15 Non-Gaming Things to Do At Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort: Uncasville CT

While many people go to this Indian Casino in the middle of rural Connecticut strictly for the slots – or to place their bets – there are so many non-gaming things to do at Mohegan Sun Resort, you can take your most ardent anti-gambling friends and they’d be happy.

For starters, the building itself is a stunner.

The soaring geometric glass towers of Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino appear suddenly – and startlingly – as you round a curve in the remote rolling hills along the Thames River in southeastern Connecticut.

Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribe, opened in 1996. It was the second “Indian Casino” to rise in Connecticut. (Foxwoods, managed by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe ten miles away, was built in 1986.)

(For many more dreamy weekends away in Connecticut, check out this Best Romantic Getaways in CT post).

The first time I approached the modernist towers of Mohegan Sun in 2002, I was, I admit, cynical. How does this glass and mirror Oz embody the essence of Native American culture? (Especially since gambling is the “Indian Casino’s” reason d’être). What do slot machines have to do with reverence for Mother Earth? Or for adhering to Tribal customs, for that matter?

Spellbinding Decor at Mohegan Sun Casino

And then, I walked in. Embellished with bead and bark designs, roaring waterfalls, a 25 ft. tall Chihuly glass centerpiece, and with two hotel casino towers identified as “Earth” and “Sky,” Mohegan Sun is arguably the most dazzling gaming resort in the country. And yes, its interior design celebrates the local Native American heritage in the most exquisite and spellbinding ways.

Chihuly Sculpture in Sky Tower

The Tribal owners/managers of Mohegan Sun are so adept at building and running casinos and entertainment resorts, they count themselves among the Wynn’s and Caesar’s, and consider this a family-run business.

The Mohegan Sun Hotel (Earth Tower, Sky Tower)

Sky Tower Hotel Lobby

Guest rooms in both hotel towers (Earth and Sky) are as calming as the resort’s casinos and public areas are electrifying. Swathed in shades of gold and grey, they offer direct views of sunrise on the Thames River. (Yes, get up for it).  Comforters, nearly as voluminous as the pillow top beds, invite a sleep so deep, I was out for eight hours straight. It was the longest I slept in months.

Royal Suite Mohegan Sun Resort CT

The top of the line 3,700 sq. ft. Royal Suite features 180-degree views of the Thames River from its massive living room, where once, competing women dished on an episode of The Bachelorette. With two bedrooms, two baths, and beautifully appointed, this is where headliners or high rollers are generally put up. (Price on request).

11 Things to Do At Mohegan Sun And Other Facts

Mohegan Sun Functional Artwork Uncasville CT

Mohegan Sun is owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribe on Tribal land

It attracts 9 to 12 million visitors a year. Even an “off-season” midweek day will see 10k – 15k guests. There are 7,000 employees – many of whom have Native American heritage (though not necessarily Mohegan).

Sky Tower Lobby Fountain Pool Mohegan Sun Uncasville CT

Wander the property to see symbols of the Mohegan Tribe throughout.

Décor at Mohegan Sun is “tribally influenced.” Tens of millions of colorful beads were used to create vibrantly colored lighting and sail-like sculptures above. White birch bark around the Sky Tower ceiling represents the importance of basket weaving to the Eastern Woodland Indians. Everything – from trees to waterfalls, and even the color-rotating Chihuly glass sculpture – evokes Tribal imagery.

Todd English Tuscany Mohegan Sun Uncasville CT

Have A Bite: There Are 38 Dining Options to Choose From

Mohegan Sun houses eateries to fit your pocket from Starbucks and Jersey Mike’s to Todd English’s Tuscany and Michael Jordan (MJ’s Steakhouse). There’s also a Pepe’s Pizza outpost (since 1925 in New Haven CT) – for those who can’t get enough of what some say is the best pizza in the USA. And, unfortunately for those watching their figures, there’s also Ben & Jerry’s, Krispy Kreme, and Dunkin Donuts.

Mohegan Sun Arena – Setting Up for Event

Catch The Connecticut Suns (Women’s Basketball) At Mohegan Sun Arena

Michael Jordan, playing with the Wizards against the Celtics, headlined The Mohegan Sun Arena’s opening event in 2001. Mohegan Sun has its own WNBA Woman’s Basketball Team (The Mohegan Suns), which draws crowds from around the world.

Or Try To Get Tickets To Your Favorite Band or Musician – Also At Mohegan Sun Arena

Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, and Beyonce, have all played in the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena which hosts top-flight celebrities.

Wolf Den Earth Casino Mohegan Sun CT

Be Spur Of the Moment and Grab One of 350 seats in-the-round At The Wolf Den- It’s Free to Enter

Yes, folks – you pay nada to listen to any band booked there. Though most are not well known (yet), Eddie Money, MC Hammer, the Gin Blossoms, and more have played at the Wolf Den. Even if you can’t get a seat, the venue is somewhat open to the casino area, so you can just stand, watch, and enjoy.

Earth Expo Center Mohegan Sun CT

Pick Out Your Favorite Boat Or Plan Your Garden At Earth Expo Center: A Venue The Size of 4 Football Fields

Column-free, painted bright white, and flooded with natural light, the space is attracting large-scale expositions – Boat Shows, Home and Garden Shows, etc. One of the biggest events – the 4-day Sun, Wine, and Food Festival – has brightened up the dark frigid days of late January for 17 years in a row.

Mandara Spa Mohegan Sun CT

Book A Spa Treatment At Either The Mandara Spa in Earth Tower, or Mandara Spa in Sky Tower

With 19,000 sq. feet, and 14 treatment rooms, the larger Mandara Spa in the Earth Tower offers everything from facials to massages to sloughing exfoliations and wraps. Although smaller, the Mandara Spa in the Sky Tower – at 3,000 sq ft with 7 treatment rooms – offers the same services.

Go Go-Karting – Indoors

Race around the WORLD’S LARGEST Indoor Multi-Level Karting track. Yet another way to avoid the slots. Or….

Create Your Own Version of American Ninja Warrior

Indoor trampolines at Ninja Wipeout feature a battle beam, Wipeout balls, and over 18 Ninja Wipeout obstacles including cargo net climbers, a spinning log, zig-zag bridge, net maze, cave crawl, and more.

Play Golf

Your best friends or spouse are deep into Black Jack, but you’d rather be out on the links. Good thing Mohegan Sun has a championship, and challengong 18 hole golf course. Just up your ally.

Indoor Pool Mohegan Sun CT

Jump In the Sky Tower Pool Any Time of Year

The huge indoor pool within a glass atrium, is a hit with families, of course. But so are the Kid’s Quest supervised activity center for children 6 weeks to 12 years, and Cyber Quest Arcade for unaccompanied kids over 12. When I visited on a January Tuesday, there were more families with their young offspring here than people sitting at the slots – ironic for a gambling resort.

Choose Your Favorite Nightlife Activity: With Entertainment

Like to play games? Corn Hole, billiards, darts, karaoke? Choose Game On. Like to laugh at the guy or gal on stage, ride a mechanical bull, karaoke – again. Head to Comix Roadhouse. Love you some Irish music? Have a seat at the Lansdowne Irish Pub and Music House. Like your lounge with VIP Areas and hidden nooks and crannies. Head to VISTA Lounge at Wombi Rock. Like to dance – but only if the DJ rocks – and don’t mind bubbles of bachelorettes ? Join the crowd at Avalon Nightclub. Just want to enjoy your cigar in peace? Head to the Clay Pipe Cigar Bar.

Waterfall Sky Tower Mohegan Sun Resort Uncasville CT

If you noticed – the ten facts about Mohegan Sun above did not include anything about “Gaming”

That’s because you can walk clear around the resort and not even enter one of three Casino Areas (Casino of the Earth, Casino of the Sky, Casino of the Wind) that together measure 300,000 sq ft. Those adverse to gambling will find joy just lingering by the central mosaic fountain pool in the hotel lobby or strolling around the interconnecting sections of the resort to ogle the tantalizing interior design and artwork.

FYI: Mohegan Sun is one of our 10 Perfect Places to Pop the Question in CT.


  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine, Shape.com, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.

1 thought on “15 Non-Gaming Things to Do At Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort: Uncasville CT”

  1. Thank you, Malerie for the comprehensive article on The Mohegan Sun and The Aspire Resort! Your information, pictures and great descriptions just convinced us to stay there for three days! Thanks again for the great reporting! 🙂

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