Category Archives: Vegas Activities

Neon Las Vegas Christmas Sign

A Las Vegas Christmas with Christmas Lights & Neon Lights

Las Vegas isn’t a vacation only saved for the summertime – Christmas in Vegas can be an amazing winter retreat that’ll have you talking about the memories you make every holiday season! Whether you come with your partner, a group of friends, or your whole family, you’ll find a sleighful of activities to keep you as busy as Santa’s elves during your entire Las Vegas Christmas 2018 trip.

Sin City may not be the first place you think to bring the kids to for Christmas, but there are plenty of festive and fun things to do in Las Vegas in December to keep things merry and bright!

Las Vegas Christmas Town at Cowabunga Bay

Leave the swimsuits at home because Cowabunga Bay Water Park transforms into a winter wonderland smack-dab in the middle of the desert. With over 2 million twinkling lights, a Polar Express Train ride, and a Mistletoe Ice Rink, Las Vegas Christmas Town feels like the North Pole. You and the family will also enjoy an 100ft snow hill, bounce houses, a 40-foot dancing tree, the opportunity to have a “snowball” fight in Frosty’s Ball Pit, help Rudolph save Christmas by defeating the Abominable Snowman and the Grinch in a paint shootout, and a visit to Santa and his reindeer in his cozy cottage.

Springs Preserve

Another great option to keep you and your family entertained during your Las Vegas Christmas vacation is the iconic Springs Preserve. You can climb aboard the Springs Preserve Holiday Express and be transported to Santa’s very own wintery village. There, you and your family will create crafts together, decorate cookies, listen to storytelling, and have a one-on-one visit with Santa Claus!

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden

For an entire day of holiday cheer, start your morning off by stopping by the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden for a truly festive treat for the eye. Each holiday season, a staff of 120 extremely talented horticulturists design and construct breathtaking scenery sculpted almost entirely from trees, plants, flowers, and seeds. The 14,000-square-foot floral fairyland is especially exceptional during the winter months with added bridges, gazebos, and water features.

 Cookie Factory at Magical Forest by Opportunity VillageAttribute: Blog.Vegas.com

Magical Forest at Opportunity Village

Ask any local what they like to do in Vegas during the holidays, and they’ll tell you that the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village is a must-see. The Magical Forest includes a stroll through an enchanted forest lit up with thousands of lights, a Forest Express Passenger Train, a magical carousel, an inflatable avalanche slide, mini-golf, a mini-coaster, and photos with Santa, of course! You’ll also find food, nightly entertainment, and dozens of photo opportunities to share with friends and family back home.

LINQ Promenade

In the afternoon, take a stroll down The LINQ Promenade and you’ll instantly be transported to a winter wonderland with carolers, festive decorations, and your favorite holiday music ringing through the boulevard. Grab some lunch and shop as you observe singers, dancers, and showgirls along with a spectacular light show consisting of more than 2,000 LED lights which are synchronized to the music.

The famous High Roller even gets in on the action as it changes colors and “dances” along with the light show. For those adventurous at heart, fly like Santa and his reindeer 1,080 feet above the Promenade on the Fly LINQ zipline as all the busy shoppers bustle around beneath you!

Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan

Cap the night off at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool where you can skate on an ice rink with more than 4,200 square feet of real ice to glide over. The cost of the ice rink admission includes all-day skating access and the cost of skate rentals, however entry into the area is completely free! You’ll find toasty fire pits with lots of seating, a menu with comfort food, hot chocolate, and a variety of warm cocktails to choose from. Catch a holiday-themed double feature and enjoy a peaceful snowfall scheduled every 30 minutes.

Nevada Ballet Theater Annual Nutcracker BalletAttribute: Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Nutcracker by the Nevada Ballet Theater

You simply can’t come to Las Vegas without seeing a live show, and the Las Vegas Christmas shows are no exception! The Nevada Ballet Theatre at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center will perform the classic story, The Nutcracker, featuring beautifully choreographed dancing to the familiar musical spectacle. If you’re hoping to catch this Christmas classic, be sure to schedule your vacation accordingly as The Nutcracker is performing from December 8th – 24th.

Wizards of Winter

Mixing classical music with progressive rock, the Wizards of Winter will also be coming to Las Vegas for Christmas! If your vacation lands around December 15th, be sure to book your tickets right away. Featuring former members of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Blue Oyster Cult, Alice Cooper band, and more, the Wizards of Winter is a true Christmas rock ‘n roll opera guaranteed to rock your jingle bells!

A Las Vegas Christmas is a vacation you and your family will never forget! Be sure to plan ahead when booking at the Golden Gate because our warm and cozy rooms will go quickly! Located just Downtown, close to all the things to do in Las Vegas in December, the Golden Gate is the perfect place to either continue the festive fun or rest and relax from all your holiday adventures!

Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Team Playing a Game

Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Season Starts

Attribute: Commons.Wikimedia.org – Alex Tuch

It didn’t take long of the Las Vegas Golden Knights to claim the hearts of the valley. In their astonishing inaugural year, the Golden Knights were already the heroes our city always hoped to have. In fact, last season, the Golden Knights fans packed in the T-Mobile Arena at over 100-percent capacity. According to StubHub data, the Golden Knights are the most in-demand team for the second year in a row.

Vegas isn’t the inconspicuous type, which is why home games are a two-for-one deal: a thrilling sporting event combined with a show you might see on the Strip. If you missed it, during the Golden Knights opener, an aerial silk performer cascaded from the rafters above and delivered the game puck to Lil Wayne and Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton. No other team in the NHL could ever pull that off!

Following an outstanding run to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural year, the Knights come into their second season bristling with confidence. The Golden Knights have acquired left wing, Max Pacioretty, who has 222 assists and 448 out of his 626 NHL career games. The Knights also signed free-agent center, Paul Stastny, to replace second-line wings James Neal and David Perron. Free agent Nick Holden was also signed to plug a hole on defense who previously played for the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins. The Golden Knights have inherited some great talent and all of Vegas is crossing their fingers, hoping the team dynamic will be as strong as it was last year.

VKG Fans Celebrating Hockey Game WinAttribute: VegasHockyKnight.com

Las Vegas Golden Knights Schedule

Having seen what the Knights are actually capable of, other NHL teams will surely be gunning for them this hockey season. Lucky for locals and Vegas visitors, the Golden Knights have an exciting home season lined up with several veteran big dogs to compete against:

-San Jose Sharks: November 24th and January 10th
-Chicago Blackhawks: December 6th
-Los Angeles Kings: December 23rd and January 1st
-Pittsburgh Penguins: January 19th
-Boston Bruins: February 20th
-Detroit Red Wings: March 23rd

Where to Find a Golden Knights Watch Party

Since home games do tend to bring in a mob of fans leaving T-Mobile Arena nearly bursting at the seams, tickets do go quickly! If you’re not able to snag a ticket to the match up you were hoping to catch, don’t worry! There are plenty of places in the Valley that throw such spectacular viewing parties, you won’t even realize you’re not at the game!

Topgolf

At Topgolf, fans can watch the game on an 83-foot wide screen with stadium sound while enjoying a variety of onsite drinks and snacks. It wouldn’t be a Golden Knights watch party without some fun games to play during commercials! Topgolf provides activities like corn hole, ping pong, and tabletop shuffleboard. Golf bays and seating are available on a first come, first served basis.

Downtown Las Vegas Events Center

The Downtown Las Vegas Events Center also hosts watch parties for all Golden Knights home and away games. There is free seating in bleachers and on the grass, and reserved tables are available as well. It’s free to get in and open to all ages. Food and beverages available for purchase and each VKG watch party has special entertainment during the game.

Person Watching Vegas Golden Knights Game on Television

Golden Gate Hotel & Casino

Maybe you’d prefer to plan your own Vegas Golden Knights viewing party? Well, what better place to do it than a place that has the word “Golden” right in its name – Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, of course! Stock up on cold drinks and your favorite finger foods and book a room at the Golden Gate for the next Knights game. Each standard room includes a 32-inch HD flat-screen TV to enjoy the game on or invite some friends and splurge on a penthouse, equipped with a kitchen and three giant flat-screen TV.

Golden Gate’s penthouses also include a piece de résistance; a large outdoor patio with lounge seating, a gas grill, a full wet bar, and a 50-inch flat-screen TV. The Golden Gate may not have live medieval reenactments, but they do have Dancing Dealers – and that’s even better in most cases!

All eyes are on our Knights this NHL season and everyone is hoping to see a Cinderella story sequel. No matter what, the Golden Knights have proven their dedication to Las Vegas and win or lose, the Knights’ loyal fans will always stay true to the players, season after season.  

Mugshot of Famous Las Vegas Mobster Bugsy Siegel

Where to Get a Las Vegas Mob History Lesson

Attribute: Commons.Wikimedia.org – Benjamin Siegel

Mobsters were violent, greedy criminals who took what they wanted and it didn’t matter the cost. They lived luxurious lives, sneaking behind the backs of good cops and paying off bad ones. These mafia crime lords were brilliant and reckless, paving the way for illegal operations of gambling, prostitution, and smuggling prohibited goods. As corrupt as the mafia was, we owe it to some of the (in)famous Las Vegas mobsters for making the city of Las Vegas what it is today.

Famous Las Vegas Mobsters & The Flamingo

There is a reason they call Las Vegas “Sin City”, and that reason dates all the way back to when the mob was in charge of things. Two of the most notorious mobsters responsible for making Las Vegas what it is today were Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and Meyer Lansky. In 1946, Meyer Lansky began showing interest in investing in Las Vegas casinos. He chose his pal, Bugsy Siegel, to oversee the construction process of the Valley’s first casino, The Flamingo.

Siegel came to Vegas with high hopes and wanted The Flamingo to be the finest building money could buy, but unfortunately, he got a little too carried away. As costs soared, his checks began bouncing. The Flamingo opened in 1946, but only the casino, lounge, restaurant, and theater were finished. Between construction noise, unfinished rooms, and the desert’s first air conditioning frequently failing, The Flamingo was losing money quickly. Although people attended the opening, they were welcomed by loud construction noises and unsightly drop cloths hanging from the ceilings. Gambling tables were operating, but the luxury hotel rooms for people to stay in were unfinished, leaving guests wary to stay the night.

Original 1946 Flamingo Hotel in Las VegasAttribute: History.com

After two weeks, The Flamingo had $275,000 in losses and the entire operation shut down in late January, 1947. While other mob bosses wanted to “off” Siegel for losing so much of their money, Lansky begged them to give his friend a second chance – and they obliged. The Flamingo reopened in March of 1947. Siegel cracked down and did everything possible to turn the Flamingo into a success. With a little assistance from Lansky, The Flamingo finally began to earn some money. However, the profit was not enough for the mob bosses who Siegel borrowed money from, and they were tired of waiting.

The investors had made the final decision that Siegel was finished. On June 20, 1947, Bugsy Siegel was shot and killed in his home in Beverly Hills, California. On that night, an unknown assailant fired at him through the window with a .30 caliber military M1 carbine hitting him several times, including twice in the head. Just twenty minutes after Siegel’s death, Lansky’s associates walked into The Flamingo and took control of the hotel. No one was charged with killing Siegel, and the crime remains officially unsolved.

Where to Learn More about Las Vegas Mob History

The Mob Museum Las Vegas

Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky weren’t the only mobsters running amuck around the streets of Las Vegas. Plenty of gangs from New York and Chicago came flooding in to Las Vegas to grab hold of the potential our city possessed. Today, if you’re looking to find more information on the mafia groups that ran Sin City, what better place than the three-story Mob Museum located in Downtown Las Vegas?

Exterior View of Mob Museum Las VegasAttribute: TheMobMuseum.org

Just minutes from Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, you can immerse yourself in the history of organized crime from vintage Las Vegas. The Mob Museum Las Vegas is a restored courthouse from 1933 with interactive exhibits and actual artifacts with real stories about Las Vegas mob history and the events that took place. It’s the truest mob experience you could ask for without having to sleep with one eye open when you get home!

A Mob Story

If a museum isn’t quite what you came to Vegas for, then how about a show? The Plaza Hotel and Casino is featuring an original production called “A Mob Story” that entertains audiences through stunning choreography and visual effects influenced by gangsters and mob mistresses of the past that illustrates how the mob made Las Vegas with.

A Mob Story was created and directed by legendary producer, Emmy and Golden Globe award winner, Jeff Kutash and is narrated by “The Prince of the Mafia”, Michael Franzese. There are also special appearances from former mayor and mob attorney, Oscar Goodman. You can purchase your tickets here, and even upgrade to the Godfather Dinner & Show Package that offers menu items like skirt steak and Italian desserts.

Next time you are visiting Las Vegas, make some time for a history lesson. With perks such as a speakeasy and a steak dinner, it’s hard not to enjoy learning all about the Las Vegas mob history that shaped Sin City. We promise this will be a lesson worth taking!

Traditional Thanksgiving Feast with Fall Harvest

How to Plan a Las Vegas Thanksgiving Weekend

The wonderful thing about Thanksgiving is you don’t have to spend the holiday the exact way it’s glamorized on television shows and in movies. Thanksgiving is about celebrating the things you’re thankful for in life – and that doesn’t always need to include a cornucopian spread of multicolored gourds and fruit pies every year. Whether you have a large family, it’s just two of you, or you prefer a feast with your closest friends, Las Vegas is a great place to commemorate this wonderful “Fall-iday”!

Family Time

If you’ve chosen Vegas for your family Thanksgiving get-away, you can cross “cooking up a huge meal” off your list! Las Vegas might be the city of entertainment, but it takes a close second for great places to eat, and that doesn’t exclude Thanksgiving meals. Vegas hotels and casinos offer a plethora of buffets and gourmet restaurants that will leave you in a food coma and loosening your belt afterwards.

At Carmine’s, located at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, you can order a Las Vegas Thanksgiving feast for the whole family that includes an 18-pound roasted turkey, sausage and sage stuffing, cranberry sauce, a variety of vegetables, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and maple syrup, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a choice of pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie for dessert. This option is perfect for families of six to eight. The best part is, you can sightsee the Strip while burning off the Thanksgiving Day carbs!

Couple Taking Thanksgiving Hike on Mt. Charleston

Just the Two of Us

Just because you came to the desert for Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some beautiful fall scenery. Just 20 minutes north of Las Vegas, Mt. Charleston has colorful forests, plentiful wildlife, and cozy lodges to make your get-away holiday as charming as ever. What better way to embrace thankfulness for your loved one than to walk side by side on beautiful trails lined with scenic views and cascading waterfalls?

You can stop and enjoy a Thanksgiving picnic or even explore the terrain by horseback. Perhaps even spend your Thanksgiving evening warm and toasty in a cozy cabin. Once you visit Mt. Charleston, you’ll have one more item to add to your list of things you’re thankful for.

Friendsgiving

If you and a group of your closest pals opted for a “Friendsgiving” in Vegas this year, then why not go big? Big entertainment, big drinks, big city lights, big fun – you can find all this in classic Downtown Las Vegas! Book a room at Golden Gate and you’ll be close to all the action for your Friendsgiving celebration. Golden Gate’s penthouses are perfect for group get-togethers, equipped with a kitchen to snack on your Thanksgiving fixings and three giant flat-screen TV’s so there’s no arguing between watching the parade or the football game.

Golden Gate’s penthouses also include a large outdoor patio with lounge seating, a gas grill, a full wet bar, and a 50-inch flat-screen TV. When you’re not celebrating in your brag-worthy penthouse, you can take a zipline ride on Slotzilla or stroll under the massive Fremont St. LED canopy. A Friendsgiving like this would definitely be one-of-a-kind!

Friends Black Friday Shopping at Vegas Outlet Mall

Black Friday Shopping

Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without a little competitive shopping the next day, which is why Vegas is the perfect place to visit during this holiday. Once your food has digested and you’re well rested from all the excitement, Sin City offers several places to score some shopping deals. With one location near Downtown and another just south of the Strip, Las Vegas’ Premium Outlets are your one-stop-shops to fulfill all your gift ideas without emptying your wallet.

With stores like Michael Kors, Converse, Lucky, Perfumania, and Saks Fifth Avenue, you’ll be able to find something for everyone on your list at not only Black Friday prices, but outlet Black Friday prices. Make sure to bring an extra suitcase to take home all your goodies!

A traditional Thanksgiving is lovely, but it’s completely okay to deviate from the norm from time to time. Because of the endless entertainment, beautiful weather, and delectable restaurants, Las Vegas is a fantastic place to visit year-round. With a little creativity, you can make your Las Vegas Thanksgiving weekend an exciting, stress-free Thanksgiving tradition!

Male using a laptop to book a cheap vegas trip.

Vegas on a Budget

Las Vegas is synonymous with luxury and opulence. A land notorious for its grand mega casinos and lavish experiences, Vegas can make a severe dent in your wallet. But it doesn’t have to. We’re here to dispel the rumors that in order to do Vegas right, you need to spend a lot of money. Thanks to budget-friendly restaurants, free attractions, and affordable accomodations, you don’t have to cut your experience short to save a pretty penny. Let’s look at some top tips to make the most out of visiting Vegas on a budget.

Affordable Hotels in Vegas

When you’re wanting to do Vegas on a budget, the first expense you need to tackle (outside of airfare) is accomodations. Despite what you may think, nightly hotel rates in Las Vegas can be quite affordable when you take more time to do some research. Here are the top tips for finding deals on Las Vegas hotels:

1. Join a Membership Program for Discounts – Every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas has a gaming club that offers discounted room rates, exclusive deals, and promotions.

2. Visit Mid-Week – Las Vegas hotels slash prices Monday through Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to visit Las Vegas.

3. Shift Your Weekend Getaway – Can’t swing a weekday trip? Fly in Saturday and out Monday for cheaper flights (and a room rate drop on Sunday night).

4. Don’t Go on a Busy Convention Weekend – Las Vegas is the convention capital of the United States and while there are always smaller conventions taking place, avoid any major convention weekends like CES, which has upwards of 175,000 attendees. For more information, consult the Las Vegas Convention Calendar.

5. Avoid Major Sporting Event Weekends – Las Vegas is a city founded on gambling, so weekends with major sporting events like the Super Bowl or any big fights are the city’s busiest times. This also means hotel prices will skyrocket.

6. Avoid Festival Weekends – Las Vegas is home to many major music festivals which draw crowds of 25,000+. Avoid these popular weekends to save a little money on your accommodations.

7. Share Your Room – It’s simple math. The more people you have in a room, the smaller percentage you have to pay. If you have 4 friends, consider booking a room with 2 queen beds to save.

8. Stay Away From The Strip – Downtown Vegas has underwent many changes over the past several years and has so much fun and entertainment to offer for less than comparable Strip attractions.

9. Book with the Hotel Directly – Booking directly with the hotel can be better than using a third party booking site because it eliminates extra fees. Booking directly usual offers a best rate guarantee so you can rest assured you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Container Park in Downtown Las Vegas is made out of shipping containers.Attribute: Downtown Container Park

Free Things To Do in Vegas

-Local chocolatier Ethel M is located in one of the largest botanical cactus gardens in the world. The factory tours offer free samples after a walk through the unusual gardens.

-You can’t miss this Vegas staple! Watch a dazzling display of waterworks at the Fountains of Bellagio as you listen along to an enchanting concert of classical and pop tunes.

-Stroll along the new LINQ Promenade, a high energy marketplace, all the way to the High Roller.

-Snap a photo at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on the south end of the Strip. The sign itself is now solar powered and has plenty of parking nearby.

-Head to the Downtown Container Park, a retail, dining and play park made entirely of shipping containers. The Container Park offers free entertainment and a 55-foot-tall fire breathing praying mantis outside.

-Do a self-guided tour of the Fremont East Entertainment District when night falls and check out all the refurbished vintage neon lights!

Eating on a Budget in Vegas

If you’ve got 5-star taste on a 1-star budget, you’re in luck! Vegas offers an abundance of cheap eats within the city. Here are some tips to save money on drinks and dining in Las Vegas.

-Gamble Your Way to (Nearly) Free Drinks – The best way to drink for free is to play the slots at older downtown casinos, where the play amounts are lower.

-Eat at the Hotel Food Court – Many hotels and casinos in Vegas offer a food court with awesome hours that work for lower budgets.

-Skip Room Service – Keep in mind that you’re paying for the convenience. If you’re looking to do Vegas on a budget, eliminate room service.

-Dine on a Pre-Theater Menu – Most restaurants inside hotels that have a nightly show offer a pre-theater prixe-fixe menu where you can get quality food at a cheap price. Most times, you don’t even have to show a theater ticket to keep the reservation.

-Take Advantage of Happy Hour – Prime-time seating at the Strip’s five-star restaurants is between 8 and 10pm, but these hot spots like to be full all the time, so most host a happy hour between 4 and 7pm. Details vary by restaurant so call ahead or ask your concierge first.

-Affordable 5-Star Restaurants – While spending between $40 and $80 to enjoy a five-star meal may sound a bit pricey, the value is certainly there. Under typical conditions these meals can reach into the hundreds. If you want to eat like a King at a fraction of the cost, here are a few options:
>L’Atelier Joel Robuchon, MGM Grand
>Michael Mina, Bellagio
>Milos, Cosmopolitan
>Jean-Georges Steakhouse, Aria

There are so many ways to cut costs and score some Las Vegas deals. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to deplete your life savings to have an awesome experience. In fact, doing Vegas on a budget is one of the best ways to experience this spectacular city!