Las Vegas: 30 Things To Do That Don't Involve Gambling
Photo Credit: LPETTET

Photo Credit: LPETTET

Las Vegas: 30 Things To Do That Don't Involve Gambling

las vegas
Bernadette Giacomazzo
Bernadette Giacomazzo Dec 1, 2021

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.

The Grand Canyon’s South Rim is about 5 hours away from Las Vegas by bus, while the Grand Canyon West region is only a short 3-hour drive.

Get there faster on luxurious airplane or helicopter tours, or even enjoy a Grand Canyon floor landing or cruise down the Colorado River.

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.

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.

Eldorado Canyon

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

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

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

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

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

Take a trip to Lake Mead and enjoy the sight of the largest man-made reservoir in the U.S.

Get your RenFaire on at the Tournament of Kings

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

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

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.

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

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

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!

Try an escape room.

Solve puzzles and follow the clues as a team to escape from a locked room before time runs out! Check out Lockdown Rooms or The Escape Game for more information.

Go through the Valley of Fire..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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