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Things to Do for Free in Las Vegas

The name Las Vegas conjures images of high rollers placing thousands of dollars on a single hand of poker and living in the lap of luxury. Unfortunately, most of us don't have a cool million to spend when we take a vacation. If you're looking to balance your time at shows and casinos with fun adventures, check out these five free things to do in and around Las Vegas. 

Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

Prepare for pink, because it's time to head to Flamingo Island. Home to a flock of bright-pink Chilean flamingos, parrots, hummingbirds, and quail – totaling 300 birds – Flamingo Las Vegas is a bird lover's oasis in the desert. While the habitat is open 24 hours a day, feeding times are at 8:30 A.M. and 3 P.M. If you're there in the evening, stop by the Margaritaville lounge and restaurant for live music, which usually starts around 10 P.M.  

Hoover Dam Tour

There are plenty of tours that you can pay for that'll take you to the Hoover Dam, but it's possible to go on your own for free. By free, we mean you don't even have to pay for parking

The dam is about 30 minutes from Las Vegas, and visitors can take a self-guided tour across it in their own time. At its peak, enough water flows through to fill 15 swimming pools each second. For free parking, drive across to the Arizona side; just make sure to arrive while there's plenty of sunlight left, since visitors aren't allowed on the top of the dam once it's dark. 

Fremont Street Experience

Las Vegas is known for millions of lights, feather-clad showgirls, and celebrity appearances. You can take all of this in without spending a dime when you stroll down Fremont Street. The temptation will be there – with more than 60 restaurants and 10 casinos dotted along the path – but it's possible to walk around and enjoy the Vegas culture with your wallet firmly in your pocket.

Ethel M Cholocate Factory Tour

This tour is only for the rich – chocolate, that is. Take a self-guided tour through the impressive facility and learn about the process while watching television monitors placed along the way. Of course, it wouldn't be a chocolate factory tour without free samples, which guests can enjoy in the chocolate lounge.

Next to the factory, visitors can tour the Ethel M Botanical Gardens. It's the best place to see desert flora this close to the city, and visitors will marvel at the 350 different species. The botanical gardens and tour is a sweet way to get away from the world of casinos and they'll be a surefire hit for the kids. 

No one will believe you when you tell them how you didn't spend a lot of money in Las Vegas and visited the wetlands. The land known for its desert conditions actually has 10 different trails along streams and ponds. Before you go, check to see which ones have what you want, from kid-friendly to picnic areas. Pack a light lunch and enjoy walking around to see the 300 species that call the wetlands home.

It's entirely possible to take an affordable vacation to Las Vegas. These are just a few suggestions to get you going, and there are other attractions, aquariums, tours, and places to see for free if you look in the right places. The more time you spend wandering around the Las Vegas strip, the more you'll find free and cheap experiences that amaze you.