By Namu Ju
Amidst all the glimmering lights and slot machine melodies, it’s all too easy to blow your cash in a place like Las Vegas.
Whether you’ve already run through your budget, or you’re hoping to get the most bang for your vacation bucks—check out some of the free, yet equally exciting, activities you can partake of in the infamous Sin City.
Fremont Street Experience
If you’ve come to Vegas to be dazzled by the bright lights, you are sure to find what you’re looking for at the Fremont Street Experience (FSE). On a 1,500-foot long video screen canopy, suspended 90 feet above the ground, the Viva Vision Light shows run every hour from 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM with concert-quality sound.
During the summer months, the FSE offers live music, concerts, and holiday-related music and sights. If you’re feeling especially daring, try the SlotZilla zip line and fly under the Viva Vision screen as it plays.
Open 24 hours a day, the FSE is lined with bars, restaurants, and slot machines, and is especially bustling at night with street performers, musicians, artists, and impersonators. The FSE and Las Vegas thrive on big and flashy, so of course, they house the world’s largest functioning fire hydrant, biggest keno board, and one of the largest pint glasses. With everything larger than life, you definitely won’t be bored.
The Bellagio Fountains
Kid-friendly, family-friendly, romantic, dramatic, inspiring—the fountains of Bellagio put on a show every half hour from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM (and on weekends starting at noon), and every 15 minutes from 8:00 PM to midnight. Lights pulse to music while streams of water shoot up and dance at 460 feet in the air—that’s 25 stories high!—in front of the lake outside of the Bellagio hotel and casino.
The water and light shows use some of the most popular music ever created, including songs by Vegas legends like Elvis or Frank Sinatra. The Bellagio Fountains are too iconic to pass up and make a perfect backdrop for any scene during your Las Vegas trip. Remember the final cinematic scene from the film Ocean’s Eleven? That could be you. Truly Instagram worthy.
CBS Television City Research Center at MGM Grand
We all have that family member who loves relaxing in the hotel room and watching television more than exploring when on vacation, or maybe that’s you? Either way, you can have the best of both worlds at CBS Television City Research Center.
There you can sample brand-new television shows and potential pilots during the free hour-long screenings—and they want your opinion. Walk into any of the studios to test the offerings by CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, and other Viacom-owned channels, record your feedback on the monitor and walk out knowing that you’ve just played your part in shaping television culture.
It’s hard to pass up a good show when making your way through Vegas, especially when it’s free. Circus Circus is the largest permanent circus in the world—quite possibly the most famous too—and it holds free daily performances open to the public from 11:00 AM to midnight.
Their acts have been entertaining guests for over fifty years with a rotating cast of jugglers, aerialists, cyclists, roller-skating stuntmen, and acrobats. Watch some of the most physically talented people in the business create electrifying entertainment and death-defying art for you, your family and friends. Then top it all off with a rousing show from the Circus Circus’ resident clowns on the famous Midway Stage.
Wildlife Habitat at The Flamingo Las Vegas
The Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Las Vegas is a delightful way to spend a couple hours. Take a break from the lights and city bustle, and come to the surprising small burst of nature located in the centre of the Vegas Strip. The Wildlife Habitat is home to a few Chilean flamingos, ducks, swans, turtles, koi, and rescued pelicans. With plenty of sitting areas, palm trees, and waterfalls—it is as family-friendly as it is picture-friendly! Kids will love the opportunity to feed the fish and learn fun facts from the Wildlife Habitat staff as they care for these beautiful animals.
The above suggestions offer a solid start to getting the most out of your Vegas vacation. In a city with so many opportunities to spend your hard-earned cash, Vegas also offers incredible experiences to adults and children that won’t break the bank. Las Vegas has once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that won’t require you even to open your wallet!