There’s a good reason Las Vegas is called Sin City, but you don’t need to go crazy at the bar to have a great time in the Nevada desert. As one of the world’s top destinations for entertainment, there’s truly something for everyone whether you’re on a family vacation, enjoying a couples getaway or a weekend of sports with the guys.
From fun, all-ages activities to the ultimate night out, here are a few ideas for planning a weekend getaway in Las Vegas.
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Las Vegas for families
You’re probably thinkings that kids and Vegas don’t mix, but that couldn’t be further from the truth–you just have to know where to go. While some think of Las Vegas as ‘Disneyland for adults’, there are still plenty of activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
One of the newest attractions in the heart of the Strip is the FlyOver Las Vegas flight ride, an immersive sensory experience that highlights the best of the American west.
The incredible visuals in ‘The Real Wild West’ film were shot from a helicopter using specialized cameras, and highlights spots like Lake Tahoe, the rock formations of Zion National Park and Wyoming’s multicoloured Grand Prismatic spring. Using technology including a moving platform, 52-foot spherical screen and multi-sensory special effects, guests feel like they’re soaring right above some of the top natural wonders in the USA. Click here to book
Most guests find they love the flight experience so much that they want to do it again, and fortunately you can do just that booking the dual ride package which also includes a drink at the on-site bar, The Lost Cactus. Along with The Real Wild West, there’s an Iceland movie (the same one that also plays at the FlyOver Iceland location in Reykjavik) which takes a mesmerizing journey through the geysers, waterfalls and volcanoes in the Land of Fire and Ice.
Kids also love the themed hotels in Vegas, like Excalibur which has a ‘Knights of the Round Table’ theme, and the Luxor which is shaped like a giant pyramid. They’re not fancy, but your littles will be wowed—and you’ll save some cash, too.
Another bonus is that many attractions in Vegas are free, and a walk down the Strip can prove quite entertaining.
Two of them are quite close together, at the Mirage and Treasure Island hotels. Every hour from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. daily, a volcano erupts outside the Mirage, sending fireballs shooting into the air accompanied by a soundtrack from rock group The Grateful Dead. If the sea suits your fancy, head next door for the ‘Sirens of Treasure Island’, a performance about mesmerizing temptresses and their prey. The free, outdoor show happens four times nightly—but keep in mind that parental guidance is suggested and strollers are not allowed in viewing areas.
In the mood for adventure? Head to The Strat where you can take in one of the best views of Las Vegas, and get your heart racing. The tower soars nearly 1,200 feet high, giving visitors a panoramic view. Mom and Dad can take it in while enjoying a drink from the bar, while the kids head out to ‘Insanity the Ride’—which is exactly what it sounds like.
A mechanical arm extends out to a height of 900 feet, while the brave souls inside are spun around at high speeds, at one point being propelled straight down. If you still haven’t lost your lunch, try ‘X-Scream’, which is basically like a giant teeter-totter that propels riders headfirst over the end of the tower, over and over. Tower admission is $18 for adults and $10 for children, and packages are also available for those also looking to go on the rides.
You can also check out the Adventuredome Theme Park located inside Circus Circus, which houses a number of rides including a double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster which reaches speeds of nearly 90 km/h. Pay per ride or buy an all-day pass, which is $17 for kids.
If mom and dad need a break from the kids, check out these adventurous things couples can do in Las Vegas.
A girls getaway to Las Vegas
Your weekend should be all about fun, fashion and relaxation, so start by checking in to the beautiful Bellagio Hotel. Famous for its fountain show, guests can also enjoy the serene pool area that will fool you into thinking you’re nestled away in a Roman villa.
The area features five separate areas including private pools and cabanas, comfortable day loungers and a bar. Work on your golden tan during the day, then head out in the late afternoon for some shopping.
One of the best malls to hit is the Premium Outlets North. There are 150 outlet stores here, from high end (Armani, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana) to casual and sporty. If you don’t have a car—which is likely, you don’t need one!—you can easily get there by cab, Uber or bus from anywhere on the stip.
Hop on the Strip & Downtown Express buses heading north, and it will drop you off right in front of the mall about half an hour later. Tickets cost $7 for a 24-hour pass, and you can buy them from the vending machine located at each bus stop. Budget at least a few hours at the outlet mall, and depending on how many people you’re with you may want to split up—there are a lot of stores to cover!
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After dinner, spend the night taking in a show like Cirque du Soleil is a popular option. A feat in acrobatics and strength, the show is a mix of circus acts, comedy and jaw-dropping stunts. Hotels like the Bellagio and Treasure Island have in-house Cirque shows, so you may be able to get a deal on ticket prices if you’re staying at one of them.
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Spend your next day in Vegas wandering the Strip, kicking back at the pool or getting some spa treatments before heading over to the CityCentre complex. Located in the heart of the Strip, CityCenter is made up of a huge, luxury mall (think Louis Vuitton and Prada) and glamorous hotels including The Cosmopolitan. Grab a drink inside the Chandelier Bar, which is adorned with hundreds of thousands of Swarovski crystals.
Finish off with a night of dancing at Marquee. This stunning space features a huge pool right in the middle of the bar, a number of cabanas for those getting bottle service, numerous levels and dance floors and a great view of the Strip.
The trick to getting into places like this if you aren’t springing for pricey bottle service is to be escorted in by the promotions guys who will bombard you all day long with promises of free drinks, no line and no cover if you go to their club. Take them up on the offer!
A bachelor party
Bring lots of money. Get your game face on. And remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
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