I thought looked intriguing as I wandered the arcade area.

An arcade game where seated participants shoot a stream of water at a small circular target.
2 walls full of brightly lit claw games.
Connect 4 hoops game where you drop connect four pieces by shooting a basketball at  a specific hoop.
A large wheel arcade game.
An arcade game that has participants shooting basketballs into a distant hoop.
A Wonka themed arcade game with an Angry Birds themed game in the background.
A row of skee ball games stand ready for players.
An arcade game that is best described as miniature bowling.

While other arcades in Vegas offer carnival-style games in addition to traditional arcade games, Circus Circus’ selection blows them away.

When I say carnival-style games, I’m referring to games that are manned by an employee that tasks participants with breaking a target, tossing a ball into a jug, knocking over jugs with a ball, throwing a ring on a glass bottle, etc.

Of course, these games also have big-ticket.. or just big… prizes hanging above, calling out to players like a siren’s song.

Here’s a small sampling of the carnival-style games available for play:

Carnival game where players are taked with throwing a ball and knocking over a stack of blocks.
A carnival game where a player makes their horse "run faster" by rolling a ball into a hole.
An arcade game where players make their "Racing clown" move faster by rolling their ball into specific holes.
A carnival game where players are rewarded for popping an inflated balloon on the backwall with a dart.
An arcade game where players are tasked with making a basketball shot.
A carnival game where players earn points by rolling a ball into slots at the end of a ramp that are worth more points.

Prize Selection

A key differentiator of Circus Circus’ Arcade vs. others in Las Vegas is the vast assortment of prizes available when redeeming your tickets.

While other arcades offer a small selection of treats and toys behind a counter, Circus Circus has an entire “store” with items ranging from Tootsie Rolls to TVs.

Of course, most kids were redeeming their tickets for bracelets and cheap candy… but a guy can dream can’t he?!

Prize room at Circus Circus which is merchandised much like a retail store would be.
Mid-Tier prizes at Circus Circus that include headphones, keyboards, microphones, and clock radios.
High End prizes at Circus Circus, cheif among them is an HDTV.

A Free Circus Show

A unique cherry on top of the Midway at Circus Circus are the free circus acts that take place daily starting at 1:30 pm.

Acts include ladder men, jugglers, aerial dancing, feats of strength, and trapeze tricks among others.

While these acts are worth catching if you’re already in the area, I wouldn’t recommend making a separate trip out to Circus Circus just to see them. They’re cool – Just not that cool in my opinion.

Free Circus Act arena and seating in Circus Circus' Midway.
Where the free circus action happens.

Food & Drink Options

Throughout the Midway & Arcade at Circus Circus are kid-friendly food and drink options that include a carousel-themed candy shop and an “Icee Land & Treats”.

Carousel themed candy and snack shop.
Exterior of Icee Land & Treats.

Of course, the resort is also home to other family (and budget) friendly spots to grab a bite which include a food court with fast food options, Big Top Eats, and a pizzeria.

The Verdict: Is The Midway & Arcade at Circus Circus Worth Visiting?

Look, I’ve been plenty critical of Circus Circus in the past.

The resort as a whole has seen better days and I commonly use words like “neglected”, “dirty”, or even “depressing” to describe it. And if I’m being honest, the arcade is also a bit rough around the edges.

That being said, this is the premier arcade in Las Vegas.

The arcade is easily the biggest on the Strip, has the widest selection of arcade games, offers more carnival-style games than a state fair, has a massive “prize store” vs. the prize counter offered at lesser arcades, and even boasts free circus acts daily.

Game selection ranges from modern selections that are designed to impress to old-school classics like pop-a-shot and Skee Ball.

If you’re lugging the kids to Vegas and are looking for activity ideas, I’d recommend considering the arcade at Circus Circus. It’s chaotic, but your kids will have a blast.

On a related note, I recently reviewed The Adventuredome indoor amusement park at Circus Circus, which is stocked full of rides that range from tame to thrilling. It could also be a great option for families!

A circular swing ride that spins riders in a circle slowly.
The Adventuredome at Circus Circus

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