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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 July 3, 2020

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

    I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

    If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

    1. The Inner Critic

    This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

    • Other people’s words—many times your parents
    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

    The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

    Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

    2. The Worrier

    This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

    The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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    3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

    This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

    This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

    The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

    4. The Sleep Depriver

    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

    The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

    How can you control these squatters?

    How to Master Your Mind

    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

    This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

    1. For the Inner Critic

    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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    You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

    This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

    • They rile up the Worrier.
    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
    • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
    • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
    • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

    Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

    2. For the Worrier

    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tense

    Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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    Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

    For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

    Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

    3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

    Breathe in through your nose:

    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
    • Focus on your belly rising.

    Breathe out through your nose:

    • Feel your lungs emptying.
    • Focus on your belly falling.
    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

    4. For the Sleep Depriver

    (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
    2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

    From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
    • Shut down your thinking
    • Calm your feelings
    • Simply focus on the present moment

    The Bottom Line

    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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