EXCITE | news & insider intel

Saddle Up, Rodeo Fans

Ten days of National Finals Rodeo action takes place Dec. 1-10, accompanied by a cavalcade of country music superstars—including George Strait, Tanya Tucker, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert—who will fill multiple Vegas venues and dates this month. Check out our Onstage calendar listings for more information.

Get Your Drink On

Coastal Italian hot spot Kassi Beach House, located at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, pumps up its crowd of socialites and trendsetters withc ocktails that range from slushies and drafts, to shaken and classic.
We recommend you start with an espresso martini and end with a vodka-grapefruit-lavender White Hound—where your adventure leads in between is up to you. Or, try a smattering when select libations go half-price every Wednesday from 9 p.m. to close at the Kassi House Party. —Melinda Sheckells


Bring in 2023 With
a Bang

THE PLAZA The downtown property’s annual fireworks display provides plenty of viewing vantage points, including the optimal sightlines from its rooftop pool, which guests will have access to when purchasing the hotel’s NYE room package special. plazahotelcasino.com

FREMONT STREET Welcome New Year’s with a digital fireworks show under the electrifying VivaVision canopy and enjoy live music performances on three stages by Bush, Sugar Ray, The Wailers featuring Julian Marley, Sugarhill Gang, All-4-One, Tag Team, and DJ Skribble.
Admission is $50. vegasexperience.com/nye

Join 280,000 other attendees for the Las Vegas Strip’s annual “America’s Party” to experience a massive fireworks show in which eight hotel-casinos—MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian, Resorts World and The Strat—simultaneously shoot 80,000-plus fireworks from their rooftops. The fireworks start at midnight, and the 10-minute display will be choreographed to a popular-music mix.

LAKE LAS VEGAS Located in Henderson, Nevada, about 40 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, LLV will have a fireworks display over its lake on New Year’s Eve, as well as a New Year’s ’23 Fireworks Cruise with a DJ and drink specials. To book the cruise, reserve your spot at llvws.com. For fireworks information, visit lakelasvegas.com/hometownholidays

—Carla J. Zvosec

Only in Vegas

At its new Mermaid School for adults, Silverton Casino offers wannabe mermaids ages 19 and older the opportunity to swim with thousands of tropical fish and rays in its enormous 117,000-gallon tropical aquarium.

The $225 experience includes all the equipment—especially the tail—along with a keepsake photo op, behind-the-scenes tour, and vouchers for a post-class mimosa and gelato.

During the 90-minute session, advanced swimmers can learn a few flips and tricks to step up their mermaid game. Move over, Ariel. —Emmy Kasten


Holiday Shopping Western-Style

Cowboy Christmas, the official Wrangler National Finals Rodeo gift show, has once again galloped into town, bringing 350-plus exhibitors from around the country to the Las Vegas ConventionCenter, Dec. 1-10.

The annual show, which occupies more than 500,000 square feet of floor space, is loaded tighter than a pack mule with a wide selection of western apparel, boots and spurs; custom-made jewelry; original art and handmade crafts; plus furniture and other home goods.

For those cowboys who’d rather indulge in some down time than shop, belly up to the bar at the Ranch Water Rodeo Saloon to watch the replay of the previous night’s NFR action or sit a spell and take in the Ariat Rodeo Live Stage show.

Presented by The Cowboy Channel, Cowboy Christmas is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, and admission is free of charge. —Carla J. Zvosec


Stick Up for Your Health

Vegas IV mobile intravenous therapy service makes it easy to stay hydrated in Vegas’ desert environment—especially for those who’ve come to enjoy the full Sin
City experience.

Whether you’re looking to recover from a hangover, rejuvenate your skin and hair after spending time in the sun, or bolster your immune system to fight off an unexpected bout of the flu or a cold, Vegas IV’s medical doctors can help you feel and look your best, so you can thoroughly enjoy your Vegas vacation. —Carla J. Zvosec


November Top Picks

This Month’s Hot Ticket

Comedian Kevin Hart keeps it real by going Hart to Hart when he brings his “Reality Check Tour” to Resorts World on Friday, Nov. 18.

Tickets: axs.com

Hopeless in Hades

What started as a successful Off- Broadway run makes its way to Sin City this month. Appearing Nov. 1 through Jan. 1 at downtown’s Notoriety Live performance venue located within the Neonopolis complex, Christmas in Hell presents the naughtier side of the season in this unorthodox holiday musical-comedy.

The play reveals a twisted tale of a young boy who finds himself in Hell on Christmas Eve. Upon his return from the nether realm, the child exhibits devilish behavior, prompting his father to set off on a momentous, surprisingly touching journey that leads him into a futile wager with Lucifer himself. —Carla J. Zvosec

notorietylive.com, 702-472-7514

Raising the Bar

The Strip shined a little brighter when word got out that Andrew Pollard was coming back to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as the property’s mixologist after a decade away.

Pollard’s return is evident in Vesper Bar’s intriguing, new secret Legacy Cocktail menu, which is visible only with the aid of a black light.

“These are some of the most notable, award-winning cocktails—like the Violet Femme—from Vesper since its inception in 2010,” said Pollard. “It’s like saying ‘hello’ to an old friend.” —Emmy Kasten


Mind, Body and Soul

Take a break from the nonstop Vegas action with a well-deserved spa day. Weary travelers can find a full suite of services designed to reinvigorate the mind, body and soul at Oleksandra Spa & Salon inside Treasure Island.

Combine one of the spa’s 23 signature massage offerings with a rejuvenating beauty treatment. Between treatments, relax in this haven’s sauna, steam room and whirlpool.
—S.A. Lien


Sweet Life

French pastry chef Dominique Ansel recently opened his first Las Vegas bakery at Caesars Palace. Ansel is well known for his creation of the Cronut—a croissant-doughnut that is arguably the world’s greatest hybrid food.

Leave your keto strips at the door and belly up for a cookie shot, which is exactly what it sounds like: a warm chocolate chip cookie shaped like a shot glass that’s filled with homemade cold-infused Madagascan vanilla milk. You never know what this “culinary van Gogh” will come up with next, so Cronut hard and Cronut often, as they say. Dominique Ansel Las Vegas, caesars.com —Melinda Sheckells

Dominique Ansel Las Vegas, caesars.com

The Lady’s on Fire

If the notion of a “Velvet Rodeo” kicks your Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response into overdrive, then seeing Miranda Lambert in a flame-throwing cowgirl jacket beckons a defibrillator.

The singer has won more Academy of Country Music Awards than any other artist in history, as well as three Grammy statues.

Lambert’s new 90-minute residency show, “Velvet Rodeo,” at Zappos Theater in Planet Hollywood Resort, is a smooth ride through the greatest hits of her 20-year career.

Round up the girls or grab your sweetie because when Lambert takes the stage in her Vegas finery inspired by Elvis’ jumpsuits and replete with pyrotechnics, the house that built her is definitely going to start actin’ up. —Melinda Sheckells


Fitness Focus

With football season upon us, there’s hardly a day when sports G.O.A.T. Tom Brady isn’t making headlines. The 45-year-old icon is still proving to be a perennial champion.

Lucky for us, he’s willing to share his best practices through The TB12 Method, a wellness regimen developed by Brady and his longtime body coach, Alex Guerrero.

Just in time for the holidays, Wynn Las Vegas and TB12 have announced a partnership offering “Body Coach” sessions at the Encore Fitness Center.

Now mere mortals can work with experts to achieve their top form, just like the NFL superstar himself. —Emmy Kasten


October Top Picks

This Month’s Hot Ticket

My Chemical Romance’s “Reunion Tour performs in Las Vegas, Oct. 7, at T-Mobile Arena. The alternative rock band also is headlining Oct. 22, 23 and 29 during the When We Were Young Festival.

Tickets: axs.com

On the Hunt

Halloween in Las Vegas is a professional sport, and it occupies a week’s worth of events versus just one wild, crazy night.

This year the ghosts and ghouls spill over from the nightclubs into the theaters as Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Adam Lambert kicks off a three-show concert engagement, Oct. 26 and 28-29, at the EncoreTheater at Wynn resort.

Celebrating Lambert’s favorite time of year, “The Witch Hunt” production promises a dark-side trip through his repertoire and a spooky, glam-filled extravaganza with elaborate costumes for which
the artist is known.

While this is Lambert’s first time performing at Wynn, he is no stranger to Vegas. He’s previously taken the stage at The Venetian as a solo artist and at Park MGM’s theater with legendary rock band Queen. —Melinda Sheckells


Whiskey Business

Whether you prefer your whiskey neat, on the rocks or in a handcrafted cocktail, The WhiskyX Weekend is an affair for those who appreciate their spirits with a splash of nuance. The festival celebrating all things whiskey returns to TheCosmopolitan of Las Vegas Oct. 23.

Sample more than 60 whiskies made around the world. Nosh on intriguing bites from the hotel’s diverse restaurant collection and enjoy the cool autumn air surrounded by the glittering lights of the Las Vegas Strip—all while taking in live music from St. Paul & The Broken Bones. —SA Lien


Shock and Awe

Scare up some rollicking fun when the members of GWAR, the undisputed monsters of rock, assume control of Brooklyn Bowl Oct. 10.

To the delight of its cultlike following of fans, GWAR fuses heavy metal with heavy stage craft for a hardcore, thrashing, good time. —SA Lien


On the Water

From expansive lake views to lazy canals, waterfront dining is popular in the desert. Chill
out at one of these Vegas classics.

Seasonal California fare is on the menu at Spago by Wolfgang Puck. Dine al fresco as cool mists drift from the dazzling Bellagio Fountains. Sample the handmade pastas or wood-oven-fired pizzas along with your favorite California wine. 702-693-8181

At Mizumi inside the Wynn resort, a stunning 90-foot waterfall, koi pond and privateJapanese garden create an exquisite backdrop for an equally magnificent dining experience. Mizumi’s intriguing menu features Modern Japanese cuisine ranging from ocean-fresh fish and seafood, to Japanese wagyu. 702-770-3320

For a casual break, Cañonita at The Venetian is the perfect spot to sip tequila, savor regional Mexican fare and watch gondolas glide along the Grand Canal. Cañonita’s menu showcases classic recipes from Mexico City and inspired departures, such as vaquero beer-braised short ribs and the ethereal Santa Rosa barbacoa. 702-420-2561 —SA Lien

Thrill Factor

Looking to scare up some bloodcurdling screams this Halloween season? The Strat has just the thrills you’re seeking when you climb aboard its ultra-intense tower rides that’ll elevate your fear level to epic, new heights.

Dangle more than 900 feet up in the open air on Insanity as a giant, mechanical arm lifts you out and spins at speeds up to 3 Gs while tilting you at a 70-degree downward angle.

If roller coasters are more your thing, X-Scream
is like no other. As the ride thrusts you 27 feet out from the edge of The Strat tower, it teeter-totters 866 feet up in the air before rushing backward to do it all over again!
On Big Shot, you’ll definitely feel your pulse race as it shoots you 160 feet straight up in the air from the 921-foot-high platform. Soaring 45 mph, you’ll rocket to an astounding height of 1,081 feet. And, well, what goes up must comedown! —Carla J. Zvosec


On Top of Its Game

Experience Monday Night Football excitement
like never before in a new game-night spectacular inside Illuminarium at Area15.

Immersive, wraparound projection technology
and dynamic surround sound audio put fans in
the middle of the gridiron action at this unique viewing event.

The game day menu includes stadium favorites
like pulled-pork sliders, fish tacos, wings and, of course, loaded fries.

Break from the action at the outdoor patio bar
and stay late for Illuminarium After Dark for an adults-only affair. —SA Lien