Reason I like Bovada #5:

Simple Bonuses

Many online casinos give you a big matching bonus when you sign up and make a deposit.  For example, deposit $100, get a $100 match bonus, so you have $200 to play with.  They also give smaller bonuses for subsequent deposits.

Of course there's a catch.  You can't just deposit $100 and then cash out for $200.  You have to do a lot of betting before cashing out the bonus.  Playthrough requirements vary from casino to casino (and bonus to bonus), so check the rules.

Here's what I like about Bovada's bonuses vs. the other guys'.

  1. Most games count.  At many casinos, play on the most popular games doesn't count towards the wagering requirement.  Sometimes the only thing that counts is slots.  At Bovada, everything counts except craps and live dealer games, though with anything but slots the playthrough requirement is higher (and clearly spelled out in the terms).
  2. The terms are right up front.  You don't have to hunt for them, the summary is right there on the bonus page, with a link to the nicely-formatted complete rules.

What I don't like:  Like many casinos, Bovada can cancel your bonus if it looks like you were trying to just meet the play-through and then cash out, or if you strategize your play to maximize the bonus potential.  (See the terms for examples.)  This could hurt players who weren't trying to game the system if their play looks suspicious.  I haven't heard of any such cases but it's possible.  My advice: If you accept a bonus, play normally, as though the bonus wasn't really there.

See Bovada's current Welcome Bonus


Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

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Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Things to Do in Las Vegas

Last update:  September, 2020.

Prices listed are the starting, per-person prices for non-local adults before any real discounts. (more...) β€’ Items in italics are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19; not italics doesn't mean definitely open, though.

The Basics


🎰 Gambling

While gambling is the obvious Vegas activity, don't think you have to just because everyone else is.  First off, not everyone else is!  One in four Vegas visitors don't gamble.  If you do want to try gambling, then start with our Ways to Be a Smart Gambler.

🎭 Shows & Concerts

Most shows are closed due to COVID-19.

Seeing a show is one of the best experiences you can have in Vegas.  While prices are over $100 for the more elaborate shows, there are quite a few under $15, and there are actually a few that are free.  See our tips for getting the best price.

🍲 Dining

The biggest draw, the buffets, are closed due to COVID-19, but other options abound. β€’ Veg*n travelers should see my Vegetarian Survival page (and won't want to miss the vegan offerings at Ronald's Donuts), and those on a budget can check out the Cheap Eats article.

πŸ₯ƒ Drinking

Play any game and soon the cocktail waitress will come to take your order.  Standard tip is $1/drink.  Some casinos are stingy with the drinks, but many will serve you even if you're playing penny slots, a penny at a time, slowly.  The cheaper casinos (esp. downtown and off-strip casinos) are more likely to serve you with minimal play. β€’ Pub crawl ($40/person, 6p min.)

πŸ›οΈ Shopping

There are lots of sizeable shopping malls right on the strip, both upscale and mainstream.  And souvenir and specialty shops abound.  See my page about Las Vegas Shopping.


πŸ•Ί Night Clubs

This is my weak spot, so I refer you to the articles on other sites about Vegas Nightclubs 101 and a list of Vegas nightclubs.

🏝️ Pool

This is not your Holiday Inn pool!  The pools at strip hotels are downright elaborate.  If your hotel doesn't have a great pool, you can often visit another hotel's pool for an entrance fee.  Vegas also has a number of European-style (topfree) pools.  What's great about your hotel's pool is that don't have to spend any extra money for this activity.  The hotel made you pay the resort fee, you might as well use the resort offerings.

Things to See


πŸ“· Free Sightseeing

There are a gazillion interesting things to see and take pictures of, mostly on the Strip.  Check out my huge list of free things to see, arranged from south to north if you want to make a walking tour of it.  Or do your tour from the top level of the Deuce bus for $6-8, a great cheap way to see the Strip.  For guided tours, see below.

βš›οΈ Quirky Museums

Strip: Wax museum ($27) β€’ Erotic Heritage ($19) β€’ Shark aquarium ($29)

Downtown:  β€’ Haunted Museum ($48) β€’ Mob Museum ($30) β€’ Neon Museum ($20)

Elsewhere: Atomic Testing Museum ($22)

🚌 Vegas Tours πŸ›΄

(Note: Tour guides expect tips! 5-20%) β€’ Tour the Strip and downtown in an open-top bus ($40), or a pink jeep during the day ($69) or night ($86), or minivan en EspaΓ±ol ($119) β€’ Do a Segway tour of Downtown Vegas. ($89) β€’ Experience a Haunted Ghost Tour or the Vegas Mob tour. ($100 ea.) β€’ Tour on a 2-seater motor trike ($99)

☁️ See Vegas from above

Take in the view from the observation deck of the Strat tower.* ($20) β€’ Ride the huge ferris wheel. ($21) β€’ Ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower. ($22) β€’ Take a helicopter tour of the strip. ($89) β€’ Skydive off the Strat tower. ($124) β€’ Ride in a hot air balloon ($139)

*(The Strat's revolving restaurant is notable for serving the especially cruel foie gras and veal, "which even most enlightened carnivores avoid".)

πŸ… Animals

Flamingo Wildlife Habitat.  Flamingos, ducks, pelicans, swans, koi fish, and turtles.  (free) β€’ Tigers & Dolphins at the Mirage ($25) (Critics oppose poor conditions for the dolphins, noting 12 of them have died, and that captivity itself is cruel.  One visitor reported poor conditions for the tigers.)

🚌 Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is currently closed.
(Note: Tour guides expect tips! 5-20%)

Budget bus tour ($60) or one that includes walking on the dam itself ($109) β€’ Small group (10) in pink bus ($109) β€’ Dam, Red Rock Canyon, 7 Magic Mountains, & Boulder City ($134) β€’ Private tour ($145) β€’ On a motorized trike ($179) β€’ Bicycle tour from the Strip, 7hrs ($191)

⛰️ Grand Canyon 🚁

Note: The South Rim is the more beautiful, iconic part of the GC.  The West Rim isn't nearly as impressive, but it's much closer to Vegas.

West Rim:  Bus (12 hrs, hotel to hotel) ($114) β€’ Bus En EspaΓ±ol ($149) β€’ Airplane ($210) β€’ Private tour ($275) Helicopter (4hrs) ($299)

South Rim: Rent a car and drive (4.5 hours one-way to either the North Rim or South Rim). β€’ Bus tour (15hrs, hotel to hotel) ($78) β€’ Bus + open-air Hummer (14hrs) ($200) β€’ Small airplane ($372)

🚐 Other outside Vegas

El Dorado Canyon Gold Mine tour ($155) β€’ Private tour of Route 66 ($215), AZ+NV mining ghost towns ($240) β€’  Hollywood & Beverly Hills ($375), the entrance to Area 51 and Death Valley ($395) β€’ For hiking and nature outings, see far below

By price


πŸ†“ Free Things to Do

See my huge list of free things to see and do in Vegas.  Don't let the price fool you, lots of these are actually worth paying for, but you don't have to.  The most popular are the Bellagio Fountains and the Fremont Street Experience. (more...)

πŸ’΅ Cheap Things

Drink for only the cost of a tip ($1).  (See "Drinking".) β€’ See the Strip from the top of the Deuce bus for $6. β€’ Try the $1 massage chairs at Flamingo, Linq, and Strat. β€’ Get your picture taken with a street performer. ($1-5 tip) (more...)

πŸ’° Expensive (>$500)

β€’ Crush a car ($625)

β€’ Dive with the sharks at Mandalay Bay ($650)

β€’ Fly a 6-axis flight simulator. ($749/hr)

β€’ Blow up a car ($2000)

β€’ Buy something pricey in one of the upscale shops.

Excitement


🎑 Thrill Rides 🎒

Vegas has a number of world-class roller coasters and thrill rides, including three different terrifying ones on the top of the Strat tower, and of course there's the enormous ferris wheel at the Linq.  See our list of Vegas thrill rides.

β€” Zip Lines

The Linq zipline flies right into the huge ferris wheel. ($22)

The Voodoo Zipline at the Rio is the highest in Vegas at 500 ft. ($30)

The Slotzilla Zipline flies you right under the Fremont Street Experience, above the pedestrian mall. ($25)

In the desert outside Boulder City ($99)

🚁 Flying ✈️

Take a helicopter tour of the Strip. ($89) β€’ Skydive out of a plane ($185) β€’ Fly in a 2-seater combat/stunt plane with simulated dogfights, and operate the controls yourself. ($227) β€’ Experience indoor sky diving. ($75) β€’ Skydive off the Strat Tower.

πŸš” Other

Car police chase as either the cop or the suspect ($199)

Fun


🏁 Drive exotic cars

Track driving: Drive a race car (e.g., Corvette, Lamborghini, Porsche) at the SpeedVegas track ($69) or the Las Vegas Exotics Track Speedway ($199). β€’ Drag racing with real dragster ($399)

Rentals for road driving: 
Motor trike, 2-seater ($199) β€’ Polaris Slingshot ($75) β€’ Vanderhall Venice, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Corvette, McLaren Spider, etc. from Exotic Driving, Royalty Exotic or Diplomat. ($349)

πŸ’ͺ Macho stuff

β€’ Exotic car rental (see other box, above/left)

β€’ Shoot guns (see "Off the Strip", below)

β€’ Operate heavy machinery like excavators. ($169)

β€’ Car police chase as either the cop or the suspect ($199)

β€’ Drive a monster truck ($250)

β€’ Secret agent or SWAT training ($369)

β€’ Crush a car ($625)

β€’ Blow up a car ($2000)

🏎️ Competitive Games

Race Go-Karts ($35) β€’ Golf, Off-strip ($19), Wynn ($550)


🎀 Sing karaoke

(Coming soon)


🀩 Experiences

Take a gondola ride in the canal at the Venetian ($29) β€’ Ride in a limousine. ($69/hr) β€’ Meet the Pawn Stars cast. ($100) β€’ Take a helicopter ride. ($104) β€’ Do the Haunted Lockdown in a vacant saloon. ($149) β€’ Ride on a yacht and see Hoover Dam by helicopter ($149) β€’ Fly a 6-axis flight simulator. ($749/hr) β€’ Do circus training ($30)

πŸ§’ Things for Kids

The strip has a decent number of thrill rides & roller coasters.  β€’ Visit the Wet'n'Wild water park. β€’ Drive a Go-Kart ($30) β€’ Video arcades, Children's Park, the Children's Museum, and Kid-Friendly attractions are detailed on my Things for Kids page. β€’ Many kid-friendly attractions such as the Bellagio fountains and Fremont St. Experience are detailed on my Free Things and Cheap Thrills pages.

Exercise


πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ Running

There are no good places to run on or next to the Strip.  Best bet is is the UNLV campus:  take a taxi to the Lied Library (2 miles from the Strip), or drive and pay to park in the Tropicana parking garage (also 2 miles from the Strip).

πŸ‹οΈ Workouts

The resort fee your hotel forced you to pay might give you free access to its fitness center. β€’ Pole fitness ($15) β€’ Circus Bootcamp workout ($25) β€’ Lyra, (hoop), rope, aerial silk, or aerial straps workouts ($30) Tennis at Bally's ($35)

🧘🏿 Yoga

Antigravity yoga ($15) β€’ Hot yoga at the Neon Museum in summer months ($18) β€’ Yoga with beer ($20) β€’ Clothing-optional yoga ($20)  β€’ Yoga on the big ferris wheel ($75) β€’ Yoga among the dolphins at the Mirage. (price not listed) (Note: Critics oppose poor conditions for the dolphins, noting 12 of them have died, and that captivity itself is cruel.) ($75)

Off the Strip


πŸ’§ Water adventure, wet

Aqua Park ($22), Kayak ($32),  Paddleboard ($35), Cable Park ($71), or Flyboard ($79) at Lake Las Vegas β€’ Wet'n'Wild water park ($35) β€’ Scuba diving: already certified ($80), dive at Hoover Dam ($149), or get certified ($285)

β›΅ Water adventure, dry

Dinner cruise on Lake Mead ($79) β€’ Motorized raft to Hoover Dam ($69) or on Colorado River through Black Canyon ($72: 2hr, $114: 6hr) β€’ Kayak Emerald Cave ($119) β€’ Kayak, paddleboard, or hydrobike tour of Emerald Cave, or Colorado River, or Lake Mead ($133), or Hoover Dam ($199) β€’ Electric Boat rental ($199)

⛏️ Gold Mine Tour

Tour an abandoned mining town (Nelson) and its famous gold mine (Eldorado) ($119) β€’ Private tour of Eldorado ($149)

🏎️ Offroad Driving

Driving: Racing ($149) β€’ Nellis ATV ($114) β€’ Mojave desert on an ATV ($148/2 people) β€’ Hidden Valley on ATV ($169) or a dirt bike  ($309) β€’ ATV through El Dorado Canyon & Techatticup Gold Mine ($169) β€’ Tour of Hidden Valley and Primm Valley in an RZR ($163) β€’ Dune buggy chase ($194) β€’ Rent a Jeep for wherever you want to go ($199)

Riding: ATV in the Valley of Fire ($99)

πŸ”« Shoot Guns

Shoot guns in the desert ($140), with an optional machine gun add-on ($100). β€’ Note that a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed a shooting instructor with an Uzi submachine gun at one of the Vegas ranges in 2014. β€’ Read US Blasting News' comparison of the top 10 shooting experiences near Vegas.

🏜️ Nature

See next section, below.

Nature


⬆️ In other blocks

See blocks above for Grand Canyon, Water Adventures, and Offroad Driving/Riding

πŸšΆπŸΏβ€β™€οΈ Hiking

Various hiking trails (free) β€’ Valley of Fire hiking tour by SW Adventures ($95)  LoveHikes ($119) β€’ Guided hike of Antelope Canyon ($229) β€’ Private hiking tour of Death Valley ($265)

🐴 Animals

Horseback riding, morning ($120) or sunset ($90) β€’ Camel encounter (riding no longer available) ($189/2 people)

🏜️ Red Rock Canyon

About the canyon β€’ Hike ($15) β€’ Guided tour ($75) β€’ Tour of RRC + Ghost Town ($81) β€’ Electric bicycle tour, 20 miles, 2.5hrs ($79) β€’ Scooter tour ($99) β€’ Tour of RRC + 7 Magic Mountains ($103) β€’ Horseback riding ($132) β€’ Guided tour of RRC, 7 Magic Mountains, Boulder City, & Hoover Dam ($134) β€’ Pink Jeep tour ($138) β€’ Road bike or mountain bike tour, 4hrs. ($140) β€’ Motor trike self-guided tour ($165) β€’ Climb a mountain ($295)

πŸ•ΆοΈ Other Outdoors

Seven Magic Mountains, desert art installation (free) β€’ See Mt. Charleston ($97) β€’ Valley of Fire guided hike ($100), private tour ($245) β€’ Valley of Fire + Lost City Museum tour ($120) β€’ Antelope Canyon + Horseshoe Bend tour ($169) β€’ Skiing or Snowboarding ($167) β€’ Zion Natl. Park + Bryce Canyon tour ($190) β€’ Tour Horseshoe Bend & Peekaboo Slot Canyon β€’ Death Valley tour ($239), stargazing + winery tour ($319) β€’ Private tour of Kanarra Falls Slot Canyon ($245), or Antelope Canyon ($365)

Adults only


🌿 Cannabis/Marijuana

Planet 13 (large)

Reef Dispensaries (well-reviewed)

MedMen (downtown)

πŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ Pole Dancing classes

Classes in pole dancing, lap dancing, striptease at Crash Academy ($20) and Pole Fitness ($30) β€’ Stripper 101 class ($44)

πŸ‘„ Prostitution

Not recommended!
(1) It's illegal in Vegas.
(2) "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", is a lie.  Mugshots are forever.
(3) So are herpes and AIDS.  (4) Scams and theft against customers are rampant.
(5) Your prostitute could have been trafficked, forced into service through threat of violence, or could be a child.  Local police identified 103 child prostitutes, most 15-17 years old, in one recent year.
The closest legal brothels to Vegas are in Pahrump, though in even legal brothels there are reports of indentured servitude and human trafficking.

What did I miss?

Let me know!

Note, if you're the business owner and want me to list a lower price, that price has to be advertised on your website as the regular price, not as a (probably fake) "sale" price.

How I picked which companies to link to above

In general, I picked the cheapest offerings from companies that have good reviews on Yelp.  When pricing was similar, I picked the company that had the easiest website (e.g., upfront pricing, doesn't require a gazillion clicks to find the info.)  I'm not currently making any advertising commissions on these links.

If you want me to link to your company instead (or in addition), your offering must be either cheaper and/or better-rated, you must have a decent website (with pricing that's easy to find), and I'll charge an advertising fee of $100 for six months or $150 for a year.  Links will be tagged "rel=sponsored".  Buy advertising.

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Coming next to this page

  • Karaoke
  • Witness a wedding
  • Things to Not Do
  • More museums
  • Video game arcades, Pinball Museum
  • Miniature golf

Practice gambling with play money

Before you throw down your hard-earned cash in a casino, PRACTICE FIRST!  Learn the games with play money where it doesn't cost you anything if you lose.  Seriously.

I like Bovada's practice games the best, because you can play right away without registering for an account.  Most every other online casino makes you give up your email address just to play the fake-money games — ugh.  That's why Bovada is the only online casino that gets space on my site.  I hope other casinos will eventually start treating their visitors like human beings rather than walking wallets, but until they do, there's Bovada.  One click and you're in.

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