10 Things We’re Unashamed to Say We Love About Circus Circus Las Vegas

Circus Circus sometimes gets a bad rap. But this family-friendly hotel has been around since 1968, and there’s a lot to love. Here are 10 things we love about Circus Circus Las Vegas, and we don’t care who knows it.

1. The Flair

The entryway to Circus Circus is a throwback to a time when Las Vegas let its lights do the talking.

Circus Circus has one of the best does bling right.

Circus Circus does bling right.

Bonus reason to love Circus Circus: Lucky the Clown (pictured below).

What’s not to love about this Las Vegas icon? It was even featured in the movie, “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.” The marquees erected today are just big, square TV screens. Yawn.

Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. Get over it.

Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. Get over it.

2. The Steakhouse

It’s not just the great food, it’s the whole vibe of The Steakhouse at Circus Circus that makes it worthy of our love. Many on the waitstaff at Steakhouse at Circus Circus Las Vegas have been doing this for decades, and their dedication to old-school service shows.

Yes, it's as good as they say.

Yes, it’s as good as they say.

3. Slushy Drinks

The slushy drinks at Circus Circus are not only delicious, they’re available in a variety of collectible plastic vessels.

One of each, thanks.

One of each, thanks.

Get virgin slushy drinks for your kids, or the regular, better kind for you. Highly recommended is the Big Chill, a walk-up slushy drink counter, right near the casino floor. Hint: The more you drink, the better the value.

You thought we were kidding about the "one of each" thing? Do you know this Las Vegas blog at all?

You thought we were kidding about the “one of each” thing? Do you know this Las Vegas blog at all?

4. Free Gambling Lessons

The list of casinos still giving free gambling lessons on The Strip has dwindled in recent years, but Circus Circus covers all the bases with lessons in blackjack, roulette, craps and live poker.

Learning a casino game before you play is the best money-saving tip, ever.

Learning a casino game before you play is the best money-saving tip, ever.

5. Revolving Slot Bank and Snack Bar

This might be our favorite feature of the Circus Circus casino. It’s a two-story merry-go-round. Down below are slot machines, on top is a snack bar, called the Horse-Around Bar.

Take that, casinos with much less character!

Take that, casinos with much less character!

Sure, you can wander over to Adventuredome’s array of thrill rides, but this revolving carousel in the casino gets our vote as a must-ride. Here’s a peek at the fun in store. If you’re not having fun at Circus Circus, you’re doing it wrong.

6. Rock & Ritas

It’s food. It’s drink. It’s a bar with a giant bus behind it.

Other casinos with a bus in them on The Strip: Zero.

Other casinos with a bus in them on The Strip: Zero.

Oh, and some inappropriate humor never hurts.

We tend to know something about inappropriate humor.

We know a little something about inappropriate humor.

Update: Rock & Rita’s has now morphed into Vince Neil’s Tatuado Eat, Drink, Party restaurant and bar. Thankfully, there are things to like about this new place, too, and the bus is still there.

7. Family-Friendly Gambling

Maybe it’s better to call them “family-friendly games of chance,” but many of the games in the casino’s Midway are sort of kid-friendly versions of popular casino games. If you love the casino classic Sigma Derby, try the Circus Downs game, pictured below.

Grooming the next generation of Sigma Derby players.

Sigma Derby players only wish their game was this big.

While the blend of casino and kids can get a tad awkward at times, the casino does make an effort to keep the worlds apart, even providing a map of areas where kids can roam and where they can’t.

There will be a quiz.

There will be a quiz.

8. The Chicken-in-a-Pot Game

Nowhere else in Las Vegas will you find a game where you hit something with a mallet, causing a chicken to fly through the air into cooking pots. Oh, and if you do is successfully, you get a prize.

That weird sensation you're experiencing? It's called having a blast.

That weird sensation you’re experiencing? It’s called having a blast.

9. Slots-A-Fun

The Slots-A-Fun Casino is next to Circus Circus, and functions as its own entity, but we’re still calling it something to love at Circus Circus Las Vegas because we’re rebels like that. Slots-A-Fun is known for its values-a-plenty, and is the only casino on The Strip we can think of with pool and foosball tables (in the actual casino).

It's a casino! No, it's a den!

Bonus: One of our favorite Las Vegas carpets.

Sadly, Slots-A-Fun got rid of its live table games, but there’s still plenty to do on the cheap.

Ignore the sign. The poker room at Circus Circus closed since our last visit.

Ignore the sign. The poker room at Circus Circus closed recently.

10. Circus Acts

The circus acts at Circus Circus consistently rank among the best free things to do in Las Vegas. Performances run every half hour, starting at 11:00 a.m. (going until 11:00 p.m. weekdays and midnight on weekends), seven days a week.

Here’s a look at the latest roster of talent. Please note the trapeze act is on hiatus until mid-October, due to “stage enhancement projects.”

The circus acts are the best 10 minutes you'll spend in Las Vegas, unless you have sex with this blog.

If you must bring your kids to Vegas, this is the place to bring them.

The performances are brief, about six minutes each, but they’re still a fun diversion. And did we mention how free they are?

On a related note, here’s another thing we love about Circus Circus: Drummer Joey Vespe.

Vespe has been the drummer for the live band accompanying the casino’s circus acts since 1974. He’s a living legend, and always happy to share stories about the old days in Vegas. Among them: An elephant, named Tonya, used to perform on the Circus Circus stage. She was fond of Life Savers.

Joey's as Vegas is Vegas gets.

Joey’s as Vegas is Vegas gets.

Those 10 items are just a small sampling of things to love about Circus Circus. For example, Circus Circus has the only RV Park on The Strip. Yes, there are still people who have RVs, and they need a place to park.

Also, Circus Circus has the largest permanent big top in the world. And its midway was featured in the James Bond film, “Diamonds Are Forever.”

What’s on your list of things to love about Circus Circus?

Circus Circus

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  • DanShort

    I have hit my only 1042S (Canadian tax) in 30 visits to Vegas at CC. Loved the black bean soup at the steakhouse and the side of Bernaise on the Filet is a bonus.

    • vitalvegas

      Agreed. Love their fancy steak sauce!

  • grapes

    Thanks for this. My family stayed at Circus Circus on many Vegas trips as a kid and it was always a blast.

    Remember the ladies who used to ride ponies around the ceiling and shoot balloons down to kids? I always loved that.

    • vitalvegas

      Before our time, but sounds like fun! Thanks for the thoughts.

  • We just made reservation t Circus Circus for this weekend. I’m excited that there is a place that is “kid-friendly”. Thanks for the review!