Neon Museum

19 Cheap Things To Do In Vegas

Las Vegas can be expensive, especially if you’ve brought the kids. Luckily, there are plenty of fun cheap things to do in Vegas.

I’ve compiled a list of the 19 best activities to do in Sin City for under $35. We wanted to make it under $20, but you know, inflation.

After all, I wouldn’t want you to miss the thrill of the Mob Museum or the view of Las Vegas by night from the Eiffel Tower over a few bucks. To balance it out, I’ve also thrown in some great free things to try.

1. Gondola Rides At The Venetian ($34pp)

Gondola rides at The Venetian Las VegasImage credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ/Flickr, PDM 1.0

The singing gondoliers of The Venetian have been entertaining Las Vegas visitors for more than two decades now. It’s quite the photo experience and not to be missed. It’s one of the most popular cheap things to do in Vegas during the day.

If you don’t want to spend the $34, discount tickets or coupons are usually available in coupon books handed out on the Strip, or you can watch and listen for free along the promenade.

Inside the Venetian hotel, 10am to 10pm.

2. Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Sign ($0)

Welcome to Vegas signImage credit: Ken Lane/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The first thing you can see as you enter the Las Vegas Strip from the South is this Las Vegas sign, which has been featured in visitors’ photo books for more than sixty years. It’s one of the most popular cheap things to do in Las Vegas.

Over the past couple of decades, though, much work has been done to make it easier to get that snapshot. More parking and safer, easier access to the median where the sign sits have been added.

5100 Las Vegas Boulevard, 24/7.

3. Pinball Hall Of Fame (Bring Quarters)

Pinball Hall of FameImage credit: Pinball Hall of Fame

Just a block from the Las Vegas sign sits the Pinball Museum. With hundreds of Pinball and amusement machines still in working order and ready for you to play, you could spend hours out here for just two bits if you’re some sort of Pinball wizard.

Otherwise, you’re probably going to need a more reasonable $5 or $10 per player. It’s one of the best cheap things to do in Vegas with family – keep the kids entertained for hours!

4925 Las Vegas Boulevard, 10am to 9pm.

4. Big Apple Roller Coaster at New York New York Hotel ($25+)

Big Apple rollercoaster at New York New York hotelImage credit: New York-New York Hotel & Casino

Race above New York and plunge right through Lady Liberty on this thrill ride featuring a 200-foot-plus drop at over 65 mph in a New York City cab.

This one is excellent day or night, and with several loops and drops as it races around the casino, it’s bound to get your heart pumping. More than 1.5 million riders a year can’t be wrong. Plus, it’s part of one of the best arcades in Vegas, featuring over 200 games.

New York New York Hotel, 11am to 11pm.

5. Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris Hotel ($24.50)

Eiffel Tower replica in VegasImage credit: Pexels/Freerange

46 stories above the Las Vegas Strip is a view along the deck of the Paris Hotel’s half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Best seen at night, it’s a breathtaking spectacle of all of Sin City, laid out in front of you in all her neon glory. The Las Vegas skyline has never been so la la la.

Even the ride to get there is stunning, and there’s probably no more romantic spot in town. Possibly one of the best cheap things to do in Vegas for couples. There are also discounts for seniors and locals.

Paris Hotel, Las Vegas Strip, 12pm to 12am.

6. Neon Museum ($20-$45)

Neon MuseumImage credit: Jeremy Thompson, CC BY 2.0

This isn’t some hike through a sign graveyard. Well, it isn’t JUST a hike through a sign graveyard. They’ve got tour guides and augmented reality displays, and at night, they turn the neon on and light up the desert. It’s probably one of the coolest cheaps thing to do in Vegas.

You can even get a helicopter tour over the museum at night to see it all from above. The Neon Museum is really unlike any museum you’ve been to before. And it’s beyond Instagrammable at night.

There are several different prices depending on which tour and add-ons you like. It’s gotten so popular you may want to get tickets in advance.

770 Las Vegas Blvd North, 2pm to 10pm.

7. Skypod at the Stratosphere ($20+)

Thrill Ride (Super Shot) on top of the Stratosphere, Las VegasImage credit: Alex Proimos/Wikipedia Commons

Skypod at the Strat is a two-level observation deck at the top of the 1150-foot Stratosphere hotel tower. The $20 is just for the view, but if you’ve ever wanted to bungee jump from 1,000 feet up or asked yourself wouldn’t it be great if there was a roller coaster wrapped around the top of this enormously tall building, the Strat has answers, albeit pricey ones.

There’s also a restaurant and bar up there, so you can make a several-hour stay out of it if you want, and really get your $20 worth. The view of the Las Vegas skyline is simply breathtaking.

Strat Hotel, 10am to1am.

8. Food Trucks (Varies)

Taco food truckImage credit: biggifraley/Pixabay

Food, like everything else in Las Vegas, is expensive and overhyped. But some fantastic food trucks with great food and reasonable prices are hidden right off the Las Vegas Strip, or scattered downtown.

Try out some of the best ones like Buddy’s Jersey Eats in the 3000 Block of Las Vegas Boulevard. Or track down the daily setups for local Las Vegas favorites like El Taco, AntidoteLV, or the world-famous fried mac and cheese egg rolls at Stripcheeze. Though simple, it’s still one of the best cheap things to do in Vegas.

You can see locations and daily menus on Instagram or Facebook.

9. Mob Museum ($35)

Mob Museum in Las Vegas, NevadaImage credit: APK/Wikipedia Commons

One of our favorite Sin City spots, this downtown Las Vegas museum relives the sordid past of the organized crime families that ran Las Vegas for decades.

It’s not just a display of blood-splattered mobster clothing and pictures of hits gone awry. This state-of-the-art museum has a firearms training simulator, a Crime Lab that shows how Medical Examiners process bullet-riddled crime scenes for evidence and, of course, a Prohibition Era Distillery tour. There are even whispers of a password-protected speakeasy somewhere in the building.

300 Stewart Avenue, 9am to 9pm.

10. Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art ($18)

Bellagio Gallery of Fine ArtImage credit: Smart Destinations/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Home to a priceless art exhibit, this relatively small museum has hosted exhibitions of Picasso, Degas, and Faberge, along with many other modern art masterpieces. Since exhibits revolve, you may want to see what they have on display when you arrange your tickets.

Sadly, the $130 million Picasso, La Reve, that former Bellagio owner Steve Wynn accidentally put his elbow through, has been repaired and sold off. An oopsie like that would be hard to pass up.

Bellagio Hotel and Casino, 10am to 5:30pm.

11. The Las Vegas Strip ($0)

Las Vegas stripImage credit: PxHere, CC0 1.0

There is no place like the Las Vegas Strip at night. There is an energy, a distant hum, that gets in your head. It’s the desert air, the billions of dollars in neon, and the people. Mostly the people. There is no better place to people-watch than the Las Vegas strip just before Midnight.

Wander out and see the whole cross-section of America, heck, the world, mixed along just a few blocks of one of the most famous streets in the world. You may be unable to describe or even capture it in pictures. But you will never forget it. It will always remain one of the best cheap things to do in Vegas.

Desert Inn Road to Tropicana Avenue, nightly.

12. Ethel M Chocolate Factory ($0, Chocolate Extra)

Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour

This factory is named for Ethel Mars, the mother of Forest Mars, who introduced the world to M&M’s and dozens of other one-of-a-kind American chocolate bars and treats. It’s where Forest came after he retired from the Mars company and started a new business dedicated to craft, small-batch chocolate.

Just minutes from Las Vegas in Henderson, you can tour the factory, visit their renowned three-acre cactus garden, and, most importantly, taste some of this award-winning chocolate.

2 Cactus Garden Drive Henderson, 10am to 6pm.

13. Hoover Dam Tour ($30+)

Hoover Dam, East of Las VegasImage credit: Shawn Hartley/Wikipedia Commons

Looking for cheap things to do in Las Vegas off the strip? The best-guided tours of Hoover Dam will let you not only tour the almost 90-year-old dam and power plant, but also admire views of the dam from two points. First, from the Black Rock Canyon, and second, from the Colorado River (down-water side, looking up). This view allows you to fully understand the massive undertaking that building this 700-foot dam must have been.

Some tours will also include lunch. Depending on the type of tour, you will need to set aside at least four hours to get there and back.

14. Mount Charleston (Varies)

Mount Charleston, NevadaImage credit: jpellgen/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Mount Charleston is the high peak you can see northeast of Las Vegas. While only 45 minutes away from Vegas, most tourists and even some locals never seem to visit. It’s covered in hiking trails, and there’s both a lodge and a restaurant.

In the summer, it can be 30 degrees cooler on the mountain, and in the winter, they have a small ski resort that you can sojourn to. Tours can be pricey and crowded, but you can often get a rental car for as low as $15 a day in the off-season. It’s a great trip if you want to get out of town and see some of the beautiful nature surrounding the Las Vegas Valley.

15. Bellagio Fountains ($0)

Bellagio FountainsImage: melfoody/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Bellagio Fountains cover eight acres and use more than 1200 fountain heads, some of which shoot columns of water up to 450 feet in the air. Synchronized with a soundtrack and light show, this is a not-to-be-missed attraction, especially considering the price point. Shows are every half hour but are best seen on a clear night after sunset.

Bellagio Hotel and Casino, 3pm to 12am.

16. Fremont Street Experience ($0)

Fremont ExperienceImage: FeelingVegas/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Downtown Las Vegas is home to the Fremont Street experience: six blocks of debauchery shoehorned under a neon roof. While it earned the nickname Glitter Gulch as far back as the 1950s, the 50 million LED lights that cover Fremont today put the old moniker to shame. Free concerts, free street performers, cheap food and a zipline soaring high above it all make this a not-be-missed roadside attraction.

Freemont Street, 24/7.

17. Linq High Roller ($23.50+)

Linq High Roller, VegasImage credit: Garrett/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Billed as America’s largest wheel ride, the 500-foot Vegas Eye is a beautiful piece of machinery that lets you get a look at Las Vegas from 50 stories up. Each cabin can hold up to 40 people and generally spends about half an hour making a complete revolution. This allows you to get a good look in all directions and take pictures to your heart’s content.

Outside drinks are allowed, but no glasses or coolers. If you prefer the Happy Hour cabin, you can get a ride and free drinks for a bit more.

Linq Hotel and Casino, 2pm to12 am.

18. Dive In Movies at the Cosmopolitan ($10+)

This one is a hidden gem. Starting in May and running through the end of September, the Cosmo holds outdoor movie night every Monday at their Boulevard Pool. It’s a massive 270-square-foot screen with some curated movie experiences like Aquaman or The Goonies.

Plus, if you’re a local, it’s only $10 per person and $15 for tourists not staying at the Cosmo. Splurge and rent one of the huge daybeds or just lounge on an air mattress in the pool.

The Cosmopolitan, doors open at 7pm.

19. Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay ($29)

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay BayImage credit: Daniel Parks/Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

The Shark Reef Aquarium has 1.3 million gallons of water which is home to more than 2,000 fish and critters. Also on exhibit in this walk-through aquarium is over 200 shark species for your viewing pleasure.

This a great place to get out of that Nevada sun and spend an afternoon in a dreamy underwater world. Besides the main exhibit, you can feed the sharks or pet the stingrays for an upcharge. Plus try out their 4-D immersive video diving experience.

Mandalay Bay, 10am to 7:30pm.

As you can see, there are plenty of amazing, fun cheap things to do in Vegas, so have a great trip!

FAQs

What is a good budget for a Vegas trip?

As with so much in Las Vegas, it depends on what you want to do. A $100 a day per person would be a good baseline starting point, and then work your way up from there. If you gamble even on the penny slots for eight hours a day, you better have a large bankroll. If you don’t mind a slightly less ritzy hotel and enjoy hiking or exploring the less expensive things Las Vegas has to offer, you can enjoy Las Vegas for much less.

Is $100 a day enough for Las Vegas?

The average tourist spends more than $300 daily, so it depends on what you want to accomplish. If you’re willing to stay farther South on the Las Vegas Strip at properties like Excalibur and Luxor, which have rooms at $20 to $30 a day, dine off the Strip, and use our cheap things to do in Vegas list (or even better, our free things to do in Las Vegas list), it could be done.

How much money do I need to have fun in Las Vegas?

Money doesn’t equal fun, not even in Las Vegas. That guy betting $20k a hand at the Bellagio, maybe staying in a $40,000 dollar-a-night suite and eating at five-star restaurants every night, is probably having less fun than some Vegas first-timers, eating 99-cent Midway hotdogs at Circus Circus and staying in some downtown hotel for $25 a night. Vegas is what you make it.

Is $1000 enough for four days In Las Vegas?

Sure. You could put yourself together a nice itinerary with $1,000 for four days. Use the coupon books and look for deals to make the most of your money.

What is the cheapest way around Las Vegas?

The monorail is $13 a day for unlimited rides up and down the Las Vegas Strip. Busses are clean and cheap and, while a bit slow, can take you anywhere you want to go for $8 unlimited a day. You can also rent electric bikes from the Las Vegas Transit Authority for $5 daily.

Author: Nathan Sanchez