Looking for non-gambling things to do on and near Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas? You’re not alone. According to a visitor profile survey from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority (LVCVA) 42% of Las Vegas visitors visited downtown in 2019. Among those that visited downtown, only 14% did so to gamble with the rest coming to sightsee, dine, and see the Fremont Street Experience light show.
First things first, we know you came here for things to do on Fremont Street besides gambling, however, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that the gambling downtown is better than the Strip in a number of ways. The slots are slightly looser, with some games still using real coins and tokens. Table game minimum bets are lower and rules more player-friendly than peer games at Strip casinos. If you plan to do so some gambling in Vegas, save some action for downtown.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive into a comprehensive list of things to do on and near Fremont Street besides gambling.
Fremont Street Experience Light Show: Among the most popular things to do downtown is taking in the light show on the Fremont Street Experience canopy which is fresh off a $32 million upgrade. The screen, which is 1,375 feet long, and suspended 90 feet overhead now plays day and night, although is more impressive after dark.
Live entertainment: In addition to the canopy light show, the Fremont Street Experience is known for its live music, offered free of charge on 3 separate stages. Check the entertainment calendar and plan your visit to downtown around your preferred musical acts.
See Las Vegas history: Among the best things to do on Fremont Street besides gambling is jumping from casino to casino to see historic artifacts and windows to the past that are on display. While a full list of historic things to see on Fremont Street can be viewed here, we recommend putting Golden Gate at the top of your list. There, you will be able to open a small unmarked door revealing a piece of Golden Gate’s original wall. Additionally, you can check out an intricately designed fountain which is a relic of the early 1900s.
Eat a great steak: Downtown Las Vegas is home to a number of quality dining options with a more “vintage” vibe than those found on the Strip. Among our favorite places to eat a great steak on Fremont Street are Hugo’s Cellar at 4 Queens, Andiamo at The D, Top of Binion’s Steakhouse at Binion’s, and Triple George at Downtown Grand.
Mob Museum: Located just steps from the Fremont Street canopy, the Mob Museum provides a window into the Mob’s influence on Las Vegas and the United States as a whole. With 20,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Mob Museum deserves to be atop your list of things to do on Fremont Street besides gambling.
See a show: Options like The Comedy Works at Plaza, Hypnosis Unleashed at Binion’s, or Mike Hammer, a comedic magician at 4 Queens could all make for a fun night out. See what shows are available when you are visiting and pair it with a nice dinner!
Visit a speakeasy: Whether you tour the Mob Museum or not, swing by the museum’s hidden speakeasy downstairs for a cocktail. Check here for entry instructions and help finding the password of the day!
Container Park: Across the street from El Cortez, the Downtown Container Park is an outdoor mall constructed entirely of shipping containers. In addition to numerous shopping outlets, bars, and restaurants, the Container Park offers live entertainment (view calendar), a playground for the kids, and yard games. If visiting with your significant other, bring a lock, and attach it to the love lock display. Rumor has it, your relationship is guaranteed to last if you do… can’t hurt!
A free, firey, show: Outside of the Downtown Container Park, is an enormous praying mantis that shoots fire from its antennae nightly. The free shows begin after dusk and are choreographed to music.
“Unleash your inner Viking”: Looking for unique activities on Fremont Street? Look no further than Axehole. The venue serves up drinks while allowing guests to throw axes, ninja stars, tomahawks, and spears at wooden targets. They also have a “smash room” where you can destroy an assortment of items to include printers, plates, and other fragile items. Could be a good spot to take de-stress after a bad beat on the tables.
Grab a cheap bite: While there are numerous high-end dining options on Fremont Street, there is also an abundance of cheap meal options scattered about. Check out our property by property rundown of cheap eats downtown Las Vegas here!
Grab a Slice: On the topic of cheap meal options, two of the best pizza by the slice spots in Las Vegas are located downtown. We recommend stopping by Pizza Rock at Downtown Grand, or Evel Pie on Fremont East. You can’t lose either way.
Drink cheap: Among our favorite non-gambling things to do on Fremont Street is taking advantage of cheap drink and happy hour deals, and there are plenty of them! Check out our full list of cheap drink deals and happy hours downtown Las Vegas here!
A Rotating Bar: While not as inexpensive as some of the happy hour deals previously mentioned, Whiskey Liquor Up’s rotating bar at Binion’s offers great views of Fremont Street properties.
Grab a Craft Beer: As a beer person, seeking out a craft brew is at the top of my list of non-gambling things to do on Fremont Street. We recommend stopping into Banger Brewing, Chicago Brewing Company at 4 Queens, or Triple 7 Brewing at Main Street Station.
Stadium Swim: Circa, the newest resort downtown is open and is a must-visit. Among the resort’s signature amenities is their Stadium Swim rooftop pool deck and amphitheater. Non-hotel guests can access the pool for a cover charge of $10 most days. There, you can take advantage of Stadium Swim’s heated pools, swim-up bars, and a gigantic screen that will always be playing the big game. While both Plaza and Downtown Grand also offer non-guest pool access for a small cover charge, Circa’s experience can’t be missed.
Don’t Tell Mama: A New York style piano bar in Neonopolis, Don’t Tell Mama showcases world-class piano talent nightly. Additionally, the waitstaff are aspiring performers and take the stage themselves. Where else does the staff serve AND entertain? While there are a plethora of bar options downtown, Dont Tell Mama ranks among the most unique.
See The Tank: The runner up for Fremont Street’s best pool scene is The Tank at Golden Nugget. The pool itself surrounds an enormous 200,000-gallon aquarium with various aquatic species to include sharks. During the summer months, non-hotel guests can usually access the pool for a small fee, but you can take a peek for free. As far as “can’t miss” activities on Fremont go, seeing The Tank at GN is up there.
See some gold: The largest golden nugget in existence weighing in at 61-pounds is known as the “Hand of Faith” and was discovered in 1980 by a random guy in Australia playing around with a metal detector. Although the one on display at the Golden Nugget is rumored to be a replica, we still find it to be a neat diversion.
Free slot pulls: I know, this is supposed to be “Things to do on Fremont Street besides gamble”, but is it gambling if you don’t have to put any money on the line? Both Binion’s and 4 Queens offer a free slot pull that give you the chance to win up to $2,500 in cash. Hey, it could happen.
Enjoy a HUGE breakfast: If you follow any Las Vegas focused social media groups, you have likely seen images of Hash House a Go Go’s enormous portions. Start your day out right, and with a solid day drinking base at Hash House, located inside Plaza.
Enjoy a free meal if you’re huge: Heart Attack Grill offers free meals to those weighing in at 350 lbs. or more. Even if not eating, taking a peek inside HAG is a Vegas oddity we can’t resist. Guests wear surgical gowns, and the wait staff spanks customers that don’t finish their food with a wooden paddle.
Slotzilla: Among the most thrilling things to do on Fremont Street besides gambling, Slotzilla flys riders on a zipline over the pedestrian mall below. Riders choose between the lower, 77-foot high zipline which is 850 feet long and the taller 114-foot high zoomline which is 1,700 feet long. Even if not riding yourself, watching person after person fly overhead is pretty neat.
See the Antiques at MSS: A free thing to do downtown, Main Street Station has a unique collection of historic antiques on display. While antiques are usually lame, I can assure you that this collection is legitimately cool. Complete with items like a section of the Berlin Wall, Louisa May Alcott’s railcar, and Winston Churchill’s snooker table, there is sure to be something you care to see.
View Poker History: Check out the names and pictures of the poker legends that comprise the Poker Hall of Fame at Binion’s.
Drink a Scorpion: One of the more unique, and disgusting, things to do on Fremont Street is the “Scorpion Shot” at Nacho Daddy. Apparently, 55,000 people have been crazy enough to try one since 2010. Don’t stress the scorpion, they are already deceased and the stinger has been removed.
Karaoke: Whether you are singing, or just like watching people make a fool of themselves, Karaoke is offered at the Cat’s Meow in Neonopolis nightly.
Toy shopping: The Toy Shack, owned and operated by Pawn Stars Expert Johnny Jimenez Jr. specializes in historic and memorable toys from your youth. Stop in to meet the Pawn Stars personality, and check out the collection!
Street Performances: Street performers and buskers on Fremont Street come in all shapes, sizes, and talent levels. One of my favorite non-gambling activities is to watch the more talented acts do their thing. While most are not worth your time, and even could qualify as an eye/earsore, there are acts worth the time.
See a show: While shows on the Strip get all the accolades, there are some solid options downtown that are comparatively inexpensive. Highly acclaimed options include “The Comedy Works” at Plaza, “Hypnosis Unleashed” at Binion’s, or “Mike Hammer’s Comedy Magic” at 4 Queens. While tickets can always be bought with the box office, we commonly find them a bit cheaper in advance with a 3rd party like Vegas.com.
Go-karts: Located in Neonopolis, Gene Woods Racing “Drift” Experiences will have you ripping around an indoor track on all-electric go-karts.
Score Some Cheap Shrimp: A staple of Las Vegas cuisine, shrimp cocktails were historically used as a loss leader to draw guests into the casino. Now, a cheap shrimp cocktail is harder to find, but there are a couple of options on Fremont Street. Circa offers the famous Du-Pars shrimp cocktail made famous at Golden Gate from 3 am – 5 am for .99 with the purchase of an entree. If you aren’t a night owl, Lanai Express at Fremont offers a .99 cocktail daily, although it lacks the quality of Circa’s.
Sigma Derby: While we promised a list of things to do besides gamble, Sigma Derby can be done cheap, and hardly counts as gambling in our opinion. Located upstairs at The D, Sigma Derby is a mechanical horse racing game that can be played for as little as a quarter per race. Plug the quarters into the machine, pick the horses you think will win, then watch them go! It’s a legit blast. Think of it as an old school arcade game in which you can win some money.
People Watch: Fremont Street attracts some of the most unique people you will see in your lifetime. I recommend grabbing a seat at one of the numerous bars with seating overlooking the pedestrian mall, sit back, and enjoy. The perfect activity on Fremont Street for when the gambling budget is blown.
Things to do near Fremont Street Besides Gambling
Visit the Neon Museum: For Las Vegas history enthusiasts, or for people that have been visiting the city for decades, the Neon Museum is among the best things to do downtown besides gambling. With vintage signing on display from long gone resorts like Stardust, Sassy Sally’s, and Riviera, you are sure to find your sense of nostalgia. In addition to casinos that no longer exist, the Neon Museum has plenty of signing from past incarnations of current casinos like Caesars Palace, Golden Nugget, and Binion’s. Seriously, if you have any fond memories of past eras of Vegas, this is a can’t miss downtown attraction.
Walk the Arts District: The Arts District is among the most underrated things to do in Vegas, with many visitors oblivious to its existence. For those unfamiliar, The Las Vegas Arts District is 18 blocks of unique shopping, dining, and drinking between STRAT and downtown Las Vegas. I love the district for the neighborhood feel and breweries, while my wife enjoys antique shopping, art stores, and culinary offerings. Catch the free Downtown Loop shuttle on Fremont Street at Circa or the Mob Museum for a ride to the Arts District.
Catch a free ride to STRAT: While STRAT and the resort’s SkyPod aren’t downtown per se, the property is easily accessible from Fremont Street via the Downtown Loop Shuttle. We recommend taking the free ride to enjoy the numerous unique things to do at STRAT, and then either continuing south to the Strip or take the free shuttle back downtown.
Hit the North Premium Outlets: If shopping is what you seek, the North Premium Outlets may be the answer. An outdoor mall with over 180 luxury brands to include Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Armani among others, the shops are a short Uber ride from Fremont Street (under $10). Check here for all your shopping options in Las Vegas!
As evidenced by the robust list above, there are a ton of things to do on Fremont Street besides gambling! Hopefully, we were able to help you add a few non-gambling activities to your Las Vegas itinerary!
Featured Image: ©VictorBernard via canva.com