The most affordable time to come to Vegas is actually right after New Years. Business slows down after the holidays so room rates lower. When you choose your hotel you want to take into consideration the location. The Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand and Wynn are all nice hotels, but they're also at the end of the strip, which means a lot of walking. If you want to stay more centralized then consider staying at Ballys, Paris or the Bellagio. If distance isn't a factor then you may want to consider staying at the Rio, which is slightly off the strip. The room rates at the Rio aren't necessarily cheaper, but the Rio is an all-suite hotel which means for the same price for a standard room at a strip hotel, you can stay in a suite. It's also close to the Palms casino and Gold Coast and also contains McFaddens, which is one of my favorite bars in Las Vegas as well as the seafood buffet and the Carnival World buffet which are two of the most popular in Las Vegas. As far as shows, there are several places to get half price tickets. One is inside Bills Casino, the other is in the Hawaiin marketplace, which are both located on the strip. Also, many hotels will offer packages that include rooms, meals and shows at a discounted rate, you just have to visit their website for that. If you play in the casino, be sure to get a player's card. This will allow you to earn comps and get discounts on your stay. It more than likely won't cover your entire trip, but you may get a free dinner out of it. The casino will also send you free room offers for future trips once you sign up for a card (just be sure to read the fine print on those offers before you make a reservation). And believe it or not Las Vegas has several educational opportunities too. There's the Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay. The lion and dolphin exhibit at The MIrage. The art gallery at Bellagio and the Atomic Testing Museum on Flamingo Avenue. I would also recommend visiting Fremont Street where old Las Vegas is if you get the chance. Other than that, visit your hotel concierge when making plans for the night, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes. I hope this helps.