Along the Las Vegas Strip, a search for freebies, wacky shows, scrumptious food, and not-too-tacky souvenirs turns up some of the best bets in town.
Area code is 702 except as noted.
Freaks $30. A 90-minute variety show at O’Shea’s Comedy Theatre—glass eaters, human shish kebabs, knife throwers, and sword swallowers—draws cringes and cheers. 3555 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 697-2711, osheaslasvegas.com .
Gondola rides $16 per person. Cruise the canals at the Venetian; romantic songs by gondoliers offer an escape from the hustle and bustle on the Strip. 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 414- 1000, venetianhotel.com .
Mac King $25. For captivating magic and clean comedy, drop by Harrah’s to see King performing in his trademark goof-ball plaid suit. He moves from classic stunts, such as the cut-and-restored rope trick, to sleight-of-hand feats involving Fig Newtons and goldfish. 3475 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 369-5222, mackingshow.com .
Bonanza Gifts The self-proclaimed “world’s largest gift shop” carries green dealer visors, dice-shaped key chains, and Rat Pack photos—everything from classy to kitschy, with plenty in between. 2440 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 385-7359, worldslargestgiftshop.com .
Circus Acts Starting every day around 11 a.m., Circus Circus becomes a stage for trapeze artists, jugglers, and other big-tent performers. Keep an eye out for Nina and Nikolai, a Russian duo with costumes that change magically before your eyes. 2880 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 734-0410, circuscircus.com .
Fountains of Bellagio Every half hour during the day, the waters in front of this luxe casino spout as high as 460 feet, shimmying and swaying to smartly chosen tunes including “Luck Be a Lady” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., (888) 987-6667, bellagio.com .
Bouchon At this laid-back bistro in the Venetian, you won’t break the bank if you order classics such as steak frites or make a gourmet dinner of flaky quiche and rich French onion soup. 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 414-6200, bouchonbistro.com .
Luv-It Locals line up for luscious scoops of frozen custard served in cups and cones, or in sundaes and malts. Among the don’t-miss items: a yummy vanilla shake, blended with almonds, bananas, and chocolate chips. 505 E. Oakey Blvd., 384-6452, luvitfrozencustard.com .
Alexis Park Resort Hotel On lush grounds ringed by tropical gardens, footpaths lead to three swimming pools. 375 E. Harmon Ave., 796-3300, alexispark.com .
Golden Nugget This grand old standby faces the Fremont Street Experience, an outdoor pedestrian entertainment area where you can watch Viva Vision, a free light show. 129 E. Fremont St., (800) 634-3454, goldennugget.com .
Photography courtesy Preferred Public Relations
This article was first published in May 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.