The wife and I are going to Vegas tomorrow night for a short trip - leave Thu night, return late Sat night. Short, but very cheap (170 for two tix).
Any suggestions on what to do with two days in Vegas? CHEAP is preferable!
My trick is to bet some money on the sporting event playing on the big screen, finding a seat a little early, watching and indulging in the occasional "free" drink. There is a different level of involvement for me in sports watching when there are a few bucks on the line.
Where'd all the Kleenex go?
Cheap is relative, but some things come to mind:
* Window shopping at the Venetian or Bellagio
* Nickel Slots ($20 can go a LONG way, and if you and your wife are any sorts of goofy, some games can be really fun!)
* Crowdwatching from the bar
* I second the sportsbook betting/viewing
* Walking up & down the strip
* Late nite coffee shop dining
If you're at all into gambling, head to the "downtown/old" off-the-strip section of Vegas, the tables on Friday nights would have much lower limits than what you would find at the main strip casinos. You might even be able to find some $1 blackjack tables during the day.
Mac King's afternoon comedy-magic show at Harrah's. He's very, very funny, his close magic is excellent, the price is right (look in coupon books etc for 2-for-1 deals, or prices with drinks, etc). We saw Mac and, in an evening show, Lance Burton. Paid a lot more for Lance but enjoyed Mac more. Lance's stuff is big, bombastic magic that you know has to be done with wires, trap doors, etc. It is impersonal, his (fake?) KY accent is riddled with Jack Nicholson overtones, and although he's just as highly skilled, so much of it seemed just silly. If I was gonig to pony up big bucks for a magic act, it would have been Penn & Teller. But I had an 8 and 11 yr old in tow, so they were a bit young their show/language/humor. But seriously, Mac is great.
There's also a Nathan Burton who does comedy-magic in the afternoon. His might be more PG-13. Mac King is PG.
We also saw Blue Man Group. I loved them but they're not for everyone. You can enjoy them on the cheap by getting The Complex Rock Tour on DVD from Netflix. The show is not the same, but you'll get a flavor for it.
Lotus of Siam for Thai (Sahara Ave, in strip mall, not easy to see)
Metro Pizza for Italian (not just pizza... very good place, E. Tropicana)
In-and-Out Burger - good burgers and shakes. Not as good as Checkers/Rally's, IMHO, but very good nonetheless.
Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, Sahara - yum!
Night fountain show at bellagio - free
Caesar's Palace Shops - there's an animatronic sound/light/fog show of some roman or greek god mythology. - free
Street entertainers at Venetian - free/tip
Lion Habitat at MGM Grand - free
White Tigers at Mirage - free.
Glass lilies/scultures on ceiling of lobby in Bellagio (I think) - free
just walk around Paris, NY/NY, Luxor, etc. Amazing.
If you want to gamble, do so away from the big, new Casinos-- either in the old downtown area or off-strip. Better odds, lower limits, etc.
If you like hiking and day trips, there are a number of places to check out. Don't forget to get an ID card on the Extraterrestrial Highway.
I also second the recommendation for Lotus of Siam. It's tucked away in a sort of strip mall parking lot, but it is really good (I think that Gold called it the best Thai in North America). He may have been a little effusive, but it's great, especially if you like your Thai food really spicy, as it should be. I try and hit it up whenever I'm in Vegas (it's also very reasonable, but often packed). Make a reservation.
It ain't Vegas without buffets. I am an expert, having sampled all the highly rated ones, so I suggest Le Village at Paris or the buffet at the Bellagio.
Might be a little too late to help out on this trip, but in the future you should make sure to check out Big Elvis at Bill's Gamblin' Hall (formerly the Barbary Coast), on the Strip between Flamingo and Bally's. He plays a few shows each day and is one of the better Elvis impersonators I've heard. Best yet, his show is free!
For the other Vegas fans out there (I go 2-4 times a year myself), I've found a great time to go -- the beginning of Thanksgiving week. I went Monday-Thursday this year and we got rooms at NYNY for $79/night. There were cheap hotel rooms everywhere we looked, and not a whole ridiculous amount of people around. It's also easy to fly from Vegas to just about anywhere for your Thanksgiving travel.
Finally, if you're in Vegas with one or two people you like just hanging out and talking with, I suggest you hang out at the penny slots. Put in a dollar, play it one penny at a time (verrrrrrry slooooooowly), and I guarantee you'll get a free drink (or two) out of it. It's the cheapest way to do Vegas I know! Even the nicest casinos (Wynn, Bellagio, etc) have a bank of penny slots somewhere, you just have to find it (which is sometimes half the fun).