One of the niftiest things to see for free is the Mirage volcano after dark. It runs every 15 minutes or so. And if you have the chills from the desert, this will definitely warm you up!
Updated 2009: The volcano show has been updated and now only runs on the hour. The new show has more pyrotechnics, but I don't enjoy it as much. However, it's still a free show, and you're likely to meet some interesting people as you wait, because the railing outside the volcano gets pretty packed!
When I went to Vegas for my 21st birthday I did more of the touristy things and saw the cheaper attractions. One of these would be the White Tiger Habitat at the Mirage. This attraction, not to be confused with more expensive Dolphin Habitat, was free and smaller. Packed in with many other people stretching your necks to find the white tigers laying about was a bit exciting once spotted. But, when the animals are just laying there it quickly becomes a not-so-fun attraction. However, after seeing such cuddly and cute animals from behind a glass plate try not to spend much in the gift shop.
If you have kids they know just how to lure them in with the dolphin and white tiger stuffed animals and accesories. My mom was pulled in and we ended up buying me (of all people) a pink giant stuffed dolphin....Yea, that was a fun plane ride home. :)
My aunt, dad and I went into the Mirage to get some gambling done. We had toured The Venetian but wanted some action! We started our journey at the blackjack table but left after 5 hands when the dealer hit 21 or 20 in the first 5 hands.
We wanted some drinks but didn't want to sit at a table so we ended up at the bar where the video poker sits as well. They key: if you play the maximum bet ($1) then you get free drinks. At first, I was doing not very well but then I ended up winning about $40...doubled my money. It was nice.
After my dad and aunt had a few drinks and lost their $20 or two we ended up looking for the casino and getting in some craps. The craps table was hot and we ended up playing for a few hours. (Boy, time flies when you're having fun!) One woman at the table got a serious roll and it was good times for all. The dealers were friendly but not quite as outgoing as the Bally's dealers. Definitely #2 friendliness, though.
This is more of a "second hand" tip... My parents went to see the Terry Fator show at the Mirage. As you may (or may not) know, Terry Fator is the ventriloquist who won the first season of "America's Got Talent". The tickets were given to them as a gift and they were ambivalent about going. However...
My mother is now his biggest fan! She talks all the time about how funny the show is, how amazing that he really sounds like the person he is impersonating, how you never see his mouth move, how talented he is... My mother enjoys herself when she goes out, but I have NEVER seen her so enthusiastic about a show!
The Mirage has this really beautiful aquarium that is 20,000 gallons of saltwater that is home to angelfish, puffer fish, tangs, and many other beautiful exotic creatures. The tank is 53 feet long, eight feet height and six feet wide. The walls are 4 inches thick. This aquarium houses up to 1,000 coral reef creatures that come from 60 countries such as Australia, Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji, the Red Sea and the Marshall Islands, Sea of Cortez and Caribbean. It is very beautiful and impressive. If you walk in from the main entrance from the strip, take a right and located behind the reception desk.
The Mirage Volcano, once the free number one star attraction of the strip, took some time off for quiet time for almost a year. Now that it has been remodeled, it has been reborn into a spectacular fire show with lights, music and huge fireballs that shoot 12 feet in the air. I will tell you, you can feel the heat coming from this attraction so it is very realistic. A very awesome show that I think every one will enjoy. Make sure you get there early so you can have a good view of the show. It continues to erupt every 15 minutes until 12am.
If you're at that part of the strip, stop at the Mirage and watch the volcano in all its glory. I believe it 'erupts' on the hour every hour after dark from 8pm until midnight. Something free to do thats a bit different! Its pretty amazing how they created it. Don't forget your camera!
Experience something a little more exotic than the bright lights of the strip and head to The Mirage. It costs $15 for adults for access to Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and the Dolphin Habitat where you will find dolphins (obviously) as well as lions, tigers, leopards and alpacas. We also saw some white tigers at the entrance which were free to look at, much like the MGM lions, if you didn't want to pay to see everything.
The Secret Garden is pretty much a big cat zoo but its definitely worth a look. The dolphins, however, are a bit more special as they won't be asleep and if you're lucky you may get to see them do tricks for their keepers. We saw some getting fed and jumping about. We also saw a baby!!!
Closes at 5.30pm.
Here is another once in a life time event at The Mirage, however, I find this visit more cute and cuddly. This is the home of Siegfried & Roy's Royal White Tigers. You won't be able to pet these Tigers, because there is a glass window between you and them. Remember to turn your flash off the camera! This is another exhibit that won't cost you anything. This exhibit is open 24-hours a day, but remember that the tigers will be gone during performances.
The Mirage has a 54 feet volcano replica, which erupts ever so often with water and fire. It also circulates 119,000 gallons of water per minute. This is a free show, which can be found out front of the Mirage, next to Las Vegas Blvd. Don't worry about arriving early to get a good spot, because there is plenty of viewing areas. Mirage recently changed their entire show, which opened in December 2008. The previous show was pretty cheesy; however, after seeing the new show, I have to say that I am really impressed! The show times are as follows:
Sunday - Saturday (6pm - 12am) Every hour
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