As a city, Las Vegas is famed for excess: gambling, lavish meals and uncurbed drinking are the norm here. It’s a destination where more really is more! However, once you’ve awoken bleary-eyed after an evening of hedonism, there are a surprising number of free activities, meaning that you can save your hard-earned money for the black jack table.
After a long night of drinking it can be tempting to burrow down under your covers and stubbornly refuse to venture outside all day. However, as daunting as it may seem, sometimes the best option is to head out into the great outdoors and sweat it all out. As locations go, Las Vegas is a pretty awesome place to do this! Just outside of the city you can find the Red Rock Canyon with its dramatic burnt orange hues and jutting rock faces to clamber upon. The Calico Basin Trail is a good place to start exploring these awe-inspiring surrounds.
Drink Lots of Wine
Sipping on a glass of wine is usually associated with spending. However, with a little planning you can drink for free in Las Vegas! The Rock ‘n’ Roll Wine Club offers up wine tastings every Thursday at a host of locations across the city, and all for free. In order to experience this yourself, remember that you need to register in advance.
Explore the Grounds of the Bellagio
The Bellagio is one of Las Vegas’ most famed hotels with decadent interiors, restaurants from award-winning chefs, and an entertainment programme that could tempt even the most avid of explorers to spend a week indoors. Staying there is a guaranteed treat, where your senses are bound to be indulged at every turn. However, if you’re not feeling so flash, there are parts of the hotel to enjoy that don’t come with a price tag (even for those not staying there).
Watch the Famous Fountain Displays
The Bellagio fountains are one of the most iconic structures in Las Vegas. Visitors flock to them in the hundreds each day to watch the waters rise and fall, with jets of waters weaving in and out of one another, to a medley of songs. This occurs throughout the day at half hour intervals meaning that you can slip in a viewing on even the busiest of days.
Explore the Botanical Gardens
The botanical gardens at the Bellagio are a sight to behold, each season the entire garden is overhauled and a new scene is enacted with vibrant flowers, otherworldly ornaments and temporary structures. The gardens sit just beyond the lobby and are free to explore for hotel guests and tourists alike.
Image © Kobby Dagan
Befriend the Resident Flamingos
The Flamingo hotel and casino in Las Vegas is home to a flock of candy-floss pink flamingos, who docilely flap their wings in lush green surrounds. The space is also home to a variety of other bird species such as black swans and guinea fowl. If you’re looking for a tranquil afternoon, this might just be the spot to head to. Entrance to the wildlife habitat is free, allowing you to explore the area at your own pace.
Pose in Front of the Las Vegas Sign
We know it’s a bit cliché (but then again, isn’t that a large part of Vegas’ charm?), but no trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a snap in front of this famous sign. Designed by Betty Willis, the sign stands proud in the town of Paradise, and its gaudy lights and unabashed sparkle mirror what is to come as you enter the famous city. For the ultimate photo opportunity don your glad rags and head to the sign just before sunset when dramatic skies beset the scene.
Watch a Circus Performance
If you love circus performances, Las Vegas may just be the city for you. The famous Cirque du Soleil have seven separate shows running there at any one time. However, these tickets come with a hefty price tag! Those looking to grab a slice of the action without breaking the bank should head to the Circus Circus hotel and casino where there are free performances daily.
Take a Tour of a Chocolate Factory
Just outside of Las Vegas, in the town of Henderson sits Ethel M’s chocolate factory, surrounded by three acres of cactus gardens. If this sounds idyllic, that’s because it is and an afternoon can be spent here for free. Hours can be spent strolling through the gardens and exploring the factory to see how the delectable chocolates are made. It will take a willpower of steel to stop yourself from buying any of the good stuff though!
Image © Brian Whitmarsh