15 Cool Things to Do in Las Vegas This Fall

Drinking, dining, trips to space, and other cool ways to stay busy in Sin City.

The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan
The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan | Photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan
The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan | Photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan

The temperatures are dropping in Las Vegas, so bid farewell to pool parties and other fun in the sun. Time to ease into the brisk chill of fall—a season that's about more than the midterm elections and the promise of an Adele residency that might actually happen. Enjoy Las Vegas to the fullest with new bars, restaurants, attractions, shows, and other cool stuff, whether on the Strip, Downtown Arts District, or in the surrounding neighborhoods. Check out the following activities this season and don’t forget to keep tabs on events happening every weekend in Las Vegas.

FlyOver Las Vegas
Photo courtesy of FlyOver Las Vegas

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The Strip
FlyOver Las Vegas has taken customers on simulated hang-glide rides over the Wild West and Iceland with high-def images on a towering big screen, capitalizing on motion, sound, wind, and even scent for an indulgent multi-sensory experience. The attraction recently debuted "Windborne: Call of the Canadian Rockies" to showcase the scenery of Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks. Strap in and soar above mountain ranges, alpine lakes, and more while catching a glimpse of the Canadian wildlife and Indigenous cultures. The snow-filled landscapes are a perfect fit for the chilly fall and winter months.

Urth Caffe
Photo courtesy of Urth Caffe

Put a healthy spin on brunch

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Multiple Locations
The best way to cure a hanger? More booze, of course. Just do it right. Matteo's at the Venetian has a Hangover Cart during its weekend brunch (Friday-Sunday) to help you feel your best. Cleanse the palette with a strawberry smoothie shot and follow up with a health-focused craft cocktail, prepared tableside with your favorite spirits, kombucha, round ice, and fresh herbs for a refreshing burst of flavor. Crossroads Kitchen at Resorts World has a new plant-based brunch on weekends. Try the bagel tower with Smoked Carrot Lox and "Whitefish" Salad made with hearts of palm. Urth Caffe at the new UnCommons complex in the Southwest Valley is serving breakfast bites with organic ingredients seven days a week, including coffee roasted with low-acid heirloom coffee beans. If you're going gluten-free, try the White Corn Waffles and Pancakes, which almost taste like cornbread.

King Tut's Tomb
Photo courtesy of King Tut's Tomb

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The Luxor
If you want to see the mummy of King Tut and his tomb, you'll have to travel to Egypt, but the next best thing is in Las Vegas—appropriately enough, at the pyramid-shaped Luxor hotel. Discovering King Tut's Tomb is a walk-through exhibit dedicated to the young pharaoh, who took the throne at just nine-years-old and passed away less than a decade later. You'll see recreations of his tomb and nested coffins, as well as art (officially approved by the Egyptian government) that authentically reflects the period. The attraction arrives just in time to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the tomb's discovery by Howard Carter, using sound and video to dig deep into provocative topics like polytheism, royal in-breeding, and the skill of mummification. (Fun fact: The brain was removed through the nostrils in the process.) Guests can upgrade their experience to include a hand-held audio guide and headset virtual reality tour of the tomb.

Water Grill
Photo courtesy of Water Grill

Dig deep into spiny lobsters and stone crabs

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Forum Shops at Caesars
Alaska's snow crab season may have been cancelled recently, but don't fear—there's a lot of great seafood to enjoy in Las Vegas. Head straight to the Water Grill, where in-season wild spiny lobsters are pulled straight from the tank and charcoal grilled. Grab the meat at the tail end and pull it right out of the shell to enjoy the firm texture and delicious flavor. The lobsters go great alongside a rich, buttery serving of line-caught Columbia River King Salmon, also available for a limited time. Meanwhile, Joe's (another restaurant inside the Forum Shops) is in the early days of stone crab season, although the restaurant has the sourcing capacity to serve its signature dish year-round. Crack the claws open and dip the meat into mustard sauce to best enjoy them.

The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan
The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan | Photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan

Get into the holiday spirit

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Multiple Locations
Before you've even unwrapped a piece of Halloween candy, it's time to plan ahead for the winter holidays. The M Resort in Henderson has something new: the Snow Carnival Magic Forest, which is promising more than 50 tons of fresh snow each day to complement carnival rides and holiday bites (November 23–January 8). Last year's big hit, Enchant, is returning to the Las Vegas Ballpark (November 25-January 1), but adding a second location on the Strip at Resorts World (November 19-Jan. 1) with ice skating and an illuminated maze available at both. You'll also be able to lace up your skates at the Cosmopolitan, where the Ice Rink returns for its 11th year on the hotel's rooftop pool deck with fire pits, cocktails, and photo ops at The Chalet (November 15-January 2). The Silverton casino is bringing back its Bad Elf pop-up cocktail bar (November 4-January 2) in front of a cozy fireplace, while the Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Henderson lights up the night with its holiday Cactus Garden (November 4-January 1) with a holiday-themed chocolate tasting and peppermint hot chocolate new this year.

Particle Ink: Speed of Dark
Particle Ink: Speed of Dark | Photo By Denise Truscello, courtesy of The Vox Agency

Do a new kind of dinner and a show

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Downtown Arts District
One of the best immersive art experiences in Vegas right now, Particle Ink: Speed of Dark combines live performers with interactive animation and imaginative lighting in a warehouse of evolving stages and scenery. The show is one of the great things about the emerging Downtown Arts District and you can now enjoy the experience with a pre-show dinner across the street at The English Hotel's Pepper Club. The package includes a four-course prix fixe meal with a sashimi platter, Black Pepper Teriyaki Short Ribs, or Mushroom Fried Rice as the main entree. The package (available Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays) is a great deal at $120 per person with tax, tip, and show tickets included. Book online in advance.

Illuminarium After Dark
Illuminarium After Dark | Photo courtesy of Illuminarium

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Off the Strip
Illuminarium is the latest attraction at the ever-expanding AREA15. Think of it as a multimedia museum for a new generation, using ultra high-def video, computer-generated graphics, sound effects, scents, and even vibrations to bring far-off worlds to life. “Space: A Journey to the Moon & Beyond” reveals the beauty of the universe and simulates a visit to the moon, where you can leave footprints in virtual moondust, pose for a photo next to astronauts planting the U.S. flag, and get an idea of what a future moon base might look like. It alternates with “WILD: A Safari Experience,” “O'Keeffe: One Hundred Flowers” (an animated tribute to the art of Georgia O'Keefe), and "Waking Wonderland," based on Lewis Carroll's trippy series of books. Illuminarium After Dark begins at 8 pm for the 21-and-over crowd with cocktails and small bites in a lounge surrounded by digital images.

Rarely Seen/National Geographic Society
Photo courtesy of Rarely Seen/National Geographic Society

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Bally's
Take a trip around the world with images captured by the best in the industry. National Geographic's "Rarely Seen" exhibit features 50 photographs of fascinating destinations, natural phenomena, and other intriguing sights not often seen by human eyes. The size and scope of each image is enhanced in size (and sometimes texture) for an immersive experience. Look for the exhibit on the ground level of Bally's. Tickets are $35 and available through September 25.

Best ATV Tours
Photo courtesy of Best ATV Tours

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Searchlight
As the weather cools down this autumn, Best ATV Tours Las Vegas is leading hour-long guided expeditions in the Mojave Desert near Nelson Hills, where the terrain goes hand in hand with a Wild West atmosphere. The Fat Boy all-terrain vehicles are equipped with 450cc engines; just enough power to suit both beginners and experienced drivers while zipping up and down hills, the occasional canyon, and a few challenging turns. The company charges a flat $150 per person with four times offered throughout the day, beginning as early as 6 am if you want to speed through the desert during sunrise. A shuttle can pick you up at Luxor on the Strip.

Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures
Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures

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Boulder City
It's no exaggeration to say the best way to see the Hoover Dam is from the Colorado River—and if you need further proof, just try taking a decent photo while standing on top of it. Lake Mead Mohave Adventures recently brought back its Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures tours, which have rare security clearance to get within about a quarter mile of the iconic landmark. The shorter Postcard Tours are just a few hours, zooming around on motorized rafts with up to 20 guests and guides sharing details on the history of the dam, how it was built, and other cool nuggets of info about the surrounding landscapes. Along the way you'll see leftover artifacts like an old catwalk, gauging stations, and survey equipment—and perhaps even a glimpse of Bighorn sheep, birds skipping across the water, and hot springs flowing into the river. A longer "Hoover Dam Raft Tour" holds up to 80 people, includes lunch, and travels to Willow Beach.

Lost Spirits
Lost Spirits Distillery Las Vegas

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Off the Strip
Lost Spirits, one of the coolest attractions at AREA15, is almost like a theme park version of a distillery. Set inside its own separate building, the facility is a maze of environments with lounges, tasting rooms, and live performance areas that offer a few surprises for your entertainment. Take a dive 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea via "submarine" and book a 16-course dinner in one of the most exclusive dining rooms in Vegas. Along the way, you'll learn about Lost Spirits' groundbreaking scientific distilling process, which dramatically speeds up the aging process, and sip on house-made creations like the signature Navy Style Rum and four Vegas exclusives. Yes, there's a gift shop in case you'd like to take a bottle home with you.

Garagiste Wine Room & Merchant
Garagiste Wine Room & Merchant

Take a sip of low-intervention wines

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Multiple Locations
Do you know what's really in your wine? Most of 'em are full of additives. (Just google "mega purple" for starters.) Fortunately, low-intervention wines—which often cross over into natural and/or biodynamic wines—are taking hold in Las Vegas. You just need to know where to look. Garagiste Wine Room is a great resource for low-intervention wines in the Downtown Arts District. Enjoy a glass at the bar or take a bottle home (with a 50% discount on retail sales). Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits is expanding its selection by the day and recently expanded its size with a dramatic new renovation. Just look for the white stickers on bottles to identify low-intervention options. Ada's at Tivoli Village is another spot that takes its wine seriously with a certified sommelier on standby to go into detail about what is (and isn't) in every bottle on the wine list. The Vegas Test Kitchen and neighboring F The Bar in Fergusons Downtown are also keeping low-intervention options in stock. Otherwise, try Night + Market, a Thai restaurant with natural wines at Virgin Hotels, or The Cask, a boutique wine shop in Henderson with an eclectic selection. Don't want to leave the house? Veteran Strip sommelier Kelly Ford has a Vegas-based wine subscription service, KellySOMM, that ships low-intervention selections directly to your doorstep.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

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Multiple Locations
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours knows how to do culinary crawls the right way. The company teams up with top restaurants to offer the dishes and drinks you really want to try—all at one price without a wait for tables. Guided tours include the Venetian/Wynn (Afternoon Culinary Adventures), Aria/Park MGM (Savors of the Strip), Resorts World (Vegas Sights, Worldly Bites), Virgin Hotels, Downtown (Fremont East or the Arts District), and an indulgent Ultimate Steakhouse Tour at properties on the Strip. Along the way, you'll see a few sights and receive some info and fun facts about each destination. The company also operates Finger Licking Foodie Tours with more casual, self-guided excursions at Tivoli Village, Green Valley Ranch, Chinatown, and other locations. A fun new Pizza Tour launches November 6.

Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience

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Downtown
The Fremont Street Experience remains an always fun and sometimes weird Downtown tourist destination, combining bright neon lights and iconic imagery (like the Vegas Vic smoking cowboy marquee) with popular attractions like the Slotzilla zipline and overhead high-def Viva Vision video canopy. At some point, grab a beer at Banger Brewing, play the penny slots at Binions, and sit down for dinner at Vic & Anthony's. Step inside Circa, the largest resort in Downtown Vegas (if you're 21 or older—no kids allowed) and check out the world's largest sportsbook, Barry's Downtown Prime steakhouse, or The Legacy Club—a rooftop lounge that's proving to be a great place to impress a date in Las Vegas. Ready to drink your way down Fremont Street? Sign up for the Royal Crawl, an app that guides participants to six different bars at three different casinos with beer, wine, or a cocktail included at each stop. The year winds down with Rock of Horror Halloween nights in late October, a free concert by Stone Temple Pilots on November 19, and a Drinksgiving bash with Flo Rida on November 23.

Meow Wolf Omega Mart
Photo courtesy of Meow Wolf Omega Mart

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Off the Strip
There's so much cool stuff constantly opening at AREA15, it's almost hard to keep track of it all. Almost. Omega Mart, a large-scale art installation by Meow Wolf, is the biggest and coolest attraction inside the warehouse-like entertainment complex. The expansive, interactive space is a trippy take on a grocery store (which doubles as the gift shop) with "portals" that open to the world of the fictional corporate entity behind it, including a factory and offices where nothing is quite as it seems. There are even a few slides to travel between levels. Think of it as dozens of art exhibits within a single cohesive environment. Give yourself at least an hour to fully appreciate the whole thing.

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than eight years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. He's eating chocolate as he writes this. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.