The Ultimate List of the Best Free Las Vegas Shows
What’s the most popular question people ask before they visit Las Vegas? “Where did I put my Elvis sideburns and edible underwear?!”
The second most popular question? “What are the best free shows in Las Vegas?” So thoughtful of you to ask. This blog loves it some free stuff! Here, then, are our 10 favorite free shows in Sin City. Sorry, “ultimate favorites.” Because “ultimate” makes a list sound even more awesome than it already is.
1. Big Elvis at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall
When it comes to free, Big Elvis at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, next to the Flamingo Vegas, is at the top of our list. His show packs them in, and consummate tribute artist Pete Vallee knows how to work a room. His larger-than-life frame is matched only by his big heart and even bigger voice.
2. The Fountains at Bellagio
There’s a remote chance you’ve never heard of these famed fountains, but once you see them, you’ll never see water in quite the same way. Remember the last scene in “Ocean’s 11″? Those are them. Choreographed water shoots hundreds of feet into the air, set against music to stir the senses. The best view of the fountains? A window seat at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris across the street.
3. Fremont Street Experience
The dazzling, free light show at the Fremont Street Experience, in downtown Las Vegas, is a jaw-dropper. Twenty-five million LED lights brighten the Fremont Street canopy and the hearts of thousands of Vegas visitors. Bonus free stuff: There’s almost always a free show on one of the stages at Fremont Street. Even that mildly-annoying street performer with the saxophone has his moments, especially in small doses. (You’ll see what we mean.)
4. Show in the Sky at Rio
This one’s a crowd-pleaser. There’s music. There’s dancing. There are giant boats floating through the air with gyrating, scantily-clad dancers on them tossing free Mardi Gras beads to the guests below. It’s the famed Show in the Sky at Rio Vegas. What’s not to love? Bonus free thing to do: Bevertainers. Yep, your Rio Vegas cocktail servers also get up on stage and perform from time to time. Your drink might arrive a little more slowly, but trust us, it’s worth the wait.
5. Dealertainers at Imperial Palace
Speaking of “tainers.” The blackjack dealers at Imperial Palace also break into song (and dance) every so often. We hear that people come from around the world to play blackjack with these fun-loving folks. Who’s your favorite? See all the dealertainers we’ve featured to-date.
6. Sirens of TI
This ain’t your grandpa’s Treasure Island, folks. The pirate battle outside TI has evolved into a spectacle that’s all kinds of sassy (and skimpy, costumewise). The free show draws a big crowd and continues to stop traffic with its Hollywood-style pyrotechnics. The dialogue might not win a Tony anytime soon (“My name’s Cinnimon, but every seaman that’s ever sailed into my cove just calls me Sin”), but it’s still an essential part of a Vegas visit, especially the first.
7. Circus Acts at Circus Circus
Yes, the circus acts at Circus Circus are still going strong. Most of the acts perform for about 10 minutes, so it’s best to keep your expectations in check. Still, they’re free, and the acts are fun for all ages. Acts include aerialists, jugglers, trapeze artists, clowns, contortionists and magicians.
8. Flair Bartenders
The Carnaval Court bar area outside Harrah’s is a little hard to describe. It’s part frat party and part, well, more frat party. It’s boisterous, and the bartenders are world-class conviviality-facilitators. (Translation: They know how to turn up the fun to 11.) There’s almost always free, live entertainment to be had onstage, but the bartenders are the main attraction: Vegas is the flair bartending capital of the world, after all. You can also catch some hardcore flair wizardry at Rio Vegas and other hotspots in Sin City.
9. Volcano Eruption at Mirage
Strolling by, it appears to be just an innocuous heap of rocks. But once the volcano at the Mirage gets going, it’s not hard to see why this free attraction is still a big draw on the Strip. Multi-colored water flumes and synchronized puffs of fire (think the Bellagio fountains, but with flames) make for a sensory treat. The free part makes it even better, of course.
10. People-Watching, Anywhere on the Strip
Seriously. There’s always something to do in Vegas: People-watch! Just pick a good vantage point, like on the balcony at Margaritaville at Flamingo, or in Mon Ami Gabi at Paris, or on the patio at PBR Rockbar. Just about anywhere will do. People-watching in Vegas never gets old. The sexy, the silly, the seedy, the startling. It’s all here, and it’s absolutely free, 24-7, every day of the year.