Looking for ways to keep your Vegas vacation budget on track? The first step is to stick to your gambling limit (you do have one, right?), but a good second step is to take advantage of all the free things you can do in town. Here are five budget-friendly things to do in Las Vegas:
1. Check out the buskers on the Strip and the Fremont Street Experience. Not to be confused with the pamphlet peddlers, buskers are people who dress up in costumes, sing, or otherwise perform to a sidewalk full of people. They work for tips (and if you want to have your picture taken with them, it’s expected that you’ll tip), but if you’re just walking by, there’s no charge.2. Watch the volcano erupt at the Mirage. A stop at this iconic Vegas curb-side show is not only free, it’s almost mandatory. Sure, you can check out the scantily-clad Sirens tempting the Pirates next door at the Treasure Island, or take in the “Streetmosphere” across the street at the Venetian, or even gaze at the dancing waters down the street at the Bellagio—but the volcano is the granddaddy of them all.
3. Catch the in-door rainstorm at Miracle Mile. Other malls on the Las Vegas Strip have free shows, most notably Caesars Forum Shops and their talking statues. But if the desert heat is getting to you, a 60-second downpour might be just what you need. Like many of the Strip’s shopping malls, Miracle Mile has been designed to mimic the outside with a changing sky and building facades. Unlike the outside, however, air conditioning keeps the temperature cool.
4. See the wildlife at the Flamingo. The Flamingo is an Old Vegas casino—one of the most famous with its links to Ben “Bugsy” Siegel—and its little garden-like wildlife habitat is a nice break from the Strip’s neon and concrete. The lion habitat at the MGM Grand is also free, but it is in the casino area.
5. Check out the Neon Museum. Aladdin’s Lamp and the Hacienda’s horse and rider are two of the vintage Vegas neon signs on display in Downtown Las Vegas. When stages are set up on the side streets off Fremont Street, you might not be able to see all of the signs—but if stages are set up, that means you’re probably enjoying a free concert.You can also enjoy free drinks while you gamble, although too much booze while you’re gambling can cost you a lot of money. Stick to something non-alcoholic and you’ll increase the odds that your trip to Vegas will be a success.