While Las Vegas is known for being expensive, you don’t have to break the bank while visiting. Las Vegas is home to plenty of free things – from art and nature to history and even a volcano! There are plenty of free things to do in Las Vegas! Be sure to read my guide on 8 adult ways to save for travel so that you do have SOME money to spend!
Disclaimer: Covid-19 may have impacted the availability of these items. This post also contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase something, I may make a small commission at no cost to you.
Connect with Nature:
Visit the Silverton Casino Hotel for their interactive mermaid swim. The swim takes place numerous times throughout the day Thursday to Sunday in a 100,000+ gallon aquarium that includes tropical fish.
Get lost in the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden. There are five rotating displays throughout the year, so no matter what time you go you’ll be impressed by the imaginative heights flowers can go to!
Flamingos in the desert? Yes! Enjoy the flock of Chilean flamingos, parrots, turtles, fish, and more at the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Hotel!
Enjoy life under the sea at an aquarium. There are three available to choose from. The Mirage has a 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium in the hotel lobby, while Bass Pro Shops has a 40,000-gallon tank, trout stream, and waterfall – and the Forum Shops at Caesars have a 50,000-gallon tank near the Cheesecake Factory!
Travel Tip: Even if you’re not a gambler, you can learn HOW to gamble for free. Ask your hotel concierge if they have gambling lessons and you can learn the basics, etiquette (especially important for table games) and even some strategies!
Admire Art and History:
– The Arts Factory is a collection of individual artists, galleries, and shops that you can enjoy for free!
– Finding street art is a great free activity in any city. In Downtown Las Vegas there are over 30 murals to spot – including the first 100% solar-powered art mural on Seventh Street that not only lights the art but provides power to the city!
– The Fabulous Las Vegas Sign is art, right? Modern art? South of the Strip is the famous landmark that is free to take a photo in front of – just wait your turn in line. There may be impersonators or people to pose with, but expect to pay a tip for those!
– Experience gaming history at the Pinball Hall of Fame! It displays the world’s largest publicly available pinball collection – including games from the 1950s through the 1990s. Bonus: all profits go to non-denominational charities.
– Check out the Lake of Dreams at Wynn Las Vegas. It’s a secluded lake with a 40-foot waterfall surrounded by a lush forest! The shows begin at 6 pm and typically go every half hour.
Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s best shopping – but not everything has to be purchased. Window shopping is a great free thing to do in Las Vegas. Here are a few stores worth walking around in.
– The Coca Cola store immerses you in the world of the famous soda! Take your photo with the Coca-Cola Bear inside or the giant, glass Coke bottle outside for free! (Or if you wanted a printed and branded photo with the bear you can get that for a small fee).
– The Downtown Container Park is a hub for off-Strip parking but is also an experience. It’s a multilevel complex of businesses housed in recycled shipping containers with a courtyard with a playground and stage.
– Step into the world of the elite and window shop at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Not only are there luxury brands, but there is also incredible Roman architecture and a vaulted ceiling that changes colors like the sky! Embracing the beauty of the city is one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas.
-Enjoy walking through Venice at the Venetian. The Grand Canal Shoppes are modeled after the Renaissance era of Venice – complete with gondola rides!
Travel Tip: In the Shoppes is Spirits and Spice which sells an in-house selection of wine and spirits from around the world. Try samples while learning about the production methods!
– Check out the 800-pound Statue of Liberty made completely of chocolate at Hershey’s Chocolate World.
Catch a Free Show:
Las Vegas shows are as over the top as Las Vegas itself. However, there are plenty of free shows to see in Vegas if you know where to look!
– Experience a rainstorm (as well as fog and lightning) in the desert at Miracle Mile Shops.
– Watch the lights of Paris sparkle every 30 minutes between dusk and midnight.
Travel tip: The timing of the Eiffel Tower show unofficially coordinates with the Bellagio fountain shows across the street. So if you can find somewhere to see both – the Strip really comes alive!
– Enjoy the Bellagio Fountains – arguably THE icon of Vegas. Be dazzled as 1,200 nozzles shoot water in coordination with 4,500 lights to the tunes of Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, and more!
– One of my favorite non-gambling things to do in Las Vegas is the Fremont Street Experience. There are over 16 million pixels in the world’s largest LED screen. On the hour, you can watch themed videos and shows.
– For a show that you can feel the heat with, head to the Mirage for their over-the-top volcano show! Shows are at 8 pm and 9 pm each night (with an extra 10 pm show on Friday and Saturday!) Enjoy lava simulation and fireballs and even a volcanic eruption!
– Get your groove on with Big Elvis! The plus-size impersonator has a free show at Harrah’s to catch. (He also live streams performances on his YouTube channel since covid has stopped performances.)
– Visit the world’s largest permanent circus at Circus-Circus Hotel! They have talented performers from around the world performing daily circus acts! This is one of the most engaging free things to do in Las Vegas.
Miscellaneous Free things to do in Las Vegas
– Take a self-driving tour of historic Las Vegas with the Pioneer Trail. It’s 16 historic sites northwest of the Strip – beginning at the Springs Reserve and ending with Biltmore Village. The Pioneer Trail also gives a rare look into the history of Black culture in Las Vegas. Sin City has been (and always will be) more than just gambling – a historical glance is a great way to learn more & one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas.
– Step back in time at the Golden Gate Casino. The casino is the oldest operating casino resort in the city, dating back to 1906. You can find a 113-year-old gaming ledger, Prohibition-era whiskey bottles, and even a model of the first telephone in Vegas just in their lobby! Who knew that taking a step back in history would be one of the great free things to do in Las Vegas?
– Get plenty of selfies walking along the Las Vegas Strip. From a giant Sphinx in front of Luxor to the Eiffel Tower – the over four-mile Strip has plenty of performer photo opps!
Travel Tip: Keep some singles on you – there are a lot of street performers (including showgirls!) and you can get some fun photo keepsakes!
– Visit where the History Channel’s Pawn Stars is filmed. The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is open for visitors – so browse the historic and unusual artifacts for sale. There’s no guarantee you’ll see the stars of the show though.
– Take a self-guided tour at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory. You can see the whole candy-making process through a long viewing window. You can even try some treats!
– Cannabis fans can learn about the history of it – through vintage High times magazine covers and even a WWII parachute made from hemp at Cannabition!
– Take a tour of Banger Brewing! This microbrewery is located in downtown Vegas and gives tours to groups of no more than 6 people (21 and older only) in its air-conditioned facility! (That’s especially important after walking down Fremont Street a few times!)
– The young visitors to Las Vegas will love the Anderson Dairy tour! The colored lights, animatronic animals, and farm scenery while teaching kids history! Even families can enjoy these free things to do in Las Vegas!
Free Things to do outside of Las Vegas
– Visit one of the best National Parks in America – Zion National Park. The incredible beauty is only a 2 and a half hour drive from Las Vegas. Check out this guide to visiting Zion National Park.
– Get a look at the world’s largest hunk of gold in Laughlin, Nevada – only a 90-minute drive from Las Vegas. The golden nugget is a whopping 61 pounds and on full display at the Golden Nugget.
– The Hoover Dam is currently closed for tours (and isn’t free) but you can visit the Boulder Dam Museum. It’s located on the first floor of the Boulder Dam Hotel which was built in 1933 while the dam was being built.
– Check out Bonnie and Clyde’s car at Whiskey Pete’s. The 1934 Ford Deluxe is affectionately called their “Death Car” is proudly on display (and yes, it’s the real thing)
– Just south of Vegas is a 25-foot tall art installation that Instagrammers love – the Seven Magic Mountains! Giant painted rocks in the middle of the desert.