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Great Non-Gambling Fun in Las Vegas

Aug 17, 2007
There are many fun things to do in Las Vegas that have nothing to do with gambling. So, if you don't care to throw dice or drop quarters into slot machines, you can still have a terrific time in "Sin City". An increasing number of tourists are seeing Vegas as more than a casino town and the revenue from non-gambling venues has been growing steadily over the past few years. Many casinos are investing their resources in amenities such as beautiful hotel rooms, amusement parks, luxury pools and spas, live entertainment shows, animal exhibits, upscale dining establishments and specialty stores for shoppers. In some facilities, these added attractions have taken over as the main draw. There is something for everyone in Las Vegas!

Popular Shows in Las Vegas
Casinos are just as acclaimed for their shows as they are for gambling. There is a wide variety of entertainment from the famous dancing shows featuring feathered and fringed chorus girls to many other categories. For headliner shows, there is Celine Dion at Caesar's Palace and for some doo-wop, The Platters, Drifters and Coasters at the Sahara. Comedy shows abound with The Riviera comedy Club and the Improv at Harrah's. Tribute shows are always fun and often nostalgic. You can take in American Superstars at the Stratoshere, Barbra and Frank at the Riviera and Legends in concert at Imperial Palace. Magic shows entertain young and old alike. Check out The World's Greatest magic Show at the Greek Isles Hotel and Casino, Lance Burton for family fun at the Monte Carlo and Dirk Arthur at Tropicana with his white Bengal tiger and leopards. If production shows are your favorite, you are in luck. Ongoing shows include Cirque du Soliel for astonishing acrobatics at MGM Grand, Mama Mia at Mandalay Bay and Phantom of the Opera at Venetian. If you enjoy adult shows, there are numerous ones to attend, such as the renowned Chippendales at Rio, and hypnosis with Dr. Scott Lewis at Le Bistro Theater. You can even watch the longest running TV game show in history with The Price Is Right at Jubilee! Theater. For every man, woman and child, there is a great show to enjoy in Las Vegas. Tickets and reservations are available for advance purchase on many websites.

Restaurants and Buffets
Las Vegas has quickly become one of the most sensational restaurant cities in the world. New restaurants are opening almost on a daily basis. Nowhere can tourists dine so lavishly for so little as at the abundant buffets, which began in the early 1940's at the original El Rancho Vegas Hotel. Their Midnight Chuck Wagon Buffet was invented as a way to keep customers in the hotel for the second show. What followed were other hotels offering the same. Next came breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. Some hotels offer champagne brunches on weekends featuring all the bubbly a person can drink. Many of the top chefs in the world have opened restaurants in Vegas. While the casinos and hotels feature varied and exotic cuisines, don't forget to check out the local restaurants as well.

Family Fun
There are plenty of family friendly venues in Las Vegas. The Lied Children's Museum is a hands-on, interactive museum close to downtown. There are many lessons to be learned here about science, humanities and the arts. Another destination popular with children is Circus Circus with the Circus Acts and Adventuredome Theme Park. For hours of fun, ride the rollercoaster and other rides, play a game of miniature golf or challenge yourself with the many arcade games. The Gameworks Arcade at the Showcase Mall next to the MGM Grand has the tallest indoor rock-climbing wall in the country and a movie theater. Ride the rollercoaster, play laser tag or enjoy racing Daytona style at the Coney Island Emporium at New York/New York Resort and Casino. Two more places to thrill the kids are the old western town on Bonnie Springs Old Nevada 16 miles west of Las Vegas and the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.

Outdoor Activities
If you enjoy hiking, golf, horseback riding, hot air balloon riding, or just lounging by a pool, Las Vegas has plenty to offer. Grand Canyon National Park and the Red Rock National Conservation Area are a short drive away. There are also the pirate battles at Treasure Island, the volcano at the Mirage and the fountains of the Bellagio.

Specialty Shopping
If outlets are your favorite, visit the Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas for designer clothing. Caesar's Palace has the Forum Shops or Appian Way Shops. The Venetian features the Grand Canal Shoppes and don't miss the Bellagio's Via Bellagio. For more specialty shops and restaurants, visit the Desert Passage. If you prefer a mall environment, check out the Boulevard Mall.

Relax at a Spa
Las Vegas, along with the surrounding areas, boasts over thirty spas. These spas are as varied as the casinos and hotels around them. Choose from Shiatsu or Swedish massage, herbal baths, aromatherapy, reflexology or creme brulee body wraps. Relax in the many whirlpools, saunas or steam rooms. Manicures, champagne facials, pedicures, customized scrubs and hair styling are offered at the numerous salons. Do you want advice on fitness, nutrition or health? Some hotels offer trained personal trainers. Some of the most popular spas include Mandalay Bay's Spa Mandalay, The Spa at the Palms, the Venetian's Canyon Ranch Spa, Rio Spa, Elemis Spa at the Aladdin and the Spa Bellagio.
About the Author
Terry Gates is a freelance writer with experience on las vegas hotels and casinos.
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