Ahhh Las Vegas... The glamour, the glitz, the age discrimination... how I love you.
Well... not so much the age discrimination part but everything else about the city is pretty awesome if you're a visitor.
I won't yell too much about my distaste for the fact that the USA is part of an extreme minority when it comes to setting the drinking age at 21. After all, if you're old enough to die for your country, how are you not old enough to drink a piña colada?
Anyway, that's a political discussion for another day...
In this article, I'm going to share with you 18-20-year-olds my tips on what to do in Vegas under 21. This insight stems from my having visited Vegas a countless amount of times over the last 15 years or so (I have family out that way so I've been a regular in Las Vegas since I was 10 years old).
Grab a group of friends, pool together some gas money, and get ready to have a blast in the city of sin!
1. Get a Room
While you wouldn't be the first person who opted to pass out on the sidewalk in Las Vegas, I don't recommend it... Therefore, the first thing you're going to want to figure out when you get to the city is where the heck you're going to sleep.
The good news with Vegas is that, contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of places you can check-in to around the strip at just 18 years old.
Here are some suggestions of hotels that allow anyone over the age of 18 to book a room:
- The Riviera
- Howard Johnson's Vegas
- Holiday Inn Express South
- Elara by Hilton
- Marriott's Grand Chateau
Be sure to call ahead before booking to make sure age policies haven't changed since this article was published. The last thing you want to do is arrive at your Vegas hotel and be booted into the street.
2. Watch Shows
Very few shows in Las Vegas are restricted by age. If they are, the age restriction is typically 18 years old and even that's rare.
Shows can get pricey in Vegas but if you opt to watch them Sunday-Thursday as opposed to on a Friday or Saturday, you can save a lot of money. Groupon always offers awesome discounts on Vegas shows.
During my last 3 trips to Las Vegas, I saw "Vegas the Show" "Zumanity" and "Michael Jackson's One". "Vegas the Show" was my favorite of the bunch.
PS: You'll find a lot of "Half-Priced Tickets" booths around the Vegas strip. While those booths seem tempting, I recommend that you look up prices online before buying from them. A lot of times the deals they offer are not that great.
Looking for free shows to put on your things to do in Vegas under 21 list?
Check out the fountain show at the Bellagio!
3. Get Your Thrills On
Most people come to Vegas and "get their thrills on" by gambling. Since gambling is going to be out of the question during your under 21 time in Vegas (unless you visit an underground cockfighting ring) you're going to have to find your thrills on thrill rides.
Thrill rides are a popular "things to do in Vegas under 21" go-to because of the volume of options Vegas offers.
You can ride the New York New York, zip-line on Freemont Street, concur any one of the rides sitting on top of the Stratosphere, ride Primm's "Desperado", or visit the famous (and typically creep-filled) Adventure Dome at Circus Circus.
4. Stuff Your Face
My favorite part of traveling anywhere is eating. I've been all over the world and let me tell you... Vegas is probably the best place to eat on the planet.
Fast-food, five-star restaurants, hole-in-the-walls, all-you-can-eat buffets... Whatever you're craving, Vegas has grub to satisfy you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Here are some of my food recommendations:
Fast-Food: Check out the $1.99 foot-long hot dogs at Casino Royale or White Castle Burger (also at Casino Royale).
Hole-In-The-Walls: I like Carlito's Cuban food. Cash only but there's an ATM inside and it's delicious.
Buffets: I think The Flamingo offers a really good reasonably-priced buffet experience. I didn't like my last visit to Mandalay Bay's buffet so I'd steer clear of that.
5. Throw a Party
A lot of people under the age of 21 want to go to Vegas to party which is usually cited as an impossibility... One of the core messages I tout on this blog though is that nothing is impossible and partying in Vegas under 21 is definitely a possibility!
It all depends on what your definition of a party is.
For example, when I was visiting Las Vegas a few years ago between the ages of 18 and 20, my friends and I would spend all evening running around town and then eventually make our way back to our rooms to throw kick-backs. We'd have a bunch of food, play games, listen to music and... well... I won't advocate underage drinking on this blog so I won't go into much more detail on the kinds of stuff we did.
Bottom line, if you're wondering if partying is a possibility as far as things to do in Vegas under 21 goes, if you're willing to keep things low-key, it certainly is!
For the adventurous among you, there are a lot of strip clubs off of the Vegas strip that are 18 and over. You can go broke pretty quick at one of these joints but if a strip club = your idea of a good time, you can certainly party at a number of places in the greater Las Vegas area.
6. Check Out One of the Best Natural Wonders in the USA
One of the most storied natural wonders in the United States is the Grand Canyon. If you're in Vegas and want to make your way over to it, there are tons of tours that pick up on the strip and will take you down that way for a breathtaking day trip!
Grand Canyon bus tours are an affordable and simple means of making your way to the Grand Canyon from Vegas. Lunch is also typically included in your tour price.
If you're ballin', you can take a helicopter tour to the canyon.
If you're on a shoestring budget and don't mind driving, you could take the vehicle you brought to Vegas and drive to the Canyon's southern rim. Since I'm not a huge fan of driving though, I'd say go with the tour bus option.
7. Go Shooting
While people can debate endlessly on whether or not guns should be allowed in private homes, most people are cool with them existing in controlled environments like gun ranges.
If you're one of those people and think it could be fun to fire off a few (thousand) rounds at a safe place, add shooting to your things to do in Vegas under 21 list!
Popular gun ranges in Vegas that will let you shoot over the age of 18 include Machine Guns Vegas, Strip Gun Club, and Battlefield Las Vegas.
Be sure to call ahead to make sure that you meet current requirements to shoot.
8. People Watch
I'd say that Las Vegas is pretty much the people watching capital of the world.
Because people are always doing crazy sh&t!
40 million+ people visit the city each year and those people consume tens of thousands of gallons of alcohol each week...
You don't have to be a math major to figure out that the above equation = people watching gold.
9. Embrace The Wild West
Standing 150 miles outside of Las Vegas, just off the road that connects the city of sin to California is Calico Ghost Town.
Most people skip Calico when they're passing by it to get to Vegas and I think that's a huge mistake!
Calico Ghost Town is all ages friendly and offers a ton of awesome attractions that really make you feel like you've stepped back in time into an old mining town.
My recommendation is to pop into one of the saloons, pick up a sarsaparilla, and take in the many photo opportunities that Calico has to offer. You'll be glad you did!
10. Get Cavities
Another on the way to Vegas must for people coming from the "golden coast" (California) is Eddie World in Yermo, CA. This place is like a Candy Warehouse that has absolutely everything you can think of that can drive up your dental insurance premiums.
If you're a dude, Eddie World also has a "treat" for you in the restroom... It's a video game that you play by peeing into a urinal... No, I'm not kidding.
11. Burn Calories
Trying to get into great shape? There's no better way to do that than by hanging out on the Vegas strip!
The Vegas strip features a virtually endless amount of sidewalk decorated with incredible eye candy. Combine that with the heat and you'll end up burning a ton of calories while you enjoy all of the bright lights and glamour Vegas has to offer!
Walking the strip is one of my favorite Las Vegas activities because A) It can go on your things to do in Vegas under 21 itinerary and B) It's 100% free!
12. Pretend You're in Europe
Want to go to Europe but can't afford the airfare? Just go to Vegas and use your imagination!
First, work the Gondola ride at The Venetian into your things to do in Vegas under 21 itinerary. Then, grab some dinner at "The Paris" resort's Eiffel Tower restaurant.
To finish off your night, you can head over to Rome (Caesar's Palace) and grab some of their to-die-for gelato.
13. Work on Your Stroke
A recent addition to the things to do in Vegas under 21 pool of possibilities is Top Golf.
For the uninitiated, Top Golf is an ultra-modern golf driving range that turns hitting balls into a bowling-like game.
You basically rent out "bays" by the hour with friends. You then alternate hitting balls like you would at a regular driving range except the goal here is to hit massive targets.
When you hit targets you get points and the player with the highest score at the end of the night gets bragging rights... and the player with the lowest score pays for everyone's dinner. (Alright, that last part isn't an official rule. I'm just really good at Top Golf so I always try to work it in).
You can find Top Golf at the MGM Resort.
14. Shop Till You Drop
If you love shopping you'll love Vegas under 21.
From the world's biggest gift shops to high-end stores like Louis Vuitton, Vegas has shopping experiences for just about every taste.
Be sure to shop responsibly and make sure you save a little bit of money for gas so you can get your broke butt home at the end of your trip.
15. Tie The Knot
You're not even 21 yet! You shouldn't be getting married!
You have your whole life ahead of you! There's no rush! Seriously!
With that disclaimer, if you still want to legally hitch your wagon onto somebody else's, there are plenty of places that will help you out.
Vegas is famous for quick, cheap, and easy weddings. Heck, they even offer drive-thru weddings!
Just remember, getting married is easy. Getting divorced.... That can get pretty damn sticky.
Proceed with caution.
16. Take That Iconic Photo
Rounding out my things to do in Vegas under 21 list is taking the iconic Las Vegas sign photo.
I'm not a big fan of fighting crowds to get a photo in front of a neon sign, but if you are, go for it.
If you're feeling really friendly, you can even throw one of the many Elvis impersonators hanging around the sign a couple of bucks and get them to take the picture with you.
Wrapping Up Things to Do in Vegas Under 21
From throwing a kickback in your hotel room to getting married to that person you think you're in love with, there's no limit to the things you can do in Vegas under 21.
Hopefully my list has given you the juice you need to string together an awesome Las Vegas adventure for you and your travel buddies.
A final word of advice... Have fun in Vegas but stay out of trouble. Police and casinos don't like people under 21 and they're always looking for a reason to make an example out of young people like you.
Whether you have your eyes set on Las Vegas or anywhere else in the world, there's literally no limit to the adventures you can start going on right now and the aim of this blog is to help you do exactly that.
Don't have money, no problem! Don't have time, no problem! Don't have the courage to follow your dreams of living an unconventional life and going on grand adventures, no problem!!!
To get started living the life you're meant to be living, subscribe to my mailing list below and you'll get a free 58-page workbook on how to travel the world. As an added bonus, I'll also teach you my secret on how you can start making $4000.00+ per month online.
Once you've subscribed, get started working through my free A-Z course on how to travel the world, Six Steps Till Takeoff. You'll be glad you did!