Copyright © 2007
Buzz B Berkeley
If you're looking for some great free things to do in Vegas, there are some amazing treats for you and the family awaiting. Many casinos, in an effort to bring in more and more business are offering elaborate shows that are free for the family in an effort to bring more warm bodies into their casinos and out of their competitors'.
This is a win-Wynn (ha) situation for tourists and locals alike who are seeking entertainment that will leave a little money in their pockets to spend at the casinos (which is exactly what the casinos were hoping for). But, there are many great freebies outside of the Casinos too!
One of the great shows that is available free to families is the Fall of Atlantis Show at Caesars Palace, located in the Forum Shops, next to The Cheesecake Factory. This particular show is a laser, water, and light show that features wonderful animatronics action. Also notice that the show's platform is actually a salt-water aquarium. You can see divers feed the fish each day at 1:15 and 5:15 while another staff member is on hand to answer any questions you may have about the show and the facility. You can actually take a tour of the facility at 3:15 each day.
Enjoy watching the gods as they entertain you rather than us entertaining them. At the west end of the mall is the Festival Fountain show, featuring an animatronic discussion between Bacchus, Venus, Apollo and Pluto as well as a laser light show.
The Cambridge Community Center offers a free movie with popcorn each Saturday at 1:00. Each week a different movie will be shown and children under 12 must bring an adult to keep them company. You can check out which movie will be playing by checking out the posting on Friday.
Another great Las Vegas freebie is daily performances by the Hawaiian Marketplace Island Performers. These performances take place throughout the day from 11:00 am until 10:30 pm and feature wonderful dances that will remind you of the islands. See hula dancers, fire and knife dancers, musicians, lei makers, and animatronic birds. The performances are free and take place at the Hawaiian Marketplace. The market is made up of several stand-alone cart vendors surrounding nine anchor stores that offer a variety of clothing, gifts and souvenirs. The market is covered by an awning, which helps to keep things a bit cooler.
For the Elvis fan in all of us, you can see Pete Vallee perform as Big Elvis. The admission for this show is free and he brings in quite a crowd with his vocal talent and heartfelt renditions of Elvis' ballads. A collector of Elvis memorabilia, Pete admires his namesake and tries to stay true to the King's persona as a man who loved and was loved by his fans, and maintained a sense of loyalty to them. When Pete sings, his fans come alive and the party begins. Pete's repertoire includes an abundance of Elvis tunes, as well as Louis Armstrong, some country, gospel and other favorites. He is currently appearing at the Barbary Coast on "the Strip" Tuesday through Friday from 3 - 6 pm.
M&M's World uses ingenuity and a whole lot of sugar to make an impression on Las Vegas. It is a wonderful and yummy place to visit. More importantly it is a free place to visit. This museum is open Sunday through Thursday from 9 am until 11 pm and Friday and Saturday from 9 am until midnight. This really is a neat attraction to visit and is much more than initially meets the eye. Take a stroll, look around and make sure you see all there is to see or you just might miss something fantastic. Can you believe: four floors of retail space devoted to our favorite chocolate-covered candies? It just doesn't get much better than that!
Located in the Showcase Mall, the mouth-watering exhibit features Red, Yellow and the rest of the brightly colored gang on everything from T-shirts and golf-club covers to calculators and martini glasses. The attraction features a 3-D movie theater, the films rotate and viewers are rewarded with a surprise treat as they exit. There also is a wall of M&M's, displaying the sweet treat in nearly every color imaginable, from aqua green to gold. But perhaps the most exciting exhibit in the attraction is the M&M Racing Team area. The exhibit is centered on a replica of #38, the M&M's sponsored race car driven by Elliott Sadler in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.
For another sweet freebie, you really must make plans to visit Ethel M's Chocolate Factory. The admission for this self-guided tour is free as is the first sample, but who can eat just one chocolate? Be sure not to leave this tour empty handed, as you'll be kicking yourself once you get back to the room and have a craving for something sinfully sweet.
In addition to the chocolate factor is the Botanical Cactus Garden that is open from 8:30 until 7:00 daily. Another great thing to see on this particular tour is the Living Machine, which has waste-consuming ecologies that turns 32,000 gallons wastewater each day into water that is clean enough to use for irrigation purposes.
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Natural History, which is located on the University of Nevada Las Vegas Campus, is another place to go and learn while being entertained. Admission is Monday through Friday from 8:00 until 4:45 and on Saturday from 10:00 until 2:00. Admission is free and the museum is closed on all state and federal holidays. This museum offers a great display of Western culture and the history of ancient Mexico.
Where else in Las Vegas can you learn about the native cultures of the southwest United States and view Navajo weaving, jewelry and basketry; Hopi kachinas, basketry and pottery; and Southern Paiute basketry and archaeological objects without paying admission? Is there another museum in Las Vegas where you can view a comprehensive collection of objects representing nearly every culture of Pre-Columbian Latin America? And where else might one see a cohesive collection of Guatemalan costumes and an extensive collection of Mexican masks and then wander to view reptiles native to our region, all for free?
No matter what your specific interests are there are plenty of wonderful things to see and do in Las Vegas that do not put a strain on the pocketbook at all.
Buzz was a Casino Dealer, and has been teaching gambling for many years. He has been collecting gambling resources all the while. Now, he has put them all to great use in his Gambling Blog. If you have the same passion for gambling, subscribe to his blog. He is the producer of the Buzz Awards for Gambling. To see the current winners, go to The Buzz Awards.