Las Vegas is popularly known as the city you go to party and gamble all your money and your plane ticket back home with the roll of a dice. And that’s quite true. Las Vegas is full of activities and attractions that cost a pretty penny.
On the other hand, Las Vegas is also a city full of freebies that surpass the quality of freebies offered in most major cities around the world.
Most people don’t know it, but it is easy finding these free shows and attractions in Las Vegas, you only need to know where to look to find them.
Without further ado, here are 11 of the best Las Vegas free shows and attractions:
1. Fountains of Bellagio
In theory, this show is often sold as the “most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived”.
With an 8.5-acre lake representing a small version of Lake Como in Bellagio, Italy, the Bellagio Hotel has created a stunning water stage that never fails to dazzle passersby with the enchanting water choreography and beautiful music.
Each performance includes 1,214 dancing fountains, shooting illuminated water up to 460 feet in the air as they shimmy, twirl, and spin in perfect sync with whichever song is playing (which can be anything from Broadway to Opera classics).
Each show is choreographed to a different song to keep the attraction unique throughout the day.
Recently, for the first time in the show’s history, the Bellagio added an EDM show created by DJ Tiësto. His act joins other stars like Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles.
The show runs every 30 minutes Monday through Friday from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and every 15 minutes from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am.
Saturdays and Holidays are every 30 minutes from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and every 15 minutes from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am. Sunday are every 30 minutes from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm and every 15 minutes from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am.
Have in mind that you do not need to stay at the Bellagio or any of the other hotels mentioned here to see any of the free shows. They are open to the public. But of course, staying at these hotels adds to the Vegas experience!
Get the best deals at the Bellagio Hotel or check its TripAdvisor reviews.
2. Circus Circus Act
This is the largest permanent circus in the world and one of the most popular free shows in Vegas.
Jugglers, unicyclists, acrobats, and aerialists perform remarkable stunts high above the casino floor for about 10 minutes per show. Shows start at 11:30 am and run every hour until late at night – past midnight.
And the best thing is that each show has a different troupe of performers, so if you’re spending a decent time at the hotel, you could see a different show each hour!
With only a few seats, the stands start to fill up about 15 minutes beforehand. Don’t worry if you’re not there early, grab a drink and stand on the other side of the stage or near the fishing game that juts out from the midway.
Since you’re in the neighborhood anyway, the midway has more than 200 games and is one of the best in town.
Get the best deals at the Circus Circus Hotel or check its TripAdvisor reviews.
3. Fremont Street Experience
The Fremont Street Experience is mostly known for its overhead light show, named Viva Vision.
It offers a series of free nightly shows that feature 12.5 million lights and 550,000 watts of sound, dispersed along the roofing of a “street.” It is a spectacular display of lights and technology, to say the least!
Also, street performers, impersonators, and other artists can be seen at the street level. Walk up and down the few blocks under the lighted canopy to get the most out of this adult carnival.
If that wasn’t enough, you can also zip line from end to end under the canopy! I really enjoyed ziplining while dozens of moving images shined all over me.
The show starts every hour on the hour from 7 pm to midnight. You can also hop between casinos, kiosks, and all sorts of shops along the street.
This is the epitome of modern-day Vegas, but if you’re into a bit of old Vegas, you can go to the east end of the street and visit the outdoor Neon Museum, which hosts some of the old hotels’ neon signs.
4. The Silverton Hotel Aquarium
The Silverton Hotel houses a 117,000-gallon reef aquarium that is home to more than 5,000 exotic fish from around the world. They have over 160 species, including sharks, stingrays, parrotfish, angelfish, and many more, including vibrant corals.
What makes this aquarium fun are the “mermaids!” They swim among the fish and do everything from blowing bubbles to interacting and playing with kids watching from outside the aquarium.
But the most exciting part is seeing them doing synchronized swimming, twirling, flipping, dancing, and other fun stunts. They swim in the tank for about 15 minutes.
In case you’re wondering how these mermaids breathe underwater for 15 minutes, they are scuba-certified and do get some air every now and then from small hookah ports spread throughout the tank.
Additionally, you can also catch divers feeding the stingrays. These divers have a built-in speaker in their suits to answer any question the audience may have and share some other fun facts about the aquarium.
There’s also a guide outside the tank during feeding times to take such questions.
Just sit and relax on one of the comfortable benches around the aquarium and enjoy the show.
The stingray feeding show runs daily at 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm, and the mermaids swim Thursday through Saturday at 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 5:00 pm; Sundays at 10:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 5:00 pm.
Oh, and if you’re getting hitched in Vegas, you can say “I Do” with a mermaid for a bridesmaid and a stingray or shark as your best man. How cool is that?!
The Silverton Hotel is not located on the Las Vegas Strip, but you can take their free shuttle from the Strip. The hotel is located 5 miles away, but it’s totally worth going there to see the Mermaid show and aquarium.
Get the best deals at the Silverton Hotel or check its TripAdvisor reviews.
5. Fall of Atlantis at Caesars’ Forums Shops
The free Fall of Atlantis show inside the Forum Shops at Caesars is an animatronic display of fire, water, panoramic video displays, and nine-foot-tall talking statues recounting the myth of the lost city of Atlantis and its demise.
In the show, you’ll see how siblings Gadrius and Alia fight to win their father’s favor, King Atlas, to rule Atlantis’ throne.
The costumes and props were created by the same team who worked on Pirates of the Caribbean and Thor, so they are astonishing and very detailed.
Don’t miss checking out the flaming sword wielded by Gadrius and, of course, the 20-foot winged dragon!
The show plays every hour on the hour, starting at 11 am until 11 pm. It can get pretty crowded, but it’s still fun to watch. Also, don’t miss checking out the 50,000-gallon aquarium nearby.
Get the best deals at the Caesars Palace or check its TripAdvisor reviews.
6. Streetmosphere at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian
As if a miniature version of Venice, including St. Mark’s Square and Venetian canals, weren’t enough, the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian decided to add street performers to ambient their setting.
There are singers, living statues, gondoliers, and all sorts of costumed performers regularly wandering the streets entertaining people.
In addition, scheduled performances of singers, jugglers, and other entertainers take place several times a day in St. Mark’s Square.
These performances include Living Statues, the Venetian Trio, a Gondolier March, and Carnivale de Venezia. These offer a combination of opera, choreographed dances, juggling, acrobatics, and much more.
Get the best deals at the Venetian Hotel or check its TripAdvisor reviews.
7. The Volcano at the Mirage Hotel
This list would not be complete without the freebie that started the Vegas freebie trend.
As you walk in front of the Mirage Hotel, you’ll see a volcano nestled beside a tranquil lagoon. Right after sunset, the slumbering volcano wakes up and erupts, spewing water, steam, and massive fireballs 12 feet into the air.
All of these visual effects are choreographed to the hypnotic music score by Mickey Hart, the legendary Grateful Dead drummer, and Indian music composer Zakir Hussain. And of course, the volcano sounds come from recordings of actual eruptions!
The volcano now includes two volcano systems, a lagoon, and fire shooters that shoot flames on demand. It also features waterfalls with surrounding pools, including even more fire and smoke effects. It erupts at the hour from 7 pm till 9 pm.
Even though this is the “oldest freebie,” the show you see today is nothing but state-of-the-art technology with impressive visuals and sounds that allow you to feel the rumble.
The best view of the volcano show is right in front of the hotel – standing up close to even feel the heat! If you’re staying at the Mirage Hotel from the 14th floor or above, you will be able to experience a unique aerial view of the attraction.
From up there you can also take beautiful photos of the Las Vegas skyline.
Get the best deals at the Mirage or check its TripAdvisor reviews.
8. Lake of Dreams at the Wynn Las Vegas
Lake of Dreams is a show fully enclosed and visible only to viewers within the Wynn hotel. But don’t worry, it’s free to walk in!
You could see the show from many points of view. The popular one is out on the show terrace for a water’s edge view.
You could also take the circular escalator from Parasol Up at Wynn and experience the dazzling shows while enjoying a delightful cocktail at Parasol Down.
Or, you could dine at the open-front Lakeside or SW Steakhouse for another excellent vantage point.
This is a spectacle full of music, puppetry, holographics, and imagery created by over 4,000 lights, all happening on and in front of a 40-foot waterfall and pine-topped mountain.
Shows run nightly every half hour from dusk until 11:30 pm.
Get the best deals at the Wynn Hotel or check its TripAdvisor reviews.
9. The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
This wildlife habitat, located right in the middle of the bustling Vegas Strip, often surprises unsuspecting visitors.
The Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat is not only home to flamingos but also swans, ducks, koi, turtles, and even a pair of pelicans. Its lush, green landscaping full of waterfalls, palm trees, and manicured bushes makes for great pictures.
This is a great break from everything Vegas as it’s just a relaxing space that lets you get up close and personal with pink flamingos and other animals.
Get the best deals at the Flamingo Hotel or check its TripAdvisor reviews.
10. The Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour
Want to take a break from the Las Vegas Strip? Why not head to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory to see the making of chocolate and even get some free samples!
Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden are located on the southeast side of town, only a 15-minute drive from the Strip.
This is the only Ethel M factory in the world, opened in 1981 by Forrest Mars Sr. The name Ethel M comes from his mother, who made chocolates from scratch in their own kitchen.
To this day, chocolates are still made with the original recipe and hand-packed. While in the factory, you’ll see through the windows how they make their chocolates, pecan brittle, peanut butter, and caramel candies.
You’ll also marvel at the series of pipes, conveyor belts, and tanks that hold 20,000 and 35,000 gallons of chocolate!
Next to the factory is the unique, three-acre Botanical Cactus Garden. It features over 300 types of cactus, including agave plants, spotted aloe, yuccas, and Texas prickly pears. Cactus flowers bloom from the end of April to the beginning of May.
Since Las Vegas is in a desert, it makes sense that this cactus garden transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays; complete with lights, festive decorations, carolers, and even Santa visits!
11. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
This attraction is the ultimate Las Vegas icon and no trip to Las Vegas is complete without visiting this landmark.
For many years, the sign stood on a median on the outskirts of the city, but since the city has grown substantially, it is now surrounded by hotels and other attractions.
Designed by Betty Willis in 1959, the famous neon sign welcomes millions of visitors to Las Vegas each year. It was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 1st, 2009.
Don’t miss taking a selfie there!
Want to see even more shows in Vegas? Check out these top shows, including Cirque du Soleil, world-renowned magicians, and much more.
You can also head to Vegas.com to see more shows, concerts, tours, accommodations, and pretty much everything Vegas!
Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 from Flickr Creative Commons.
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Vegas is one of my favorite over-the-top places to visit for just this reason…there is so much entertainment besides just the casinos, and a lot of it is free! I always try to make it by the MGM to see the lions;-)
Definitely, the free shows there are a major sight and shouldn’t be missed. Oh yes, the lions at the MGM… really cool!
Yes it is but where are the free parking spots downtown?
Great list, Norbert. One of the best places to watch the fountain show at the Bellagio is from atop the Paris Hotel’s Eiffel Tower.
Thanks Michael! Oh, thanks for the tip on the Bellagio spot! Will have to check it out from Paris Hotel’s Eiffel Tower next time. 🙂
This is a great list, thanks for sharing. I’d also like to add that Vegas has one of the best exotic cars collection in US and on my last trip I rented a Lamborghini Aventador from LVC Exotic Rentals and it was the most thrilling experience of my life.
Ah, that’s a great addition!
Does anyone know if these are still going on now? Aug 2020
Some hotels are reopening and some of these free shows and attractions are running, but I recommend checking directly on each hotel page or contacting them via social media as the situation can change and revert at any moment.
It looks Ethel M charges for their tour.
Just watched the Bellagio fountain and the Mirage volcano on 5/15/21. Best to get to the bellagio fountain five to ten minutes early. It started early one time. Have fun.
Treasure Island has a free ship battle right on the strip as well.
There is so many more free things to do in Vegas then the 11 things that you have listed here. Like the pirates of T.I., the botanical gardens of the Bellagio, the electoral-light-water show at Sam’s Town, there is a radioactive museum based on the old test bombing sites, a old car museum that is free to walk through, and the shops at Ceaser’ Palace in between shows of the Fall of Atlantis aquarium show has a guided tour of the underground part of the aquarium where you can learn about the fish that are in the aquarium and parts of the show. It runs like every 15 minutes. Plus there are some Hawaiian dancers down the strip near the New York New York casino in an out door mall featuring dancers, and fire twirling. Even a 3D show up stairs of the MnM factory close by the out door Hawaiian mall. All real good places to make sure you get a chance to see.
The heat you feel at the Volcano is infrared. You don’t have to be close and you can easily feel the heat from across the street.
Also check out the indoor thunderstorm at the miracle mile shops and get your free picture with a million bucks down at Binions.
What they failed to mention is the Michael Jackson shell that is definitely a must see! Absolutely wonderful