ultimate guide visiting las vegas shows

Cirque du Soleil OVO. Image by Ed Schipul via Wikimedia Commons.

Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. Between spectacular shows, pool parties, and a hopping nightlife, there’s no shortage of fun and exciting ways to occupy your time while you’re in Sin City.

Whether you’re in Vegas for the casinos, the food, or the nightlife, you have to take in at least one show while you’re in town. With performances from stand-up comedians, musicians, variety acts, the world-famous Cirque du Soleil, and even kids shows and broadway plays, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Keep reading for our tips on attending shows, what to wear, and how to get discount tickets.

Popular Shows

Most shows in Las Vegas are hosted by casino resorts.

PRO TIP: Booking a room at the same resort that hosts the show you want to see may get you a discount on your show tickets.

These classic shows are a popular choice for many Vegas visitors:

  • Cirque du Soleil: At any given time, there are several Cirque du Soleil to choose from in Las Vegas. Mystere at Treasure Island was the first Cirque show to be hosted in Vegas, and is still considered to be one of the best. It’s also one of the best-priced.
  • Tournament of Kings: Excalibur hosts this live-action medieval dinner show, complete with jousting and lots of audience participation. This is a popular show for families.

tournament of kings excalibur

Tournament of Kings at Excalibur. Image by Gunther Hagleitner via Flickr.

  • Penn and Teller: Penn and Teller’s edgy show isn’t suitable for children, but their signature blend of comedy and magic is always a hit with adult audiences. Catch Penn and Teller at Rio.
  • Circus Circus: The Circus Circus hotel is home to the world’s largest permanent circus, featuring jugglers, acrobats, and trapeze artists. Bonus – it’s free! However, thrill rides and arcade games will cost money.
  • Blue Man Group: This surreal spectacle, hosted at Luxor, is a Las Vegas mainstay. Hypnotic drumming and a unique combination of comedy, music and video make this show an excellent choice for families.

For the latest advice on specific shows, check Trip Advisor.

For true culture buffs, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, located in downtown Las Vegas, is home to the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Ballet Theatre. The Smith Center also offers broadway performances and cabaret jazz performances. Visit their website for more information and to book tickets.

Discount Show Tickets

There are a number things you can do to get cheaper tickets to your show of choice:

Plan Ahead

If you know what you want to see, you’re more likely to find discount tickets in advance online. If you aren’t picky, you’ll probably find cheaper day-of tickets at the discount ticket kiosks located along the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas – just don’t expect to get top notch seats for the most popular shows.

Player’s Clubs

Signing up for the right player’s club can get you a discount on show tickets, as well as other freebies and coupons you can use during your stay. There are two primary player’s clubs in Las Vegas, spanning many of the most popular hotels:

Total Rewards (Caesar’s Entertainment Corp)

  • Harrahs
  • The Cromwell
  • Caesars
  • LINQ
  • Ballys
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Flamingo
  • Paris
  • Rio (off-Strip)

Players Club (MGM Resorts International)

  • MGM Grand
  • Bellagio
  • Mirage
  • Treasure Island
  • New York New York
  • Circus Circus
  • Excalibur
  • Luxor
  • Mandalay Bay
  • Delano
  • Vdara
  • Monte Carlo

Showtimes

Afternoon shows are often cheaper than evening shows, and leave you time for some other fabulous activities such as fine dining or night flight over Las Vegas. Weekdays shows are also typically cheaper than weekend shows.


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Packages

You may be able to book dinner and show packages through your hotel. Ask your concierge if they can help you out.

Las Vegas Funbook

Ask for this coupon book when you check in to your hotel. It contains tons of great coupons you can use around Las Vegas, including coupons for show tickets.

Dress Code

Las Vegas shows don’t have as strict a dress code as nightclubs. Opt for smart casual – step it up a bit, but don’t overdo it. Some shows can get chilly thanks to abundant air conditioning, so you may want to avoid sleeveless tops or bring a light sweater.

Tips for Attending Shows

Make sure your show experience goes off smoothly with these tips:

  • Transportation on the Strip can take a lot longer than you’d expect. If you’re not staying at the same resort as your show, make sure you leave adequate time to get to your venue. Plan for 30 minutes just to catch a cab, then add additional time to arrive at your venue.
  • At some shows, the maitre d’ assigns seating. For shows with unassigned seating, a tip to the maitre d’ might result in better seats.
  • Be wary of VIP packages. Backstage access, special entry, and premium seating may seem tempting, but it’s not always worth the price.

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Las Vegas

Find answers to all your questions about Las Vegas in our Ultimate Guide!

Special thanks to all the expert travelers who contributed their tips to the Ultimate Guide to Visiting Las Vegas!