How long has it been since you’ve really had a blast? Is Las Vegas on your list of fun places to go? Think of all the places on your bestshoppingshop. Will the high cost of living prevent you from ever going to most of those places? Learn what the locals know about having a good time on a budget. Their Staycation just may be your dream!
Why not do something different! More and more Americans are gambling less and playing more while in Las Vegas. In response, Las Vegas casinos are giving away less and charging more for food and attractions than in the past in an effort to survive the current economic times. Here are a few ways to tip the balance in your favor!
Since my notes on ‘very affordable’ Las Vegas are 98 pages long, we will focus on ‘free’ and ‘dirt cheap’ instead. There is a way to have a blast for next to nothing if you plan a little in advance. And you can still find free stuff if you know where to look.
Window Shopping (The real thing takes money) – With a Free Show
Las Vegas has become one of the premier shopping destinations in the world. All of the shopping centers here are among the most amazing malls and boutique collections in Las Vegas, are open 7 days a week, have free parking near by, and have completely different themes for a unique feel. If shopping is your idea of having a great time, you can make an entire vacation out of all the variety in shopping at these centers.
As an extra, there is some form of free entertainment at all of them too. I have only listed 7 of Las Vegas’ many shopping centers, one for each day of the week, and all of them are on Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip.) Listed in order of location, the first is on the south end of The Strip, and the last is Downtown. There are several other major malls in Las Vegas, and every casino in town seems to have some kind of mini-mall at least. But most of them only feature what you’d expect in a mall in any city. The malls and shopping centers listed here offer a little something different to make the shopping experience a bit more special.
Town Square (about a mile south of Mandalay Bay)
Town Square has something for everyone and is one of the most family friendly places in Las Vegas. Town Square Park is a great place for a picnic and includes an outdoor children’s playground with a 2-story treehouse, a pavilion for live entertainment, special events and concerts, and a hedge maze to wander through. To survive the summer heat, there are plenty of misters, lots of shade, and covered walkways.
The shopping is small town like in atmosphere and surrounds the park. The architecture is creative (a blend of Mediterranean, Spanish, and Colonial styles) and the shops are organized by theme (children, teen, adult, etc.) Opened in 2009, this is one of the newest malls in town and comes with 3 garages for plenty of free covered parking. (Quaint street parking inside the mall is metered.) The store selection includes everything you’d expect in a mall, plus a grocery store, with plenty to keep the children busy while you’re browsing. There is also a modern 18 screen movie theater for enjoying the latest shows.
In addition to the many restaurants, there is also a nightlife here. The Blue Martini and The Grape both offer live entertainment, and the Yard House has a great selection of beer and food to go with it. Town Square is simply worth seeing, and is an easy way to get away from The Strip, without actually leaving Las Vegas Boulevard.
Hawaiian Marketplace (directly across The Strip from the new CityCenter)
The Hawaiian Marketplace was modeled after the International Marketplace in Honolulu. This is an island style outdoor marketplace with lush tropical plants, lots of bright colors, and kiosk like stores. The main stores and the push-cart kiosks specialize in souvenirs, a canopy protects the marketplace from the sun, and misting fans help to relieve the summer heat. There are various Asian themed restaurants including a buffet and a cold refreshment stand with ice cream and milkshakes.