Free things to do in and around Las Vegas

Las Vegas is undoubtedly known for money and excess (have you seen Wayne Newton’s house?), but that doesn’t mean it has to be YOUR money or excess. We found plenty of free things to do in Las Vegas and nearby.

Walk the Strip

The Las Vegas Strip is where you’ll find all the mega hotels and casinos. Grand atriums, indoor canals, recreations of New York street scenes, performers, and designer shopping are among the things you’ll see for free if you walk the strip. Don’t forget to spend plenty of time inside and outside of the casinos and hotels. You’ll still miss some things. I promise.

driving down the las vegas strip.

the sphinx at the luxor las vegas.

las vegas strip.

the Eiffel tower at paris on the las vegas strip.

Bellagio Fountain Show

bellagio fountain show las vegas.

The Bellagio fountain show should top your list of free things to do in Las Vegas. It happens every 15-30 minutes noon until midnight, so it’s hard to miss. Check full schedule here.

Venetian Streetsmophere

Living statues, opera singers, jesters, stilt walkers, singing gondoliers and more at the Grand Canal Shops at the Venetian. Full schedule here.

Mirage Volcano Eruption

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Evenings, check out the volcano eruption at The Mirage. It happens every hour on the hour 7-8pm Sunday through Thursday and 7-9pm on Friday and Saturdays. More info.

Fall of Atlantis at Caesar’s Forum Shops

We didn’t catch this one, but maybe you will!

Monorail Rides

On the East side of the strip, there’s a monorail that is NOT free and runs the length. But on the west side, there are three free trams that can cut down your walking without hitting the wallet.

Over the Top Hotel Displays

The Wynn Atrium

wynn chinese new year display.

wynn chinese new year display.

The Wynn, in particular, is known for its over the top floral displays that change regularly. You’ll find equally amazing arrangements in some of the other hotels.

People Watching

The people watching in Las Vegas is world class. You will see anything and everything. People in sweatpants and sneakers share space with others fully decked out in designer clothing and jewelry. And then there’s everything in between.

Downtown

downtown las vegas sign.

Fremont Street

Fremont Street is old Las Vegas. Downtown is where casinos with huge neon signs started popping up. So much so that parts of it were referred to as Glitter Gultch. Recently the area has seen a bit of a resurgence and has become an attraction of its own.

Street Performers

Most of the street performers lean towards the outrageous, sometimes PG-13 level shocking. We saw naughty nurses, a dude in full S&M fetish gear with his black-clad schlong hanging out for all to witness, living statues, musicians, KISS impersonators and more. The legitimate performers are regulated and will be standing in their assigned circles. Performers not in a ring are probably just panhandlers.

Viva Vision Light Show

viva las vegas light show at fremont street.

While you’re on Fremont Street, don’t forget to look up and catch a show on the world’s largest video screen. The Viva Vision light shows run every hour and they even dim the casino lights for it! More info and a complete schedule of shows.

Free Live Music

There are several stages with live music, DJs, dancing, and other entertainment. For example, 38 Special played a free concert March 3rd. Check the schedule here.

Vegas Vic

The Vegas Vic neon sign was erected 1951 and has been greeting visitors ever since.

Million Dollar Photo Op

Pop into Binion’s and get your free photo with a million dollars.

Container Park

downtown las vegas container park entrance.

The Container Park is a short walk from Fremont Street. It’s worth checking out just to see how it’s all made out of shipping containers but there are also free concerts, movie nights, and more inside.

Ride the Driverless Shuttle

las vegas driverless shuttle.

Ride the nation’s first driverless shuttle! Hop on the cute little car right outside the Container Park entrance. Driverless transportation is the future!

If you’d rather watch video Paul at The Motorhome Experiment did all that work so we don’t have to. 🙂

Outside of Town

Historic Railroad Trail

hoover dam lodge trail entrance.

This trail runs from the Lake Mead Visitor Center to the Hoover Dam parking deck. You can also join it by following the path to the right of the Hoover Dam Lodge.

views of lake mead from the trail trail.

old tunnel on the lake mead train trail.

And finally, we got to the Hoover Dam!

hoover dam.

close up of hoover dam.

Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail

Hike through the Gold Strike Canyon to the Colorado River. Bring a bathing suit and take a soak in the hot springs. Also, bring a snack and plenty of water because it’s a strenuous hike. It took us about 2 hours each way.

colorado river at the end of the gold strike hot springs trail.

gold strike canyon is stunning.

hot springs coming through the rocks.

And this video from The Motorhome Experiment will annoy you with bad jokes and make you want to pack your bags and do these hikes.

Free Camping

Out west there are many options for free camping! Here are a few spots we stayed not far from Las Vegas.

Hoover Dam Lodge Truck Parking

Right across the street from the Hoover Dam Lodge is a huge parking lot for trucks and RVs. It’s not pretty, but there’s plenty of space, and despite being right on the highway it’s pretty quiet at night.

Government Wash in Lake Mead Recreation Area (free entry with National Park Pass)

government wash campground at lake mead.

There are other campgrounds at Lake Mead, but Government Wash is free. Unlike some free camping, there are loads of spots accessible for larger rigs. And there are plenty of level spots. Campers are spread out around the campground so you shouldn’t have anyone on top of you.

And the views are lovely.

view at government wash campground lake mead.

We’re on the other side of The Motorhome Experiment, I promise.

lovely view at government wash lake mead.

There are restrooms in the main parking lot with toilets only. And there are a few dumpsters for your trash. Bring your kayak or canoe and paddle around the lake. Keep your small pets inside. The coyotes are very active here, and you’ll hear them calling to each other across the desert.

Snowbird Mesa AKA Poverty Flats

sunset on snowbird mesa.

the worm moon rising at snowbird mesa.

Snowbird Mesa, also known as Poverty Flats, is convenient to Valley of Fire State Park just outside of Overton. There are two entrances. One seems easier to get in and out of, and most Class A motorhomes seemed to be parked there. So, naturally, we went to the other one and were the only Class As there. You can’t see Lake Mead from there, but the views are still stunning. You won’t find any trash cans or bathrooms here.

These free things to do in Las Vegas kept us quite busy! Do you have any free entertainment you’ve enjoyed in Las Vegas? Share in the comments, please!

 

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Laura Nunemaker

About the Author

Laura Nunemaker

vegan. digital nomad. cycling. scuba. intj. former vegan bakery owner.

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