Gambling, drinking, and partying have always been the major drawcards for Sin City, but I’ve been able to discover some things to do in Vegas that are not casino related. The following activities are fun, cheap, and will fill those chunks of time during the day when Vegas isn’t looking so glitzy and glamorous like its evening persona. Here are 5 fun daytime activities in Las Vegas!
1. Neon Museum
I was fascinated by the retro signage found in the Neon Museum. This downtown gem has a collection of large-scale retired signage from past casinos and local businesses, many of which display the flashy neon lights that Vegas is so well known for. Not all of the signs are in good condition, but some have been repaired to look like they did back in their heyday. The Neon Museum is a not-for-profit, so much of the money raised from ticket sales goes into repairing the signs to display in their open-air lot.
To visit the Neon Museum, you must book a 1-hour tour. There are daytime tours which are around $19 per adult, and evening tours which are slightly more expensive at around $26 per adult.
2. Botanical Cactus Garden
Succulents and cacti are my favourite type of plants, so when I heard about the Botanical Cactus Garden in Vegas, I knew I had to check it out. The garden had winding paths which took us through beds filled with succulent plants from all over the world. It was such a peaceful way to spend an afternoon in an otherwise hectic city.
The other great thing about this place is that the garden is right next to Ethel M Chocolates. This shop has a chocolate factory tour, chocolate tastings, a gift store, and a cafe.Where to stay: Staybridge Suites Las Vegas
3. Pinball hall of fame
Now I’ve visited a few amazing arcades in my time, but the Pinball Hall of Fame stands out as the biggest and one of the best. The machines are mostly from the golden era of arcade – the 1970s and 80s. The owner is a collector, and has added hand-written signage to some of the machines to let you know about their history. Most of the collection is pinball machines, but there are also other arcade machines and games. I had a great time challenging my friends in air hockey – a table sport that my brother and I played to waste many hours of our childhood.
This attraction is not particularly touristy – I found that most of the patrons were local teens or college students from the nearby UNLV. If you’re looking for a quiet attraction away from the crowds, this is a great place to escape to.
4. Seven magic mountains
I found Seven Magic Mountains to be a perfect stop on our way between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. This art installation is situated just outside of the city, about 25 mins drive from The Strip.
Seven Magic Mountains is a collection of giant, brightly painted rocks stacked into large columns. The rock towers are over 30 feet high and are positioned in the middle of the dry, barren landscape, making them stand out vibrantly against their backdrop. The area was fairly busy with Angeleno Instagrammers trying to get the perfect shot of themselves with the rock towers, but luckily it didn’t feel overcrowded. The desert had plenty of space for everyone.
5. Hoover Dam
I wasn’t expecting much from Hoover Dam, but to be honest, I actually thought it was pretty cool. The dam is huge, and when you stick your head out over the edge to look down at the water below, you feel the wind whip against your cheeks as it moves up the wall.
The visitor center costs $10 per person to enter, but if you want to do Hoover Dam on the cheap, all you have to do is pay for parking (also $10) when you get there.Where to stay: Palms Place Hotel and Spa