Not that there is a shortage of things to do in Vegas but what makes us happy little Vegemites are the FREE ATTRACTIONS and trust me, there are plenty of those to keep you occupied. Here are a few
CIRCUS ACTS AT CIRCUS CIRCUS
Jugglers, unicyclists and acrobats – oh my! High above the casino floor, the acts of the World’s Largest Permanent Circus perform death-defying stunts for about 10 minutes every half-hour, between 11 a.m. and midnight.
You’ll ooh, you’ll aw, you’ll cover your mouth and hope the highwire and trapeze artists don’t fall because, how would you explain that to your kids? With only 60 seats, the stands start to fill up about 15 minutes beforehand. Don’t worry if you’re not there early, grab a drink and stand on the other side of the stage or near the fishing game that juts out from the midway.
Since you’re in the neighborhood anyway, the midway has more than 200 games and is one of the best in town. In the evening, check out the rotating “Horse-A-Round” bar that was featured in the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
If you grew up loving Ariel and Sebastian from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” then you’re in for a real treat. There may not be a singing crab belting out Caribbean-sounding tunes, but there are “mermaids” swimming in 117,000-gallon reef aquarium. The mermaids swim among the fish and do everything from blowing bubbles to interacting with kids watching from the outside.
But the mermaids are more than just pretty ladies donning colorful fins and bikini tops. These women have various backgrounds, from synchronized and competitive swimming to ballet. You’ll see them twirl, flip, dance and do other fun stunts — you would almost believe they really are part-fish!
You may wonder how the mermaids breathe underwater, since they’re swimming in the tank 15 minutes at a time. Every mermaid is scuba-certified and gets air from hookah ports throughout the tank.
In addition to the mermaids, you can also sometimes catch divers feeding stingrays. During the feedings, there’s a guide outside the tank who’ll take questions from the audience. The divers have a built-in speaker in their suit and can answer anything you want to know about the fish.
Divers also share fascinating facts about the aquarium. For instance, the staff spends 32 hours a week cleaning the tank. And if you ever wondered if the bigger fish attack the smaller ones, it rarely happens. The fish are well fed.
It’s fun to watch the fish in their own little world. You’ll see fish sticking close together like high school cliques and sting rays brushing up against each other as they glide and flap their fins. Some fish, like the sting ray and leopard shark, like to hang out on the aquarium floor. This is a sight to see since we’re so used to seeing fish on the go.
Speaking of sticking together, if you’re inspired to get married in Vegas and you happen to be scuba certified, the Silverton may have a wedding package for you. Say your “I Do’s” with a mermaid for a bridesmaid and a sting ray or shark as your best man.
While you’re in the area, make sure to check out the mermaid art gallery outside the Mermaid Cafe and Lounge. All art is available for sale and can even be shipped out of state.
After visiting this aquarium, you may find yourself humming Ariel’s “Part of Your World” and Sebastian’s “Under the Sea.” And maybe – just maybe – you’ll be inspired to scuba dive.
BELLAGIO IN BLOOM
Most hotels have gardeners, but the Bellagio has 120 of them. That’s not including the designers, engineers and electricians who work behind the scenes to make all that magic happen. With 15,000-18,000 visitors to impress every day, you don’t have to be a genius to understand why they need so many hands on deck.
Five times a year: Chinese New Year, spring, summer, fall and winter, the Bellagio Conservatory team creates a full-blown floral production. For an entire week, the staff work 24 hours a day to transform the nearly 14,000-square-foot space with tens of thousands of flowers, trees, and plants.
The horticulturalists, who are artists in their own right, create jaw-dropping displays that most people couldn’t even make with paper, let alone flowers. It’s pretty safe to say that they have more creativity in their pinky fingers than most of us do in our entire bodies.
During the course of each seasonal exhibit, more than 10,000 potted flowers are hand-watered and switched out every two weeks. Don’t worry, all the wilted flowers are reused and converted to mulch, in fact 90 percent of the conservatory is recycled. How’s that for green? These creations are so impressive that more than 5 million visitors a year come to experience them.
ONE FOR THE KIDS – ALTHOUGH NOT A FREE ATTRACTION, ITS A MUST DO FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES.
Where can you experience towering drops, multiple loops and stunning views of the Strip?
Located on the popular intersection of Tropicana Ave. and Las Vegas Blvd., the Roller Coaster at New York-New York is hard to miss. Set in a perfect postcard shot, its surroundings include a replica of the New York harbor, a 150-foot model of the Statue of Liberty as well as several of Manhattan’s popular buildings. And to make things even more fun, the roller coaster trains are designed like New York taxicabs.
The ride begins with a steep hill, building great suspense and anticipation. Enjoy the aerial view of the south end of the Strip while you can, because before you know it, you’re plummeting down a 144-foot drop. The intensity continues with loops, corkscrews and hills, speeding up to 67 miles per hour.
This isn’t your average upside-down roller coaster. The loops on this ride are insane — you’ll twist and turn in ways you never imagined. The combinations of corkscrews, hills and the exhilarating, 180-degree heartline spiral will keep you gripping your harnesses.
After the ride, you’ll feel surprisingly energized. Don’t forget to stop and see your photo, which is available for sale.
Formerly called The Manhattan Express The Roller Coaster at New York-New York made its debut on the Strip in January 1997. More than one million visitors experience the ride each year.