Who is going to MTNA conference? I am! Hope to see you there! I’m excited that conference is a 5-hour drive away. Since I’ve been to Las Vegas many times, I thought I would post some tips if you are looking for some things to do when the conference day is over. Las Vegas after all is a destination all on its own. There is a reason why they say “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. I’m not a gambler so you are on your own for that…
1) If you walk the strip (which could be entertaining especially if you like to people watch), keep your head held high and ignore those slappers that are slapping junk in front of your face.
2) If you want to see any shows I highly recommend looking for the Tix4Tonight booths that are all over the strip. Not only can you get shows at a discount, but you can also get discounts at restaurants and buffets. You can find the Tix4Tonight locations here. They are legit, I’ve used them several times.
3) If you are not sure what show to see, the Cirque De Soleil shows are great, most are family friendly. I’ve seen Ka and Mystere. They were great! Still want to see ‘O’. Everytime I’m in Vegas they are on their off time. You can preview all of them here.
4) Outside the Bellagio, the fountain shows are during the day are every 30 min. noon-7pm on weekends and 3-7pm on weekdays. Then every 15 min after 7pm. It’s neat at night as it lights up. Bellagio also has a free Botanical Conservatory in their lobby.
5) Caesars has a free fountain show in forum shops and “live statues” in forum shops area near fountains. There is also a 50,000-gallon saltwater aquarium in forum shops. (Fed by diver at 1:15 and 5:15 p.m.)
6) Circus Circus has a live, free trapeze and high wire acts every day each half-hour from 11am to midnight.
7) Downtown Freemont Street- Click here for the Freemont Experience. Free laser show starting at 8pm then hourly. Free live entertainment. There is also a zip line (not free).
8) Excalibur has a fun dinner show with Tournament of Kings (Renaissance Fair type program complete with joust; no silverware) We have done this a couple times. It’s fun for the whole family!
9) The Mirage has a free volcano show every hour from 7pm-midnight.
10) New York, New York has a roller coaster ride (not free)
11) Ride up the Eiffel tower at the Paris hotel (not free- but can be if you have a comp card)
12) Rio (the conference hotel) is known for the World Buffet. (My husbands favorite) They also have a good seafood buffet if you like seafood. By the way buffets USED to be cheap in Vegas, you will quickly find out that is no longer the case.
13) Speaking of Buffets- you may want to look into getting a “Buffet of Buffets” pass. Rio is one of the participants along with Paris (which has my favorite breakfast buffet- Le Village Buffet), Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Bally’s and the Lin Q. It’s 24 hour pass that will allow you to eat at any of the buffets as many times as you want at a substantial savings. (I think I just gained 10 lbs. reading this!) Even cheaper for Total Reward members if you want to sign up for that.
14) Sam’s Town (our favorite off the strip hotel) has a free laser, light and water show called Sunset Stampede”. Shown daily at 2:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
15) There are a several malls on the strip- Fashion Show Mall (across from Wynn’s hotel) and Miracle Mile Shops (Planet Hollywood) and the luxurious shops at Crystal at CityCenter. (down and across from the Bellagio)
16) The Venetian is a beautiful hotel to stop by and visit. It has living statues from noon-8pm. They have a neat shopping area and while you are there you can take a ride and be serenaded on a gondola (not free but fun to do).
I’m sure there are things I missed…
Since MTNA has several things going on at night teachers can take advantage of, you may not have time for any of these things. But if you are staying an extra day or so this will at least give you some ideas. Las Vegas can be very overwhelming. The last time I was there (last summer for another conference) I called it “stimulation on steroids”. You know yourself, if you like to be in on the action or enjoy people watching, go ahead and step out and enjoy. If not, just stick with the conference and you will be fine.