(UPDATED JULY 2022) Things have changed a lot in Las Vegas since I visited. Post pandemic life has Vegas revealing many more chef-inspired eateries, kick-ass shows, plenty of them, and even more high-roller hotels and casinos. Here are five things to do in Vegas for 2022 that should be on your radar.
See Incredible Shows
I was shocked to see the sheer number of great musical and variety acts on the Vegas Strip. For new shows, you’ve got Donny Osmond at Harrah’s, Purple Rain Prince tribute show at the Tropicana, and 27, the music that changed the world. Twenty-seven features stories and music from Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison. Piff the Magic Dragon at the Flamingo looks entertaining, while the Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Excalibur delivers thrilling 70-minutes performance.
The new show that intrigued me was MJ Live (Michael Jackson), a tribute show at The Strat. I started seeing the fascinating ads for this one as soon as I stepped off the airplane.
You can also FlyOver Las Vegas for $34 at the Hard Rock Cafe, a popular virtual ride similar to Soarin’ at Epcot, where you are face-to-face with gorgeous settings and have the scents of nature and feel the winds and mist of the landscape. A second popular attraction is the Fly LINQ zip-line as you soar 1100 feet above the Promenade over the Las Vegas Strip.
I never thought I would see baking classes in Vegas, but here they are. You can book a cookie-making class or just enjoy milk & cookies, specialty cookie cutters, and learn cookie decorating at Wonderland Bakery.
For one of the coolest attractions ever, you must check out Dig This! Test your skill and learn something new at this heavy equipment playground that is fun for all ages. Dig This has excavators, bulldozers, and skid steers. You learn how to operate the fascinating pieces in a giant sandbox.
There are machines for under 13 and over 3, and normal-sized ones for those over 13. Seriously, this is one place you have to pencil in for your 2022 Las Vegas travels.
After watching a safety film and demo, your experience starts with an in-cab orientation. Through headsets, your instructors will walk you through how to operate all the buttons and levers necessary for successfully maneuvering your equipment. Next are warm-up exercises to familiarize you with pushing, dragging, digging, and such for your job.
Then comes the enjoyable part. You will play games or whatever challenge you have signed up for, putting your practice drills to the ground. At the end of your challenge, you’ll be given some free time to move about as you like—two major rules at Dig This. First, you cannot drink alcohol before or even on the day of your scheduled visit. A breathalyzer test may be given.
Second, if at any time you get in danger, your instructor has a safety shut-off switch to disable the machine immediately. And it is all great fun. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this before. What a rush!
Tour Raider’s Stadium
Allegiant Stadium is easily one of the most unique and stunning stadiums in the country. Designed as the world-class home stadium for the Las Vegas Raiders professional football team and the University of Nevada Rebels college football team, this is one place you’ll have to do an in-depth tour or to believe. Are you still calling them the Oakland Raiders like I am?
Located in Paradise, NV, though it was a quick walk from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Allegiant Stadium is a 1.8 million-square-foot stadium that opened in 2020. Designed with a slide-out grass track for only the Raiders and another field track underneath that serves for college games, Allegiant Stadium is a spectacular entertainment venue for concerts, shows, sporting competitions, and other events.
Besides attending an event, you can also tour Raider’s Stadium, which I did. This tour gives you a behind-the-scenes and immersive look at the exclusive lounges, private seats, and much more, all while walking through locker rooms, the broadcast booth, and directly onto the field. There are two types of tours available: an introductory guided tour and the same but with a drink and the view from the Al Davis Memorial Torch at Coors Light Landing.
Note: Raider’s home game attendees must be age 12 and up, plus provide proof of vaccination to enter the stadium.
There are two kinds of people who like to hotel hop. If you are like me, perhaps you just want to venture from hotel to hotel and play the slot machines or table games. I can do this for hours, enjoying the thrill of gambling and the change of scenery at each different casino. Then there are the people who want to explore hotel after hotel to soak up the scenery, celeb watch, shop in the boutiques, and eat in the wonderful restaurants.
With the sheer number of hotels in Las Vegas, how do you know which ones to go to? So many things factor into that question, so here are some I like. For gambling, hands down, my favorites are The Wynn Las Vegas, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, and Caesar’s Palace.
I love strolling around The Venetian Resort, Resorts World, Bellagio Hotel, and Caesar’s Palace to shop. Fancy a terrific meal and don’t care about the price tag? Might I recommend Aria, Mandalay Bay, and The Cosmopolitan?
And lastly, to enjoy the scenery and beautiful hotel features, my top picks are The Palazzo Resort & Hotel, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Vdara, and Bellagio.
Feast in Las Vegas
Do people still come to Vegas for shows, luxury hotels, shopping, gambling, and to be whisked away to their fantasy land? Or, do they come to Las Vegas to feast on some of the best food in the world. While it’s been several years since I spent money on meals from world-famous chefs and eateries (Le Cirque and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, for example), there are still magnificent meals that won’t break the bank to be had.
A few of my favorites are Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Aureole, and Sinatra for dinner. For lunch, stop by Mon Ami Gabi, Trevi Italian Restaurant, or The Buffet at Bellagio, a game-changer for anyone who says they don’t care for buffets. And breakfast, my most favorite meal of the day, is a force to be reckoned with at Siegel’s Bagelmania and Sun’s Out Buns Out.
For a list of places to get cheap eats in Vegas, we’ve got you covered with this post.
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I was hosted for Dig This and my Allegiant Stadium tour through the courtesy of IPW travel conference.
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