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So, you want to have that Vegas experience you often see in movies and TV shows without breaking the bank?

As you know, Las Vegas is where the parties never end, and the stakes are always high, especially when you’ve just gambled away your plane ticket back home with the roll of a dice! Ouch!

The only catch is that these often cost quite a pretty penny.

However, I’m here to share a little secret with you. Among all the gambling and parties, Las Vegas is also full of freebies. I’m not talking about cheap attractions that aren’t worth paying to see. I’m talking about quality, free Las Vegas shows that surpass those offered in most major cities around the world.

So here, I’m going to share with you my 12 favorite free shows in Las Vegas. 

Yes, this is completely FREE entertainment.

Last time I went to Las Vegas, I made it my mission to find as many free and low-cost shows/attractions as I could find. 

Some days, I barely spent any money on entertainment (gambling…that’s a different story).

In this guide to free Las Vegas attractions, you’ll find:

  • Live circus performances
  • Fun and exciting hotel attractions
  • Free, family-friendly shows
  • Real mermaids swimming in an aquarium (OK, maybe not real…but you get it)
  • A realistic volcano
  • A free wildlife exhibit with exotic animals
  • Some of the best photo opportunities for social media

Ready to have fun on the Las Vegas Strip for next to nothing?

Let’s see Sin City the cheap way.

Quick Overview: My Favorite Free Las Vegas Shows

The best free things to do in Downtown Las Vegas are:

  • The Best Free Nightlife Attraction – The Circus Circus Show: The world’s largest permanent circus.
  • The Best Free Family Activity – The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat: A free animal exhibit smack dab in the middle of the strip.
  • The Best Free Visual Attraction – The Las Vegas Sphere: A giant orb that is one of the world’s newest major wonders.
  • The Best Free Couple’s Activity – The Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour: Nothing is more romantic than free chocolate samples. Fight me.
  • The Best Free Photo Opportunity – The Bellagio Fountains: A Vegas staple, and probably the most famous photo opportunity in the United States. This is a must see.

The Best Free Shows in Las Vegas Ranked

1.  The Bellagio Fountains

Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas
  • Location: Bellagio Hotel; 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
  • Schedule:
    • Monday – Friday: Every 30 minutes between 3-6 pm. Every 15 minutes between 7 pm-12 am
    • Saturday, Sunday & Holidays: Every 20 minutes between 12 pm-6:30 pm. Every 15 minutes between 7 pm-12 am
  • Highlights: 
    • An EDM show
    • View of the Eiffel Tower across the street
    • Great for taking pictures

Overview

The Bellagio Fountains might be the #1 attraction in all of Las Vegas

They’ve been called “the most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived”.

I have to agree. As soon as I got out of my hotel, I made a b-line to snap a photo here.

This 8.5-acre re-creation of Lake Como, Italy is everything it’s cracked up to be and more – especially on a sunny Vegas afternoon.

The cool thing is that you don’t even have to stay at the hotel to see the show. It’s 100% open to the public. Show up any time to snap one of the best photos you’ll ever take.

What You’ll See Here

Picture this…

1,200+ dancing fountains shooting illuminated water almost 500 feet in the air as thousands of people are screaming and snapping photos.

Sound amazing? It really is. No trip to Vegas would be complete without seeing it.

The water shimmies, twirls, and spins in perfect sync with whichever song is playing (which can be anything from Broadway to Opera classics).

I recommend going at night to see the illuminated water in its full glory and get the best view of the Eiffel Tower across the road at the Paris Hotel. 

Pro Tip: While at the Bellagio Hotel, I highly recommend checking out the Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio Conservatory. They’re located to the right of the hotel lobby.

2.  The Circus Circus Act

Circus Circus Act at Las Vegas
  • Location: Circus Circus Hotel; 2880 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
  • Schedule: Every hour
    • Monday – Thursday: From 1:30 pm
    • Friday – Sunday: From 11:30 am
  • Highlights: 
    • Jugglers, unicyclists, and acrobats
    • Different performers for every show, so you can keep going over and over and never get bored
    • Games and prizes

Overview

The world’s largest daily circus is an absolute must-see for everyone. It’s perfect for families, couples, and small friend groups.

It’s got tons of awesome circus acts like jugglers, unicyclists, acrobats, aerialists, and balancing acts. And it’s all free to attend right at the Carnival Midway in the Circus Circus Hotel.

The best thing is that each show has a different troupe of performers per each 10-minute show. So, if you’re spending a decent time at the hotel, you could see a different show each hour!

Pro Tip: The stands start to fill up about 15 minutes beforehand. If you miss out on a seat, I suggest you grab a drink (No free drinks, though) and stand on the other side of the stage or near the fishing game that juts out from the midway.

What You’ll See Here

A fun, entertaining, and exciting show suitable for all ages.

There’s also a lot to do outside of the show. The Carnival Midway has over 200 games to play, so you’ll never get bored. You’ll have something to do all night while watching your free show.

3.  The Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street in Las Vegas
  • Location: Downtown Las Vegas; Fremont St, Las Vegas
  • Viva Vision Schedule:
    • Monday – Sunday: Every hour from 6 pm to 2 am
  • Highlights
    • A water slide through a shark tank (I’m not joking)
    • Dazzling light and sound show on one of Vegas’ busiest streets
    • Tons of casinos, restaurants, and drink kiosks lining the street
    • Vegas’ most famous zipline
    • The Neon Museum (Historic Las Vegas Hotel signs)
    • Free shows

Overview

Fremont Street is the second most famous street in all of Las Vegas. It’s an absolute must-see for anyone that’s into glamor, live music, street performers, and old Vegas vibes.

Where else on Earth can you go down a water slide through a 200,000-gallon shark tank AND zip line 850 feet down the street as the crowds scream at you? It’s so much fun!

Aside from that, it’s one of the best nightlife spots for taking a stroll if you’re into glittering lights, free street shows, Las Vegas history, and people watching.

The reason that the Fremont Street Experience is one of the best free Las Vegas shows is that it’s a massive pedestrian mall with tons of cool things to do. You can walk around for hours and never get bored.

What You’ll See Here

The best things to see at the Fremont Street Experience are:

  • The SlotZilla Zipline (Rapel 850 feet down Fremont Street at 77 feet in the air!)
  • The Golden Nugget Casino’s 200-gallon shark tank and water slide
  • The world’s largest LED canopy 
  • The Viva Vision light show
  • The Neon Museum (A free museum with old signs from Las Vegas hotels)

Haven’t had enough of the freebies yet? The Fremont Street Experience also hosts free concerts as a part of their Downtown Rocks and Free Fridays series. Keep an eye on their website to see if any of the announced acts align with your Las Vegas trip.

4. The Sphere

The Sphere Free Show in Las Vegas
  • Location: 255 Sands Ave, Las Vegas
  • Schedule: The exterior can be viewed 24/7
  • Highlights:
    • One of the most incredible visual experiences on Earth
    • Mind-bending audio and video experiences inside

Overview

It’s one part TV. One part billboard. And one part 18,000-seat entertainment venue.

There’s one thing for sure, though – the Sphere is not actually a sphere at all. 

It’s more like half a sphere. 

Imagine if you chopped a cantaloupe in half and picked out the seeds, then let U2 play a concert inside with $1,500 tickets.

Jokes aside, the Sphere is one of Las Vegas’ newest and most immersive attractions, and is 100% worth the visit.

Half the plane was talking about the sphere as we flew into Vegas. The other half was wishing they would shut up about it.

You do have to book a ticket to go inside, but I was in awe just standing outside and looking at this thing. It looks like the Death Star! 

It's A Trap Star Wars

What You’ll See Here

The Sphere is 366 feet (112 m) high and 516 feet (157 m) wide, making it one of the largest “spherical” (cough) buildings in the world.

It’s a spectacle just sitting outside and watching it change designs.

Inside is a massive auditorium for concerts, conferences, and art exhibitions.

The 18,600-seat auditorium has incredible video and audio capabilities. It’s got a 16K resolution wraparound interior LED screen, speakers with beamforming and wave field synthesis technologies, and 4D physical effects.

The Sphere also hosts an exclusive 50-minute-long ‘Postcard from Earth’ movie directed by Darren Aronofsky (the Oscar-nominated director behind films like Black Swan, Mother, and The Whale).

Just remember that you’ll need to book your tickets for The Sphere Experience tickets well in advance.

5.  The Silverton Casino Aquarium & Mermaid Swims

The Silverton Aquarium in Las Vegas
  • Location: Silverton Casino; 3333 Blue Diamond Rd, Las Vegas
  • Mermaid Swims Schedule: Every 30 minutes
    • Monday – Wednesday: 4 pm to 8 pm
    • Thursday – Saturday: 12 pm to 8 pm
    • Sunday: 10:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Highlights:
    • A massive aquarium home to 5,000 exotic fish
    • Real mermaids swimming inside (at least that’s what they told me)
    • Synchronized swimming
    • Stingray feeding
    • Free shuttle from the strip

Overview

The Silverton Casino Aquarium is one of the best family-friendly things to do in Las Vegas, especially for exotic wildlife lovers. It was even voted one of the best shows in Vegas by Las Vegas Review and Journal.

Every half hour or so, acrobatic mermaids swim with nearly 5,000 exotic fish in a 117,000-gallon tank. Marine life species include: sharks, stingrays, parrotfish, angelfish, and other cool sea life. Your kids will love interacting with the mermaids (they blow everyone bubble kisses, which gave me a chuckle).

I suspect that the mermaids aren’t real, though. I definitely saw one using SCUBA gear to breathe underwater. 

Pro Tip: Stick around for the stingray feedings every day at 1:30pm and 4:00pm. The staff will even take questions from the guests about aquatic life. It was actually really interesting.

What You’ll See Here

I pretty much covered everything above already. 

The Silverton Hotel isn’t much to write home about, but the mermaid show is worth the trip alone. Make sure to catch the free shuttle from the Las Vegas Strip. It’s only about 5 miles.

If you’re into outdoorsy stuff, there’s even a Bass Pro Shop right next door.

6. Fall of Atlantis at Caesars’ Forums Shops

Fall of Atlantis in Las Vegas
  • Location: Caesars Palace Forum Shops; 3500 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas
  • Schedule: Thursday – Monday: Every hour from 12 pm to 8 pm
  • Highlights:
    • A fun and interesting animatronic show
    • A gigantic flaming sword
    • Costumes from the same designers as Pirates of Caribbean and Thor

Overview

Imagine talking statues with 400 moving parts recounting the epic fall of Atlantis.

Now imagine that one of those statues is wielding a flaming sword while doing it.

That, and it’s all FREE.

I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of statues throwing fireballs at each other.

Every hour on the hour from 12:00 noon to 8:00PM, the King of Atlantis has to decide who will rule the island nation. Spoiler alert! The whole country sinks below the water. It’s kind of like the Titanic, just no Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Fall of Atlantis Show is a spectacle that’s a lot more entertaining than you might think. The costumes are by the same designers from Pirates of the Caribbean and Thor. I personally love those movies a lot more than I let on, so that was huge for me.

What You’ll See Here

Aside from “just” the animatronic statues with fireballs, there’s a ton more to do at Caesars Palace. 

The Forum has 160 specialty restaurants, shops, and other attractions for adults and kids. Plus, Caesars has one of the most famous spas in all of Vegas. It’s not free but it’s awesome.

Definitely worth getting a massage and escaping the 100-degree heat for a while, though.

7.  The Volcano at the Mirage Hotel

The Mirage Volcano in Las Vegas
  • Location: The Mirage Hotel; 3400 Las Vegas Blvd S Las Vegas
  • Schedule: Monday – Sunday: Every hour from 8 pm to 11 pm
  • Highlights:
    • Amazing fire choreography
    • Real-life volcano sounds
    • Hypnotic music score from a rock music legend and Indian composer

Overview

The Mirage Volcano is one of the oldest “free attractions” in all of Las Vegas.

In fact, it’s known as one of the freebies that started the freebie trend in Sin City.

And now, it’s got even taller flames, louder explosions, and a more realistic feel than ever. It even has real heat to mimic a real eruption.

It’s only 5 minutes long, so it won’t ruin any of the other plans you have that night. Just pop by, watch the thing rumble for a bit, and snap some photos. Easy peasy.

What You’ll See Here

A five-minute show complete with a pulsating soundtrack, real volcanic sound effects, realistic heat, and plenty of skyrocketing water to leave you in awe. It’s right off of Las Vegas Boulevard (and absolutely free!).

Right after sunset, the slumbering volcano wakes and erupts, spewing water, steam, and massive fireballs 12 feet into the air.

All of these visual effects are choreographed to a hypnotic music score courtesy of Mickey Hart, the legendary Grateful Dead drummer, and Zakir Hussain, an Indian tabla player and composer. 

And, in true Las Vegas fashion, the volcano sounds come from recordings of actual eruptions!

The best view of the volcano show is right in front of the hotel – standing close enough to even feel the heat!

If you’re staying at the Mirage Hotel and are on the 14th floor or above, you can experience a unique aerial view of the attraction. From there, you can also take beautiful photos of the Las Vegas skyline.

8. Lake of Dreams at the Wynn Las Vegas

Lake of Dreams in Las Vegas
  • Location: Wynn Las Vegas; 3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas
  • Schedule: Monday – Sunday: Every 30 minutes from dusk until 11:30 pm
  • Highlights:
    • A Cirque Du Soleil-like show for Free
    • It’s weird in all the right ways!

Overview

The Lake of Dreams show is an immersive experience that’s a bit like Cirque Du Soleil.

It combines elements of magic, puppetry, lights, film, dance, and music to create a truly surreal experience. And it all takes place across a massive 3-acre lake with 5,500 LED lights and a 90-foot waterfall.

It’s 30 minutes of spellbinding visuals, singing frogs, emojis, and dancers doing…well, I’m not sure what exactly is going on here. But I like it.

Long story short, it’s pretty dang cool.

If you’re into magic performances, musicals, or theater of any kind, this is a must-see.

NOTE: This is available only to hotel guests. The Wynn Hotel is one of the nicest in all of Las Vegas, though. Definitely worth every penny.

9. The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

Flamingo Habitat in Las Vegas
  • Location: The Flamingo Hotel | 3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
  • Schedule: Monday – Sunday: 7 am to 8 pm
  • Highlights:
    • Real flamingos and other exotic wildlife
    • A quick escape from the madness of Las Vegas
    • An idyllic garden perfect for wandering
    • Free and healthy family entertainment
    • “Keeper talks”, where animal keepers teach you about wildlife habitats

Overview

The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat is an awesome family-friendly escape of the madness of Las Vegas located right at the Flamingo Hotel (surprise!!!).

The garden is right in the middle of the bustling Las Vegas Strip and often surprises unsuspecting visitors. It’s an idyllic and tranquil 4-acre garden complete with meandering streams, waterfalls, exotic birds, and even turtles.

As soon as you enter, you’ll feel a sense of calm and tranquility you can’t find in most places (especially not for free). And since it’s 4-acres, you can spend most of the afternoon wandering around without spending a dime.

What You’ll See Here

This place is basically a large open air zoo exhibit at the Flamingo Hotel. Feel free to check out the:

  • Flamingos
  • Fish
  • Turtles
  • Koi
  • Pelicans
  • Ducks
  • Swans

And since the garden is lush and full of animals, it’s a great place for a Las Vegas photo op.

Pro Tip: Keeper Talks – educational talks about the animals – take place every day at 8:30 AM and 2:00 PM. Best to show up slightly beforehand to get a look at the garden before the animal keepers start their presentations.

10. The Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour 

Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas
  • Location: 2 Cactus Garden Dr, Henderson
  • Schedule: Monday – Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm
  • Highlights:
    • See how chocolate is made up close
    • FREE SAMPLES!
    • Cactus botanical garden located on site

Overview

The Ethel M. Chocolate Factory tour is an up close and personal look at how these world-famous chocolates are made. This is one of the best Las Vegas attractions for couples and families alike.

During your self-guided tour, you’ll see chocolatiers making each chocolate and hand-packing them right on the factory floor.

Forrest Mars Sr. opened the factory in 1981 and named it in honor of his mother. They still use the same recipe that she used in her kitchen all those years ago.

But let’s get real here. The only legit reason for going to the factory is for the free samples. There are plenty of them. There’s a tasty treat waiting around every corner.

What You’ll See Here

Aside from the free samples and tour of the factory, there are also chocolate tastings, wine tastings, and even Nevada’s largest cactus garden.

I really can’t think of any way to make the cactus garden thing exciting. They’re just cactuses. Cacti? I’m not sure what’s correct there.

The Cactus Garden Cafe has amazing milkshakes. They’re worth the trip alone.

11. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Las Vegas Sign in Las Vegas
  • Location: 5100 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas
  • Schedule: 24/7
  • Highlights:
    • Um, hello?! This is THE icon of Las Vegas!

Overview

The most iconic road sign on Planet Earth.

Each year, millions of people flock to the Las Vegas sign just to snap a photo next to it. It was even officially added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

The sign used to be on a median on the city’s outskirts, but it’s now surrounded by hotels and other attractions.

The famous neon sign was designed by Betty Willis in 1959. Since then, it has welcomed millions of visitors to Las Vegas annually. 

Don’t miss taking a selfie there!

Norbert at the Las Vegas Sign

And yes, you’ll need some patience as many people want to take their selfies and photos there. I recommend going either early in the morning or late in the evening.

Or, do as I’ve done before… if you have the time, go at different times of the day to get it with sunlight, during the sunset, and at night!

12. Fashion Shows at Fashion Show Mall

The 12 Best Free Shows And Attractions in Las Vegas 1
  • Location: Fashion Show Mall; 3200 Las Vegas Blvd S Ste. 600, Las Vegas
  • Schedule: Friday – Sunday: 12 pm to 5 pm
  • Highlights:
    • Live fashion runway shows
    • 250+ shops
    • Dog-friendly!

Overview

Fashion Show Mall is a massive 2-million square foot retail mall full of famous brands, chic clothes, and free fashion shows. You’ll feel like you’re in the heart of New York City rather than the desert.

This free Las Vegas Attraction is perfect for anyone who loves shopping, wandering malls, snapping fashion photos, or just admiring living art.

It’s basically a New York Fashion Week show, except it’s happening every weekend.

The cool thing about this free attraction is that you could literally spend an entire day doing it. You can check out the shows, snap photos with the models, then spend the rest of the day wandering from store to store.

And don’t worry, there are shops for men, too. It’s definitely a thing couples can do together.

What You’ll See Here

NYC-style fashion shows with LED lights, pumping music, fancy lighting, and special effects.

That, plus 250+ shops, including names like Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Nordstrom, and Dillard’s.

Best Free Shows in Las Vegas: Bonus Mentions 

  • The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Hotel: One of the nicest hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. You can ride a gondola through the casino shops. What’s better than that?
  • Mandalay Bay Beach: This one is only open to guests of the hotel, but it’s worth booking a hotel room just for this experience.
  • MGM Grand Art Work: The whole casino is basically a contemporary art museum. It’s free to wander around and check out amazing artwork.
  • T-Mobile Area: One of the nicest arenas in the entire city, and home to the Las Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL.
  • The Downtown Container Park: Container Park is a weird collection of shipping containers all turned into an open-air shopping and dining center. Downtown Container Park is definitely one of the strangest attractions in the entire city, but definitely worth a visit.

Want to see even more shows in Vegas? Check out these top shows, including Cirque du Soleil, world-renowned magicians, and more.

You can also head to Vegas.com to see more shows, concerts, tours, accommodations, and pretty much everything Vegas!

Lastly, I’ve also included this handy map below to help you find the location of all the free shows mentioned above.

The Best Free Las Vegas Shows: What’s Next?

Looking for more things to do on your Vegas vacation?

Check out some of my other resources here:

11 of the Best Free Las Vegas Shows and Attractions

Images 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 from Flickr Creative Commons. The Sphere Image from Wikipedia Creative Commons.

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17 Comments

  1. 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;-)

    1. Definitely, the free shows there are a major sight and shouldn’t be missed. Oh yes, the lions at the MGM… really cool!

  2. 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.

    1. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Also check out the indoor thunderstorm at the miracle mile shops and get your free picture with a million bucks down at Binions.