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8 Ways To Enjoy Las Vegas Without Gambling

8 Ways To Enjoy Las Vegas Without Gambling

Las Vegas, also called “Sin City,” is known as a gambling mecca.  But what if you don’t gamble?  If you find yourself “stuck” in Las Vegas (perhaps attending a conference or workshop) here are eight categories of things to see and do in the Las Vegas area that have nothing to do with gambling.

1. Sightseeing

red rock canyon

    Even if you’re on Las Vegas’ famous “Strip” (Las Vegas Blvd.) you can partake in some amazing sights that doesn’t require any type of gambling.  Although the hotel-resorts have largely “dethemed” their properties, there are still some really interesting design and architectural elements.  You can “travel” from Egypt (Luxor) to New York City (NYNY), to Paris (Paris, LV), to Venice (Venetian) all within a few blocks.

    More interested in “real” geography and environments? The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is less than 20 miles from the Strip, on the northwest edge of the city.  There are more than 30 miles of hiking trails and a 13-mile scenic drive, plus horseback riding, rock climbing, biking, and picnic areas.  There is also a visitor center with exhibit rooms and a book store.

    Mount Charleston, otherwise known as the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, is about 35 miles west of the city.  It’s a particularly popular destination in the hot summer months, with cool mountain breezes and more moderate temperatures.

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    About an hour’s drive northeast of town is the Valley of Fire State Park.  It is Nevada’s oldest (and largest) state park, dedicated in 1935.  Hiking, picnicking, and camping are available.  While summer daily high temperatures can be extreme (100+ degree F days are common, and hitting the 120 degree F mark is not unheard of) and winter daily temperatures can fluctuate between 75 degrees F and freezing, fall and spring months are generally mild and pleasant.

    Finally, don’t forget to check out the Hoover Dam, which is a short drive southeast of Las Vegas.

    2. Pampering Yourself

    As you might expect from large resorts, there are a wide variety of spa-like services available.  Women can get the usual facials, manicures, and pedicures.  Men and women can also get massages, haircuts and styling services.  All spas are open to the general public so you’re not limited to going to the hotel you are staying at.

    Men, consider trying a barber straight-razor shave along with a hair cut.  This is a particular interest of mine and something that actually changed my grooming life to such a degree that I became a “guru” at it.  Be sure to ask for the most experienced shaver on staff for the best possible results.  Some specific barbers to consider include those at Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Mandalay Place, Mirage, Riviera, and Venetian (all on The Strip), and the El Cortez near downtown.

    3. Freebies

    Although the prices for goods and services on the Las Vegas Strip can cause “sticker shock,” there are a number of free things to experience.  Perhaps the most famous are the fountains in front of the Bellagio resort.  Every 15-30 minutes between 3:00 p.m. and midnight (depending on time, day, and weather conditions), “dancing fountains” choreographed with music shoot water to heights of up to 24 stories.

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    Similarly, the volcano in front of the Mirage hotel erupts nightly from dusk to midnight every hour on the hour, weather permitting.

    Daily, every hour on the hour starting at 11 a.m. the Fall of Atlantis is reenacted by 9-foot-tall  animatronic statues (and a 20 foot dragon) at the Forum shopping area of Caesar’s Palace

    Lots of other “freebies” come and go in Las Vegas, so be sure to check THIS listing.

    4. Non-Gambling Games

    Gambling are not the only gaming opportunities available in Las Vegas; you can play other games too, usually with a “twist!”  “Adventuredome” at Circus Circus boasts family-oriented rides (roller coaster and motion-control), miniature golf, arcade, and midway games.  Games that might be considered a little less ordinary include a KISS-themed mini golf course, a Pinball Hall of Fame with over 150 vintage pinball machines, all playable and inexpensive ($0.25 to $0.50), and a number of adult-oriented thrill rides atop the Stratosphere Tower.

    5. Fulfilling A Fantasy

    You might just be able to satisfy a life-long fantasy in Las Vegas. Due to the sheer number and variety of visitors to the area, it is possible support some unusual businesses that cater to some very distinct clientele!

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    Ever want to drive an incredibly expensive sports car?  There are several businesses in Las Vegas that can make that dream come true.  You can even “upgrade” that experience by driving a NASCAR-style stock car.

    How about getting to play with heavy construction machinary?  You can spend an afternoon running a bulldozer or excavator digging trenches, stacking one-ton tires, or playing “bucket basketball.”

    If that’s still not enough action for you, there are several gun ranges in Las Vegas where you can rent and fire vintage and automatic weapons (under supervision).

    One fantasy you can cannot fulfill in Las Vegas (legally) involves prostitution.  Despite what the mass media and street corner barkers may lead you to believe, prostitution is very much illegal in the Las Vegas area.  There are legal brothels in Nevada but the closest ones to Las Vegas are in Pahrump, about an hour’s drive to the west.

    6. Museums And Exhibits

    Las Vegas has a fair share of museums, botanical gardens, and zoological exhibits.  A couple that stand out from the crowd include the Neon Museum and the Mob Museum.  Both celebrate Las Vegas from very distinct points of view.  The Neon Museum displays much of the signage from earlier days and older technologies.  The Mob Museum displays artifacts from the days of organized crime running the city.

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    Some other venues worth looking into include the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, the National Atomic Testing Museum, and the Auto Collection at the Quad hotel.  Other collections and exhibits come and go, so be sure to check what is currently showing.

    7. Dining

    Las Vegas’ claim to culinary fame used to be cheap buffet food.  No more.  Some of the world’s finest chefs maintain restaurants in the city and dining experiences can be truly extraordinary.  Do yourself a favor by indulging in items you may never be able to experience otherwise, such as the finest aged steaks, the freshest seafood, and the most indulgent desserts.  A quick internet search will probably show you several options for whatever food you are interested in.

    But don’t fret buffet lovers, there’s still a variety of buffets in Las Vegas, though the good ones have relative prices to match their variety and quality.

    8. Shows

    Virtually every major Hotel/Resort/Casino in Las Vegas offers some kind of production or musical entertainment.  Everything from international headliners, magic shows and tribute” bands can be found at almost any given time.  Check any of the Las Vegas tourism sites (like THIS one) to see what will be playing during a particular time frame.

    A safe bet for enjoying a “house production show” may be one of the Cirque du Soleil shows that play in the city.  Mystere is often recommended as a gateway into this type of show.   A more “Vegas” type of production show would include Bally’s Jubilee! which is adult oriented (and some might consider risque’).

    A Bonus Tip – The Las Vegas Experience

    Do you avoid gambing because you don’t understand the games?  Many of the casinos in Las Vegas offer “classes” on popular table games, particularly Blackjack and Craps.  Attending these classes may give you the confidence you need to try a game of luck.  Just be sure to never risk more money than you can afford to lose and keep in mind the odds are always in the casino’s favor.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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