7 Free Things to do in Las Vegas with Kids
Las Vegas can be family-friendly despite its reputation. We have taken our kids here regularly since they were babies and visit multiple times annually. It’s a wonderful opportunity to ignite some wanderlust. Where else can you see the wonders of Egypt, New York, Paris and Venice in one visit? It can be an affordable family vacation with the number of shows and dining deals around the city. But, FREE is even better. Here are our 7 favorite free things to do in Las Vegas with kids.
1. Bellagio Garden and Fountain
We never miss a visit to the Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Their glass ceiling atrium is always filled with gorgeous displays and artistry. Over 100 horticulturists transform the 14,000 square foot space into floral fantasy. The displays are changed every season plus a special Chinese New Year display. It’s amazing to see what they have come up with over the years. Kids will love some of the whimsical features they always incorporate. About 90% of the plants and flowers are recycled afterwards. Try visiting early in the morning or late at night for smaller crowds.
Don’t miss the dancing fountains on the lake in front of the Bellagio. The water shows are choreographed to various musical pieces and lights. Each show is unique and they’re fantastic. We like the nighttime version better. Showtimes are usually every half-hour during the day and every 15 minutes at night.
2. Caesars Palace Show
The Forum Shops at Caesars can be a shopping wonderland, but this shopping mecca also has the Fall of Atlantis animatronic show sure to entertain the family. It’s hard to top a show with 9 feet tall talking statues and a 20-foot winged dragon along with fireballs, special effects and blaring sound system. Shows are every hour beginning at 11 am. My kids also enjoy the large 50,000-gallon aquarium nearby that contains over 300 saltwater fish.
3. Mirage Volcano
This erupting volcano has been a familiar Las Vegas mainstay for years. Located outside the Mirage by the Las Vegas strip entrance, the volcano puts on quite a show that will entertain the whole family. You’ve got explosions, flowing lava, fireballs and even a unique soundtrack to it. Shows are daily at 8 and 9 pm with additional 10 pm shows on Friday and Saturday.
4. Circus Acts
Who doesn’t love a circus? Watch the world’s largest permanent circus at the Carnival Midway’s center stage inside the big top at Circus Circus. Shows start everyday at 11 am. My kids enjoy playing the carnival type games around here and taking a break to watch the circus acts that range from trapeze artists, balancers and acrobats. It’s very loud and can be a bit overwhelming here so please keep that in mind when bringing children sensitive to noise.
5. Mermaid Show
The Mermaid Aquarium at Silverton Casino is a quirky attraction families can enjoy. “Mermaids” swim inside a massive tank during designated times between Thursday and Sunday. They wave to guests, blow kisses, pose, do flips, and swim around for 15 minutes at a time. They are able to stay in the water for an extended period with the aid of specialized breathing ports.
There are also divers who feed the stingrays everyday at 1 and 4:30 pm. Marine biologists are also available to answer questions from curious minds. The aquarium also has thousands of colorful, tropical fish among stingrays and tiger sharks and other sea life which kids enjoy seeing.
6. Experience Fremont Street
This pedestrian promenade in downtown Las Vegas has an overhead Viva Vision video screen ceiling that comes alive at night with various light shows set to high energy music. Experience the world’s largest projection screen, which is about the size of five football fields, 90 feet wide with 12.5 million LED lamps. The show is about six minutes long and starts at dusk.
Please be warned that while the show is family-friendly, some of the costumed performers and buskers around the area can be over the top. Determine your family’s comfort zone with scantily clad people. Try to get here early in the night to avoid the rough party-goers. In this area you will also find free live entertainment on the concert stages, shopping opportunities at unique kiosks and even a zip-line past the neon signs and underneath the canopy (for a fee).
7. Ethel M Chocolate Factory
We love the self-guided tour down the chocolate viewing aisle of the Ethel M Chocolate Factory a few miles away from Las Vegas in Henderson, NV. Visit and see how these delicious preservative-free chocolates are made and packaged. The best times to visit are Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 4:30 pm to see how the factory employees create the candies. Our favorite part of the tour is the free samples at the end. Don’t miss the three-acre botanical cactus garden outside for a stroll through cacti, succulents and desert plants. The holiday lights display here are also wonderful to see.
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Mary lives in San Diego, California with her husband, 13 year-old daughter and 10 year-old son. She was born in the Philippines, grew up in the U.S. territory…