The 5 Best Free (or Almost Free) Things to Do in Las Vegas When Kids Say ‘I’m Bored’
Check out these five fun things to do with your family in Las Vegas if you’re keeping things on the frugal side.
While many people see Las Vegas as an adults-only getaway, that’s far from the case. It may come as a surprise, but there are plenty of family-friendly destinations and attractions in Vegas, so pack your bags and bring the whole family along!
We all know kids get bored easily -- but they’re also easily entertained and distracted. Parents, babysitters, or nannies in charge of keeping the kids busy are often restricted by finances when traveling. But there’s no reason to limit the amount of fun on your time out and about just because of a limit on your bank account.
Here are some ideas for free -- or nearly free -- things to do in Las Vegas when your kids inevitably say, “Hey, I’m bored!”
Address: 707 Fremont St., Las Vegas, NV 89101
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. - 1 a.m.
This Arts District gem is a kid’s paradise, complete with a large playground and plenty of playmates to keep your little ones distracted. They also have a really fun, large chalkboard for kids to express their artistic sides. The coolest part about the Container Park is that it’s entirely made from shipping containers -- meaning the nearly 40 restaurants and boutiques all have their own small space. And heck, if you’re not driving, sip on a cocktail from the cocktail bar Oak & Ivy -- located inside the park -- while you keep an eye on your little ones. (You are in Vegas, after all!)
Tucked toward the back of the park is a stage that often features entertainment like live music, depending on what day and time you visit. Check the calendar ahead of your visit for information on what you might see. If you’re trying to be frugal, the boutiques are loads of fun to just browse, and there are quite a few kid-friendly stores. A bonus: Right outside the park at the Fremont Street entrance is a praying mantis sculpture that spits fire in the evenings. What kid wouldn’t love that?
Address: 3785 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m. - midnight
Located right in the heart of the Strip, the M&M’s store is always overflowing with excited visitors looking to entertain their children. This candy is a classic and known by people all over the world. No wonder this four-story shop full of chocolatey goodness is a must-see when in Las Vegas. Sure, if you want to pack your bags full of different-colored candies -- and your children might insist -- you might spend a few dollars. But there are plenty of family-friendly things to do in this store that won’t require you to touch your wallet.
Take the shop’s 3-D movie theater, for example. This gem hidden on the third floor features an M&M’s-themed movie, and is well worth the visit. The theater features a showing of “I left my M in Vegas,” which is great for all ages and runs about 10 minutes long. The movie runs throughout the entire day.
Address: 3785 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109
Hours: Open 24/7
It may seem obvious, but some people visiting Las Vegas get caught up in the action and forget to stop by the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. You may wait in line for up to 20 minutes, but this classic Vegas stop will give you memories to last a lifetime, and pictures to remind you of your exciting family trip. If your kids are at the age where they’re using social media, they’ll be thrilled to take a few selfies in front of the iconic sign and prove to their friends that they did Vegas the right way. The sign is conveniently located on Las Vegas Boulevard. While it isn’t really within walking distance of many casinos, a taxi or Uber ride shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
Address: State Highway 159, Las Vegas, NV 89161
Hours: Open daily November - February, 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. | March - October, 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. | April - September, 6 a.m. - 8 p.m.
It’s nice to get away from the hype of the Strip and do what the locals do. You may be surprised, but there’s a huge outdoor scene in Las Vegas. If you’re lucky enough to be in Las Vegas with a car, take a trip to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and hike one of their more than a dozen trails, many which are child-friendly. The first trail that comes to mind is “Lost Creek – Children’s Discovery.” It ends in a seasonal waterfall, though the water is usually flowing only between the months of December and April. There’s plenty more where that came from. You can usually tell whether a trail is suitable for kids based on the difficulty level. If it’s listed as “easy,” you’re probably good to go. Keep in mind, this activity is free only if you have a National Park Pass. If not, you’ll need to pay a $7 fee to take your car into the park.
Address: 2880 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109
Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m. - midnight
It’s nearly impossible for children to get bored when they’re visiting Circus Circus. While one of their more popular attractions is Adventuredome, which features 5 acres of indoor rides and comes at a cost, there are plenty of other things to keep your kids entertained. For example, there are free performances at what the casino calls the “world’s largest permanent circus.” Those free acts begin at 11 a.m., and performances take place every half-hour up until midnight.
Whether you’re looking to see some trapeze artists, jugglers, or balancing acts, Circus Circus will never disappoint a family in search of some good, old-fashioned fun. Keep in mind, there are only 60 seats available for these showings, and they typically start filling up about 15 minutes beforehand -- so arrive early and grab a drink while you wait!