The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about visiting a casino is gambling, but that's not the only fun thing you can do.
Casinos are filled with other entertaining options and more are added on a regular basis. Though millions of people still gamble, the casinos are always looking for other ways to add to their bottom line. Most of these things offer other ways you can have fun while visiting.
I've listed 7 things you can do besides gamble in a casino below.
The closest casino to where I live would be the smallest by far on the Las Vegas strip, but it still offers numerous dining options.
You can visit the buffet, grab a deli sandwich, have some pizza, enjoy some ice cream, or have a top notch steak dinner.
If you visit bigger casinos or go to a big venue like Las Vegas you have more options than you can visit on one or two trips.
The best meal I've had while dining out was at a casino. The Top of the World restaurant in the Stratosphere in Las Vegas served the best steak I've had the pleasure of buying. It was so tender it could be cut with a fork.
This is an experience I'll never forget, and that is something that can't be replaced. I'll always remember the friends and family that shared the meal with me and every time I think about the meal I remember them.
The first time I tried Cold Stone Creamery was in a casino.
These are just a few examples of how the food industry is intertwined with the casino industry.
Instead of just grabbing a bite to eat or visiting the buffet the next time you're in the casino plan to enjoy some of the other places they offer to eat.
You never know when you'll create an experience or have a meal that you’ll remember the rest of your life. The odds are you won't have one of these types of experiences at the buffet bar.
Many fine restaurants require reservations and are booked for weeks in advance. Don't wait until the last minute to try to get in to eat. Call the restaurants where you want to eat as soon as you know you'll be visiting to make sure you get a table.
Some of the best shows I've seen have been at casinos.
The last trip my wife and I took to Las Vegas included plenty of time at the tables, but also some great dining experiences and a couple shows.
You can see magic shows, plays, circus acts, dancing, burlesque, exotic shows, animals, singers, and just about any other form of entertainment connected to the casino industry.
I've been fortunate enough to see Penn and Teller, the Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, an impressive Sinatra impersonator, and many other great shows. And these are just a few of the hundreds of shows available in Las Vegas every week.
Even the smaller local casinos close to where I live have frequent shows including country music stars and popular magicians.
Even if you don't gamble, an entire trip can be planned around great shows, fine dining, and shopping, which is covered in a later section.
Many popular shows sell out weeks in advance so if you plan to see a show, buy the tickets as soon as possible.
If you can't get tickets ask the concierge desk where you're staying if there's anything they can do to help. Even if you aren't a high roller they may be able to get tickets. If they can't, they may have alternatives that you haven't thought of.
One thing every casino has is a wide cross section of different types of people.
You can find people of all ages from the lowest legal gambling age all the way up to senior citizens. People of all races, color, religions, and backgrounds join to try their luck at the games. You'll also see gamblers from many different economic and employment backgrounds.
I've sat at the poker table with a construction worker on one side and a business owner on the other.
It's easy to ignore the mix of people and personalities while you concentrate on gambling, but if you step away from the games and watch all of the different people you can see and learn interesting things.
Sometimes it can be relaxing to just sit back and people watch. Most people think about going to a park or other outdoor venue to watch people, but a casino can be an interesting change of pace.
The next time you want to spend a few hours watching your fellow human beings, try a trip to the casino. While you're there you can grab a bite to eat or try one of the other things on this list.
Some of the best swimming pools in the world are located on casino and hotel properties.
Las Vegas is filled with huge and exotic pool areas but they aren't the only popular gambling destination with great swimming experiences.
As the habits and profitability of gamblers change over time the business of making money from a casino has changed too.
Las Vegas is as much of a night club destination as a gambling destination for many people now. Depending on your age, this may come as a surprise but the high end night club business is worth millions and millions every year.
The best news for casinos is they don't even need to reduce the gambling floor space to add night clubs in most cases.
Most casino gambling is done on the ground floor and it seems like many night clubs are on the top floor.
I'll admit I'm not a big night club patron, but I've been fortunate enough to attend a few parties held in clubs in Las Vegas and the view from a couple of them at night is something I won't soon forget.
Everywhere you look in a casino you'll see drinks.
The cocktail waitresses offer a never ending stream of alcohol to gamblers because the casinos figured out a long time ago that the more the players drink the longer they gamble. The longer gamblers play the more the casino makes, especially when the players make poor decisions.
What leads to more poor decisions than drinking?
Of course you don't have to play casino games in order to drink, but it may be cheaper to play and get free drinks than to start paying for your alcohol.
Most bars located in casinos seem to charge a great deal for drinks.
Figure out how much you spend on an average drinking outing at the casino. Once you know how much you spend you might be able to find a casino game that offers a chance to lose less and get free drinks.
Most casinos have at least a gift shop, but many have all kinds of shopping options.
Don't assume that all the shops are filled with high priced luxury items either. Of course you can find high end merchandise but you can usually find a mixture of other price levels as well.
One time while I was in Las Vegas I came down with a head cold. It made it difficult to sleep so I went in search of something to help. As I walked through the shops and rounded a corner I found a chain drug store and was able to pick up something to help me sleep.
On the same trip my wife shopped for jewelry and clothes at several different shops and I was able to watch a master cigar maker at work and look at some sports memorabilia in a different shop.
Even if you don't end up buying anything it can be fun to look through the shops at the casino. Every time I do I see something new or interesting. It's also a good option when you want to take a short break from the blackjack tables or slot machines.
Top Tip: When you check in ask the hotel personnel if they have any coupons for the local shops or have a list of the specials. You can also ask the concierge desk the same thing. My wife always checks the web site for the casino where we plan to stay to see which shops are in the casino.
Then she checks to see if any shops she likes are nearby. Once she has a list she checks online for coupons and special sales or deals running while we stay. She's been able to find some great deals by just checking things out before we travel.
If you find yourself in a casino with someone who likes to gamble and you don't or just want to take a break from the tables use the ideas listed on this page to find something fun to do.
Not every casino will offer all 7 options, but most offer at least a few. Can you think of anything else to add to the list?