Las Vegas isn’t known as the Gambling Capital of the World for no reason — downtown Vegas is home to more than 60 casinos, both on the Strip and off. If gambling isn’t your thing, however, don’t dismiss Sin City offhand. Las Vegas is also known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, for good reason. There are tons of amazing non-gambling things to do in Vegas, including many family-friendly ones. Here are the top five non-gambling things to do next time you pay a visit to Viva Las Vegas.
1. Indulge In A Bottomless Buffet
Everything is larger than life in Vegas, and the motto “go big or go home” is completely applicable to the Las Vegas staple buffet experience. Sin City is known for its overindulgent smorgasbords, and most of the major hotels and casinos have at least one large buffet-style restaurant onsite.
- The Buffet at Luxor — choose your favorites from the homemade pizza station, carving station, or omelet station, and sample many other international delicacies. All-you-can-drink Mimosas or Bloody Marys are available for an upcharge. Don’t forget to check out the famous 30-foot salad bar!
- Wicked Spoon at Cosmopolitan — featuring a non-traditional menu in a traditional Vegas-style buffet, selections include a loaded mashed potato station, dim sum station, and a smoked salmon station, not to mention house-made gelato and sorbet for dessert.
- Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace — Vegas’s largest buffet is 25,000 square feet of food from every corner of the planet. From Laotian and Vietnamese dishes to American classics like prime rib and mac and cheese, gluttony is unavoidable at Caesars.
Find more unique dining experiences in Vegas by checking out 5 Las Vegas Restaurants With A View.
2. Scream Your Head Off On A Crazy Thrill Ride
Las Vegas is known for its abundance of over-the-top thrill rides, and you’ll find them from one end of the Strip to the other. If you love screaming your head off, white-knuckling the handle bar, and possibly needing a new pair of pants, Vegas is your jam.
- El Loco at Circus Circus — an open-carriage ride that heads up 90 feet before dropping you backwards at top speeds through 45- and 180-degree turns and barrel rolls. Not crazy at all…
- X Scream at The STRAT (FKA The Stratosphere) — get thrust off the side of the tallest building west of the Mississippi. It’s a massive 30 mile-per-hour teeter totter. The screams are unstoppable.
- The Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York — experience high-speed dives, twists, loops, and corkscrews, in the comfort of a New York City taxicab. Flying by Lady Liberty on a 144-foot drop at 67 miles per hour — priceless.
3. Buy Tickets To An Out-Of-This-World Show
A Vegas vacation isn’t a Vegas vacation without seeing at least one show. Choose from headliners, magic shows, variety shows, burlesques, and many others that are so wild they don’t fit into a category. Expect to be wowed by what you see on stage.
- John Legend at Planet Hollywood — John Legend’s legendary career has earned him the rare honor of being an E.G.O.T. — Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award winner. Now he’s a Vegas headliner, and one you don’t want to miss.
- “O” by Cirque du Soleil at The Bellagio — Cirque du Soleil’s most popular Vegas show centers around a majestic pool of water. Featuring world-class acrobats, divers, synchronized swimmers, and whimsical characters, “O” is best described as magical.
- Criss Angel MINDFREAK at Planet Hollywood — Criss Angel will blow your mind with his absolutely spectacular illusions and feats of daring. Hailed by some as the G.O.A.T magician, his use of technology and pyrotechnics makes his show visually stunning.
4. Go Wild With An Exotic Wildlife Encounter
You don’t need a zoo to see exotic and beautiful wild animals in Las Vegas. There are many wildlife encounters available, both on the Strip and off. See apex predators like big cats and sharks, friendly marine wildlife like dolphins and otters, and everything in between.
- Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage — see white tigers, lions, and leopards in a lush outdoor space, and dolphins in an underwater dolphin habitat. Interactive options are available to meet and greet the animals.
- Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay — with more than 2,000 animals, including sharks, giant rays, crocodiles, sea turtles, and even a komodo dragon, you won’t be bored. Dive with a higher concentration of exotic sharks than you’d ever find in the wild.
- Flamingo Wildlife Habitat at The Flamingo Hotel and Casino — featuring a four-acre garden with waterfalls, you’ll see plenty of the pink birds that this hotel is named for, as well as turtles and fish. Feel free to enjoy an adult beverage while you explore.
5. Save Some Dough On A Free Show
Not everything in Las Vegas costs money, and as a matter of fact, most of the major hotels and casinos on the Strip have free shows or attractions well-worth checking out. Think jets of water, flashing lights, fiery pyrotechnics, and flashy costumes, and you’re definitely in Vegas, baby.
- The Fountains of Bellagio at The Bellagio — you’ll be mesmerized as you watch more than 1,000 fountains of dancing water shoot 460 feet in the air, enhanced by music and sparkling lights. This free show runs in 15-minute intervals every single evening.
- The Volcano at The Mirage — a peaceful waterfall in front of the Mirage turns into a fiery volcanic eruption every night, accompanied by music with an upbeat tempo. This free show runs at the top of the hour from 8-11 p.m. each evening.
- The Fall of Atlantis at Caesars Palace — this show tells the story of a feud between a brother and a sister, who are fighting over who gets control of Atlantis. Featuring animatronic statues, lights, fire, and water, Atlantis falls every hour throughout the day.