Where do we start when we’re talking about all the things to do in Las Vegas?? Let’s begin with a bit of background before we get into all the fantastic things to see and do while you’re there. Las Vegas is the biggest and most populous city in the state of Nevada and has a population of 648,000. It’s earned the nickname ‘Sin City’ and is also famous for the saying ‘What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.’ The Mojave Desert city is a hub for gambling and nightlife and draws in almost 43 million visitors every year. Las Vegas has the most extensive strip of land-based casinos in the world; commonly known as The Strip. It’s a must do in Vegas for first timers.
The first establishment built in Las Vegas was the El Rancho Hotel in 1941. It has 70 slot machines, a single craps table and was owned by Thomas Hull. However, the El Rancho flew largely under the radar. The casino that started it all off was Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo, which opened in 1946. Vegas is famous for many things, but one of them is its association with the Rat Pack. The legendary five-piece headlined at The Copa Room of The Sands Hotel in 1960. These days, it’s commonplace for famous performers to take up residency at hotels along The Strip. These include Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears. Las Vegas is also the premier place to host title-fight boxing matches. These often occur at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. In 1997, rapper, Tupac Shakur, left the MGM after a title fight and was killed in a drive-by shooting on The Strip. It’s one of the United States’ most famous unsolved murders.
So, let’s take you on a journey through the streets and Strip of Sin City and explore all the great things to do in Las Vegas for couples, families, and kids.
The Stratosphere Hotel and Casino lies at the northern boundary of the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel has 112 floors and has been a feature in the area since 1996. Climbing to the top of the Stratosphere Tower is a great thing to do in Las Vegas for couples. High above the streets of Las Vegas, the Stratosphere offers visitors a unique Las Vegas experience. The hotel and casino have the tallest free-standing observation tower (Skypod) in the United States. SkyPod is 1,459 feet tall and has unrivaled views across the city. At the pinnacle of the tower are the Stratosphere’s thrill-rides. These are the BigShot, X-Scream, and Insanity.
The rides are the highest in the United States and are a must-do in Vegas for first-timers. If you’re not afraid of heights, that is. The rides tower over the edge of the Stratosphere Tower and dangle you over the edge. If that’s not exciting enough for you, sign up for the Vegas Sky Jump. The activity involves an open-air leap from 855 feet and involves reaching speeds of up to 40 mph as you fly through the sky. Guinness Book of Records has verified the Sky Jump as the Highest Commercial Decelerator Descent in the World. If you’re up for the most fun things to do in Las Vegas, this is for you. If you don’t need a few cocktails after you come down from the Sky Jump, there’s something wrong with you.
Fremont Street Experience
If you need to find things to do in Las Vegas with kids, or cheap things to do in Las Vegas, then look no further than the Fremont Street Experience. The street is filled with some of the city’s most iconic casinos, such as the Golden Nugget and Binion’s. Fremont Street is covered by a huge canopy, which is studded with tens of thousands of LED lights. Each night, it puts on a spectacular show to the delight of visitors. To start the show, all lights on the adjacent hotels are switched off to make the area dark before the dazzling light show commences. Visiting the malls and casinos along Fremont Street while you’re there for the Experience is one of the many family things to do in Las Vegas.
Gondola Ride at the Venetian
Although a gondola ride only takes a few minutes to complete, it’s sometimes the closest visitors, and residents come to taking a real trip down Venice’s canal network. It’s a romantic thing to do in Las Vegas for couples, and is bound to get you in the good books. Although a gondola ride only takes a few minutes to complete, it’s sometimes the closest some of us get to a real trip down Venice’s canal network. It’s a romantic thing to do in Las Vegas for couples and is bound to get you in the good books. The gondolas are authentic, and your Gondolier glides you smoothly along the Grand Canal. You can even choose from day or night trips.
Tickets required, available from the ticket boot, reservations must be made in person, from $22, depending on the package.
The Bellagio is known for its distinctive shape and quality gambling. However, it’s most famous for its fountain light show. With coordinated music and colorful lights, the fountains take on a life of their own – especially at night. It’s estimated the show costs the Bellagio around $15,000 for each performance. That’s some expensive water, people. There are more than 4500 lights and 1200 jets involved in the show. The water varies in height, depending on the type of ‘shooter’ used. The highest jets reach around 460 feet, while others shoot water up to 240 feet. The smallest jets shoot water up to 100 feet, which seems a little lame considering what their neighbors do. A visit to the Bellagio Fountains is a beautiful family thing to do in Las Vegas. It’s also a free thing to do in Las Vegas. Score!
Walk The Strip
A great cheap thing to do in Las Vegas is to take a walk along the famous Strip. The Strip is a total of 4.2 miles long and is a portion of South Las Vegas Boulevard. The Strip is famous for the vast numbers of hotels and casinos on its streets. The Strip is never quiet, and there are people on the streets at all times of the day and night. The Strip is one of the most iconic visitor attractions in the world and is a constant cacophony of noise. The neon lights of the Strip are best viewed when the sun goes down and seeing the lights is a great thing to do in Las Vegas with kids. Because of the nature of the city, nothing ever stays the same for too long.
This means that even regular visitors to the Strip will always find something new to see. This helps to maintain the excitement surrounding the city and keeps drawing visitors to it. Walking the Strip at night is a must do in Vegas for first timers. While you’re on the Strip, pop into the world’s largest gift store, Bonanza, for goodies to take home.
Mirage Hotel’s Volcano and Secret Garden
The Bellagio isn’t the only hotel on the Strip offering a bit of a show. The Mirage has a volcano at the front of the hotel which spews out fireballs and lava several times each night. It’s quite a spectacular show to catch, and it’s one of the great family things to do in Las Vegas. Kids are usually delighted with the display of fire and flames, which is choreographed with an upbeat soundtrack. Another great family thing to do in Las Vegas at the Mirage is to pay a visit to the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Here, kids can fully interact and swim with bottlenoses. The Mirage also has white tigers, leopards, and lions. Kids probably don’t want to interact too closely with them, and that’s probably for the best. You can get reasonably close, though.
See a Show
Vegas is legendary for putting on incredible shows in the theaters in and around the Strip. Most of the larger casinos have huge theaters, equipped for full-size performances of some of the most famous shows on earth. Everything that happens in Vegas is often bigger and better than elsewhere, so grabbing show tickets is a great family thing to do in Las Vegas during your vacation. One of the most famous shows, Cirque de Soleil, puts on several themed shows throughout the year. The current show, ‘O,’ is now on at The Bellagio.
A new show, ‘Michael Jackson One’ is playing at Mandalay Bay. Magic shows by David Copperfield, Mat Franco, and Criss Angel are always good bets for an exciting night out. If music is more your bag, you can hear legendary performers throughout the year. These include artists like Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, Gwen Stefani, and Brooks and Dunn.
Take a Helicopter Ride over Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon
The Strip is teeming with tour operators offering to whisk you up in the air and off to view the wonders of the Grand Canyon. Given its proximity to the Strip, it’s an amazing family thing to do in Las Vegas. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long and reaches depths of up to one mile deep. It’s one of the greatest natural wonders in the world and is a must do thing in Vegas for first timers.
There are various tours to opt for, and prices depend on how long the tour lasts and where exactly it goes. Some fly over Las Vegas to show you the sights from above before heading out the Canyon and flying over the rim. Other tour operators offer additional sights, such as flying over nearby Hoover Dam and Lake Mead before returning you to the airport. Taking a tour is an unforgettable experience, and it’s a shame not to go when you’re so close to such a jaw-dropping sight.
Off-beat Las Vegas
Everyone knows about the connection between Sin City and The Mob, so why not take a trip to the Mob Museum? It’s a great attraction if you’re looking for things to do in Vegas besides gambling. The Mob Museum details the humble beginnings of organized crime and how the federal government fought against it. It’s a fascinating way to spend a few hours. If you’d rather have a bit more excitement, take a ride on the world’s highest Ferris wheel. The High Roller 550 ft tall and has 28 gondolas. The wheel is packed with colorful neon lights which flash in a variety of patterns and sequences to enhance your ride. If a fear of heights gets the better of you, it also looks pretty special when viewed with your feet firmly on the ground.
Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers About Las Vegas
We’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the city and things to do in Las Vegas. These will help your research, planning, and general education about all this unique city has to offer.
What is there to do in Las Vegas during the day?
Shop! Las Vegas North Premium Outlet Mall is a great place to head if you’re looking for a break from The Strip and want to spend all those winnings. If shopping isn’t your idea of a great thing to do in Las Vegas, grab yourself a cocktail, and spend the day lounging around the poolside.
What are things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling?
There’s a vast range of things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling! Although the city is world-famous for the quality and variety of places to gamble, it’s not all it has to offer. Las Vegas has a few quirky museums to visit, including the fantastic Neon Museum. It’s also known as the Neon Graveyard and takes up an area of desert spanning of 2.6 acres. Within the Neon Museum are various signs from old casinos, including The Desert Inn and Caesars Palace. A trip to the Neon Museum is a must-do in Vegas for first-timers.
What is there to do in Las Vegas if you don’t drink?
You don’t have to drink to enjoy any of the best things to do in Las Vegas. If you want to take a break from the casinos, the city has a range of museums to impress culture vultures. Zak Bagans Haunted Museum is the scariest in town and has some pretty terrifying exhibits. One of the most unsettling items from pop culture is the so-called ‘propofol chair’ from Michael Jackson’s bedroom. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
What is the cheapest time to go to Vegas?
The cheapest time to visit the city to make the most of unique Las Vegas experiences is during the winter months. Winter is a less popular time to travel, so flights and hotel rooms are likely to be cheaper. Las Vegas has a subtropical climate, so it will undoubtedly be colder in winter, without being chilly. There’s still a plethora of cheap things to do in Las Vegas during the winter months. December and January (avoiding Christmas and New Year) is when tickets for concerts and shows are likely to be at their lowest prices.
Las Vegas is one of the most exciting cities on earth, and it’s continually evolving. Very few facets of the city stay the same for any length of time, meaning that it’s impossible to run out of new and fresh things to do in Las Vegas. Despite its reputation for gambling and partying, there’s no end of things to do in Vegas with kids, or for families. There’s also no shortage of things to do in Vegas besides gambling. Just because the city is full of casinos doesn’t mean it hasn’t got so much more to offer than gambling. The atmosphere in Las Vegas is generally excellent. After all, it’s where people go to have fun. It is a truly unique city, unlike any other we’ve ever visited in the world. McCarran International Airport serves the city, and the range of accommodation options will blow your mind.