Did you know that 24% of the people who visit Las Vegas are there for family activities — not to drink or gamble? Many people come to experience ‘Sin City’ without debauchery. Despite its reputation in popular culture, only 7% of visitors come to Vegas solely for gambling. Here are some of the best activities to enjoy in Las Vegas when you don’t gamble or drink.
Vegas is Famous for Entertainment
Las Vegas is also known as the world’s entertainment capital and has hosted prominent performers like Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Liberace since the 1960s. Magicians, singers, and comedians began flocking to Las Vegas soon after.
It’s also common for famous singers and entertainers to accept a residency in Vegas and perform several shows at the same venue.
Today’s popular shows include Cirque du Soleil’s O, Blue Man Group, and Penn & Teller. You can also catch Broadway shows like The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera at some of the city’s top theaters.
If you are going with the family, the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur Casino is a treat for young and old alike. Be prepared to be up late, as many shows start at 9-9:30 pm.
Shopping malls and museums are also good fun if you’re looking for more indoor entertainment. You might not see ancient artifacts and mummified people in Vegas museums, but there are still some exciting things to learn and observe. Two notable ones to visit are the Mob Museum and Pinball Hall of Fame.
Located downtown, the mob museum is a fascinating collection of interactive exhibits and displays that tell the story of organized crime in America. Learn about the rise and fall of the mob, including infamous gangsters like Al Capone and John Gotti.
Another unique museum is one that showcases vintage pinball machines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It’s a nonprofit organization that volunteers run, and all the machines are fully operational. You can play on the machines for a small fee and purchase pinball-related merchandise in the gift shop.
Shopping is another favorite pastime for many travelers. If you’re looking for a little retail therapy, the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is the place to go. The Forum Shops is a high-end shopping mall with over 160 stores, including designer boutiques, luxury brands, and fine dining.
In addition to shopping, the Forum Shops also offers a range of entertainment options, including live music and street performances. An animatronic show called “The Fall of Atlantis” runs every hour on the hour. The mall is also home to a replica of the Trevi Fountain, which is a popular spot for photos.
Don’t forget about the Las Vegas food scene. Pop into one of the many buffets available, like at Caesars Palace, which offers more than 500 items daily. Or take an organized food tour to explore the city’s culinary scene. From downtown Las Vegas to the strip, there are many neighborhoods to explore, each offering its unique dining experience.
Enjoy the Outdoor Adventures in Vegas
Moving to outdoor adventures, Vegas has plenty to offer. Soak up the sun at one of Vegas’s famous pools, where you will feel like you’ve entered a tropical beach with towering palm trees or a lush garden. With private cabanas, beautiful landscaping, and several pools, spending the day there will feel like the perfect retreat.
Some of the most beautiful pools to visit include the Venetian pool deck, the pool at the Wynn, Mandalay Bay Beach, and the Bellagio pool. Another peaceful escape is the Botanical Gardens inside the Bellagio Hotel. The conservatory features five different gardens, each with a unique theme. They are decorated with thousands of flowers, trees, and plants.
As you walk down the strip of famous hotels, remember to stop in front of the Bellagio and check out the fountain show. This stunning water show consists of choreographed water jets that shoot up to 460 feet in the air, illuminated by an array of colorful lights. The fountains dance to music, from classical to pop, and perform several times daily, offering visitors a spectacular sight.
The Volcano at the Mirage Hotel and Casino is another must-see attraction. The Volcano show combines music, special effects, and pyrotechnics that create a stunning visual spectacle.
Las Vegas is also an excellent destination for golfers. Many of the resorts in Las Vegas offer world-class golf courses, which also provide beautiful views of the city.
Monica Fish shares about some of the best golf courses in America: “Las Vegas golf courses are some of America’s best greens from the greatest course architects. You can pick from ones that integrate the natural Nevada landscape and beauty, allow you to experience true Jack Nicklaus golf, play championship-level golf, or gain bragging rights at the only PGA golf course open for public play.”
If you’re willing to take a day trip, heading to the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam will be well worth the time. It’s a few hours away, but the Grand Canyon is one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders of the world and is a must-see attraction if you’re in Las Vegas.
For a shorter trip, located 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Colorado River. It may not sound exciting initially, but it’s an impressive engineering marvel and an awe-inspiring site.
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is another stunning natural wonder just a few miles west of Las Vegas. The conservation area covers 195,819 acres and is home to various plant and animal species, including bighorn sheep, wild horses, and golden eagles.
Las Vegas has plenty of other things to offer besides the casino floors and bars. With all there is to experience, it’s not surprising that non-gaming revenue surpassed gambling for the first time in 1999. This list isn’t exhaustive, and there’s more than enough wholesome fun to attract families to the City that Never Sleeps.
Alicia Richards is the founder of Travels With The Crew. This family travel site is loaded with itineraries, tips for traveling with kids, and travel inspiration. Alicia helps busy moms plan vacations that the entire family will love.