When you think of Las Vegas, the first thing that comes to mind is gambling. You might think it’s not worth visiting Las Vegas if you don’t want to lay down any bets, but you would be missing out. Vegas has much more to offer than its casinos.
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, Las Vegas has attractions that cater to everyone, not just gamblers. There are plenty of things to do in Vegas besides gamble.
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21 Things to Do in Vegas Besides Gamble
I don’t usually gamble much when I go to Vegas. I’m not very skilled or very lucky and losing money is not fun. Still, I love going to Vegas because there is so much to do. You don’t have to gamble to have fun in Vegas.
Here are my suggestions for what to do in Vegas besides gambling. There a little something for everyone and some options are even budget-friendly.
Be sure to grab our printable travel planning checklist here to help get ready for your trip to Las Vegas.
#1 Hotel Hopping
Hotels in Vegas are not like hotels in other destinations. They are attractions in themselves. Some have shopping malls, art collections, impressive gardens, and even rides. It’s not possible to visit all the different hotels in Vegas, so try prioritizing these:
- Bellagio – In addition to the fountains which you will read more about below, you need to see the Conservatory & Botanical Garden which gets changed for each season. In the lobby, there is a stunning piece of glass artwork by Dale Chihuly. You can also see more modern art in the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (tickets start at $16).
- New York New York – I may be a bit biased since NYC is my favorite city in the world, but I think New York New York is worth visiting. You can stroll through “Central Park” and see replicas of the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. There is a stage at one end of the Brooklyn Bridge to showcase live bands and other entertainment.
- The Venetian – At the Venetian, you will almost feel as if you have been transported to a clean and new Venice Italy. You can go across the Rialto Bridge, visit St. Marks Square, and even go on a gondola (more on that below). If you are lucky, you might spot one of classically trained singers, actors, or musicians performing.
#2 Have a Pool Party
The pools in Vegas are more than just a place to cool off from the desert heat. It’s a bit misleading to just call them pools because they are more like a combination of waterpark and nightclub. The place to be and be seen, keep i mind not all Vegas pools are family-friendly.
Some hotels will allow people that aren’t staying at the hotel in the pool area for a fee. Still, if you have you heart set on a specific pool, it might be easiest to book a room at that hotel.
Keep in mind that the Las Vegas pool season starts in mid-March and ends around mid-October. Many pools close completely during the winter months.
To give you a better idea of some of the offerings, here are my recommendations for the best pools in Vegas:
- Mandalay Bay – The Beach at Mandalay Bay has 2,700 tons of sand, a 1.6 million-gallon wave pool, a quarter-mile-long lazy river, and more. It’s family-friendly and they also have a fun summer concert series.
- MGM – The 6.5-acre Grand Pool Complex has four pools surrounded by waterfalls, three whirlpools, a lazy river, five bars, and a restaurant. If you are looking to party seekers head to the Ultra Pool at MGM Grand, aka Wet Republic, a 54,500-square-foot outdoor club with two saltwater pools, massive LED displays, special effects, one of the largest bars you will see.
- Cosmopolitan – The Marquee Dayclub Pool is more like a club than a pool. You won’t be allowed in if you are under 21. They have DJs on the weekends and everyone dances in the water. The parties continue on throughout the night.
- Golden Nugget – This pool area features a 200,000-gallon shark tank. Similar to Atlantis in the Bahamas, there is a waterslide that goes right through it. As you might expect, the pool is popular with kids, but there’s also an adults-only infinity pool with a bar. Since this hotel is not on the Strip prices are a bit more reasonable.
#3 Bellagio Fountain Show
The lake in front of the Bellagio resort comes alive daily with its magical fountain show. More than a thousand fountains dance to music. Water soars up to 460 feet into the air and lights add to the enchantment. Each show is unique so you can keep coming back for more.
It’s something that you must see in person and it’s totally free, just find a spot in front of the Bellagio hotel. The Fountains of Bellagio show happens every 30 minutes, from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday and every 15 minutes from 8:00 PM to midnight. On weekends and holidays, the display is every 30 minutes from noon to 8:00 PM and every 15 minutes from 8:00 PM to midnight.
Read reviews and get more information about the Fountains of Bellagio here.
#4 Take a Spin on the High Roller
The world’s tallest observation wheel is the High Roller at the LINQ. It takes you 550 feet above the center of the Las Vegas Strip. You ride in a spacious cabin that provides sweeping 360-degree views.
While a ride is more expensive when it’s dark, I think it is worth it to see the Vegas lights. If you want to make it a party, they also offer the option to enjoy a Happy Half Hour aboard the High Roller Observation Wheel which includes an open bar and bartender for one full 30-minute rotation of the wheel.
Read reviews and get more information about the High Roller here.
#5 Check out the Museums
Las Vegas has several interesting and unique museums that you won’t find anywhere else. Some of the top museums in Vegas are:
- Neon Museum – This museum is home to all the retired marquee signs from many iconic Las Vegas spots. Go when it’s dark to see the signs in the Neon Boneyard lit up. It’s a fun spot for photos.
- The Mob Museum – Learn more about Mob history through interactive exhibits and artifacts inside a restored 1933 former courthouse and post office building, located just minutes from Fremont Street.
- Pinball Hall of Fame – A new 10,000 square foot facility filled with Pinball arcade games. These pinball machines are not just for show, you can actually them as they have all been restored to like-new condition. While there is no admission charge, you do have to pay if you want to play.
- Burlesque Hall of Fame – Immerse yourself in the burlesque culture. Check out the exhibitions on burlesque history and see a collection of costumes and props. They also offer classes for those that want to learn more.
- National Atomic Testing Museum – On a more somber note, at this museum, you can learn about America’s nuclear weapons testing program. See nuclear reactors, atomic weapons, part of the Berlin Wall, and pieces from the World Trade Center.
You can also find some more traditional museum like the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Discovery Children’s Museum, and the Planetarium. They also have a branch of the famous wax museum, Madame Tussaud’s.
It’s best to come to Las Vegas hungry because there is plenty of delicious food to eat!
You must experience a Las Vegas buffet. The amount of food choices can be overwhelming, but that’s part of the fun of it. Keep in mind, most of these buffets are not cheap, but you can easily skip another meal after all you eat. My favorite one is at the Paris hotel because they have a station where they make crepes to order.
There are also plenty of high-end restaurants for those that enjoy fine dining. Some of the world’s best chefs have restaurants in Las Vegas. You can dine at Restaurant Guy Savoy, Spago, Bardot Brasserie, Momofuku, Wing Lei, and Costa Di Mare are just a few of the options on the Strip.
Keep in mind, not all of the best restaurants are on the Strip. Lotus of Siam, La Strega, and DW Bistro are just a few of the spots off the Strip worth trying.
#7 Check out the Shows
I always try to fit in a show when I go to Vegas, and I don’t think I have ever been disappointed. They have all different kinds of shows that you can see including comedy, magic, variety, and even Broadway shows. It’s definitely one of the best non-gambling things to do in Vegas.
The Cirque du Soleil shows are always popular for good reason. I have also enjoyed the magic shows, especially David Copperfield. Also, be sure to check and see which celebrities will be preforming during your time in Vegas.
The one downside to shows in Vegas is the ticket price. If you want to save money on shows there are several discount ticket booths that are worth checking out.
We used Tix4Tonight. They have several locations on the Strip including at the Giant Coke Bottle, Planet Hollywood, and Fashion Show Mall. You purchase a coupon for the show that you want which can be redeemed at the box office for tickets. You are able to choose if you want orchestra, mezzanine, or balcony seats (if available), but your seats are not assigned until you redeem the coupon.
#8 Indulge in a Spa Treatment
Take a break from sightseeing in Vegas and pamper yourself. The spas here are as huge, extravagant, and flashy. Some of the therapies offered may be a bit over-the-top and exotic but what else would you expect in Vegas. If you want a truly memorable spa experience, these are the places to go in Vegas:
- Sahra Spa & Hammam at The Cosmopolitan – When you enter this spa, you feel like you’ve left Vegas and are in the dessert with 420 tons of local sandstone sculptured on the walls. Its hammam is one of only three authentic ones in the United States. Also be sure to check out the tea lounge and oversized Jacuzzi with a cool mist.
- Canyon Ranch SpaClub At The Venetian & The Palazzo – At 134,000 square feet this is the largest spa in Vegas. It has two spa cafes, a 40-foot rock climbing wall, a full gym, cycling studio, and more. You can enjoy European technology like the water circuit called Aquavana, Crystal Steam Rooms, Finnish Sauna, Herbal Laconium, and indoor Igloo.
- The Spa at Encore – This spa is so luxurious that there are Venetian glass chandeliers in the locker room. Some of their most popular offerings include the Good Luck Ritual, Signature Ling Triple Peel Facial, Moroccan Mud Wrap, and Encore Escape Ritual. They have a large wet area with spacious Jacuzzis and curved stone chaise lounges to enjoy after your treatment.
- The Spa at Vdara – Those that want pampering that is environmentally-friendly, this spa uses mostly organic products, has water-saving showers and offers natural nail treatments with vegan products. There is also an eucalyptus steam room, redwood sauna, meditation room, and hot plunge pool for you to enjoy.
#9 Take a Gondola Ride
While it’s not quite the same as a gondola ride in Venice, you can go on a gondola ride at the Venetian Hotel. It may not be quite as romantic going on a gondola in Venice, but the water is much cleaner. You will go under bridges, beside cafes and shops, as your gondolier takes you down the Grand Canal.
You can choose either an indoor or outdoor Venetian gondola ride. Both options include a singing gondolier to serenade you. While it’s one of the most romantic things to do in Vegas, the gondola rides are also popular with kids.
If you don’t want to go on a gondola, you can watch the Gondolier March, which is special tradition where a group of gondoliers sing in unison as they march along the indoor canal. Catch it daily at 9:50 am and 4:20 pm, starting from the gondola turn-around in the Grand Shoppes.
Tip: Gondola rides are a bit cheaper, Monday through Thursday, so keep that in mind when planning your itinerary.
Read reviews and get more information about gondola rides at the Venetian here.
#10 Go on an Adventure Ride
There are all kinds of ways to get your thrill in Vegas! The city probably has more thrill rides than many theme parks, they are just not all in the same place. Of course there are roller coasters, but there are also some pretty creative options. Here are a few examples:
- At the STRAT (formerly known as the Stratosphere), you can do the SkyJump which is an 829-foot bungee jump or Insanity where a massive mechanical arm spins you around 900 feet above the ground. They also have the X-Scream rollercoaster that propels you 27 feet over the tower’s edge!
- There are several different ziplines to choose from. Above Freemont Street, there is the SlotZilla is a traditional zipline that is two blocks long or if you want something a bit more daring, try the longer Zoomline where you fly on your stomach.
- The Big Apple Coaster, at the New York New York Resort, was the first ride in the world to have an 180 degree “heartline” twist. The Big Apple Coaster reaches speeds of 67 miles per hour, winding through the replicated New York City landmarks. The coaster station is reminiscent of a New York City subway station.
- The Adventuredome is 5-acre amusement park at Circus Circus. While the Canyon Blaster and El Loco are two of the most popular roller coasters, there are also tons of other amusement park rides, laser tag, a rock climbing wall, 18-hole miniature golf course, arcade, carnival games and clown shows.
#11 Drive a Race Car
In Vegas you can fulfill your need for speed in style. Drive a race car like a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or a Corvette on a real race track at SpeedVegas . You don’t need any special experience or training just be 18 years or older with a valid driver’s license. While it may not be cheap, where else would you get the opportunity to drive a high-end racing car over 200 mph.
Read review and get more information about SpeedVegas here.
#12 Try Indoor Skydiving
You don’t need an airplane, parachute, or experience to go skydiving in Las Vegas. At Vegas Indoor Skydiving, they will train you and get you suited up for your “flight” where you will be floating and free falling through the air with wind speeds up to 120 miles per hour.
The experience takes place inside a padded room with a mesh trampoline floor, which sits atop a gigantic fan. The vertical wind tunnel that produces enough wind thanks to a 1,000 horsepower motor to support the weight of an average adult.
Read reviews and get more information about Vegas Indoor Skydiving here.
#13 Take a Jeep Tour
Go off-road and explore the desert landscape on a jeep tour. The tours that Las Vegas Rock Crawlers offer are different. You get to drive your own Jeep with no one else in it. An experienced guide will lead the group in their own Jeep. You will follow, driving at slow speeds while climbing up red-rock faces and down sandy dunes. It will definitely get your adrenaline flowing.
Read reviews and get more information about Las Vegas Rock Crawlers here.
#14 Go Hiking
It’s easy to forget that Las Vegas is located in naturally beautiful area. There are rock formations, mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and lakes not too far from the Las Vegas Strip. It’s easy to do a day hike nearby (if you have a car) and it’s a fun way to burn off all those buffet calories.
Here are some great places to go hiking near Las Vegas:
- Red Rock Canyon – This 200,000 acre conservation area has lots of desert wildlife and scenery. There are many hiking trails and rock climbing routes to explore, just 30 minutes from the Strip.
- Valley of the Fire State Park – Just over an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, you will find canyons, petroglyphs, unique stone formations, and colorful swirling rock hills ideal for hiking.
- Fortification Hill – On the Arizona side of Hoover Dam in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area about an hour drive from Las Vegas, there is an extinct volcano. It’s a popular spot for hiking in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.
#15 Go on Shopping Spree
Las Vegas seems to have endless options for shoppers. Whether you are looking for bargains or high-end fashions, you will find plenty of stores to check out. In some cases, you might not even have to leave your hotel as many have their own indoor shopping areas.
Here are a few of the best options if you want to go shopping in Las Vegas:
- The Bonanza Gift Shop is the world’s largest gift shop. It has more than 45,000 square feet of souvenirs, gag gifts, t-shirts, and more all at prices significantly less than hotel gift shops.
- Las Vegas Premium Outlets is the place to score deals! It has 155 stores including some brands that are not typically at outlet malls like Benneton, Dolce & Gabbana, and L’Occitane. While it is located about 15 minutes from the Strip, you get there using the Downtown Shoppers Express or Las Vegas Strip Trolley if you don’t have a car.
- The Fashion Show Mall has the greatest collection of upscale brands under one roof. It is easy to get to as it is across from the Wynn Hotel on the strip. Shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, Forever 21, Guess, and more. If you are looking for jewelry, they have more than a dozen jewelry stores.
- The Miracle Mile Shops inside the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is the best place for health and beauty goods, but that’s not all. In total they have 170 mostly moderately-priced shops and restaurants.
- The Downtown Container Park is an open-air shopping complex that’s built from recycled shipping containers. In addition to the shopping and dining options, they also have an interactive playground for kids called the Tree House.
- The Shops at Crystals at the Las Vegas CityCenter complex has more than 50 upscale flagships, ranging from Tom Ford to Louis Vuitton and Prada.
#16 Try Axe Throwing
Axe-throwing is a fast-paced and fun for groups and families (with kids age 7 and up). Las Vegas is home to Axe Monkeys which is the largest indoor axe-throwing range in North America with 47 lanes. If you have never tried this entertaining sport, this is the place to do it.
They have solid pine targets and high-tech axes to maximize the fun as well as safety. You will get personal attention from the dedicated trainers at Axe Monkeys. They will teach you the tricks and techniques to become a master thrower.
Read reviews and get more information about Axe Monkeys here.
#17 Hit the Bars/Nightclubs
Vegas is known for its nightlife. Every hotel has multiple bars, lounges, and nightclubs. There are plenty of options no matter what type of nightlife you enjoy.
If you want to party with a crowd, Vegas has some of the biggest clubs in the country. One of the most popular, Marquee, at the Cosmopolitan has more than 60,000 square feet of space (including a rooftop patio overlooking the the Strip). Another top club is XS at Encore, which has 40,000 feet of space. Be sure to check out the outdoor space at both places.
Keep in mind these clubs can be expensive and you are going to have to make it by the velvet rope to get in. You will want to dress to impress. It best to be on the guest list or buy tickets in advance. If you are on a budget, it’s probably best to opt for one of the more casual nightlife options which can be just a much fun.
#18 Enjoy Live Music
The live music scene in Las Vegas is top notch and I’m not even including the mega-star headliners that set up residencies on the Strip. You can find talented musicians performing seven nights a week, you just need to know where to go. Here are some of the best places to hear live music in Vegas:
- Brooklyn Bowl at the Linc Promenade
- House of Blues at Mandalay Bay
- Nashville Unplugged at Mandalay Bay
#19 Hit a Few Golf Balls
Vegas is a golfer’s paradise. For most of the year, the weather is pleasant and there are plenty of golf courses around. If you just want to practice, check out Topgolf Las Vegas. They have climate-controlled hitting bays so you can keep practicing your swing regardless of the weather.
Topgolf Las Vegas is not your typical driving range. They use micro-chipped golf balls and Toptracer technology to track of every shot. You will be able to get information about the accuracy and distance of each ball on the screen in your bay. You can also play a version of Angry Birds using the golf balls.
When you need a break from hitting balls, there are five unique bars, two pools, and a gaming lounge. If you get hungry, they serve a fresh twist on American classics and local specialties using high-quality ingredients.
Read reviews and get more information about Las Vegas Topgolf here.
#20 Go to Lake Las Vegas
Just 30 minutes from the Strip, you will find Lake Las Vegas, a 320 -acre manmade reservoir surrounded by hotels, houses, restaurants, shopping, and a golf course. It’s a fun area especially for families.
There’s an entire aqua park on the lake which is basically a giant inflatable obstacle course. You can fly above the water on a Flyboard through water propulsion using the power of a jet ski. Of course, there are also plenty of conventional lake activities to try like as kayaking, pedal boats, paddleboarding, and water tubing. If you prefer to stay dry, there are some hiking trails nearby.
#21 Take a Tour to the Grand Canyon
When you visit Vegas you have the chance to visit the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. While you could take a bus tour or drive on your own, a helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon is the best way to do it so that you don’t waste time in transit. Plus, you will get aerial views of the Las Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam, and more in addition to the Grand Canyon.
There are all kinds of Grand Canyon tour packages from Las Vegas available through GetYourGuide, so I’m sure you can find one that is right for you. We were looking for something romantic so we chose a helicopter tour with Champagne picnic.
If you are looking for something more adventurous, maybe try a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon that includes white-water rafting. Just make sure to choose a Grand Canyon helicopter tour with a landing so that you get the chance to walk around and see the canyon from the floor.
Is Vegas a good place for Kids?
Yes and no. As you can see, there is much more to Vegas than just gambling. There are many family-friendly attractions, but it is still Sin City. There will be many areas where kids are not allowed. Still, it is possible to have a nice family vacation in Vegas.
Is Vegas Worth visiting if you don’t want to gamble?
Yes! There is plenty to do in Vegas besides the obvious. Vegas is one of the best cities to visit in the US because it has so many to offer even to non-gamblers. It’s not possible to get bored. You can have a fantastic time with doing any gambling.
What are your favorite things to do in Las Vegas without gambling?
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