Las Vegas is fun, exciting, and one of the most popular tourist spots in the USA—but it’s also a town that can empty your wallet faster than a skilled dealer shuffles a new deck of cards. The lights may be dazzling, the rattle of chips hypnotic, but all that sensory overload comes at a price. Fortunately, though, Las Vegas does have a soft spot for its guests. Many of the hotels and malls offer totally free shows and attractions, which can really come in handy when the slot machines have just eaten your last quarter.
The Sirens of TI – (Treasure Island Hotel) A song, dance, and action show featuring a battle of the sexes between one ship filled with male pirates and another filled with females. Cannons fire and explosions light up the night while the combination of the stunts and the glamorous female pirates leave the audience breathless. Shows run every 90 minutes between 7pm and 10pm, with extra show times depending on the season.
The Volcano – (The Mirage Hotel) It might be brief, but this attraction is definitely worth seeing. Located in a tranquil lagoon in front of the hotel, this impressive mountain of rock just sits peacefully during the day. When the sun goes down, however, the volcano rumbles, steams, and spews fire 100 feet into the air. Smoke billows out and fireballs zoom through the sky as rivers of flaming lava creep into the lagoon, all accompanied by a pounding soundtrack. The entire show lasts less than five minutes but makes for an entertaining stop as you’re walking down the strip. Shows are every fifteen minutes from 7pm to 11pm.
Wildlife Habitat – (Flamingo Hotel) If the afternoon heat gets unbearable, this is the perfect place to rest for a while in the shade. Part of the hotel’s 15-acre Caribbean-themed pool area, this lush section of islands, waterfalls, and tropical foliage is home to several species of colorful birds. The guests of honor are Chilean flamingos, but there are also African penguins, Mandarin ducks, and a few koi and turtles thrown in for good measure. Always open.
Circus Acts – (Circus Circus Hotel) Your kids might be enticed by the endless rows of video games, but the live entertainment here is far better and free to boot. The action takes place in the Midway section of Circus Circus, on a large central stage. Jugglers, high-wire walkers, and trapeze artists are just a few of the featured performers, and with a new act starting every half-hour the entertainment is virtually non-stop. Shows begin at 11am each day.
Fall of Atlantis – (The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace) This exciting 10-minute show features animatronic gods, goddesses, and even a huge winged dragon. Two rivals fight for control of Atlantis as thunder rumbles, fire erupts, and water blasts into the air. The show is fast-paced and action-filled, and the special effects are good enough to rival the ones you’ll find at the Disney theme parks. Shows are every hour on the hour from 10am to 11pm, with a midnight show on Friday and Saturday.
The Fountains of Bellagio – (Bellagio) This attraction is like watching a live-action version of Fantasia. The show takes place in the enormous lake directly in front of the Bellagio hotel, with so many good viewing spots that every person gets a front-row seat. Thousands of fountains and colored lights are precisely choreographed to different pieces of music—from jazz to classical—which alternate with every show. The jets of water sway, swirl, and sometimes shoot up to 240 feet in the air. Catch this show after dark when the colored lights can be enjoyed to their full effect. Shows run every 30 minutes from 3pm to 7pm, then every 15 minutes until midnight. On Saturday and Sunday, the shows start at noon.
The Fremont Street Experience – (downtown) Imagine a combination of music videos and computer graphics, display it on a huge TV suspended in the sky, and you’ve got The Fremont Street Experience. The action takes place on a 1400-foot-long “space frame” covering a four-block section of downtown Las Vegas, ninety feet up in the air. The frame acts like an enormous computer screen equipped with over two million lights and an amazing sound system. Once an hour the screen comes to life and plays computer-controlled music videos of songs by Elvis, the Beatles, Motown performers, and other popular favorites. Shows are every hour on the hour, starting at dusk.
Masquerade Show in the Sky – (Rio Hotel & Casino) This vibrant, colorful, live-action show features Mardi Gras floats suspended in the air and a fun (and sometimes risqué) carnival atmosphere. There’s plenty of music, dancing, and glamorous costumes from some of the world’s top designers. Guests can even pay to be part of the experience; for just $12.95, you can ride with the dancers on one of the floats. Shows run every hour from 6pm to11pm, Thursday through Saturday.
|Fremont Street Experience|