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10 free things to do in Las Vegas

Updated on January 10, 2012

10 free things to do in Las Vegas

Everyone knows that Vegas has gambling and casinos. Going broke quickly is easy to do, but did you know that Vegas is full of Free things to do away from the lights and the glitter? After living in Vegas for 40 years, I compiled this list of my ten favorite free things to do when I go back to visit. Save your money for the nights and come enjoy the days with me for FREE!


Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam which is located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The dam is located just beyond Boulder city on the Nevada-Arizona border. Hoover Dam was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and yes; you can enjoy the Dam and the bypass for free. Parking is also free at many of the pullouts on the Arizona Side of the Dam. Hoover Dam also does daily tours. These are not free to the general public but are always 100% free to U.S. Military in Uniform.


Red Rock Canyon is located 20 miles west of Las Vegas off State Highway 159. Getting There is easy if you just follow Charleston Blvd straight out to the canyon. If you love hiking you’re going to love this place! Even if you don't like hiking the drive alone is worth the time. Red Rock Canyon is a very tranquil conservation area so it is beaming with plants and wildlife. Rabbits, coyotes, kit foxes, and Bobcats all call Red Rock Canyon home. The canyon's wildflowers in the spring and beautiful waterfalls are sure to take your breath away. Summers can be unbearably hot so make sure you have lots of water on hand.


Bonnie Springs Ranch/Old Nevada is a re-creation of a 1880s frontier town, built on the site of a very old ranch. The ranch is open daily from 9am-5pm Bonnie springs is located in the heart of Red Rock Canyon, just ten-minutes west of Las Vegas. The ranch is known to locals as one of the best family getaways for the day. There is plenty to do at the ranch and it all starts with a miniature train ride. Inside the ranch, there is the Miner's Restaurant and an old-fashioned Beer Parlor. There are riding stables, an old Photograph Shoppe, bird aviary, duck pond, the remains of the old Comstock lode silver mine and even a simple little wedding chapel in case you get the urge to tie the knot!


They fly through the air with the greatest of ease and best of all it's FREE! Performances start daily at 11 a.m. on the second level of the casino. Clowns, flying Trapeze Stars, twisting and tumbling, acrobatics, magic & transformation illusion and so much more. These acts are some of the best in the world. A different act performs each half-hour from 11 a.m. to midnight daily. Make sure to find a spot early the shows have a tendency to pack rather quickly.


Music, lights and sound all under a $70 million over head light canopy. I can only describe Fremont Street as one huge party! There are zip lines that allow you to soar over the crowds at speeds of 30 miles per hour and 800 feet in length! There are bars to hang out at, the Neonopolis shopping mall and live music on four different stages! Plenty of small shops to browse threw with great prices on souvenirs. The Viva light shows begin at 8:30pm nightly and play hourly until midnight. If you’re hungry there are plenty of food places that carry inexpensive eats from 99 cents, and you can’t beat the dollar Margaritas!


While you’re in Vegas make sure to stop by the Mirage and visit the rare, exotic white tigers used by Siegfried and Roy in their show. When you’re done being amazed by the tiger display take a walk over to the shark aquarium which is located behind the front desk. The aquarium is home to angelfish, puffer fish, tangs, sharks and other exotic sea creatures. When you’re done looking at the beauty of the 20,000-gallon saltwater tank, make sure to take a stroll through the lush indoor rainforest which is housed under a 100-foot glass dome. You will be witness to palm trees that reach over 60 feet high and beautiful cascading waterfalls surrounded by rich tropical flora, including bird of paradise trees and orchids. The casino hires four full-time gardeners who spend over 60 hours each week in order to maintain the more than 100 different types of plants in the atrium! All three exhibits are open 24hrs a day, seven days a week.


I never leave Las Vegas without stopping in at the Mystic Falls Park at Sam's Town. Nothing beats a peaceful stroll through the park. I love serenity of the place. The only thing that breaks the silence is the howling of the wolf atop the waterfall when the light show begins. The free laser light show plays at 2:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm daily. Accompanying the laser show are fountains of water that shoot eight stories into the air as they dance along with the music. If you have small children, you do not want to miss this show!


Stingrays, sharks and 4,000 tropical fish during a feeding frenzy is something that should not be missed! The Silverton Casino's saltwater aquarium is huge and very impressive. The Aquarium is an 117,000-gallon reef where you can enjoy interactive feeding shows daily at 1:30pm and 4:30pm. While you’re there make sure to catch the live mermaid swim! Mermaids swim on Friday and Saturday from 2:15pm - 9:45pm and Sunday from 11:30am - 6:45pm. While in the mermaid Lounge make sure to check out the two 500-gallon jellyfish aquariums lit with LED lights, it's a sight not to be missed!


The railhead at Boulder station boasts one of the best cover bands on the planet! Yellow Brick Road has been performing at boulder station every Saturday night from 11:00pm - 1:30am as long as I can remember. If you happen to be in town on a Saturday night with nothing to do and out of money, this is the band to see. A good time is always had by all, and I have never been disappointed with a performance. Doors open at 10pm but get there early because people will normally start lining up at 9:30. This band has a huge following!


I love Green Valley ranch District, and I always stop in while I’m in town. The fabulous shops at The District are a great way to spend the day window shopping. There are dozens of great little shops to browse and walk thru If walking is not your thing, then hop aboard the free trolley ride. Enjoy a complimentary ride aboard The District Trolley Company with stops at Main Street adjacent to Elephant Bar. The trolley runs continuously Friday & Saturday 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm


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    • Maddambutterfly profile image

      Marie V Stephens 6 years ago from New Mexico

      Thanks everyone for the comments! I hope everyone enjoys these places as much as I always have. Anlocsin,Sigfried and Roy are no more BUT they still keep their tigers in the habitat and the tiger that got him still lives in the gardens on site. The lion habitat inside the MGM however is sadly now closed for good which was another of my favorite free spots.

    • villasandhomes profile image

      villasandhomes 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this..

    • WritingItUp profile image

      Writing It Up 6 years ago from New York City

      I love Las Vegas. Thanks for sharing this. Been to Red Rock and a few others you have here, but looking forward to checking out Bonnie Springs, Sam's Town and Silverton Casino for my next visit. The descriptions sound interesting. Voting up!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for listing some free sites in what can be an expensive city to visit. But one question: I thought there was no more Sigfried and Roy Show. Did they come back? Voting this Up and Useful.