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What to do in Las Vegas

Updated on July 5, 2010

Are You Bringing Your Family to Las Vegas?

Fun Things You Can Do in Las Vegas Besides Shows, Gambling, and Drinking

As a resident my perspective on what to do in Las Vegas is going to be quite different from what a tourist is most likely to be seeking with their what to do question. Most tourists want to know what can I do in Las Vegas besides gambling so I’m going to cover the question from that angle. I’m going to take it one step further and eliminate the obvious second choice for what to do which is attend a Las Vegas Show.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us with the same old Top 10 Free Las Vegas Attractions. I’m going to list them and not describe them because they are so beat to death online.

  1. The Bellagio Fountain Shows
  2. The MGM Grand Lions
  3. The Art Exhibits inside the Bellagio and Atrium
  4. Watch the Mirage Volcano Eruption
  5. Walk down Fremont Street and look at the Ceiling
  6. The Treasure Island Show
  7. Look at the Golden Nugget
  8. The ImperialPalace Auto Show (Usually Free)
  9. Free Shows inside the Forum Shops
  10. Walk the same path the Gondola Takes at the Venetian

Yippee! You do those things once and you have to ask yourself if there isn’t a better way to waste your time. Seriously after the reality of what you are doing sets in you realize maybe a vacation to La Jolla or a Scottsdale Golf Vacation might have been a better way to spend your time?

The Bellagio Fountain show might be interesting for kids, but it’s just water shooting up in sync with music. I’d say it’s the second best freebie after the Auto Show, but only if are like me and like cars. The Lions at the MGM are bored out of their minds hoping that they can mercifully be released by a giant earth quake so they can roam out onto The Strip and get hit by a bus. I feel very bad for them being caged and with nothing to do.

The Bellagio Art is okay if you are into that thing, the botanical gardens inside are always crowded and take about 10 minutes of your life from you. I’m not being negative I’m being real. All these things are okay for first time Vegas Visitors, but really nothing out of the ordinary.

Now lets get on to some real Las Vegas Activities worth doing (In my opinion of course).

The first is Golf. Las Vegas has Golf Course all over the Valley. Yes I think they are over priced ($100-$200) but there are plenty to choose from… more than 40 depending on how you count them. So if you are into Golf you are in luck, because Vegas has plenty of excellent courses.

The next great thing is the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If you love car racing then you get a chance to see some of the best Drivers in the World. From Drag Racing to NASCAR you’ll find something for the racing fan at the Motor Speedway.

Another great thing to do when visiting Las Vegas is to visit Lake Mead. Now I’m not talking just a drive and walk through of the Hoover Damn. That is in fact interesting and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, especially if you have never been there before or looking for an activity for a first date. I’m thinking more about what you can do on the lake.

Rent a houseboat and some water craft for a couple of days and get out and have some fun with family and friends. A houseboat vacation on Lake Mead is very affordable for groups of people. During the summer months the water is as warm as your bath! Be sure to take plenty of sunscreen and watch your drinking… every year people drown after doing something stupid. But there is nothing quite like just heading up the lake and finding a nice quiet spot to relax and have fun. Another amazing thing about Lake Mead is to lie out on the top of the boat at night and just look up and see all the stars you can’t see from the city.

Bicycle and walking trails are all over the Master Planned communities. They are not terribly long, but plenty long to enjoy a leisurely ride and get in some good exercise. I love to ride, and while the summers are too hot to ride any time but the early mornings or late evenings the rest of the year makes for some fabulous biking. The average temperature in Las Vegas is 69 degrees. Fall, “Winter” and Spring are excellent times to ride!

There are a lot of Things for Kids to do in Las Vegas as well. Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix Go Karts, GameWorks, Indoor Soccer, the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, Mini Golf, and yes Las Vegas has a Zoo! Surprisingly Las Vegas no longer has a WaterPark. There are however some terrific swimming pools at many of the Strip Resorts. The wave pool at MandalayBay being the most popular. If you are coming to Las Vegas I can highly recommend the Four Seasons which is located in the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay Resort. If you stay at the Four Seasons you can take advantage of the Wave Pool and for quieter times the Four Seasons pools.

One of my favorite activities is to take a drive in the evening up to RedRock Canyon just to the West of the City. The colors of the rocks and the light in the evening is just very peaceful. It’s also a nice trip for people who enjoy motorcycling.

I didn’t cover clubs, restaurants, or shopping. Plenty of opportunity in all those areas. I’m an active person so my focus is on getting out and doing things. The intention of my article on What to Do in Las Vegas is not so much on detail, but on the mindset that there is always plenty to do if you expand you horizons.

Another of my very favorite things to do here in Las Vegas is to watch out for specific trade shows. The Consumer Electronics Show (You’ll need an invitation from a vendor) is one of the most amazing things you can attend if you are into electronics. But the great thing about Las Vegas is there seems to be a show for everyone and every interest.

Here are just a few of the vast array of Conventions and Trade Shows in Las Vegas

  • Paper Doll Convention
  • Automobile Show
  • Nancy Drew Sleuths Convention
  • International Builders Show
  • Annual International Pizza Expo
  • Night Club and Bar Convention Trade Show
  • International Restaurant Show
  • AARP National Event

If you would like to learn more about Trade Shows and Conventions you can find a complete list at

And no article I write would be complete without mentioning Mixed Martial Arts! Las Vegas is the Home of the Ultimate Fighting Championships! Yes they travel around the world, but Vegas is Home.

The point is … whether commercial or just your own interests there is plenty to do in Las Vegas if you look beyond the same old drinking, stage shows and gaming.

You are in Las Vegas What do You do?

Okay You are here... but you don't drink, or gamble or want to spend $150 on a Las Vegas Show... what do you do?
Okay You are here... but you don't drink, or gamble or want to spend $150 on a Las Vegas Show... what do you do?


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  • profile image

    las vegas coupons 8 years ago

    You need to add the New City Center project to the list as it has opened up this month.

  • EWealthGuide profile image

    EWealthGuide 8 years ago from Vancouver

    Glad you had the Fountains at the Bellagio at #1. Definitely the 'must see' attraction in Vegas. I could watch them for hours.

  • Ladybird33 profile image

    Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

    I forwarded this to my friends today (they are leaving for Vegas soon). Great one. Thanks.

  • KCC Big Country profile image

    Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

    I hoping to come to Vegas for the first time in Sept 2010. Your list of freebies will come in handy. Thanks!

  • Storytellersrus profile image

    Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

    I had friends who lived in Las Vegas and they loved taking their kids to free brunches and shows. They would completely agree with you. Good to know!