A girl’s guide to… Las Vegas on a budget

Las Vegas isn’t perhaps the most purse-friendly of destinations but there is more to it than the movies will lead you to believe – it’s not all about getting drunk, getting hitched and gambling. If you don’t want to pour all your hard-earned pennies into the slots then there is plenty Las Vegas has to offer, and best of all, some of it is for FREE!

From fountains to flamingos, here is a selection of activities to entice any budget-conscious traveller-

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1. Fountains of Bellagio

Perhaps the most romantic of Vegas’s attractions is the Fountains of Bellagio. Every day from 3pm (12pm on weekends and holidays) viewers are mesmerized by this extraordinary show of carefully choreographed water and light playing against a backdrop of music ranging from upbeat tunes such as ‘Viva Las Vegas’ to classical numbers like ‘Time to say goodbye’. Shows run every half hour until 7pm and then from 7pm until midnight, every 15 minutes, so if you don’t get such a good view the first time round its not long to wait until the next performance.

2. CBS Television City, MGM Grand Hotel

If you feel tired from traipsing the strip all day then Television City at the MGM Grand is a great way to rest your legs while playing a part in tv history. Participants are led into a studio to watch a pilot episode of a new tv series. Each viewer is given a dial to register how they feel during the show and then at the end is asked to fill in a questionnaire on screen. The feedback you give remains anonymous so you can be as honest as you like. The research results are passed on to studio executives, so if you are lucky enough to have previewed ‘the next big thing’ you can tell all your friends you had a small part in a big hit!

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3. Wildlife Habitat, Flamingo Hotel

The Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Hotel is a beautiful place to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the strip. As well as a flock of Chilean flamingos, the lush garden is home to swans, ducks, koi and turtles. The buffet restaurant overlooks the garden so stop here for a meal. There is also a gift shop just inside the hotel which is the perfect place to buy gifts for those with a penchant for all things pink!

4. Circus acts, Circus Circus Hotel

At the north end of the strip sits the colourful big top known as Circus Circus, and what circus would be complete without its acts? Every day from 11am on the carnival midway visitors can see regular performances from world class circus acts including trapeze artists, jugglers and acrobats. On the occasion that we stopped for an act we were treated to a performance by a graceful aerial acrobat suspended from the ceiling with little more than a piece of ribbon.

4. Sirens of T.I, Treasure Island

Vegas is famous for its shows and the swashbuckling Siren show at Treasure Island draws quite a crowd. The sultry Sirens sing and dance while sword fighting with a group of pirates aboard their ships. The sexy cast, impressive stunts and amazing pyrotechnics make this show a sizzler. Check the T.I. website for times and be sure to get there early for a good view as it gets very busy.

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6.   Fremont Street Experience

Take the Deuce bus from The Strip and head downtown to the world-famous Fremont Street for a vintage Vegas experience. See the illustrious neon signs – Vegas Vic and Vegas Vicky – as you wander between the legendary casinos, such as Golden Nugget. You will be entertained under the bright lights by the free street performances, but the main attraction at Fremont Street is the free hourly sound and light show overhead. The whole experience is one not to be missed!

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