Twenty-five members of the public can ride the floats during an hourly show of dancers and musicians who parade on elevated tracks over the casino floor at the Rio All-Suite Hotel-Casino. The shows run hourly from 7 p.m. to midnight Thursdays through Sundays. Make reservations at harrahs-web.vegas.com/rio/masquerade.html. $13.
13. WEEKLY BLUES CONCERTS
At 9 p.m. every Wednesday, the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay offers "Nothing but the Blues" concerts inside the Crossroads room. Bands change weekly, and there's no cover charge. To find out more, go to www.myspace.com/ nothingbuttheblues2007 or call (702) 632-7600. Free.
14. THE GAY DISCOUNT CARD
You don't have to be gay or lesbian to get a Q VIP discount card. Q Vegas, the town's major GLBT magazine, distributes the card, which provides discounts to the Atomic Testing Museum and the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, among other places. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number and birth date, and the mag will send the card to you. Free.
15. THE PINBALL HALL OF FAME
This 4,500-square-foot storefront is a hidden treasure where you can play 200 or so vintage pinball machines. It's a nonprofit effort run by Tim Arnold, a former arcade chain owner with a collection that dates to the 1940s. The Pinball Hall of Fame is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily at 3330 E. Tropicana Ave. For more information, visit www.pinballmuseum.org. 25 cents to 50 cents per game.
16.-17. EAT AT VEGAS COOKING SCHOOLS
If you hunger for an inexpensive gourmet meal, try one of the two local cooking schools where some of those vaunted Strip chefs trained. The Culinary Institute of Las Vegas currently serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays at Opus Too, 2350 Corporate Circle in Henderson (www.artinstitutes.edu/lasvegas/aboutus_facility.asp?facid=69). To confirm days and hours and make reservations, call (702) 369-9944. $9.95. Also try Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, which has a 10,000-square-foot restaurant called Café Bleu (www.vegasculinary.com/onsite_restaurant.asp). It is open 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays and 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. for dinner at 1451 Center Crossing Road. Call (702) 851-5322 for reservations. At both places, the students cook and wait the tables. $19 to $21.
18. LAUGH AT IMPROV STUDENTS
Aspiring comics training with the Second City comedy troupe perform at 9:30 p.m. Mondays at the Onyx Theatre, 953 E. Sahara Ave. The theater ( www.onyxtheatre.com) is behind a clothing shop called the Rack. No advance ticket sales. $7.
19. SUNSET VIEW OF THE STRIP
Rather than pay up to $13.95 to see the Strip from the Stratosphere observation deck, head to the bar at Mix atop THEhotel at Mandalay Bay before 10 p.m. for a better view. Free.
20. VISIT THE FISH
A major tourist draw in Vegas is the 50,000-gallon, horseshoe-shaped saltwater tank at the north end of Caesars Palace's Forum Shops that houses more than 500 colorful fish, including zebra sharks and cownose rays. During educational tours, you can handle live starfish and observe other sea life. The tours start at 1:15 and 5:15 p.m. weekdays near the Tower Records side of the aquarium. Free.
21. GET INTO VEGAS NIGHTCLUBS FREE
Grab free passes to two of the Strip's hottest nightclubs, the Bank at Bellagio and Jet at the Mirage, at such stores as Metro Park and Marciano at Fashion Show, Ted Baker and BeBe at Forum Shops and Marciano and BeBe at the Miracle Mile Shops. The passes can be worth $20 or more. Free.
Steve Friess' Vegas-centric celebrity-interview podcast, "The Strip," can be heard at www.thestrippodcast.com. Friess' daily Vegas blog is at www.vegashappenshere.com.