Hello! When I moved to Las Vegas I truly had no idea there was anything more than the strip of hotels, restaurants, and casinos that keep tourists pouring in. Good news, there is so much more to do in Vegas and there are new businesses popping up every single day. I’m turning 21 in a couple of days (finally), so I decided to compose a list of 21 things to do in Vegas when you’re not 21. However, I think this list could be fun for anyone to do of any age!
If you don’t feel like reading the whole the whole post I also made a video!
1. EXPLORE THE ART IN DOWNTOWN VEGAS
Downtown Las Vegas is full of grand, vibrant, and unique art. The majority of this art exists thanks to the Life is Beautiful festival that takes place every year. The festival combines art, food, speakers, and music to completely transform Downtown Las Vegas. Thankfully, many of the pieces that are created for the festival stay up leaving a little piece of Life is Beautiful magic all year long. There are many exciting new pieces coming in September for this years festival, including the first ever 100% solar-powered mural. You can walk around Downtown picking your favorite murals or take really cool pictures.
2. RED ROCK CANYON
Just a short drive away from the chaos of the Las Vegas Strip can bring you to Red Rock Canyon. There is a scenic drive that takes you 13-miles through the park with plenty of places to stop and take pictures. If you’re looking to break a sweat, there are 26 hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult. If you’re in the mood for a challenge I would recommend Turtlehead Peak, it’s one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done but I keep doing it again and again for the view (and to feel accomplished). There are also a lot of awesome tours in Red Rock including horseback riding, Segway, and scooter tours. The pictures below are from Calico Basin which is located one exit before the main entrance to Red Rock. Calico is free and there are plenty of places to hike or just relax. There’s also a really cool path made out of rocks that is pictured below!
Red Rock Price: $7 per car
Calico Basin: FREE
3. SLIDE THROUGH A SHARK TANK
Located at the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas is a 200,000 gallon shark tank aquarium that you can slide through. There are lots of different species of sharks and fish that you can practically swim with. This pool is definitely one of the best in Vegas and has more to offer than just the shark tank; there are waterfalls and plenty of chairs located in the pool to keep cool while getting tan. If you want to just walk around and look at the aquarium you can do so after 7 p.m. for free! (This time may change as the pool hours change during the year).
Price to swim: Varies from $25 to $50 depending on what day you go
Price to walk around: FREE, just call ahead of time and ask what time it’s free to walk around
4. FREE 3-D SHOW AT M&M’s WORLD
Growing up I went to Las Vegas with my parents a lot for various conventions. I don’t remember much, but what I do remember is M&M’s World. There are four levels filled with every M&M color and flavor, as well as every souvenir possible. I’ll never forget when my dad came home from Vegas and brought me M&M pajamas! While there are many things that make this place great, my absolute favorite part is the free 3-D show located on the third floor. They haven’t changed this show since I was a kid, and it’s still just as good. It’s a short movie but it’s cute, it’s free, and it’s air conditioned so it’s definitely a win for me.
5. TRY SODAS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Located right next to M&M’s world is the Coca-Cola store. Here you will find every Coca-Cola themed house item, piece of clothing, and decoration that you’ve ever wanted (or not wanted). Make your way to the second floor to find places to sit down and also where you can buy many Coke products, but the real fun is trying all the different Coca-Cola products from around the world. They give you two trays each containing eight different sodas and they also give you a sheet telling you the name of the drinks and which country it comes from. Some of them are delicious, and some of them are disgusting but that’s the fun part. 😉
**you can also find bottled water for $0.75 here!
6. SEVEN MAGIC MOUNTAINS
Located just a few miles outside of Las Vegas is the art installation Seven Magic Mountains. The installation was created by Ugo Rondinone and features seven different pillars of colorful boulders. Seeing this in person is surreal and you can walk around and take as many pictures as you would like. There are no bathrooms (or anything else) nearby so make sure you plan accordingly before heading out! I have been there during the day, but I recently went during the sunset and it was absolutely beautiful!
7. CUPCAKE ATM
The Cupcake ATM is located at the Sprinkles cupcake shop amongst several cool and unique shops and restaurants. I used to go to Sprinkles because they sell tiny ice cream cones, but I finally tried the Cupcake ATM and it was so much fun. You select your cupcake flavor, swipe your credit card and then a freaking cupcake comes out! I gave mine to my mom and she said it tasted great! The best part about it? There are no hours so you can grab a cupcake anytime you want.
8. WATCH A SHOW
There are no shortage of shows on the Las Vegas Strip. There are comedians, dancers, circus performers, singers and so much more. I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a few shows and there honestly hasn’t been one that I haven’t absolutely loved. If you’re over 18 and looking for a show that is hilarious, entertaining, and a little risqué there’s no doubt that the show you should see is Absinthe. For kids, the best option is the Circus 1903 show at the Paris Hotel. For an overall crowd pleaser complete with Beatles music, amazing costumes, and a powerful story, my favorite show is Love by Cirque Du Soleil. Everyone has their own favorite, but no matter what I recommend watching a show!
Price: Varies from show to show, always look for deals there are some great ones!
9. TACO BELL CANTINA
I’m not the biggest fan or promoter of Taco Bell, but let me tell you their flagship store is like a whole different place. They have apparel, two-stories, shareable appetizers, and you can even see your food being made in the kitchen! It’s fun to check out and grab a cheap bite to eat! The second floor has lots of seating and it’s open 24 hours.
Price: Free to go in, price varies depending on what you get
10. EIFFEL TOWER EXPERIENCE
If you’re in Vegas, you won’t miss the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel. It’s half the size of the the actual Eiffel Tower and if you get tickets to do the Eiffel Tower Experience you take an elevator straight to the top! The view is incredible, especially of the Bellagio Fountains. There are little holes in the fence where you can take pictures and you can walk all the way around the top, getting an amazing view of every single angle! Also, if you’re walking through Paris and see the legs of the Eiffel Tower, those are actually the real legs! The building was actually built around the structure.
Price: Varies from time of day and ticket type ($10-$35)
11. BELLAGIO FOUNTAINS
Located in front of the Bellagio are the famous Bellagio Fountains. Going off every day to different songs, this attraction brings in a lot of people. This also makes it a great place for people watching. The shows are truly spectacular and I highly recommend getting there a bit early for a good spot and enjoying the show! And if you have an extra $250k to spend, you can choose the next song for the show.
12. BELLAGIO CONSERVATORY & BOTANICAL GARDENS
Inside of the Bellagio is the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Each season the space is completely transformed to fit a new theme. There is beautiful music, structures, and the smell of fresh flowers everywhere. The Conservatory is one of my favorite places to go to because it always gets me in the mood for the current season. Located next to the Conservatory is the world’s largest chocolate fountain located at Jean Philippe Patisserie. They have amazing desserts there and I always love grabbing a scoop of tiramisu gelato and then walking around!
13. TRY SECRET PIZZA
The Cosmopolitan is full of unique and trendy restaurants, but one that you won’t find on their website or any map is “Secret Pizza”. Located on the third floor, you’ll find a hallway lined with vinyls that will lead you to a small room with some seating and a few games. This place is open super late, and one of the only good places to get pizza by the slice. The price and quality can’t be beat.
Price: $5 per slice
14. SEE FLAMINGOS AT THE FLAMINGO
When I first heard that you could actually see flamingos at the Flamingo I didn’t believe it was true. Turns out there is so much more to see than just flamingos! There are turtles, beautiful fish, ducks, and several birds. This place is an oasis on the strip and is filled with lush green trees and waterfalls. It’s really nice to walk around and read about all the different animals living there!
15. PINBALL HALL OF FAME
The Pinball Hall of Fame is hands down one of the best places in Vegas. This place is 10,000 square feet full of old school pinball machines and arcade games and it’s awesome. The place is run by Tim Arnold who had a successful arcade in Michigan and then later moved to Las Vegas. Extra revenue collected through the games is donated to charities. You could spend a lot of time here (and a lot of quarters).
Price: Entry is FREE, games start at $0.25 and go up
16. LOCK IN YOUR LOVE AT THE CONTAINER PARK
This piece was created by artist Nova May for the 2013 Life is Beautiful Festival. You can attach a lock symbolizing anything you want. The heart has grown so much since 2013 and so has Downtown Vegas. This is a cute way to leave your mark and contribute to an awesome project. While you’re there, you can see a praying mantis sculpture from Burning Man that projects fire and also walk around the Container Park for free. There is a playground that adults can go on and plenty of cute shops and places to eat.
17. TRY 24 HOUR COFFEE
Forget about Starbucks, Dutch Bros. Coffee is the best place to get your daily fix. I’m not kidding you, the workers here are always so exceptionally nice it amazes me every single time. They have an awesome menu (I always go for a small vanilla green tea with honey) and they are open 24 hours! Also, their cups always have cute sayings on top!
18. KISS MINI GOLF
I’m going to be 100% honest, the only thing I know about KISS is that they were recently in that James Franco Christmas movie Why Him. However, after going to KISS mini golf I have a new found admiration for them. I love mini golf and this 18-hole course was seriously so much fun. They play KISS the whole time and even have their performances played on a projector. Along the wall there is a timeline on how the band became successful and each hole has a fun twist to it. The workers here were so sweet and helpful too! If you’re a fan of KISS this is a must do activity, but even if you’re not and just want to beat the heat or a late night activity, this is the place to be!
Price: $11.95 per person (they usually have good deals on Groupon)
19. THE SHOPS AT CRYSTALS
The Shops at Crystals contain every high-end brand you can think of. I don’t recommend this place because they have the cutest purses and sunglasses, I love it because of the architecture, window displays, and people shopping. There’s nothing like watching a lady buy $4,000 shoes like it’s nothing. Every single store has an awesome display and they also have several art installations. There is currently one on the first floor that features giant frozen ice pillars in water. If you happen to get a reservation, be sure to check out the Akhob art installation by James Turrell located inside the Louis Vuitton store.
20. AIRPORT RUNWAY VISTA
My favorite thing to do in Vegas is go to the Airport Runway Vista. Just a couple miles away from the Strip there is a small parking lot where you can park and watch the planes come in and take off. You can also tune your radio to 101.1 FM and you can hear the flight number of the planes. We always look up the flight number so we can see where the people are coming or going from. You can also hear the air traffic people communicate with each other and when planes take off they say, “Good night”. This place is complete with an awesome view of the Strip.
21. VISIT THE LAS VEGAS SIGN
This one goes without saying, but no trip to Vegas is complete without taking a picture in front of the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Depending on when you go, this place can be full of people all trying to get the same picture. I think the best and fastest way to get a picture is to skip the line and stand a little bit off to the side.
All of the pictures were taken by me so if you would like to use any please let me know and just add a link back to this post.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below!