A trip to Las Vegas usually means hitting the blackjack tables or trying your luck with the slot machines. But you might be surprised to know there’s a lot more to Sin City than just gambling.
From shows to outdoor activities to some great museums, Las Vegas has a wealth of fun things to do that won’t leave your pocketbook empty. Check out some of these fun, non-casino options for your next Vegas getaway.
Part of the Caesars entertainment family and the Linq hotel, the High Roller Observation Wheel is one of the newer attractions to the Vegas Strip. The 550-foot tall Ferris wheel is the world’s tallest and gives a birds-eye view of the city and surrounding areas. The wheel takes 30 minutes to make one rotation and has comfortable standard cabins as well as “open bar” cabins that provide drinks and your very own server!
A dramatic mix of circus arts, music and fantastical costumes, Cirque Du Soleil has several resident shows in Las Vegas. Experience the music of the Beatles at the show “Love” or Michael Jackson’s “One,” or check out the mystery of illusionist Chris Angel at the “Chris Angel Mindfreak Live” show. The shows have established, long-term performances at various hotels, including the Luxor, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand.
Old Vegas signs never die, they just retire to The Neon Museum! Founded in 1998, the museum is dedicated to preserving all that iconic Las Vegas signage, and has created an amazing exhibit of vintage Vegas at its best. The outdoor “neon boneyard” showcases rescued signs and is available for both guided and self-guided tours. The indoor visitor’s center is located inside the historic La Concha Motel, designed by the famous architect Paul Revere Williams and a testament to mid-century modern design.
Just 30 miles outside of Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam was built between 1931-1936. It impounds Lake Mead and when full, it is by volume the largest reservoir in the United States. There are daily tours of both the dam itself and the powerplant, as well as a large visitor’s center that offers a wealth of history and information about the area.
If getting outdoors and exploring the desert is your idea of fun, Vegas’s Red Rock Canyon has some of the best hiking and adventuring opportunities around. The park features a 13-mile scenic drive into the canyon, as well as 26 different trails and footpaths. There is a visitor’s center with information on activities and a seasonal campground area if you want to camp out under the desert stars.
Located in downtown Las Vegas, The Mob Museum showcases the infamous history of organized crime and how it shaped the city. Learn about crime and punishment in Las Vegas, with exhibits such as the Speakeasy, which takes you back to the days of Prohibition, and the Crime Lab experience, where you can see how law enforcement uses forensic evidence to solve crimes.
Designed especially for all the pinball wizards out there, the Pinball Hall of Fame museum is 10,000 square feet of pinball machines. Created by the Las Vegas Pinball Collector’s Club, the games range from the 1950s to the 1990s with the biggest concentration from the 1980s, which was the heyday of pinball. Best of all, the machines are all kept in working order so you can play to your heart’s content.
See the city like never before with a breathtaking helicopter tour. There are several tour companies that offer tours of Las Vegas and the surrounding areas, including a night time tour where you can see all the city lights. Consider a package deal with a romantic dinner and show, or you can even combine a helicopter tour with your wedding!