There are a lot of free things that you can do in Las Vegas. We are not the sort to gamble- we can’t see the appeal. However, after strolling through the many casinos, I can almost understand the impulse. Slot machines are easy ways to burn through your money- we didn’t try our hands at cards but Kyler did want to have a brief experience with the slot machine and/or watch my undeniable expression of total boredom as I clicked my button and watched our money disappear. We each put in a $10 bill- at one point I had one $12… but after the next few clicks of the button, that money was gone.
In this post, I have a list of things to do in Las Vegas that are free and some that cost money. The things that cost money were the things we chose to do for this particular trip to Las Vegas. Overall, we were quite happy with our weeklong trip. Previously, I have written 2 related articles for this adventure: our goal budget (pre-trip), and the actual costs of having stayed at a Resort in Las Vegas.
5 Things to do in Las Vegas (That Cost Money)
- Visit Aquariums, shoppes, Botanical Gardens
- Roller Coasters, High Roller, Museums etc. (we did not do these things)
- Spent the day at the Pool with chair reservations and ate at the pool (quite costly!)
Our 3 Day Itinerary
We had 2 airport days and 3 days for adventure. The days we could adventure were June 7, 8 and 9. Walking in the heat is quite exhausting- especially for me- so we often would walk for about 4 hours, come back to the hotel and I would take a 1 hour nap.
- Walked the side of The Strip closest to our hotel. The Strip is 4 miles long! So we walked to the Hard Rock Cafe and did some exploring while we waited for a table.
- Afterwards we visited the New York Casino, the Hershey’s Store, Hard Rock Cafe and read some plaques.
- Then walked through the casinos Excalibur and Luxor because they are connected to our hotel Mandala Bay. My appetite was fierce that day!
- After a nap, we walked down to Mandala Bay Aquarium and toured through there. For $20/person, it is quite the experience and worth our money. After reading reviews about the Botanical Garden at Mirage on TripAdvisor, we determined that seeing only 5 big cats and a few dolphins were not going to be worth $50 total. Reading the bad reviews and some of the middle reviews are extremely helpful.
- Toured M&Ms Store- after dinner, we toured back through to Excalibur or Luxor and made our way to Target so that we could buy some food to keep at our room. On our way back home, we stopped in at the M&Ms store and that place is like a 4 floor museum!
We bought chair reservations for the Mandala Bay pool. We spent sun-soaked hours reading, tanning, the occasional dip in the pool. The reservations and eating was expensive, but the reservations included unlimited water bottles, an attendant, and towels. We wanted to go into the lazy river but the tubes were more expensive than we wanted to pay for ($20-30 for a boring one!) In the evening, we did wander the stretch between Mandala Bay and Excalibur in search of a dinner, but the day exhausted us so I just grabbed a salad to go and ate in our room.
- Wandered through the stretch between Mandala Bay and Excalibur (to avoid the hot sun and air), walked over to the MGM and explored our way to the Monorail. It is $5 per person for a single ride. We took our monorail to Hurrahs and Flamingo area and toured that side of the Strip working our way through the Casinos towards our hotel. We didn’t follow so close to a “proper direction”, so when we were finished with the Bellagio, we walked into Cosmopolitan and ordered a Lyft ride. Otherwise, that would have been a 1 hour walk and my feet and calves were making me wince!
- While on the monorail, we were able to see some of The Strip- we saw the High Roller and other bits and pieces.
- Toured the following casinos: Caesar’s Palace (a huge hotel!), Hell’s Kitchen “lobby”, Treasure Island and Mirage, The Venetian, Bellagio and Cosmopolitan. Every hotel we walked through, there was a gallery to visit. It’s almost like a museum and it is gorgeous. We went to the one in Cesar’s palace and saw art by Picasso and even entered into a Guess the Price for a Picasso piece- we were way over on our guess but it was a fun thing to do.
Things to Do in the Casinos
- Tour the shoppes. Every one of the hotels have them- they’re like malls. The fancier the hotel, the fancier the stores! We had no interest in visiting the stores, but there was a gallery in one of those stretches.
- Visit Hell’s Kitchen restaurant (lobby)– Hell’s Kitchen is our favorite tv show to watch together. We walked into the lobby/waiting area for the restaurant and briefly looked inside. Spoiler- You can’t buy a black jacket.
- Wandered and appreciated the artistry of the theme for this hotel. And watched people in the gondola rides- it wasn’t worth the $$$ for being taken through when we could just walk through.
Something to do at the Bellagio
- We mostly came to the Bellagio for the conservatory. There were of course shoppes and galleries, gambling tables. Most of the decor was centered on “preparing” you for the conservatory. It was smaller than expected but it was a free thing to do in Las Vegas!
Treasure Island & The Mirage
We took a tram from Treasure Island to the Mirage- free and 2 minutes- saves like 15+ minutes for walking. There isn’t a whole lot of theme to these hotels. And we didn’t feel like visiting their botanical garden at the Mirage. There was, however, a pretty set up of flowers and waterfall leading up to the Botanical Garden.
FREE Things to do in Las Vegas
- Tour the Casinos
- Tour the stores on The Strip
- Walk The Strip
- Visit the Galleries in the Casino/Hotels. In almost every hotel that we visited, we saw at least 1 gallery to visit.