Experience Vegas to the fullest, day and night
It’s an age-old conversation when on vacation with family or friends: “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” No one ever knows. And nobody ever wants to be the person who suggested the wrong activity, potentially ruining the entire trip.
The seemingly endless list of shows, restaurants, clubs, attractions and more is often overwhelming, and it can be hard to choose an itinerary. Lucky for you, we put our heads together, did some research of our own (and picked some of our personal faves!) and narrowed it down to some popular choices as well as some off-the-beaten-path adventures. There’s stuff to try during the day all the way into the night (and perhaps into the next morning). So read on, get out and have some fun while you’re in Las Vegas!
Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York-New York
It’s two stories and 13,000 square feet filled with chocolate and candy. There’s also the to-die-for Hershey’s Bake Shoppe—deli-style cases filled with some freshly baked pastries, cookies, cupcakes, cakes and other chocolatey treats. Instagram-worthy shots include the Statue of Liberty sculpture made out of nearly 800 pounds of chocolate and a whole wall filled with all the flavors of Jolly Rancher candies.
Big Elvis at Harrah's
At more than 7,000 shows performed in Vegas, perhaps Pete Vallee, or “Big Elvis,” is bigger than Elvis. Hear him belt out some of The King’s best-known hits at Harrah’s, including “Viva Las Vegas,” where the audience is invited to dance around as he sings from his golden throne.
To the Races! at The D Hotel
With throwback songs playing over the loudspeakers, kick it old school on the second-floor casino by playing the coin-operated simulated horse-racing game. It’s a great spot to go with a group of friends and cheer on your mechanically operated horse as it races around the track. Have your quarters ready!
Adventuredome at Circus Circus
Three Attractions for the Whole Family:
• Pirates Bounty mini golf
• SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D
• Free clown shows
How to Happy Hour Under $20
Mercato della Pescheria (The Venetian)
Keep it simple and order any one item for $7 from 3-6 p.m. That means you could pair a glass of sauvignon blanc with crispy calamari, and leave your server a generous tip.
Jimmy Buffett’s desert oasis is home of the nickel Miller Light from 5-6 p.m. On a $20 budget, you could theoretically order 400 beers. But we don’t recommend that, unless you literally want to waste away in Margaritaville.
House of Blues Restaurant & Bar (Mandalay Bay)
Stave off the blues from 2-5 p.m. and order some Southern-inspired starters. Try the voodoo egg rolls, a concoction of crawfish, andouille sausage, corn, cheese and Cajun spices, and wash it down with a Moscow mule for $16.
Get outdoors at The Plaza hotel downtown and try your hand at one of the funniest-sounding games around—pickleball. Similar to badminton, table tennis and tennis, pickleball is played on a court equipped with a low net. Players use a paddle and a plastic, perforated ball; the game can be played in singles or doubles. The Plaza has dedicated a portion of its pool deck to pickleball, with 12 permanent courts.
REAL BODIES at Bally's
If all you know about your body is that the foot bone is connected to the leg bone, then you might want to visit REAL BODIES. Expertly curated exhibits intertwine culture and science, along with fun trivia, to make sense of our intricate anatomy.
The Berlin Wall was originally built to divide. Now, in Las Vegas, it brings people together in a totally unexpected way: urination. Yes, inside the men’s restroom at Main Street Station (next to the casino cage), urinals are attached to a graffiti-covered segment of the famous Wall. Wait a minute, you may think. It’s not all-inclusive if it’s in the men’s restroom. Wrong. Ladies are allowed to see The Wall, too—just ask a casino employee or security guard for assistance.
Zak Bagans' The Haunted Museum
You’ve probably watched Bagans venture through America’s most haunted cities in Ghost Adventures. Now you can have your own spooky adventure in his haunted museum (600 E. Charleston Blvd.). Creepy artifacts range from Michael Jackson’s “propofol chair,” Dr. Kevorkian’s death van and the Dybbuk box.
Voodoo Zipline at Rio (by the numbers)
• 500 feet in the air
• 1 minute and 10 second ride
• 1/3 of a mile total
• Traveling at 33 mph
Let's Do Brunch
Giada (The Cromwell)
The Food Network star’s exuberance shines in her brunch tasting menu, and at $55, it’s a sweet deal. Items include pastries and antipasti, or go à la carte with dishes like the polenta waffle.
BLT Steak (Bally's)
You might think $90 is a lot to ask for brunch, but BLT Steak’s Sterling Brunch is well worth it. Enjoy premium crab legs and oysters, steak and unlimited pours of Perrier-Jouët Champagne.
Primrose (Park MGM)
The “French-ish” eatery allows you to sample some of the restaurant’s most popular breakfast and lunch items, from granola and yogurt topped with local honey to fried pickled dill beans.
High Roller Happy Half Hour at The LINQ Promenade
The party spins till 1 a.m. For $47, hop aboard one of the High Roller’s party pods for the Happy Half Hour, complete with open bar and one wheel rotation. Of course, you need to be 21-plus in order to hitch a ride aboard the bar pod.
Bars Gone Wild!
You came to Vegas to let loose. And you want to do it with no judgment. And you want to do it where your wild shenanigans will fit right in with the rest of ’em. If this is your MO, here’s where to go: Longbar at The D, Coyote Ugly at New York-New York and Carnaval Court at Harrah’s.
The Mirage Volcano
Fire dances in the night air to the musical soundtrack created by the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Indian tabla musician Zakir Hussain. Fireballs and flames flow into the Stripside lagoon from the top of the volcano, making this a free attraction full of amazement!
Ladies, Lose Those Tan Lines
Get topless in a safe, comfortable and fun environment at the following day clubs (all are age 21-plus): Venus European Pool Lounge at Caesars Palace; Radius Pool and Wet Lounge at Stratosphere; Bare Pool at The Mirage; and Moorea Beach Club at Mandalay Bay.
Wet and Wild
If lying in the sun in a calm and quiet atmosphere doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, we have the perfect dayclub parties for you. Known for over-the-top, wild times, these hot spots turn the party out: Rehab at Hard Rock Hotel; Wet Republic at MGM Grand; and Daylight at Mandalay Bay.
Incredible Nighttime Views
Stratosphere: 854 feet, from indoor observation deck; 866 feet, from outdoor observation deck.
Paris Eiffel Tower: 460 feet, from observation deck.
Vegas's Got Talent
Terry Fator (The Mirage)
Fator was arguably America’s Got Talent’s first real success story. He nearly gave up on the entertainment business before he auditioned for AGT. Good thing he didn’t. Since his Season 2 win, Fator’s earned his own showroom in Las Vegas, soaring beyond his television fame and becoming a Vegas staple.
Mat Franco (The LINQ)
Charm has dual meaning for magician Mat Franco: On one hand, he’s deceptive with his inventive illusions, on the other hand, he’s so charismatic that his act goes beyond magic. Franco won Season 9 and quickly rose to the top in Las Vegas, getting his own theater, The Mat Franco Theater at The Linq.
Piff the Magic Dragon (Flamingo)
Piff affectionately refers to himself as the “Loser of America’s Got Talent.” But he wasn’t a loser for long. After his stint on AGT, he and his magic Chihuahua, Mr. Piffles, quickly found a new home performing in the Cabaret at the Flamingo.
Tape Face (Harrah's)
He’s mastered the art of silent comedy, and now he’s mastered the art of the Vegas residency. After a few successful limited engagements at the Flamingo last year, Tape Face earned his own House of Tape showroom at Harrah’s.
Bavette's Steakhouse & Bar (Park MGM): Dry-aged bone-in ribeye
Jean Georges Steakhouse (Aria): A5 Kobe beef
Gordon Ramsay Steak (Paris): 32-ounce royal long bone chop
Fountains of Bellagio
You may have noticed that the Fountains of Bellagio is a beautifully choreographed ballet of water, music and light. But here’s what you may not know:
• Bellagio’s 8.5 acre lake can hold up to 22 million gallons of water. Of its 1,214 dancing fountains, there are 208 oarsmen, 798 mini-shooters, 192 super-shooters and 16 extreme-shooters, which can reach a height of 460 feet.
• The fountain structure houses 4,792 lights. Each bulb emits 12,360 lumens, which totals 59,229,120 lumens of power.
• In its 20 years of operation, the fountain show has happened more than 240,000 times, with a catalog of 35 songs, ranging from “Singin’ in the Rain” to “Uptown Funk.”
Have a Laugh
Gad Elmaleh, May 9 (Rio)
Erik Myers, May 7-13 (Stratosphere)
Brad Garrett, Tom Rhodes and Kathleen Dunbar, May 11-13 (MGM Grand)
Daniel Tosh, May 11-12 (The Mirage)
People say Las Vegas has no history—we blew it all up. No one can deny there’s a measure of truth in that statement, but all those old hotels and landmarks aren’t completely gone. At the Neon Museum (770 Las Vegas Blvd. N.), the classic neon signs that made Vegas that bright light in the desert live on. During the night tour, you’ll see classic signs lit up in all their glory, the way they were intended.