Your conundrum won’t be trying to find fun things to do in Las Vegas—it’ll be narrowing down your options.
Fun Things to Do in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is basically Disneyland for adults, so it’s helpful to come prepared with your list of must-dos. Here are our recommendations
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Hit the Nightclubs
Las Vegas is much more alive by night than by day, so focus on nightlife when you’re planning things to do in Las Vegas. The nightclubs here, each in their respective resort, are among the world’s best. Deejays come from all over the world to spin for Vegas’s party-loving crowds.
Dress in your sexy best and prepare to dance and drink the night away in some truly impressive spaces. Your options include exclusive Hyde Bellagio, with its view of the famous fountains; opulent Jewel at Aria; celebrity-magnet 1 of a Kind (1OAK) at the Mirage; massive Marquee at the Cosmopolitan, and many more.
See a Show
When it comes to the performing arts, Las Vegas is an embarrassment of riches. There are dozens of extremely high-caliber productions here, drawing some of the world’s best talent. Cirque du Soleil runs seven permanent shows (Mystère, O, Michael Jackson One, Zumanity, Ka, The Beatles Love, and Mindfreak Live) on the Las Vegas Strip, each showcasing Olympic-level acrobats, gorgeous costuming, and exhilarating music.
Blue Man Group, for its part, is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas—it’ll leave you with your jaw dropped, and goosebumps all over. There’s also the wonderfully whimsical Absinthe variety show at Caesars Palace, magical Le Reve at Wynn, Channing Tatum’s sexy Magic Mike Live at the Hard Rock Hotel, and Inferno, a new fire spectacular at Paris Las Vegas. Plus the many famous magic shows; remember, Las Vegas is home turf for David Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy, Penn and Teller, Criss Angel, and Mat Franco.
Try Your Luck at the Casinos
In Vegas, almost every hotel has a casino, and almost every adult who travels here plays at least a hand. Gambling is one of the most popular things to do in Las Vegas, thanks in part to this city’s loose slots, endless poker and blackjack tables, spinning roulette wheels, 24-hour availability, free drinks as long as you’re playing, and surroundings designed to keep you alert and engaged late into the night.
The most famous casino here is probably Bellagio’s, thanks to Oceans 11. But really, you’ll have a similar experience almost anywhere you play—tension on the seat as a fast-playing dealer either whisks away chips or pushes more toward you. Be warned, though: that “house always wins” refrain isn’t always true—but usually it is. So play what you’re willing to play, then walk away.
Go for a Hike
With so many manufactured indoor environments in Las Vegas, many travelers forget that just outside is one of the world’s most spectacular outdoor environments—the Mojave Desert, offering its rare and wonderful Southwestern scenery. Red Rock Canyon, a national conservation area, is the best place to take a hike locally, and we’d go so far as to say that a visit there is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas.
Its more than two dozen trails range from super easy to super extreme. Whichever one you choose, you’ll take in fresh arid air, wide expanses of earthen tones meeting sky, smatterings of Joshua trees, and a twinkling nighttime spectacle just away from the city lights.
Seeing world-class art by famous masters might not come to mind first when you’re brainstorming things to do in Las Vegas. But if you know where to look, you can have fine-art experiences here almost on par with the great cities of Europe. Start at Bellagio, whose entrance showcases a glass masterpiece by Dale Chihuly. The hotel’s small Gallery of Fine Art has rotating exhibits that have featured works by Monet, Warhol, Van Gogh, and Degas. In Picasso, the Bellagio’s fine-dining venue, peruse the many hanging originals painted by the restaurant’s namesake artist.
The city’s other worthwhile art attractions include Centaur Art Gallery, where you can buy Rembrandts, Renoirs, and Chagalls; the Art of Richard MacDonald, where masterful sculptures evoke the energy and emotion of Cirque du Soleil; the modern-focused Metropolitan Gallery Las Vegas; and the vibrant Arts Factory.
Animal lovers will find plenty of fun things to do in Las Vegas. There’s the massive Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, flamingos at the Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat, and dolphins, lions, and tropical birds at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.
Perhaps the most authentic animal experience in Las Vegas, however, is off the Strip at Springs Preserve, where the resident animals—gila monsters, gray foxes, cottontail rabbits—are native to the surrounding Mojave Desert, and there’s a beautiful seasonal butterfly habitat.
Hanging out by a pool is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas. That’s not because other options are boring—they’re not. It’s because Las Vegas pools are way more exciting than anywhere else in the world. Sure, you can find relaxing pools around town, but most are eager party scenes big on music, cocktails, food, cabanas, and people-watching. Wear your most stylish swim gear and don’t forget the SPF—the Mojave sun is nothing to mess with.
Get a Spa Treatment
Let’s face it, Las Vegas isn’t exactly the most relaxing of destinations. It’s full of nonstop stimulation, noise, and lights. When you find that you need a break from the flashy scenery and pulsing music, retreat into one of the city’s dozens of resort spas—almost every hotel has one.
Las Vegas has perfected the art of creating spaces where people can go to recharge and be pampered. Book a massage, a facial, or an indulgent mani-pedi. Many Vegas spas use organic or locally sourced ingredients, and some will also do body art for when you’re ready to jump back into the poolside or nightlife scene.
Tee off at Topgolf Las Vegas, an eight-acre golf-themed playground just behind the MGM Grand—it’s got 107 climate-controlled hitting bays featuring interactive golf games for all ages, lounge-style seating, and high-definition TVs. Topgolf’s balls are microchipped, which means you can track your hits’ distance and accuracy. The four-level venue also offers VIP suites, two pools with cabanas, five bars, a concert venue, a Callaway Fitting Studio, and a retail shop. For a more traditional golfing experience, head to Bali Hai Golf Club on the Strip just south of Mandalay Bay.
Vegas visitors looking to catch some air can head to Vegas Indoor Skydiving, where you gear up in a jumpsuit and step into a cylindrical chamber where 120-mile-per-hour winds push you upward, letting you experience the free-falling sensation of jumping out of a plane. For those who’d rather experience actual skydiving over the Strip, Las Vegas Outdoor Adventures will teach you how to jump out of a helicopter. If you’d prefer to propel your own body into the air, head to Xplozone Trampoline Park instead.
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More from SmarterTravel:
- Las Vegas Travel Guide
- 10 Best Hotels in Las Vegas
- 10 Best Cheap Hotels in Las Vegas
- 10 Best Las Vegas Hotel Pools
- 10 Must-See Las Vegas Attractions
- 10 Things You Can Only Do in Las Vegas
- The Best Cheap Eats in Las Vegas
- The 9 Best Las Vegas Restaurants
- 10 Best Celebrity Chef Restaurants in Las Vegas
- What to Wear in Las Vegas
- 10 Things That Need to Be on Your Las Vegas Packing List
- Is Las Vegas Safe? What Travelers Need to Know
–Original reporting by Avital Andrews. Follow her on Twitter @avitalb.
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