25 things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble!

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When people hear of Las Vegas they usually think of gambling, nightlife and tanning, but there is much much more to do in Vegas than just that! This guide will give you great tips on other fun things to do in Vegas that makes staying there such a unique experience.

1. Ride on the roller coaster at the New York, New York Hotel. It runs outside of the hotel, so I would suggest to do this at night. You get a breathtaking view of the strip at night and an even better view from the front seat which is where we sat! This ride is not for the faint hearted!

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2. See Las Vegas from 550 feet up on the High Roller observatory ferris wheel. It is the highest observation wheel in the world! The ride around the wheel is 30 minutes and is open noon to 2am daily. This is situated behind The Flamingo hotel at the new LINQ shopping and dining complex.

3. Chill out at the Minus 5 Ice Lounge in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. This lounge is always a frosty minus 5 degrees celsius because it is entirely made of ice from the walls, to the bar, seats and even the glasses you drink out of! Thankfully you get gloves and a parka coat or faux fur coat to wear while inside. Check it out, take a seat on an ice couch and enjoy the music with an ice cold drink! 

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4. Enjoy a dinner show at Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings. Watch the kings battle each other in this fun show that has audience interaction, jousting, fireworks, singing and more! As the show is performing you get to indulge with soup, full meal (cutlery not included!), dessert and a drink. Hazzah!

5. Theres a lot to see at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Hotel. You can see over 2,000 animals such as sharks (what a surprise!), sting rays, giant octopus, jelly fish, endangered green sea turtles, piranhas and more! You can also book an Animal Encounter where you can watch sting rays, sea turtles or sharks being fed. It even has a Dive with Sharks program for those who are braver than me! 

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6. Swimming with dolphins at The Mirage hotel in the Dolphin Habitat. This is an expensive option, but it really is a once in a lifetime experience.

7. Play games! Instead of gambling your money away on slot and table games, you can have fun with arcade games! Excalibur’s “Fun Dungeon” , New York, New York’s “Big Apple Arcade”, Monte Carlo’s “Backstreet Arcade” and Circus, Circus’ “Midway” are some of the best arcade gaming areas to be found at the hotels. Circus, Circus also has old school carnival games such as ball throwing, balloon popping and even a dunk tank.

8.  See a show! There are a ton of shows that can fit anyones taste such as Cirque du Soleil, magic shows, concerts and comedy acts.

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9. Go on the rides at the Adventuredome Theme Park in Circus, Circus. It has everything a theme park would have for both families and thrill seekers. During the Halloween period, Adventuredome is transformed into a Halloween themed park called The Frightdome, which is always named as being one of the premier Halloween attractions to visit in the whole United States.

10. Indoor skydiving! If you aren’t brave enough to do the real thing or just want to try something new and fun, this is a great option!

11. Go on a gondola ride at The Venetian Hotel. If you haven’t had a chance to go to Venice yet, you can take a ride in a gondola which takes you through replicas of the watery streets of Venice both inside and outside of the hotel.

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12. Head to a water park for the day. If you need to cool down and take a break from the casino’s there is a Wet ‘n’ Wild only 15 minutes from the strip! It has more than 25 rides and attractions ranging from thrilling water slides to family friendly fun.

13. Eat!!! There are so many good places to in eat in Las Vegas. I haven’t had a bad meal yet! It has all varieties to fit different taste buds and price ranges.. restaurants with a view, buffets, pool side bites or just grab a gelato at The Venetian!

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14. Drive a bulldozer at the Dig This: Heavy Equipment Playground. Learn to operate heavy-duty equipment in a life-size sandbox. You can even play games such as ‘Excavator Basketball’, where you try to pick up a basketball off of a cone and place it into your tire basket. Now that is a unique experience!

15. Float around in the lazy river at the MGM Grand hotel. Even if you aren’t staying there, you can buy a pass to get in. Top tip – If you are going with a group of you and intend on staying by the pool a while it pays to get a cabana. Cabana’s are generally free as long as you spend a certain amount of money on food and drinks.

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16. If you aren’t afraid of heights you can go on the Stratosphere Tower Thrill Rides at the top of The Stratosphere hotel. Towering at 1,149 feet up, the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. Obviously being Las Vegas the home of extremes, the question was always going to be, why not build some rides at the top of it? It has three rides.. Insanity, X-Scream and Big Shot. If you aren’t into traditional fairground rides, but still want to get your white knuckle thrills you can do the Sky Jump and leap off of it! Yikes!!!

17. Book an excursion. There are tours that take you off the strip to other places, such as the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Red Rock and even Death Valley, CA! Check out the posts linked here that I made of my experiences. I promise it will make you want to book a tour of your own!

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18. Shoot at a gun range. There are different gun options to choose from including machine guns and some pretty high caliber pistols and rifles!

19. Go zip lining off of the Rio Hotel! This is still in construction but once completed, the VooDoo Zip Line will send you flying from one end of the Rio tower to the other at almost 500 feet up!

20. Do you watch the show “Pawn Stars”? You can visit the Pawn Stars Gold and Silver Pawn Shop! If you are a fan of the show, they have autograph sessions taking place once a day during the week, however there is no set schedule because of ever changing filming times. 

21. Want to go to a lounge that really reminds you of Vegas? The Peppermill Fireside Lounge is the spot! It has neon lights, fake trees everywhere, a fire pit and great cocktails, it really is deliciously tacky and the quintessential Las Vegas experience! Their most talked about drink is the Scorpion bowl which is huge so be careful, it sneaks up on you! No wonder it was in films such a “Showgirls” and “Casino”. It also has a diner attached to it, so you can stumble over from the lounge if you need to soak up some of that alcohol!

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22. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in a race car? No need to wonder anymore! You can experience racing by riding shotgun at speeds up to 160mph during the Richard Petty Ride Along Experience.

23. Take a rest and grab a drink with a view. There are lounges that have great views of the strip! If you are not into the club scene you can always go earlier and relax at a lounge before the craziness starts. You can relax and grab a drink or food depending on which place you go. Some nice lounges are Marquee, Voodoo and Mixx. Mixx has a sunset champagne toast. If you are there for when the sun starts to set, you get a complimentary glass of champagne and everyone does a toast together (nice touch Mandalay Bay!). For those of you who like super upscale lounges, try the Mandarin Bar at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, it is pretty swanky and has truly breathtaking views of the strip.

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24. Visit a museum or exhibit. You can become a new CSI recruit and solve a crime at the The CSI Experience, discover the truth at the Mob Museum with interactive exhibits, check out over 250 authentic artifacts recovered from the Titanic at the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition or go and see the the old casino signs at the Neon Museum.

25. If you visit during the holiday season, you can ice skate on the strip outside of The Venetian hotel. If you want to ice skate with a view of the strip, The Cosmopolitan hotel transforms their Boulevard Pool into a fully functioning ice skating rink. It also has fire pits where you can huddle round and enjoy s‘mores, hot chocolate and deliciously warm cocktails.

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Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon

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An extremely popular tour to go on while in Las Vegas is the tour of the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon. My best friend and I did the tour in the day and because it starts early we were able to get back in time to enjoy the nightlife! It is a fun option that gets you away from the hustle and bustle of the strip for a bit while you get to check out a couple of America’s most famous landmarks! Firstly, we stopped at the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam is widely regarded as one the greatest engineering works in history and is really a site worth seeing.  After visiting the Hoover Dam we were dropped off at a huge Grand Canyon bus station where you can take a number of buses each going to different parts of the canyon. We decided to go and explore Haulapai Ranch which was supposed to resemble the wild west. I would like to say that it was a well thought out decision, but we were feeling impatient and thusly decided upon the route with the shortest wait. As it turns out, we made a good move! Once we were exploring the little town, we got to pet some of the horses and found out that you could pay to go on an escorted horseback riding tour around the Grand Canyon. We of course decided to do the horseback riding tour and the views coupled with the old west feel of the tour made it an even more incredible experience. Once we had finished the horse back tour, which was little more than an hour (which admittedly my slightly sore posterior was happy about!) ,we took the bus back to the main station and hopped onto one of the other buses which took us back to one of the rim’s of the Grand Canyon to do some on-foot exploring!

 Hoover Dam

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Haulapai Ranch

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Getting ready to start our horseback riding adventure along the Grand Canyon!

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Close your wallet, 10 free things to do in Las Vegas!

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Many people think that Las Vegas is insanely expensive and it certainly has the potential to be just that, however you can also have an amazing time on a tighter budget. That is why I have decided to put together a list of free stuff, so that you can put your wallet away and let it take a much needed vacation as well! 

1.Lake of Dreams show at the Wynn hotel. The shows begins when the sun goes down and runs every half hour until 12:30am daily. Each half hour a different show plays. The best spot in the house to watch this is from the Up Parasol terrace bar, however you can get a good view from a variety of spots.

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2. Walk the strip both inside and outside the hotels. Each hotel has a different theme and is completely unique from each other. Vegas doesn’t do anything without going above and beyond so you will be in awe at the beautiful designs and props inside. Where else in the world can you view a replica of Venice, ancient Rome, Paris, ancient Egypt or the bright lights of New York all in one place?

3. Explore downtown Vegas also known as The Fremont Street Experience. It has entertainment, dining, gambling, everything that the strip has, just with a more “old Vegas” feel.  It is also home to the worlds largest screen, within a canopy that tops the street. The canopy towers 90 feet above the ground and spans the length of five football fields. Featuring more than 12 million LED modules and a 550,000 Watt sound system. The light show is definitely something to experience and is enjoyed by both tourists and locals.

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4.  Watch the Fall of Atlantis at Caesars Forum Shops. It runs every hour starting at 11 a.m. The Forum Shops are set within replica streets of ancient Rome and are a striking sight themselves.

5. Watch outdoor hotel shows on the strip. The Mirage, Venetian, Treasure Island, Bellagio have free shows that run continuously each night. The Bellagio water show is the crowning jewel of strip water shows, as the water dances in synch to a variety of songs throughout the night. These fountain spurts can reach a height of 460 feet  during the show. 

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6. See the Wildlife Habitat in the Flamingo hotel. There are also two live feedings a day that you can watch. Amongst the animals within the habitat are of course flamingo’s, turtles, pelicans and sacred ibis to name a few.

7. Enjoy the circus acts at the the World’s Largest Permanent Circus inside the Circus, Circus hotel. There are many different shows such as jugglers, unicyclists, trapeze artists and acrobats that perform every half-hour. Try to get there 15 minutes before the show starts, as seats get snapped up quickly!

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8. Check out the LINQ which is a newest area that was added to the strip! This is a new shopping and dining area that also house the High Roller, which is the Observation Ferris Wheel that has recently been added to the strip.

9. Look at the beautiful Bellagio Conservatory inside the Bellagio hotel. They also change it through out the different seasons. Below are pictures from when I went in November, it certainly had a fall feel to it! – Fun Fact – The Bellagio opened in 1998 with an opening ceremony that cost a reported $88 million!!!

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10. Relax and take a dip! Soak up the sun and go for a swim at your hotel. Each hotel on the strip has complimentary water which is definitely needed during the summer months! However, most people do not realize that it does get chilly in the winter months. Not all of the pools are open year round, so if do you go during that time, make sure to check if your hotel pool is open.

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