Las Vegas is very well known for it's money-making and money-losing potential at slot machines and tables and it's wild, carefree nightlife.
What most people don't know is that Las Vegas has another side, a family-friendly side.
Here are some things to do in Vegas that are not only family-friendly, but also free.
1. Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street is the original Las Vegas strip. It holds all of the older Vegas casinos seen in various older movies and tv shows based in Vegas.
Fremont Street is now covered by a giant display of more than 10 million LED lights that cast a spectacular light show over the street. The street itself is full of casinos and street vendors, selling Mardi Gras beads, playing cards, and commissioned paintings and drawings. People dress up as celebrities and other famous people and characters and perform in the streets. Some of the more commonly protrayed are Elvis, Jack Sparrow, and Marilyn Monroe. Live entertainment is also available during the night.
2. Volcanoes, Pirate Ships, and Fountains
Around Vegas, there are various free shows provided by the casinos themselves. There's a volcano that erupts at the Mirage, a pirate ship show at Treasure Island and the famous, glorious fountain show at the Bellagio. Schedules for these shows can be found at Vegas.com.
3. Street Performers, Vendors, and Celebrities!
Both Fremont Street and the Strip offer opportunities to buy unique souvenirs from the various vendors. These range from the typical (shot glasses, playing cars, coffee mugs, and t-shirts) to the extraordinary (custom spray-paint pictures, posters, novelty gifts). All are affordably priced. People dress up as celebrities and movie characters and take pictures with tourists for tips. There are also street performers, playing instruments or doing magic shows for tips.
4. M&M's World
M&M's World could be described as a colorful, cheerful museum dedicated to the chocolate candies. All colors of M&Ms are available to purchase, as well as limited edition and one-of-a-kind collectables.
5. Themed Bars and Celebrity Stores
Vegas is full of hidden surprises, bars, and themed attractions. There's a Toby Keith bar in Harrah's, based on his song "I Love This Bar".
Criss Angel, the famous illusionist well know for performing spectacular feats on the streets of Vegas, has a store in the Luxor casino full of magic tricks and themed merchandise.
The free things to do in Vegas are pretty much limitless. However, if you are looking for a little more commercial Vegas experience, here are a few things that cost money in Vegas, but are well worth it.
1. The Improv at Harrah's
Harrah's casino in Vegas offers a spectacular improv comedy show several times a week. Comfortable seating and side-splitting laughter make for a great time. (This is not child friendly). Tickets cost $29.05.
2. Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
Madame Tussaud's wax statues are world-famous for being so incredibly lifelike. Featuring celebrities, famous movie characters, and other famous faces, the museum is enticing and almost spookily real. $25.95 is the cost of tickets.
3. Shark Reef Aquarium
Shark Reef Aquarium, located at Mandalay Bay casino, features beautiful and breathtaking exhibits of sea and land animals. It features an all-glass tunnel through which patrons can walk while watching sharks and schools of fish swimming directly overhead. Tickets cost $18 for adults, $12 for children.
4. Mob Museum
The history of the mob is showcased in this museum. This museum has memorabilia directly related to the world's most infamous mobsters and the dedicated law enforcement officers that gave their all to bring them to justice. Ticket price is $19.95.
5. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
This exhibit, held in the Luxor casino, boasts more than 300 real artifacts and hundreds of replicas from the Titanic.
The staff shares stories from the people aboard the ill-fated vessel as patrons walk through the exhibit. It is an educational, historical, and emotional experience. Tickets cost $28.
Tickets for all of these events are available for purchase from Vegas.com.
Vegas is a wonderful place to go on vacation. Palm trees, sunshine, and an endless supply of free or cheap activities for all ages make for a vacation suited to anyone.