With a flood of flashy Vegas pics on newsfeeds everywhere, lots of people think you have to be a high roller to get the full experience. But there’s plenty of stuff to do in Vegas that doesn’t require an Amex Black Card. Here’s how to ball on a budget with our list of 20 things you can do in Vegas for under $20 (hey big spender, you’ll probably like these too).
Neon Museum and Boneyard
$18 day tour for adults with multiple local, military, student and senior discounts
The neon boneyard: Where classic Vegas neon signs have gone to die, or do they? We get a reputation for everything being bright and shiny and new, but that doesn’t mean we just throw stuff out when we’re finished with them. More than 120 of Vegas’ iconic neon signs have been restored to their former glory and are on display for new generations to enjoy.
$19.95 for adults. For $30 you get a daytime ticket to both the Neon and Mob museums. That's just $15 each.
Learn the history you won't find in your textbooks. The Mob Museum features personal relics from mobsters like Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel while teaching visitors about life and crime on both sides of the law. There are three floors to explore, each with an in-depth exhibit about the mob and the legends and truths that shaped our outlook of organized crime.
KISS: By Monster Mini Golf
$11.95 for 18 Holes
18-holes of glow-in-the-dark goodness awaits at this rock 'n' roll-themed putt-putt golf course. Given the tongue of approval by one of the most iconic rock bands of all time, this indoor facility is a psychedelic shrine to KISS, with painted murals and relics of the bands most memorable traits. Yes folks, we’re talking about giant replicas of Gene Simmons’ tongue and platform boots that touch the ceiling.
Brooklyn Bowl Bowling Lanes
Sunday through Thursday $20, additional $4.95 for shoe rental (What do you mean you don't have your own bowling shoes?)
You won’t find the smell of stale socks and shoe spray at this bowling alley. At the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, you’ll lounge around on swanky chesterfield sofas with a cocktail waitress to cater to your adult beverage needs, while you wait your turn on the lanes. A bowling alley, concert venue and restaurant all wrapped into one, this place brings a major cool factor to the sport that probably never existed before.
Choose between an indoor or outdoor glide along the canal or lagoon in an authentic gondola ride at the Venetian. Your expert gondolier will serenade you with the most beautiful music the Italian language has to offer. They even take requests, but you probably shouldn’t ask for a Top 40 because it kind of ruins the atmosphere. Check out a video of our gondola experience.
Less than $20
Great food doesn’t have to cost you a month’s worth of wages. One of the hottest food scenes in Vegas is downtown in the Fremont East bar district. Mix a hipster bar vibe with a funky old school eatery culture and you’ve got one promising group of restaurants that combine great cuisine at a great price. Places like Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whisky, Glutton, VegeNation and Le Thai are bright stars in a place where celebrity chefs are plating the best cuisine in the world and many offer lunch specials at great price points.
Beer Tastings at The Pub at Monte Carlo
Build your own: four brews of your choice for $15 (5-ounce tasting glasses)
With more than 100 beers on tap, it can be really intimidating to choose just one. Thank the holy beer gods, you don’t have to. At The Pub at Monte Carlo, a flight of four beers (you know, that fraternity paddle-looking thingy) will set you back between $12-$15 and the best part is, your second flight will only cost you $10.
Eiffel Tower Experience
$14 for adults during the day, $19 after 7:30 p.m.
It may not be Paris, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an incredibly stunning sight to see. The glass elevator takes you up 460 feet above the Strip so you can marvel at the 360-degree views of Las Vegas. Another perk is seeing the Fountains of Bellagio from that vantage point. so take it from us and do the Eiffel Tower Experience on the half hour mark so you catch the show.
Each season, the Bellagio Conservatory transforms itself into a new floral extravaganza. Drawing inspiration from the best features of the season, thousands of plants, flowers and trees are used to infuse the space with vibrant hues and themes that attract more than 5 million visitors a year.
Mr. Lucky’s at Hard Rock Hotel
$7.77 Gambler’s Special
We’ll let you in on a little secret. The Gambler’s Special is not on the menu at Mr. Lucky’s, so you’ll need to ask your server for this bargain. For $7.77 you’ll get a steak, three small grilled shrimp, green beans and mashed potatoes. The special is available around the clock. You need a player’s card to get it, but if you don’t have one, the restaurant will hook you up with one.
Fountains of Bellagio
It’s not just the showgirls that shimmy and shake. The Bellagio fountains are renowned for their choreographed shows. The 8.5-acre lake has 1,214 jets that rocket streams of water 460 feet in the air, all to the beat of whichever song is playing. And to think, it takes you a couple of drinks before you have any rhythm.
Slotzilla Zip Line
$20 for the zip line
Glide 850 feet across Fremont Street and above drunken revelers who will cheer you on like you’re Evel Knievel. The 12-story Slotzilla is a colossal slot machine that houses a zip line and zoom line that are 77 and 114 feet off the ground. You’ll laugh, you’ll scream and you may even swear but who cares, nobody will be able to hear it but you.
Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden
Almost 1 million visitors from all over the world visit the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and gardens each year. Opened in 1981 by Forrest Mars Sr., he named the business after his mama and has used her recipe for chocolates ever since. The adjoining Botanical Cactus Garden features more than 300 types of cactus including spotted aloe, agave plants, Texas prickly pears and yuccas.
Shrimp cocktail at Golden Gate
When the Golden Gate introduced the shrimp cocktail to its casino in 1959, it started a Las Vegas tradition that continues today. The shrimp cocktail is served at Du-Par's restaurant in a tulip glass with secret cocktail sauce and fresh lemon.
Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay
$18 for adults and $12 for children
Duuun dun duuun dun. OK, we just can't help humming that. Sure there are sharks at Shark Reef Aquarium. But it houses more than 1,200 species of marine life in total including sea turtles, sawfish, giant rays, piranha, jellyfish and, yes, sharks. Guests can also see reptiles, a golden crocodile and Komodo dragons or head to the touch pool where you can pet stingrays, eels and crabs.
Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat
$19.95 for adults and $14.95 for children
The Secret Garden at the Mirage gives guests the opportunity to see some amazing wildlife on the Strip. The exhibits in the gardens showcase white tigers, lions and leopards. There is also a dolphin habitat where you can watch the cute creatures frolicking in their tank.
Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
A rite of passage for any Vegas vacation, the Welcome to Las Vegas sign is an iconic symbol of Las Vegas that has served as the backdrop for countless photos since its creation in 1959. During your visit, be sure to snap a photo at the famous spot, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
Stratosphere Tower Observation Deck
$20 for adults ($12 for hotel guests), $10 for kids 4-12, children 3 and under are free
There aren’t many places in the city where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Sin City at its finest. The Stratosphere’s Observation Deck is perched 869 feet high above the Strip and is the tallest of its kind in the country.
Big Apple Roller Coaster
The Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York sends more than a million visitors on a joyride each year. This thrilling ride features towering drops, multiple loops and amazing views of the Strip. You'll travel 67 mph through two inversions including corkscrews, twists and dives.
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
$19 for ages 13 and older; kids 12 and under are free
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art presents world-class exhibitions of art and objects drawn from internationally known museums and private collections. Exhibits have included Monet masterworks, Andy Warhol's celebrity portraits and Fabergé treasures from the Kremlin. Beginning July 3 the works of Pablo Picasso will be on display.
Our bonus 21st under $20
A ton of free stuff
So we've given you 20 things to do under 20 bucks in Vegas, but our extra 21st item is a list of free stuff you can do while you're here too. Yep, you read that right. FREE. All it takes is a little shoe leather to hoof on down to the various hotels where you can see these amazing attractions without spending a dime or a dollar.