There are fun things to do in Downtown Las Vegas? Isn’t the Strip where the action it at? Believe it or not, Sin City is more than just the main drag where choreographed fountains dance to music, tourists crowd the streets and you hear the gleeful screams from speeding roller coasters. Just make your way a couple miles north to Downtown. There may not be dancing fountains there, but there are plenty of attractions (like the Fremont Street Experience!) and here are some of the best.
1. ✦ Get Your Photo With One Million Dollars
Do you know what it feels like to have your hands on one million dollars? Me neither. But, you can get a taste of the large sum of cold, hard cash by heading over to Binion’s Gambling Hall. Wrap your arms around their glass pyramid of the big bucks for a free souvenir photo (yes, I said free!). The dough is located right next to Club Binion’s, and it’s open from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily.
2. ✧ Take a Zipline Ride on Slotzilla
You can fly almost the entire length of the legendary Fremont Street Experience on Slotzilla, an 11-story slot machine inspired zipline. It is rated one of the best things to do in Downtown Las Vegas! What would make it even more magical is planning your ride during the Viva Vision Light Show, which will have you gliding over Fremont Street and underneath the massive screen. You have the choice of flying in a seated position, or being a little more adventurous and going Superman style. Whichever you choose, you are in for a wild ride.
3. ✦ Tour the Neon Museum
Where do all the old neon signs from Las Vegas go? To The Neon Boneyard, of course. The Neon Museum preserves some of the city’s most iconic signs from old casinos, motels and other businesses. Neon signs are the epitome of Vegas, and some of the most iconic ones can be found by taking a walk through “The Boneyard.” Whether you experience the magic during the day or hit up the evening light show, you won’t be disappointed with the almost 3 acres of outdoor displays.
4. ✦ Delve into the Mob Museum
If you have ever wanted to know the intriguing history of the mafia and its impact on Las Vegas, don’t miss a visit to The Mob Museum. It puts you in the middle of the action through the thrilling stories of organized crime and one of the most comprehensive collections of mob memorabilia.
On a personal note—The Mob Museum is actually where I got the pet name for my husband, Peter. I affectionately call him Petey Chops, the name of a successful gambling racketeer who was known for missing payments to his capo (not a good thing in the mafia!). Though my husband in no way resembles a mobster (in appearance or attitude), it just stuck.
5. ✦ See the Viva Vision Light Show
It’s hard not to get caught up in the energy of Viva Vision Light Show. It is when the overhead canopy of the Fremont Street Experience really comes to life. On the hour at dusk, the top favorite hits play on the massive 1,500-foot-long and 90-foot-wide screen that’s suspended 90-feet above the ground. When the music starts and the lights begin to dance, it literally stops you in your tracks and Fremont Street shuts down: Casino lights turn off, concerts take a break and everyone on the street has their eyes glued above. FYI—this attraction ranks high as one of the best free things to do in all of Las Vegas!
6. ✦ Rub the Happy Buddha’s Belly
Before you hit the casinos, get some extra luck by rubbing the Happy Buddha’s belly at the California Hotel & Casino. He’s a jolly fellow that sits in the lobby and is known to spread some success to folks betting against the odds.
7. ✧ Play on the World’s Largest Keno Board
What is being called the World’s Largest Keno Board has been installed in Downtown Las Vegas, and you really can’t miss it! The large video screen sits outside of The D, along the walkway of the Fremont Street Experience. Just head inside to the casino’s Keno lounge to pick your numbers, then run outside, and cross your fingers as you watch live to see if you are a winner.