Photo Credit: LPETTET
Las Vegas: 30 Things To Do That Don't Involve Gambling
Whenever most people think of Las Vegas, they think of the loud and bustling strip, filled with casinos and swanky hotels. They think of smoke-filled rooms filled with high rolling gamblers, ready to risk everything and their mother for a chance to win an unprecedented cash prize.
For a place whose main source of tourism commerce involves gambling (seriously, if you’ve ever been to McCarran Airport, you know that you will be greeted with a face full of slot machines the second you get off the plane), Vegas also has quite a number of things to do that don’t involve gambling, the Strip, or other shenanigans.
In fact, plenty of locals attest that the last thing they want to do when they’re in Las Vegas is do something tied to any one of those maddening things.
“Even though Las Vegas is extremely known for being able to gamble anywhere, at anytime, there is SOO much to do other than gambling,” writes the mononymic Monique, who runs the My Perfect Itinerary blog, and is a Las Vegas native herself.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of things to do in Vegas that are — dare we say — relaxing, too. Whether you’d like to shop in a place that won’t put you into debt up to your eardrums, or you want to support the local economy, or even if you want to just get away on a quick jaunt, here are 30 things in Sin City that don’t involve gambling, the Strip, or other shenanigans.
Pop over to the Grand Canyon.
Havasu Creek is a waterfall in Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA🇺🇲 pic.twitter.com/eRUUXeQjEc
— 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐄𝐒 𝐓𝐎 𝐃𝐈𝐄 𝐅𝐎𝐑!!✈️🏖️🏕️🌄 (@wanderlust_pure) November 30, 2021
Get your CSI on.
Love Investigation Discovery, Law & Order, & other true-crime shows? Find a (fictional) killer by gathering evidence and putting your crime-solving skills to the test at CSI: The Experience. Examine bullet casings and review DNA evidence with help from real forensic scientists – if you solve the mystery, you’ll earn an official CSI Diploma! Learn more about CSI: The Experience.
Head on over to Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks.
Wandering Through Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks | Travel + Leisure. ‘Wearing a Middle Eastern–looking head scarf.. She may be a tourist from another nation, or perhaps an immigrant to this one. Does it matter? No. This park is common ground.’ https://t.co/jjBK2ASxuv
— Mitchell (@husker87) November 27, 2021
Southern Utah is home to many famous national parks like Zion and Bryce. What most people don’t realize is how close these destinations are to Las Vegas. Go by tour bus from downtown Las Vegas, and you’ll be there in about 3 hours.
Ethel M.’s Chocolate Factory
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Experience chocolate heaven at Ethel M.’s Chocolate Factory. With a variety of gourmet chocolate and other delicious treats, it is also home to one of the largest cactus gardens in Las Vegas.
The trail into Eldorado Canyon is one of the most amazing entrances in the foothills of the Rockies pic.twitter.com/pkC38B7IRf
— jack healy (@jackhealyNYT) May 22, 2021
Live life like a true old western and travel back in time to ghost towns. And you may even strike gold while panning for gold at the abandoned gold mines!
Take a helicopter over the Strip
— J-Dandy (@Mrs_Shadowen) November 27, 2021
Soar over the Las Vegas Strip in a luxury sightseeing helicopter and fly past all the most iconic viewpoints, including the MGM Grand, New York New York, Caesar’s Palace, and more on a Las Vegas Night Flight tour. Bonus: drive to your helicopter in a stretch limousine! Book your tour here.
Shoot a gun
Battlefield Las Vegas is the #1 entertainment attraction in Las Vegas. Choose from a number of gun range experiences, and if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can even crush a car with a tank! Find out more about booking a shooting event of your own at Battlefield Las Vegas.
Join the Mob
— The Mob Museum (@TheMobMuseum) November 19, 2021
You don’t have to join the mob to learn all about it at the Las Vegas Mob Museum. Located in downtown Las Vegas, this museum shares the unique history of organized crime from the perspectives of both the mobsters and law enforcement through interactive exhibits, films, and numerous artifacts. Learn more about the Mob Museum on its website.
Get subzero with it
Mandalay Bay’s ice lounge is the perfect way to cool down after spending the day in the hot Las Vegas sun. Everything inside the lounge is made of ice, including the walls, the bar, and even the seats.
Choose your package, get dressed up in warm gear, and enter the ice bar for a round of icy smooth cocktails. Get more information at the Minus 5 Experience website.
Visit The Hoover Dam
Are you from, or have you ever been to, the USA?! 🇺🇸🇺🇸
Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating it today! 🥳🥳
We don't celebrate thanksgiving in the UK so happy Thursday to everybody else not celebrating. 😄👍
Here's a photo of me at the hoover dam in Nevada. 🌎💧 pic.twitter.com/3oz5kS3DCi
— EmmaCruises ⚓️ (@emmacruises) November 25, 2021
Just a few miles outside of Las Vegas sits one of the world’s prime examples of awe-filled human innovation and engineering, The Hoover Dam. Luckily, you can see it for yourself and be truly amazed. You will get to see how it was built and how it works!
Look into Las Vegas's neon history
Went to the Neon Boneyard in good ol' Las Vegas the other day. Old ghosts still kicking. pic.twitter.com/mYgGHAfDAL
— Sergeant Snafu (@sergeant_snafu) November 23, 2021
This museum is a place for storing the historical collection of Vegas’s iconic neon signage from back in the day. If you’re from that era, you will feel a certain nostalgia visiting here. If you’re younger, you will be filled with curiosity and wonder
Ride a roller coaster.
This is a must for thrill-seekers! The most famous roller coaster in Las Vegas is located on the Strip and found at the Hotel and Casino, New York, New York!
Relax at Lake Mead
Get your RenFaire on at the Tournament of Kings
— Excalibur Las Vegas (@ExcaliburVegas) November 24, 2021
Enjoy dinner and a show at the Excalibur casino resort, complete with competing knights, Arthurian legend, and a three-course meal eaten the way the medievals ate – with your hands. Get your RenFaire on at the Tournament of Kings website.
Go shopping at Container Park
Santa is back at Container Park this weekend! 🎅🏽 Stop by and make sure he gets your list in time for Christmas.
— Container Park (@DTContainerPark) November 26, 2021
Shopping in Las Vegas doesn’t just involve swanky boutiques on the Strip. Fremont Street’s open-air shopping center is home to many boutique retail shops and delectable restaurants, as well as live entertainment like free concerts, movies, and more. Learn more about the Downtown Container Park.
Get your X-files on at Area 51
Bro,uno de mis sueños más frustrados es poder entrar al área 51:') pic.twitter.com/fcSxAk2KfZ
— 𓆙. (@Zachy_BD) November 22, 2021
You have likely heard of Area 51, the mysterious area that is restricted to the public and located in the desert of Nevada. Those who want to get as close as they can to it often travel to Las Vegas. That is because Area 51 is only 83 miles from the Strip!
Seeing the entrance is somewhat of an attraction for those who are daring. There are travel stops and gift shops on the way there for the tourists who want to go and check it out.
Visit the Atomic Testing Museum.
The museum was excited to host Dr. Alvin Young for a Distinguished Lecture this evening! Dr. Young discussed the former role of the Committee on Interagency Radiation Research and Policy Coordination and whether something similar is needed today. pic.twitter.com/5cmQ17YABo
— National Atomic Testing Museum (@AtomicMuseum) November 28, 2021
Learn the history of America’s nuclear testing program as you explore 70 years of nuclear testing, including an exact replica of the control point where the countdown for each nuclear bomb detonation occurred. Get more information about the Atomic Testing Museum on its website.
Ride a hot air balloon over the Strip and more
If you have to get married, do it in a hot air balloon flying over Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/qsfEWlhwzk
— Las Vegas Locally 🌴 (@LasVegasLocally) July 24, 2021
Float over the Strip and the Red Rock Mountains on an hour-long hot air balloon cruise, including a traditional champagne toast upon landing! Book your balloon ride with Vegas Balloon Rides here.
Watch a show at the Bellagio fountains
Bellagio Fountains from the hotel room is just as cool without music. pic.twitter.com/xqefLs2Oza
— Kuriie (@Kuriie) November 26, 2021
The Bellagio’s famous free water, music, and light show runs every half hour during the day and every 15 minutes in the evening. It’s a can’t-miss experience for every Vegas visitor!
Go through the Valley of Fire..
— Wilhelm the Dog (@WilhelmtheDogll) November 30, 2021
Named for its distinctive red sandstone formations, the Valley of Fire is a must-see for every Vegas adventurer. Check out Native American petroglyphs, the famous Atlatl Rock, and more stunning viewpoints at Nevada’s oldest state park, only 50 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
...and then go through Death Valley
Gm fam! Feeling super productive this morning so I hope you’re all crushing it whatever you’re doing. Here is one of my personal faves from Death Valley. pic.twitter.com/mwFz6Wu4FF
— Wildbonde (@wildbonde) November 29, 2021
Explore what makes Death Valley such a unique part of the Southwest landscape, where the lowest point of elevation in North America is located and where the hottest ever recorded temperatures have taken place.
Drive like a NASCAR drive
Are you a fan of NASCAR? Check out the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Here, you get to go on a ride-along with a professional driver and go to speeds up to 140 mph! You will do this on the famous Las Vegas Speedway and even get the chance to drive for yourself.
Get behind the wheel of a luxury automobile
If you’ve ever been curious about what it would be like to drive a super-fast, super luxurious car like a Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Aston Martin, check out Exotics Racing. Reach speeds up to 130 mph on their 1.2-mile race track, including a 1,800 foot straightaway and seven turns. Visit Exotics Racing for more details.
Get a new view of Vegas on the LINQ High Roller Wheel
— Vegas.com (@Vegascom) July 31, 2018
The LINQ’s High Roller Observation Wheel is the world’s tallest observation wheel. Travel 550 feet above ground on your 30-minute spin and enjoy 360-degree views of downtown Las Vegas and beyond. Book your tickets at the High Roller Observation Wheel website.
Visit an amusement park
Twistin Tea Cups — six colorful cups that twist and turn to the sound of whimsical music — is one of 26 rides and attractions in the Adventuredome at Circus Circus."A new ride debuts at Circus Circus" https://t.co/vwwrwAfT0H
— Qasim (@syedqasimh) November 30, 2021
Not the gambling type? Go to Circus Circus for the literal circus shows! Have fun at the largest permanent circus in the world. Enjoy free circus acts and games while testing your skills at Midway, where people of all ages come to have fun and get energized.
With up to 200 popular and classic games, there is no shortage of entertainment here. Don’t forget to check out the crazy rides at the Adventure Dome!
Hike Hualapai Canyon
Generations of Hualapai have sung and danced from their homes at the edge of the Grand Canyon. They sing as a gift to the universe. They sing what they have learned from the past and hope for the future.
Video Credit: Austin Mann
In collaboration with the Office of Yo-Yo Ma pic.twitter.com/ecsteRSwnj
— MuseumOfNorthernAZ (@museumofnaz) November 23, 2021
Enjoy a hike and the rich cultural history of the Hualapai in this canyon located in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin.
Play trampoline dodgeball
Bounce around at SkyZone, the world’s first indoor trampoline park. Enjoy open jumping times or the foam zone, play “Ultimate Dodgeball” (that’s dodgeball on trampolines) or try your hand at “SkySlam” – trampoline basketball! Book your jumping time at the Skyzone website.
Tour Fremont Street
On Wednesday, Dec. 8th at 5 pm you won't be the only one getting lit on Fremont Street. We're lighting up our brand new 42-foot Christmas tree with the help of Mayor Carolyn Goodman and our president and CEO, Andrew Simon. pic.twitter.com/zkiG759vUv
— Fremont Street Exp (@FSELV) November 29, 2021
Also known as “Glitter Gulch”, Fremont Street is in the heart of downtown Las Vegas. This pedestrian-only thoroughfare features live entertainment, a zipline, and a light show. See what else you can do at Fremont Street.
Explore the legendary Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas ❤ pic.twitter.com/6MavTLmbAu
— Drachenherz 🔥🐉🧡 (@ThelenUte) November 27, 2021
Located only 17 miles from the Strip, Red Rock Canyon is the perfect excursion for those craving a break from the bustle of Sin City. Get up close and personal with the landscape’s characteristic bright red cliffs on an SUV tour. Take a crash course on Red Rock Canyon before you go.