Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Best Free Things to Do in Las Vegas (Part II)

There are so many free things to do in Las Vegas that I had to spilt them into two posts! Check out the highlights in my Y!CN article or catch up on Part I if you missed it, and then read on to discover even more attractions that are guaranteed to entertain without emptying your wallet (sadly, I can't say the same for the poker tables and slot machines):

Sirens of TI at Treasure Island: One of the more lengthy free shows, this display involves a lot of drama as a group of pirates, complete with giant, mobile Man-o-War, take on the Sirens of TI - a band of 'sexy temptresses.' It's a little more 'adult' than some of the other street shows and takes place in front of Treasure Island at 7pm, 8:30, 10 and 11:30pm each evening.
Fashion Shows at the Fashion Show Mall: In addition to boasting some swanky shops (though not nearly as many as the nearby Wynn Hotel!) this shopping mall is home to open-access, live fashion shows every weekend. Shoppers gather to watch models stride down the catwalk every hour on the hour, from noon till 6pm. Whether you're there to catch the latest fashions or just to people-watch, it's a fun, free experience.

Streetmosphere performers

Streetmosphere in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian: Deep within the winding halls of The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian is an amusing replica of St. Marks Square. Here, strolling performers, including Italian opera singers, musicians, jugglers, and costumed actors, entertain guests and shoppers.  Schedules are posted in the square, but in my experience, catching a performance is a bit hit or miss.  I've stumbled on a few great performances, rather like you would in a real Venetian square, and few that were underwhelming. In any case, a walk through the shops is entertaining and always provides an opportunity to catch my next free attraction...

Singing Gondoliers at The Venetian: You can pay to ride a gondola through the indoor or outdoor canals, but it's just at entertaining to wait by the landing stage and watch the boats return.  Onlookers applaud as each gondolier sings his or her guests back to the dock - some of them are quite impressive!

Let sleeping lions lie (Note the reflection of the slot machines in the window!)
Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand: This is fun attraction, particularly for young children. From 11am-7pm daily, you can watch the lions prowl around their wilderness habitat. Top tip: arrive close to opening or closing to catch an informative talk from the animal handler.

Conservatory at the Bellagio: An impressive display of horticulture and artistic imagination, the flowers and displays in this glass-covered arena change with the seasons and are always impressive.  Be sure to visit the butterfly conservatory with its exotic tenants and romantic, fountain-covered walkways. Also near the conservatory is the Fiori di Como, a remarkable, not-to-be-missed, blown-glass ceiling by Dale Chihuly.

From the Fiori di Como by Dale Chihuly

Fall of Atlantis Fountain Show at the Forum Shops, Ceasars Palace: In this animatronic fountain show, Greek gods come to life as King Atlantis decides who will succeed him.  Shows are every hour, on the hour from 10am-11pm, Sunday-Thursday, and 10am-midnight, Friday and Saturday. I've never managed to catch this show, but have heard that it's a hit with the kids! If this doesn't work, there's a remarkably huge aquarium down the hall - the biggest of Vegas' free aquariums - to keep the young ones occupied (it worked pretty well for me, too!).

Aquariums galore (at the Mandalay Bay, Ceasar's Palace, and Mirage to name just a few): If you miss the colossal one at the Forum Shops, there are plenty more.  The 53-by-8-foot lobby aquarium at the Mirage contains 20,000 gallons of salt water and is home to sharks, stingrays, eels, puffer fish and sea bass.

This list is by no means exhaustive but it's a good place to start. Be sure to pick up any free magazines and brochures from your hotel and grab a map - there's a lot to do away from the casino floors!

1 comment:

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