5 Cheaper Alternatives To Cirque du Soleil Shows In Las Vegas

By Elle
Last Updated:

Las Vegas is famous for its amazing entertainment options, and if you’ve done any research at all, chances are you’ve come across the name “Cirque du Soleil”. This entertainment group puts on a handful of different shows in Vegas that have all held their spots in the premium show category for decades. Yep, they’re all pretty epic in their own ways.

With each show, you can expect all kinds of acrobatic feats, curated music/visuals, and captivating storylines meant to keep you sitting at the edge of your seat the whole time.

But there’s one slight problem. The Cirque du Soleil experience often comes with a hefty price tag, leaving budget-conscious travelers in a pickle.

Take “O” at Bellagio for example. A single ticket will run you anywhere from $160 to $300 USD depending on where you choose to sit. And if you want front-row seats or VIP treatment? Welp, expect to spend up to $400 or more. Mystère, a more affordable Cirque du Soleil option, will still cost you $70-150 USD.

If you’re visiting Vegas on a budget, all is not lost! To experience the thrill and spectacle of a top-tier show without breaking the bank, check out these alternatives that will leave you mesmerized without totally emptying your wallet.


Why we recommend it: It’s a fun blend of acrobatics, cabaret, circus, and comedy.

Absinthe Caesars Palace
Courtesy of Caesars Entertainment

Named “the #1 greatest show in Las Vegas history” by Las Vegas Weekly, Absinthe is an innovative Spiegelworld show featuring world-class artists who push the boundaries with amazing feats of strength, balance, danger, and unfathomable flexibility.

Set in an intimate circus tent, this show is full of raunchy jokes, lingerie-clad acrobats, and adult comedy, so be prepared for an outlandishly good time. Amid the raunchy and risqué acts is your show host, Gazillionaire, a filthy rich man with a filthy vocabulary.

It’s a full-fledged institution in Vegas, still one of the most buzzed-about shows on the Strip, and an innovation that has impacted the direction of live entertainment in Las Vegas.

While Absinthe is not much cheaper than Cirque du Soleil shows, it’s still a highly sought-after show that’s certainly cheaper than “O” at Bellagio!

  • Type of Show: Top Seller, Variety, Adults Only
  • Where: Spiegeltent on the Roman Plaza, Caesars Palace
  • Show Length: 80 minutes – No intermission
  • Age Restriction: Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Ticket Price: Often around $130 (check for occasional discounts or promotions)

WOW – The Vegas Spectacular

Why we recommend it: This water-themed variety show features acrobats, dancers, aerialists, and elaborate set designs. It’s a grab-bag performance that offers a similar spectacle to “O” by Cirque du Soleil.

WOW – The Vegas Spectacular is an internationally acclaimed production that’s nothing short of extraordinary. With over 2.5 million viewers worldwide, this extravagant water-themed show is a must-see for families looking for a night of Vegas-style entertainment in Sin City.

Experience a world of water, wonder, and fantasy as 30 artists take the stage in a display of talent and creativity. Directed by Hanoch Rosenn (known for his extravagant productions), WOW promises to, well, wow audiences of all ages!

Expect 3D multi-media projections, water walls, holograms, and dazzling choreography set to magnificent music. From aerialists and acrobats to stunt performers and dancers, WOW features an incredible lineup of talent.

This award-winning production has rightfully earned its accolades, including Best Production Show, Best New Show, Best Family Friendly Show, and Best Value Show in the Best of Las Vegas awards.

  • Type of Show: Variety, Water-Themed
  • Where: Rio Showroom, Rio
  • Show Length: 90 minutes
  • Age Restriction: For audiences 4 years and older
  • Ticket Price: Typically around $50-$90

V – The Ultimate Variety Show

Why we recommend it: This show combines magic, special effects, death-defying stunts, comedy, and a variety of acts from around the world. It’s a fast-paced, energetic show that appeals to all ages — similar to Cirque shows.

V Ulatimate Variety Show
Courtesy of V Show

V – The Ultimate Variety Show is like a buffet of talent, offering a little bit of everything packed into one high-energy performance.

Featuring a rotating cast of performers, including comedy, magic, dare-devil stunts, and other specialty acts, this show promises an unforgettable show. From death-defying stunts by the Skating Aratas to captivating drum routines by The Crazy Gauchos, each performance promises to either have you at the edge of your seat or leave you breathless.

Critics have hailed it as “seven shows rolled into one”, which alone tells you that this is the perfect Las Vegas variety show for everyone in your party!

  • Type of Show: Variety
  • Where: V Theater, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood
  • Show Length: 75 minutes
  • Age Restriction: For audiences 5 years and older
  • Ticket Price: Generally $50-$80


Why we recommend it: This show celebrates the classic Vegas entertainment scene with a mix of dance numbers, acrobatics, and tribute acts to legendary performers.

Vegas The Show
Courtesy of Vegas! The Show

Step into the glamour and glitz of old-time Vegas with VEGAS! THE SHOW, featuring showgirls, Broadway-style singers, dancers, and a live big band. Experience the story of how it all began, paying homage to The Rat Pack, Elvis, Gladys Knight & The Pips, and more.

From the dazzling showgirls to the powerhouse singers and dynamic dancers, this production takes you on a musical journey through the decades, celebrating the legendary performers who defined Las Vegas as the “Entertainment Capital of the World”.

With elaborate costumes, booming musical numbers, and a classic Vegas vibe, this show is a nostalgic tribute to the city’s rich entertainment history.

  • Type of Show: Variety, Musical
  • Where: Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood
  • Show Length: 75 minutes
  • Age Restriction: No age restriction
  • Ticket Price: Generally $50-$80

MJ Live

Why we recommend it: A tribute show to Michael Jackson that features impressive dance performances and choreography reminiscent of the King of Pop. It’s a great, budget-friendly alternative to Michael Jackson ONE.

MJ LIVE Tropicana
Courtesy of SAHARA Las Vegas

Where else in the world would you find not one, but two different Michael Jackson-themed shows? Only in Vegas, that’s where!

If Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE is too hard on the wallet, consider catching MJ LIVE instead. This concert-style show the #1 Michael Jackson tribute show globally, brings the magic of the King of Pop to life on stage. From iconic moves like the moonwalk to timeless hits such as “Thriller” and “Beat It,” the show features spectacular effects, a live band, and MJ LIVE dancers.

  • Type of Show: Tribute, Musical
  • Where: SAHARA Las Vegas
  • Show Length: 70 minutes
  • Age Restriction: For audiences 5 years and older
  • Ticket Price: Typically $50-$70

BONUS: Particle Ink

Particle Ink Las Vegas
Courtesy of Particle Ink

Particle Ink: House of Shattered Prisms, born from the creative minds of artists (some with Cirque du Soleil backgrounds), offers a really unique limited-time exhibit at the Luxor. This interactive exhibit, which promises to bring you into the “2.5th dimension”, is a blend of projection-mapped animation, laser light effects, augmented reality, puppetry, dance, acrobatics, and performance.

Initially opening in an Arts District warehouse in 2022, it quickly captivated audiences with its immersive storytelling and superb visual surprises. Now at Luxor, Particle Ink continues to enchant with its heartwarming narrative of a heartbroken artist, aided by magical “Lumins” and menaced by dark “Ink” creatures.

The show features iconic moments, such as breakdancers emerging from bathtubs and dancers twirling in laser-lit rainstorms, all set to a dreamy soundtrack by Sky White Tiger.

  • Type Of Show: Digital, Immersive
  • Where: Luxor
  • Age Restriction: No age restriction
  • Ticket Price: Starting at $67 USD

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About The Author - Elle
About the author

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in Las Vegas (and around the world too)!