Las Vegas may be best known for ways to separate you from your money, but it also boasts a wealth of fun things to do that are all free. And they are family friendly! So if you blow the vacation money at a casino, you can hit the jackpot with these free things to do in Las Vegas with kids.

Free things to do in Las Vegas with kids

Free family fun in Las Vegas Fountains of Bellagio Photo Courtesy of Bellagio Las Vegas

Free Fun Things to Do in Las Vegas

The bright lights and manic energy of Las Vegas appeal to the kid in everyone. The best way to make a family vacation affordable is to do the free stuff. And there are plenty of free, fun things to do in Las Vegas to help you have a cheap family vacation.

Remember that Las Vegas is in the desert, and summers can be punishingly hot. You will still need a jacket or sweater to combat heavy air conditioning. In winter, when day time temperatures are pleasant, you have to be prepared for cooler nights.

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Photo Credit: MGM Resorts International

Conservatory

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino’s Conservatory is constantly changing and always free. It’s a great place to take photos and escape the Vegas heat.

Water Show

When you get done checking out all the flowers at the Bellagio Conservatory just head out front and watch the free water show. This choreographed display is a music and light show that happens regularly–every 15 minutes during the evening hours and every 30 minutes each afternoon.

Tropical Rainforest

As you walk in the front entrance of the Mirage Hotel, you will see a 100-foot dome with lagoons, plant life and a 60-foot-waterfall that you can explore. The tropical flowers include more than 300 orchids and 1,000 bromeliads.

fun things to do

The signature flamingos at the Flamingo Hotel. Photo Credit: the Flamingo Hotel

Wild Life Habitat

Found at the Flamingo Hotel. The 15 acre wild habitat is full of lush foliage, flamingos, penguins, cranes, turtles, fish and lots of other birds. The penguins are fed daily at 8:25 am and 2:55 pm. This was a big hit with the kids. You can also take your picture with the parrots, or use the excellent backdrop for exotic family photos.

fun things to do

The Botanical Cactus Garden at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory. Photo Credit: Ethel M Chocolate Factory

Ethel M Chocolate Factory

Take a self guided tour, eat free samples and watch the chocolate being made from behind large glass windows. You can also walk through the four-acre Botanical Cactus Garden, the largest in Nevada. At Christmas time, this cactus garden is beautifully decorated in Christmas lights. There are 300 species of plants: half are native cacti and succulents and the rest are desert trees and shrubs, both local and from Australia and South America. The chocolate, of course, is all local – and delicious!

Fremont Street Experience

Located in downtown. This has a ceiling outside made of 12.5 million lights. On the screen, you’ll see videos put to music. (I can’t adequately describe this, but it is awesome.) There are also street performers, Elvis and other celebrity impersonators, spray paint artists and more. My kids love watching the guy down there spray paint pictures.

fun things to do

Hike Springs Preserve trails for free. Photo Credit: Springs Preserve

Hike Springs Preserve

You can take your kids hiking around the Springs Preserve without paying to go into the main part. There are 1.8 miles of trails split between four themes, with wildlife, native habitats and archaeological sites. The trails are open from 10 am until dusk. Be prepared with plenty of water, sunscreen and hats for all. Note that there is a train ride, which you have to pay for; if your kids like trains, you might have to spring for this.

Vegas mermaids

Photo credit: Silverton Casino

Mermaid Show

Located in the Silverton Hotel. A free mermaid show occurs in the aquarium Thursday – Sunday hourly from 2:15 -8:15 pm. The fish are feed daily at 1:30 pm, 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm. There are thousands of tropical fish and one or two mermaids swimming.

Calico Basin Red Springs

Part of Red Rock Canyon National Park that you don’t have to pay to get into. See the red and white sandstone cliffs, walk around the boardwalk, and go for a hike.  The boardwalk is a half-mile round trip and is an easy walk. My mother has a bad knee and she was fine walking it. We hiked to the right of the boardwalk along a trail over to a rock where they teach people to rock climb. It was highly entertaining at times.

Free Circus Show

No, not Cirque de Soliel. The Circus Circus Hotel has a free show daily, featuring jugglers, unicyclists, trapeze artists and acrobats. Each show is 10 minutes long, and shows run every half hour, daily, from 11 am – 11 pm; until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Billed as the “World’s Largest Permanent Circus,” the popular show has only 60 seats, so get there early.

What are your favorite free things to do in Las Vegas? Share with us in the comment section below.free in Las Vegas