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7 free things to do with kids in Las Vegas

With so many free, kid-friendly attractions in Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World is really a destination for all ages — and not just for high rollers. | By Jeremiah Crossing | August 27, 2021

Las Vegas presents a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories with your kids. Where else can you see the wonders of Egypt, New York, Paris and Venice all in one visit?

There are plentiful ways to take a family trip to Vegas on a range of budgets, from shows to dining around the city, but free is even better! We can help you plan a family-friendly trip to Vegas, and these seven free ideas can get you started, including:

  • Hanging out under the big top: Kids and adults alike will love experiencing the world’s largest permanent circus.

  • Marveling at water wonders: From mermaids to stingrays to musical fountains, your family will get a splash out of these aqua-focused activities.

  • Lighting up the night: From massive light shows to fire-breathing dragons, these free Vegas attractions will wow you.

Water works

The best time to go to Vegas with kids is when the pool is open. Be sure to book a hotel that has a pool to keep your little ones cool and entertained. The family pool at Resorts World Las Vegas won't disappoint. Splash in a shallow pool with fun water features, relax in a cabana and grub on your favorite snacks poolside at the cafe.

Don't miss a visit to the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden. The glass-ceilinged atrium is filled with gorgeous displays and artistry. More than 100 horticulturists have transformed the 14,000-square-foot space into a floral fantasy.

The displays are changed every season, and there’s a special Chinese New Year display. Kids will love some of the whimsical features that are always incorporated. We love that about 90% of the plants and flowers are recycled after use. Try visiting early in the morning for fewer crowds.

Swirl and twirl

While you're at the Bellagio, stop by the dancing fountains on the lake in front of the hotel.

The water shows at the Bellagio are choreographed to various musical pieces and lights. Each show is unique, and it's one of the best free, kid-friendly things to do in all of Las Vegas. Showtimes are usually every half-hour during the day and every 15 minutes at night.

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The Mermaid Aquarium at Silverton Casino is a quirky attraction families enjoy. “Mermaids” swim inside a massive tank during designated times Thursday through Sunday. They wave to guests, blow kisses, pose, do flips and swim around for 15 minutes at a time. The mermaids stay in the water for an extended period thanks to the aid of specialized breathing ports.

The aquarium also has thousands of colorful, tropical fish you can see, and you can watch divers feed stingrays daily. Marine biologists are on-hand to answer questions during the feeding, too.

Can you take the heat?

The Forum Shops at Caesars can be a shopping wonderland, but this shopping destination also has the “Fall of Atlantis” animatronic show families love. It’s hard to top a show with nine-foot-tall talking statues, a 20-foot winged dragon, fireballs, special effects and a blaring sound system. Shows are at every hour, starting at 11:00am. Bonus attraction: There's also a 50,000-gallon aquarium nearby, where you can see more than 300 saltwater fish.

Although the erupting Mirage Volcano has been one of the top things to do in Las Vegas for years, its appeal never diminishes. Located outside the Mirage by the Las Vegas Strip entrance, the volcano puts on quite a show that will entertain the whole family. You’ve got explosions, flowing lava, fireballs and even a unique soundtrack. Currently, the volcano fires on the hour from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Best in show

Who doesn’t love a circus? Watch the world’s largest permanent circus inside the big top at Circus Circus. Shows start at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 11:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

Step right up

Prepare to be amazed by everything from high flying trapeze acts to whimsical fun with twin juggling masters.

Fremont Street is a pedestrian promenade in downtown Las Vegas that has an overhead Viva Vision video screen ceiling that comes alive at night with various light shows set to high-energy music. Experience the world’s largest projection screen — about the size of five football fields — with 16.4 million pixels. The show is about six minutes long and starts nightly on the hour from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Families should aim to see the earlier shows to avoid the more lively and adult crowds at the later shows.

Bright lights, big city

In this area you will also find free live entertainment on the concert stages and shopping opportunities at unique kiosks.

Speaking of screens, watch your little one's eyes light up at the 100,000-square-foot LED screen on the exterior of the West Tower at Resorts World Las Vegas. The screen is dedicated to providing immersive content and entertainment.

Sweet endings

One of the tastiest things to do in Las Vegas is just a few miles outside the city limits in Henderson, Nevada. At the Ethel M Chocolate Factory, you can watch how delicious, preservative-free chocolates are made and packaged. Head to the self-guided viewing aisle to watch the chefs make pecan brittle and small-batch bites, including caramels and cremes. Don’t miss the free samples at the end!

After your tour, take a stroll through the three-acre botanical cactus garden. You’ll see cacti, succulents and desert plants. And if you're traveling during the holidays, the factory's light display is wonderful.

Make your Las Vegas memory

Las Vegas isn't just for adults anymore. With so many free, kid-friendly things to do in the city, the hardest part of planning your trip will be deciding what to do first. That said, wherever you start, fun will surely follow.

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Jeremiah Crossing is always searching for his next travel adventure.

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