Las Vegas has a funny way of taking things that don’t belong in the desert and making them somehow work really well.
Ancient Rome? Check.
The Eiffel Tower? Check.
Shredding the gnar? Check.
The latter becomes possible with the FlowRider, a “free-standing wave” at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino’s sixth-floor pool deck. The setup offers a genuine surf experience on the Las Vegas Strip with a high-tech setup that generates artificial waves. It’s seen everyone from surfers to celebrities including the cast of “Jersey Shore” and Gwen Stefani as recent guests.
It’s a fun way to beat the heat and a surprisingly effective core workout, regardless of your experience level with board sports – or, in this writer’s case, sense of coordination in general.
I went to Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino along with our copywriter Chris to practice my moves and see what I could learn about this hidden gem of a summer attraction.
From left to right: Matt, Chris and Jorge after a surf session. Guess which one’s the surf pro. Photo by Leonard Quenneville.
Start On Easy Mode
Total novices will want to get started with the bodyboard, which can still be a challenge if you’re new to board sports. On these, you lie relatively flat, with elbows pointed inward on the board and the board facing toward the wave flow.
And just to get this out of the way: It’s OK if you slip or fall the first few times. First off, you’re learning a totally new way of moving your body. Second, the trampoline-like surface absorbs the impact and the water jets whisk you upward.
It’s weird – and kind of fun – to fall up instead of down. I went from frustration to laughter after my second wipeout.
It took a few tries to get to this level, but it was worth it! Photo by Leonard Quenneville.
Fight (Some of) Your Instincts
Whether you’re on the bodyboard or the stand-up flowboard, take note of your FlowRider instructor’s words, their stance and their movements as they demonstrate the proper form. It took several tries for it to all “click” for me. A lot of it – like putting your weight on your rear foot and gently steering with the front foot on the flowboard – is counter-intuitive at first, but becomes natural after a few tries.
And it will take a few tries. Luckily, the FlowRider instructors want to see you succeed and will help you fix your form until you get it just right.
Don’t Overthink It
…or you’ll tense up, or start looking down, or do some other thing that will throw you off balance and you’ll have to start over. Get into a kung fu master-esque trance and let go of the world around you.
We found that looking off into the distance helped the most in terms of balance.
Take Your Time
If you’re thinking about trying this for the first time, congrats on trying something new! But unless you’re some kind of crazy-good first-timer prodigy (in which case, we’d like to interview you), you’re not going to be pulling off wild stunts after your first 30-minute session.
You will, however, have developed a cool new skill worth showing off and a better understanding of what your body can do with a little practice.
When you’re as good as Matt, it looks so easy. Photo by Leonard Quenneville.
You might also feel a little sore from all the muscles you don’t get to use every day. We recommend you treat yourself to a little relaxation after your surf sesh.
Nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than a nice cold scoop of ice cream. That’s why there’s a whole month dedicated to it.
July is National Ice Cream Month and if you’re in Vegas during this magical month that celebrates the classic frozen dessert, we have some suggestions for you. Since it’s an official holiday you can enjoy a scoop – or two – of ice cream or a milkshake guilt-free, right?
Where to eat ice cream in Las Vegas
Ice cream from Sprinkles Cupcakes. Photo courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes.
Everyone knows Sprinkles for their cupcakes, but did you know you can also get delicious ice cream there?
Sprinkles offers more than 20 ice cream flavors like butter pecan, coconut fudge almond, cookie dough, red velvet, salty caramel and rocky road.
We love that you can get your ice cream in many delicious forms. Get a Sprinkles Sundae, which has a single scoop of ice cream between a cupcake top and bottom.
You can also get a Sprinkles Sandwich with ice cream between two cupcake tops or just get a waffle cone or scoop.
Another good bet — the cookie/brownie sundae with ice cream, a cookie or brownie and two sauces or toppings.
Get this hot fudge sundae at Ghirardelli. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop
Ghirardelli knows a thing or two about chocolate. The famous San Francisco chocolate company has been in business since 1852. So, if you’re looking for a hot fudge sundae, this is where to get it. The sundae is generously topped with rich homemade hot fudge.
Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop at the LINQ Promenade also has thick shakes, floats and classic malts. We love the sweet and savory blend in the Sea Salt Caramel Quake Shake – a chocolate infused milkshake with banana, topped with whipped cream, sea salt and caramel sauce.
If you’re a dark chocolate fan, don’t miss the Midnight Reverie, Ghirardelli Chocolate ice cream layered with handmade dark chocolate hot fudge and Ghirardelli Mini Dark Chocolate Chips topped with whipped cream and an Intense Dark Twilight Delight chocolate.
National Ice Cream Month in Las Vegas
Gordon Ramsay serves delicious milkshakes at Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Gordon Ramsay Shakes
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay offers mouthwatering milkshakes at two of his casual restaurant concepts in Las Vegas. At Gordon Ramsay Burger at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino you can enjoy a brown butter caramel pecan shake with brown butter ice cream and candied pecan shortbread crumble. There’s also a crème brûlée shake – a chocolate or Oreo milkshake with a crème brûlée top.
Over at Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips at the LINQ Promenade, there are two milkshakes so delicious it will be hard to choose which one you want. Ramsay is famous for his sticky toffee pudding so of course he created it in milkshake form. There’s also a Biscoff shake, flavored with delicious Speculoos shortbread cookies.
Super Nova shakes at Cafe Hollywood. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Café Hollywoodat Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is a great place to satisfy you cravings for ice cream. They have a walk-up gelato case, so you can pop in and grab a scoop or two. Flavors include sea salt caramel, coconut, tiramisu and pumpkin.
The restaurant also serves hand-dipped milkshakes in traditional flavors – vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. But you’re in Vegas, so throw traditional out the window and order one of Café Hollywood’s Super Nova shakes. These monstrous concoctions will definitely satisfy your need for sugar.
The Cosmic Cotton Candy is a cotton candy milkshake topped with rainbow sprinkles, white chocolate covered pretzels, cotton candy and a lollipop.
The Strawberry Big Bang is a strawberry milkshake with sprinkles and a slice of birthday cake on top.
And chocoholics, rejoice. The Chocolate Comet is a chocolate milkshake with double chocolate brownie frosting, candy, brownies and a cookie straw.
Fried Ice Cream. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Everyone knows Guy Fieri likes to go a little crazy with his food and the ice cream is no exception. You’ll get a giant round ball of crispy coated fried vanilla ice cream, Mexican chocolate sauce, strawberry compote and white chocolate spicy rum sauce.
There’s a rainbow of flavors at Pronto by Giada. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Pronto by Giada
Giada De Laurentiis serves Italian fare at her casual restaurant, Pronto by Giada, at Caesars Palace. If you’re looking for ice cream done the Italian way, check out her gelato selection. You’ll find delectable flavors like chocolate olive oil, salted caramel, pistachio, espresso macchiato and Nutella Stracchiatella.
For a lighter, refreshing cool treat, try the sorbetto in flavors like grapefruit Aperol, raspberry Prosecco and lemon basil.
Rocky Road gelato from TREVI. Photo courtesy of TREVI.
Choose from pistachio, Italian vanilla, chocolate mousse, strawberry, tiramisu, cappuccino and the gelati of the day. TREVI also makes special seasonal and holiday flavors. If you can’t decide on one flavor, try trio sampling.
For gelato that’s almost too pretty to eat, check out Amorino at the LINQ Promenade. They offer 25 flavors in their signature flower-shaped cones constructed petal by petal with as many flavors as you want. Choices include salted caramel, chocolate, dulce de leche, strawberry, coffee, banana and more.
Amorino offers other tasty treats like gelato-filled macarons, milkshakes and crepes and waffles topped with gelato.
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Ben & Jerry’s at Harrah’s Las Vegas
Ben & Jerry’s has been making ice cream since 1978 and they’re still a favorite of ours. Head to Harrah’s Las Vegas for sundaes, shakes and smoothies, plus fresh house-made waffle cones.
Choose from more than 25 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet like Cherry Garcia, chocolate, chocolate chip cookie dough, brownie batter, butter pecan, chocolate peanut buttery swirl and Chunky Monkey.
Good news for those with a dairy allergy. Ben & Jerry’s also offers non-dairy ice cream.
Pool + party = double the fun. Whether you want to work on your tan and party during the day or prefer sleeping in and swimming at night, you’re in for a real treat this summer. Catch all that’s happening at these Las Vegas pools:
Flamingo GO Pool is easy on the eyes and goes hard on the entertainment. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Flamingo Las Vegas
Not only will you feel like you’re in paradise in the middle of the Strip, the Flamingo has two pool areas offering two very different feels. Whether you’re in the mood to watch your favorite artists from back in the day or to experience a wild pool party at night, the choice is yours.
GO Pool parties
The parties at GO Pool Dayclub go hard. Not only will you enjoy live concerts from the pool (last year we hung out with R&B singer Mya and it was a blast), you might be brave enough to compete in the booty shaking contests.
But if you’re like us who would need tons of liquid courage to even consider that, watching a poolside show is perfectly fine too. And these aren’t unknown Soundcloud rappers. These are musicians who have had multiple radio hits. In addition to Mya, other acts who graced the stage last year include Tinashe, Montell Jordan and Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, to name a few. Here’s who GO Pool has in store this year:
July 13: Rita Ora
July 14: Ma$e
July 19: Coolio
July 28: Ja Rule
Additionally, GO Pool Dayclub offers beer specials and live DJ-spun music on non-concert days.
Country Cabana Concert Series At Flamingo
Ready to add some twang to your trip? You can catch the Country Cabana Concert Series throughout the summer at GO Pool. Check out this summer’s lineup:
July 5: Scotty McCreery
Aug. 29: Midland with Tyler Rich
Sept. 11: Russell Dickerson
Sept. 26: Chris Janson with Jordan Davis
The 21-and-older concert series sells each of these shows for $20 each (before taxes and fees). Doors open at 7 p.m. and all shows start at 8 p.m.
These flamingos add a fun touch to every party. Photo courtesy of Flamingo Beach Club.
Electric Safari (LGBT night) at Flamingo Beach Club
When the sun sets at Flamingo Beach Club, the party’s just begun. The Beach Club hosts Electric Safari LGBT night swim every week (every Thursday and starting July 13, every Friday). Hear live DJ-spun music as you swim and dance the night away. Expect fun cocktail specials and unicorn floaties too.
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino pool. Who doesn’t want to party, play or watch a movie here? Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
Take a break from the hype and go on an off-Strip adventure — it’s not that far, either. VooDoo Beach at the Rio has something for everyone:
Party poolside with themed events
Why wait until Halloween to dress up? VooDoo Beach celebrates summer like no other pool with themed parties each month. Upcoming events include:
Aug. 4: Star Trek weekend
Aug. 25: Poolside luau
Unwind with live acoustic music
Get in touch with your mellow side: Relax poolside and enjoy a free acoustic performance on select Saturdays each month on the following dates: July 7, Aug.18 and Sept. 1. The event runs from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. on those days.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good movie? Sip, splash and see some of your all-time favorite movies at VooDoo Beach on select Fridays and additional evenings throughout the summer. Movies begin around sunset each night and can be seen from a large projection screen behind the pool. Lounge seating is first-come, first-served. And hey, you can even watch in the water. The best part of all? This is free and open to the public.
The following dive-in movies this summer include:
July 20: Jurassic World
Aug. 1-4: Star Trek
Aug. 24: Cars 3
Sept. 14: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Sept. 28: Black Panther
Beer pong and volleyball tournaments
Let’s be real: Playing beer pong at the pool beats your foldout table or kitchen island at home. For this 21-and-older event, challenge your buds to a game now through July 5, 9-12 and 16-19.
Or, you can work on your spike. Things heat up in August with beach volleyball contests on the following dates: Aug. 6-9, 13-16 and 20-23.
Detox to retox with booze yoga at The Rio
Guests 21 and older are invited to get their savasana on every Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. Pricing is $25 for a one-hour class, which also includes two drinks of your choice. With a deal like that, you’ll be telling your friends, “Namaste right here.” Sign up for booze yoga at the Rio now.
Straight chillin’. Watch the party or be a part of the party at Influence – The Pool at The LINQ. Photo courtesy of The LINQ.
The LINQ Hotel & Casino
Chill. Party. Whatever you feel like doing, Influence – The POOL at The LINQ embraces your style. You can be in full relaxation mode (like this guy above) or making new friends in the pool. Either way, you get a killer view of the 550-foot-tall High Roller wheel. Here’s what you can enjoy at the 21-and-older pool (by the way, there’s also never a cover charge – score!).
Enjoy live DJ-spun music during this high-energy tropical pool party. Take a break and challenge your friends at one of the pool tables or other games in the area.
Champagne wishes FTW: Come thirsty — for every bottle you buy, you’ll get a free bottle of Champagne. Or, enjoy buy-one-get-one free pitchers of mimosas. Champagne Sundays also has live DJ-spun music.
Mountain Dew Ice Days (select Saturdays)
Enjoy the city’s top DJs as they spin live music from the pool. Enjoy cabana and drink specials, as well as surprise entertainment. Mountain Dew Ice Days are on the following dates: July 7 and 14; Aug. 4 and 18 and Sept. 1.
What a glorious combo! Catch all the buzz at The Scene Pool Deck at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Photo courtesy of Planet Hollywood.
Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
Say the following sentence five times fast, we dare you: See and be seen at The Scene. (Don’t worry — we just tried it!) Now that we got that out of the way, plan a day at The Scene Pool Deck, located on the sixth floor at Planet Hollywood. Choose your scene with two completely different vibes every weekend:
Mountain Dew Ice Saturdays
Sponsored by Mountain Dew, party on the rooftop pool that includes live DJ music, celebrity emcees (Nick Cannon hosted here last year) and talent; bikini contests with a $500 cash prize and Mountain Dew signature drink specials.
For something more chill, head to The Scene Pool Deck during Reggae Sundays from 1-6 p.m. You’ll hear live reggae, Caribbean bands and DJ-spun music...
We saw Gwen Stefani last week and whether you’re a die-hard Gwen fan or just enjoy watching concerts, you’re going to have a hella good time at “Gwen Stefani – Just A Girl” inside the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
Stefani adds to the impressive list of headliners at Zappos Theater, including the Backstreet Boys, Lionel Richie, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and the upcoming Florida Georgia Line residency, to name a few. And if you’ve ever watched a show inside Zappos Theater, you already know this is going to be epic. The venue feels more like a nightclub than a showroom. Throw in Stefani’s style combined with her hits, stunning set design and overall feel and “Just A Girl” blows your typical Vegas show out of the water.
To us, she’s more than just a girl. Photo by Todd Stefani.
Besides getting nostalgic for our own high school and college days, we just appreciate the ska-pop artist on an entirely different level. Here’s what we loved about the three-time Grammy Award winner’s hot new Vegas show. Trust us — you’ll want to make your sweet escape to Vegas to see her gig.
Gwen, can we borrow that outfit for tonight? Photo by Todd Stefani.
She’s absolutely gorgeous
Other than having incredible talent and a unique sound, you’ll be going gaga over Gwen by the end of her set. We all know she’s a beauty queen, but this show really puts that in your face — literally.
If anyone asks you what can be better than seeing Gwen, you can tell them it’s seeing multiple versions of her. A lot of the projections behind her include mega-sized Gwens, striking different poses. On top of that, her fashion game is way strong, noting that she draws inspiration from everywhere especially her mom’s ’60s retro style.
“Fashion is the extension of our personality,” she said, claiming that she would even dress up if no one were looking.
She performs all your favorites (even ones you don’t expect to hear)
Of course she sang all our favorites from No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” and “Spiderwebs” to her solo hits like “Hella Good,” “Cool” and “Hollaback Girl.” She surprised us with singing “Ex-Girlfriend” (complete with words on screen for us to rap along) and an awesome cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and The Paragons’ “The Tide Is High.” Right before she sang “The Tide Is High,” she even acknowledged that she “don’t give a f—” and can sing what she wants. (That’s our girl!) And boy, she did she kill it.
Her set designs are on point
When you’re not busy admiring Stefani and her amazing style and charisma, you can’t help but notice the breathtaking digital art display behind her. We have our own personal favorites, such as her set design for “Sunday Morning,” (where you’ll see four different Gwens moving along to the music); “Underneath It All” (which had a pure Californian feel, complete with sunny skies and palm trees); and “Harijuku Girls” (with visuals that gave us serious tokidoki vibes). Even if you don’t know any of her songs (not sure how that’s possible), you’ll have fun just by watching the visuals.
Fan of Gwen? Oh, you bet she notices! Photo by Todd Stefani.
She really interacts with the crowd
One thing’s for certain: Stefani really loves her fans. The night we went, Stefani gave a shout out to someone who has gone to 40-plus shows. She also wished another fan happy birthday. You feel warm and fuzzy inside when a superstar actually acknowledges, appreciates and also hugs her fans. At one point, she even told the crowd, “You are the humans that kept me alive all these years.”
For the rest of us watching, she knew how to keep us hyped. She made sure all of us were on our feet. The superstar maintained this energy until the end of the show.
Gwen all day. Photo by Todd Stefani.
You just feel… cool
There’s something about Gwen’s energy that just makes you feel cool about yourself. (And that’s not a shot of liquid courage we’re referring to – we’re talking pure confidence baby.) That’s some serious girl power right there. Another thing you’ll notice is the diversity of the crowd: We saw everyone from children and senior citizens waving their arms during the show to one concert goer donning a Wu-Tang T-shirt. This proves that anyone can be a Gwen fan.
So, what you waiting for? You’ll have from now until March 2019 to see Stefani live in concert. Tickets for her show start at $59, plus taxes and fees. Additionally, $1 for every ticket sold will be donated to Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, a Las-Vegas based non-profit organization that provides medical treatment to children with life-threatening conditions.
John Caparulo keeps them laughing. Photo courtesy of PR Plus.
John Caparula Las Vegas Comedy Show
For those who don’t recognize his name, we’re guessing you still know who John Caparulo is. The dry-witted comedian has a style where his Midwestern roots — he’s from Ohio — are mixed with his drawn out, easygoing way of speaking to create sparks of hilarity.
His droll takes on everything from different geographic regions to hunting make audiences wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” For reference, check out his take on one of his fellow Midwestern states. Says Caparulo, “I went to Missouri. I got a speeding ticket for $130. That’s a bunch of crap. Rent’s not $130 in Missouri…”
As the newest headliner at Harrah’s Las Vegas (He stars in The Comedy LineupThursday thru Saturday, while Tom Green headlines Sunday thru Monday.), the 42-year-old comic is excited to take Vegas by storm. He’s so dedicated to making his new show work that he has uprooted his family and now lives in Sin City full time.
With standout appearances on “Chelsea Lately” and “The Tonight Show” plus two comedy specials of his own, Caparulo has become a proven commodity. I caught up with “Cap” in his green room at Harrah’s, where we discussed everything from why Las Vegas is a dream town for a comedian to the inner workings of his new show.
The Comedy Lineup at Harrah’s Las Vegas
The Comedy Lineup stars. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Did you want a Vegas residency?
Absolutely. It always seemed like such a dream way to go for a comic. I absolutely hate travel. I hate being away from home. I hate all that stuff. If I can wake up and go to sleep in the same place in the same day, that’s a real plus for me. The only place you can do that as a comic in this country is Las Vegas if you want to make a living. I used to see George Wallace’s name up at the Flamingo and I thought, “Man, that would be great.”
You’re in the big showroom at Harrah’s. You are currently working on building momentum. What are your feelings on the space so far?
I love the room. I love the way it’s set up. The best thing would be to have people in the room. I mean, completely full. I’m still not there yet. I can’t wait until I am because that will be a phenomenal rush of energy. That room full would be unbelievable. I’m still trying to figure out my approach. It’s a different show than I’m used to. I’m essentially opening for myself. I have the highlight reel of my career going before the show. But when you come out there, the crowd’s not exactly the way they are when you have an opener. I’m working a little slower. The first few weeks I was running way over time. I couldn’t figure out how to do all that – I wanted to do the whole anthology, I wanted to do everything that has been in my act for a while. I realized I have to start cutting here and approach a little slower. Be a little more engaged with the front row.
Refinement is one of the more fun parts of the craft. Besides editing, now that you are seeing some of the audiences you are getting, are you taking any different angles than you would at other places?
You have to feel it out in Vegas because it’s generally tourists. I can start in on a bit and I might make fun of politics and sometimes, it depends on the night. If the crowd is really into it and really responds to it, great. If you feel that uneasiness, I just find my side door out of that bit and go on to something else. The vibe is different. It’s not like when you’re touring as a comic, going club to club to club. Those people who see those shows, that’s the only thing they have to do – that’s their plan for the night. They’re going out to see a comedy show and then they’re going home. Whereas here it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll go check out this comedy show and then what else?’ It’s a different vibe. Some nights I figure it out, other nights I don’t. I’m just hoping to get a good percentage here as I go along.
John Caparulo has a style all his own. Photo courtesy of PR Plus.
This used to be Ralphie May’s room. Do you have any memories of him you want to share?
Ralphie was really a cool guy. I remember the first time he took me out on the road. We went to La Jolla in San Diego. Ralphie just seemed so much older and wiser than us because he started comedy so early he had this sage wisdom. It was cool to think, ‘This guy opened for Sam Kinison at one point and now he wants to take me on the road with him.’ It was just a ridiculous bar gig that we did. He was always very supportive and kind and positive about everything. I think I hated my set that night. I think I bombed, which isn’t rare. I hated those bar gigs. I didn’t do that well and I was really upset about it and I just remember him talking me off the ledge there. ‘It’s gonna be fine. You’re gonna be alright. It was great. Did you see my set? It was f***ing terrible.’ He was a cool, good guy.
Meet Cap at Harrah’s Thursday thru Saturday. Photo courtesy of PR Plus.
Do you have any goals for the show going forward?
My goal for the show is I want to be where George Wallace was. I want to be voted the Best 10 p.m. Comedy Show in Las Vegas. I don’t know who votes for these things. I feel like I have a chance. I’m pretty good at what I do. Here’s an opportunity. People are backing me up with billboards and s*** and I have a chance to really show off what I’ve learned over the past twenty-something years in comedy. I want it to be the best comedy show in Las Vegas.
The dog days of summer might be happening elsewhere, but here in Las Vegas things are as hot as they’ve ever been. There is no shortage of activities, concerts and events to partake in during July. Everything kicks off with a bang with July 4th and the summer fun continues all month long. Without further ado, here are our July Must Do events in Las Vegas.
PREGAME ON JUNE 30
The stunning fireworks display at Caesars Palace. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
July starts early as Caesars Palace gets the celebration for Independence Day going on the last day of June with its fantastic fireworks display on Saturday, June 30, beginning around 9:20 p.m. The Venus European Pool Lounge will be hosting a viewing party from 7 – 10 p.m. Tickets start at $99 and include complimentary drinks and access to Venus Night Swim.
The shindig at Caesars Palace goes all weekend at the Spanish Steps. Carnival games, foosball, bocce ball and drink specials will all be featured. On June 30 from 1- 5 p.m., there will be a live DJ and from 2 – 3 p.m. The Captain and his Morganettes will be handing out samples of Captain Morgan. At 3 p.m. things heat up with a foosball tournament.
Many celebrations for July 4 will take place on June 30 throughout Caesars Empire. Check out all the Las Vegas Fourth of July happenings.
JULY 1 – 7
The opening week of July is full of high-quality performers. Music fans can see top level DJs, legendary rappers, a diva, a pop star and an independent groove collective.
Drai’s Nightclub at The Cromwell kicks off the events on July 1 with Pusha T, the New York-based rapper currently hitting the road in support of new album “King Push.” On the same date, Southern hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd with A-Trak takes over Drai’s Beachclub.
On July 6, Drai’s Nightclub goes hard again with the multi-faceted Trey Songz and an appearance by comedian and actor Kevin Hart.
Meanwhile, OMNIA at Caesars Palace features superstar DJs including EDM favorite Zedd on July 3. On July 6, catch Calvin Harris, the DJ who’s so successful he was ranked the No. 1 highest paid DJ on Forbes for five years in a row from 2013 – 2017.
Mariah Carey returns to Caesars Palace. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
For those looking for a celebrated songstress, Mariah Carey and her stunning pipes return to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace where she rekindles her residency, entitled “The Butterfly Returns,” beginning July 5.
We’re going bananas over Orange County girl Gwen Stefani. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
GWEN STEFANI: JUST A GIRL
Pop icon Gwen Stefani continues the first month of her residency with “Gwen Stefani: Just A Girl” inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino’s Zappos Theater. We guarantee this show will have you going B-A-N-AN-A-S.
You can see her July 3, 6 – 7, 11, 13 – 14, 18 and 20 – 21. If you’re a huge fan, meet and greets for an additional fee are also available. Prices for tickets vary.
Over at Brooklyn Bowlon The LINQ Promenade, two of New York’s finest rappers hit the stage on July 6 as Method Man and Red Man showcase their collective flow together. The next night, July 7, another duo, Thievery Corporation, bring their chill lounge sound to the stage, no doubt with a number of guest musicians.
Here’s the beer. Where’s the rosé? Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Beer Park Beer and Rosé Thursdays
Moving over to BEER PARK at Paris Las Vegas, July 5 will be the inaugural “Beer and Rosé Thursdays” from 6 – 8 p.m. Music will be provided by a DJ and classically trained violinist Lydia Ansel. Rosé and beer will be going for $5 a glass and the event will take place every Thursday through August 30.
On July 7, BEER Park will host a UFC 226 viewing party. The main event pits UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipo Miocic against Daniel “DC” Cormier. Post fight, Cormier will be hosting his after party at Chateau Nightclub at Paris Las Vegas.
Nightclubs rule most of the week, but we’ll cheer on motorsports star Travis Pastrana as he jumps the Caesars Palace fountains and will be shouting “Vive la France” on July 14 at Paris Las Vegas.
Travis Pastrana will attempt to re-create Evel Knievel’s famous Caesars Palace motorcycle jump over the fountains. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau.
Travis Pastrana Goes Evel
A not-to-be-missed event takes place on July 8 as modern day daredevil and Motocross champion Travis Pastrana pays tribute to his hero Evel Knievel by attempting to modify and extend Evel’s three most famous jumps.
That means jumping the length of 52+ crushed cars and 16 Greyhound buses behind Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s Las Vegas. The crescendo takes place at the fountains at Caesars Palace where Pastrana will be making the final jump on an Indian Scout FTR750, a bike similar to the ones Evel used to ride.
This co-production between Caesars Palace, Pastrana’s Nitro Circus and HISTORY (The History Channel) will air as a three hour special on the aforementioned network July 8 at 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PST.
Drai’s Nightclub features Fabolous, a hip hop mainstay since 2001, on July 8. Rapper Future takes over the club on July 14.
Calvin Harris is in the DJ Hall of Fame. Note: DJ Hall of Fame might not exist. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
OMNIA brings back Calvin Harris on July 13. The night after, July 14, belongs to progressive house king Kaskade. Meanwhile, Vegas Golden Knights fan and party rapper Lil Jon throws down on July 10.
So much deliciousness at The Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
We interrupt this entertainment heavy week to bring you some delicious food options. If celebrating America’s Independence Day wasn’t enough, on July 14, you can celebrate French Independence Day also known as Bastille Day. Instead of storming a tower or a tennis court, march over Paris Las Vegas and dine on one of their scrumptious French restaurants to fill your belly with the spirit of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.”
Get a glimpse of the Las Vegas Strip from high above at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. Check out some of their famous dishes that are featured in “Eiffel Tower Cookbook – Capturing the..
Independence Day is one of the biggest celebrations of the summer. It’s so big in Vegas that we’re celebrating it for a whole week. You’ll find everything from pool parties to concerts, drink specials, dinners and of course, fireworks, with festivities beginning June 29 and running through July 8.
Here’s where to celebrate the 4th of July in Vegas:
Don’t miss the Independence Day fireworks June 30 at Caesars Palace. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Vegas Fireworks/Fireworks viewing parties
Since Independence Day falls in the middle of a work week, the fireworks will be taking place at Caesars Palace the weekend before, on Saturday, June 30. The fireworks will begin around 9:20 p.m.
There will be several fireworks viewing parties offering drink specials and prime viewing spots:
The bar will offer a fireworks viewing party on June 30 for $50 per person, which includes an open bar with domestic and import beers, well cocktails, house margaritas and the Tranquil Waters cocktail.
Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Head out to the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace for a fireworks viewing party on June 30 from 7 – 10 p.m.
Admission for one is $99, which includes entry and two cocktails. Reserve a Venus Cabana for up to eight guests for $500, which includes one bottle of Tito’s or Jack Daniel’s. You can also reserve a Venus Daybed for two for $150, which includes two cocktails.
The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas
View the fireworks from 460 feet above the Strip at the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck. A ticket is $100 and includes the viewing deck experience from 9 – 10 p.m., a souvenir frozen drink, a commemorative photo and an Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck fiber optic wand. Non-alcoholic drinks will be provided for those under 21 years old.
VooDoo Steakhouse. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
The VooDoo Steakhouse chefs are preparing a five-course dinner paired with Perrier-Jouët Champagne. Menu items include Wagyu ribeye, king crab stuffed halibut, cauliflower cous cous and more.
The dinner will be served on the outdoor rooftop patio at the restaurant. Guests will also be treated to a special appearance from Comedy Cellar comedians. Dessert and champagne will follow after the fireworks. The reception starts at 7 p.m. and dinner is at 7:30 p.m.
GIADA at The Cromwell
GIADA at The Cromwell is offering reserved window seating to view the fireworks, a Prosecco toast and GIADA signature cookies for a minimum $85 spend at the restaurant. The package begins at 8 p.m. and seating is limited. Call (855) 442-3271 to reserve your table.
The High Roller Observation Wheel goes red, white and blue for July 4. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
The LINQ Promenade
Party at the pedestrian-friendly LINQ Promenade starting on Saturday, June 30. The LINQ Promenade will feature a red, white and blue-themed LED parade beginning at 8:15 p.m.
Throughout the rest of the evening, there will be free “body marbling” which turns the body into “psychedelic works of art.” The Saints of Las Vegas will be performing live at the Fountain Stage.
On Sunday, July 1, the party continues with a parade at noon and family-friendly activities throughout the day including balloon art, balloon toss contests and jugglers. The Saints of Las Vegas will return that evening for a second night of live music.
On Wednesday, July 4, the family-friendly activities and roaming entertainment such as stilt walkers, caricature artists, hula hoop performers will be taking place throughout the day.
Nothing says summer like barbecue, so hop on the High Roller for a new Summer BBQ Bar Cabin experience. In conjunction with Virgil’s Real BBQ, guests can ride on the High Roller while feasting on Virgil’s signature Texas beef brisket, Memphis-style pork ribs, Carolina sliders, Texas beef brisket melts and cornbread. This includes an open bar and private bartender. Guests may bring their own music to listen to during the 30-minute rotation. Pricing begins at $1,400 for up to 15 people. The BBQ cabins will be available daily from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, contact Group Sales at (702) 322-0537.
Enjoy drink specials, carnival games, a bocce ball court and foosball.
On Saturday, June 30, Spanish Steps will feature a DJ from 1 – 5 p.m. From 2 – 3 p.m., The Captain and his Morganettes will be handing out samples of Captain Morgan and hosting a Captain pose contest for prizes. At 3 p.m. you can test your skills in a Heineken-sponsored foosball tournament.
Travis Pastrana. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau.
Evel Live at Caesars Palace
HISTORY®, Nitro Circus and Caesars Palace have partnered for “Evel Live,” a three- hour live event airing on Sunday, July 8 at 5 p.m. on HISTORY®.
Motorsports superstar Travis Pastrana will pay tribute to Evel Knievel, the founding father of motorcycle stunts, and aim to the push the limits even farther. Caesars Palace, the site of Evel Knievel’s legendary fountain jump 50 years ago, will host the grand finale jump, both for a national TV audience and a live Las Vegas crowd.
Pastrana will aim to surpass three of Knievel’s most infamous jumps over the course of three hours in one night, including jumping the length of 52+ crushed cars and 16 Greyhound buses directly behind Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s Las Vegas. The finale will occur over the iconic fountains of Caesars Palace. If successful, Pastrana will break Knievel’s records and will be the first person to complete three of Knievel’s greatest jumps consecutively.
The events are free and open to the public. The public can access the jumps in the lot behind Bally’s Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino beginning at 3:30 p.m. The public can access the jump at Caesars Palace beginning at 6 p.m.
Carnaval Court at Harrah’s Las Vegas
Carnaval Court, the outdoor bar at Harrah’s Las Vegas, will host Reggae Sunday and the Evel Jump After Party on July 8. There will be drink specials, promo models, carnival games and entertainment all day.
Need a little breather from the hustle and bustle of the Strip? There are plenty of attractions on the Las Vegas Strip, but here are things to do in the Vegas, the great outdoors edition. Don’t worry — this is not a geography lesson. It’s more like jumping into a “Wish You Were Here” postcard. You’ll end up having a blast and schooling your loved ones on why they should check these desert beauties out. Be prepared to be wowed:
Las Vegas Points of Interest: Outdoors Edition
Valley of Fire. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Whitehair.
Valley of Fire
The neon lights of the Strip have some serious competition because Valley of Fire State Park is a natural beauty. Located 50 miles north from the city (about an hour drive), Valley of Fire bursts with illuminating, vivid colors. (That’s right — #NoFilter needed.) You’ll see splashes of bright red at every turn, as well as breathtaking sunsets.
The 36,000-acre Valley of Fire park gets its name from its fiery red sandstone. And while we’d all love to claim bragging rights of calling Valley of Fire home, only animals (like kit foxes, coyotes, rattlesnakes and bighorn sheep) live here. Visiting is highly encouraged – the park gets thousands of visitors a year.
This park also has fun rock formations in shapes like a piano or elephant. There are also plenty of other indiscernible shapes, but feel free use your imagination. You can relive your childhood days of cloud-watching and come up with your own ideas.
Valley of Fire is a popular place for picnics as well as camping, especially in the fall. And of course, all you hiking aficionados will get stellar photos.
If you have even more time to spare while you’re in Vegas, the majestic Grand Canyon makes for an ideal day trip. Sure, you might have seen it in brochures, TV and online, but none of these do justice for this massive natural wonder. It’s been around forever too: We’re talking millions of years.
If you’re driving, the South Rim is the most accessible. Tour buses can take you out to the West Rim, where you’ll find the Skywalk glass bridge, which sits 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. But no need to worry — it holds millions of pounds and can take the strongest of winds. (You can always link arms with your buddy too!)
If you’re an adventurous hiker, the Grand Canyon is the place to do it. When you get to the bottom of the canyon, you can cool off in the Colorado River. Take a refreshing dip or if you have the energy, do a smooth water or whitewater rafting adventure. No matter what you do (whether it’s camping, hiking, rafting or plain sightseeing), we implore you to bring a hat and sunscreen, especially during summer. You want to remember your day at the Grand Canyon and a sunburn shouldn’t be your memento.
Hike, bike and climb in Red Rock Canyon. Photos courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management.
Red Rock Canyon
Short on time and Grand Canyon is out of the question? Save Grand Canyon for your next trip and head to Red Rock Canyon, which is about half an hour southwest of the Strip. Since it’s so close, it gets more than a million visitors each year. This includes both tourists and locals. Plus, the 13-mile scenic loop around the canyon is a real treat.
Like the aforementioned Valley of Fire, Red Rock has tons of, well, red rock. But it’s more than just bright red boulders — you’ll discover everything from pictographs and waterfalls to hundreds of different animal species. If you’re lucky, you might see rabbits, bighorn sheep and wild cats (be careful around these guys!). In addition to gorgeous rock formations, there are colorful plant life and various cactus plants. Since Red Rock is so close to the city, we say you have time for a long, pleasant picnic.
Mount Charleston. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Whitehair.
Located about 40 miles northwest of the Strip, Mount Charleston is another nearby nature destination to escape the heat. If you’re a fan of greenery and fresh, crisp air (like me, a Pacific Northwest native) and really want to escape the desert landscape, Mount Charleston is for you. Plus, nothing tops cool mountain breezes in the summertime, right?
Vegas is full of palm trees and cactus, but here you’ll find juniper and Ponderosa pine. You might even spot some deer. (Are you sure we’re still in Vegas?) The Mary Jane Falls trail is popular since it ends in a waterfall. You’ll want to go during the cooler months since this is when the flow is most prosperous. The water is fresh, so tons of hikers take advantage to refill their water bottles.
More of a winter person? You’ll be surprised you can actually snowboard and ski nearby during the chilly months. Located not too far from Mount Charleston is the ski and snowboard resort, better known as Lee Canyon. Again, another unlikely activity a lot of visitors do in Vegas.
Hoover Dam. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Whitehair.
In the voice of Martin Payne: Daaaamn, Gina! That’s what you’ll be saying when you go to the world’s most breathtaking man-made wonder, the Hoover Dam. Like the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam is something you’ve probably caught on TV or seen in photos. But it’s one attraction you need to see in person. It’s an easy 45-minute drive from the Strip, where you’ll be right along the Nevada / Arizona border.
See why more than a million visitors come here each year. The Hoover Dam towers more than 700 feet over the Colorado River. If you take a tour, you’ll have access to see the larger-than-life generators. To give you an idea just how large they are, they make the “Transformers” characters look like little action figures.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Whitehair.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
We’ve talked about red rocks, lush trees and even snowy mountains. But how does a place a place like Vegas even have a lake? We kid you not. Take lake selfies and hashtag #Vegas and people will lose their minds.
Located about 30-40 minutes from the Strip, Lake Mead is one of the country’s largest man-made lakes. You can do just about everything at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, from kayaking and jet skiing to swimming and camping near the water. Curious where this body of water comes from exactly? It sources its water from the nearby Hoover Dam, which gets its water from the Colorado River. See? Everything is connected.
Seven Magic Mountains
If you’re driving from Interstate 15 from Los Angeles to Vegas (or vice versa) or plan on driving about half an hour away from the Strip, Seven Magic Mountains is a fun, colorful tourist spot. You’ll snap a bunch of cool photos in a matter of minutes. And trust us — these are the type of photos that gain all the likes.
This pit stop has colored rocks for a reason: According to artist / creator Ugo Rondistone, Seven Magic Mountains is a representation of the natural versus the artificial: The mountains and desert represent the natural element, while the artificial being the highway and traffic. Even if you don’t have the best photog skills, you’ll still come off as a pro. Let the rocks do all the talking.
Looks like this is going to stick around for a long time, too: The art installation got extended for another year, so you have time to mosey on over.
Don’t worry. No goldfish are harmed during Mac King’s show. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Mac King Las Vegas Show at Harrah’s Las Vegas
“Howdy, I’m Mac King!” That’s how comic magician Mac King always begins his show at Harrah’s Las Vegas. From the start, as he takes the stage in a baggy plaid suit that he says was made from his grandmother’s drapes, you know King is down to earth, friendly and lots of fun.
King has been playing at Harrah’s Las Vegas for more than 18 years and just renewed his contract to perform through 2023.
Most Vegas shows don’t run for that long and when asked what the key is to the show’s longevity, King says laughingly, “It’s cheap.”
“Seriously though, I think really one of the big things is that it’s appealing to 8-year-olds and 18-year-olds and 88-year-olds and it’s really a broad spectrum of people,” King said. “I’ve been really lucky – every age group, every economic bracket- it seems to appeal to a really wide range of folks, so I think that’s one of the reasons it’s still there.”
King was also one of the pioneers of the afternoon Vegas Las Vegas shows. His show runs at 1 and 3 p.m. Tues. – Sat. He said he enjoys the afternoon time slot because of the freedom it gives him to spend time with family.
“It’s worked out really great for me. My daughter wouldn’t exist without me having an afternoon show I think. My wife and I had long discussions about children and kind of decided not to because I was on the road and gone so much, but when this afternoon thing came along, we decided hey, this is a really great schedule to be a dad,” King said. “I can leave my house sometimes as late as noon and I can be out of there by five o’clock. Before she was driving herself to school, we would get up and have breakfast together and I’d take her to school and when I came home from work, my wife and daughter and I would all be able to have dinner together and hang out. It’s a really amazing way to be in show business and still have a really strong family life.”
Family-Friendly Las Vegas Show
Since he’s such a family guy, it’s not surprising that King’s show is family friendly. Adults shouldn’t let that dissuade them from going though. You’ll still be awed by the tricks and King has plenty of racier jokes for the older crowd that will go right over the kids’ heads.
King has been doing magic since he was a child and starts his show with a rope trick that his grandfather taught him. He says he always knew he wanted to be a magician.
“I had one other job early on as a chef,” said King. “If I wasn’t going to be a magician I’d like to be a chef, but that was only a couple months and I never looked back, never had another job since then. I graduated from college with a degree in anthropology so I’m not really qualified to be a chef or a magician.”
Enjoy quirky magician Mac King’s show at Harrah’s Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
He’s also a master at sleight-of-hand magic and you’ll be amazed at the card tricks that follow.
Throughout the course of the show you’ll also see shadow puppets, random appearances of Fig Newtons, items mysteriously appearing in King’s shoes, the hilarious Cloak of Invisibility and tricks involving a guinea pig and goldfish.
Not only will you be astonished by the magic in King’s show, but you’ll be laughing the whole time at his jokes and at the funny things that happen when audience members take the stage.
The show features lots of audience participation and is always different because you never know what the volunteers will do. King says he loves when participants are unpredictable.
“That’s kind of what I’m hoping for… I’m not really in the magic show business, I’m kind of in the experience business. It’s not like watching a show on television. When you’re in that room I want people to feel like anything can happen and unusual stuff did happen during the show.”
“I have a destination in mind. I know how the trick is going to end or where I want to go but I don’t mind taking some detours if people say stuff or do stuff that’s not what normally happens. I really like that and I think people like that too. You want to be a show where you go, ‘I was at the show where this happened.’ I’m really trying to have that feeling that I’m doing the show for the first time and that they’re seeing stuff no one else has ever seen. The closer I can come to that ideal, the better.”