20 Cool Things to Do in Las Vegas This Spring

Attractions, food, booze, and more things to do in Las Vegas this spring.

Alesso at TAO Beach Dayclub
Alesso at TAO Beach Dayclub | Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Alesso at TAO Beach Dayclub | Photo courtesy of Getty Images

After an extended wet and cloudy winter, Las Vegas is finally in spring mode. If you can handle the wind and allergies, you'll have a blast, whether it's enjoying quick and affordable eats on the Strip, shopping local businesses in the Arts District, or basking in the serenity of the natural surroundings. Between hot restaurants and new attractions, Las Vegas is booming. Lucky for you, we've got some cool suggestions when looking for fun in Las Vegas, from low-budget activities to places to impress a hot date. Keep reading for all of the fun things to do in Vegas this spring, and don’t forget to check out our Las Vegas guide for all the good stuff happening every weekend.

Artifacts at The Punk Rock Museum
Artifacts at The Punk Rock Museum | The Vox Agency/Flickr

Hey ho, let's go! The Punk Rock Museum is now open with a stand-alone location (and limited parking) on Western Avenue between the I-15 and Arts District. Explore more than 12,000 square feet of exhibits to celebrate a genre that changed the game in the early '70s. Guests are even welcome to play instruments formerly owned by the likes of Joan Jett and the Clash in the Jam Room or order a drink from the Triple Down, an on-site dive bar co-managed by the founder of Vegas' own Double Down Saloon. Try a Rum & Coke inside a Pringles can with the chips on the side, said to be a favorite of Pennywise's Fletcher Dragge. Some tours are led by hardcore fan, museum curator, and subject of "She's Nubs" by NOFX, Tali Oscourne. Others are led by members of iconic punk bands making special guest appearances, although the vibe is so loose, it's almost like hanging out with an old friend. A wedding chapel and tattoo parlor should be open by the time spring is over.
Cost: GA is $30.

Las Vegas Ballpark
Las Vegas Ballpark | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Minor league baseball may seem ho-hum in most towns, but it's a whole different ballgame in Vegas. A new season is underway for the Las Vegas Aviators at the Las Vegas Ballpark in Downtown Summerlin. The seats are comfortable (like, really comfortable) and the food is great, served up by a slick on-site kitchen team and a few local favorites like Frankie's Uptown and BBQ Mexicana. Hanging out here is so carefree and fun, it almost doesn't matter if the home team wins or not. Everyone's here to have a good time, enjoy the open air, and maybe cool off in the outfield swimming pool. The biggest stars on the team? Bat dogs Finn and Lambo.
Cost: Tickets start at $13.

Splurge on music festivals and residencies

Multiple Locations
Spring is the season for music. The Electric Daisy Carnival is the biggest event of all, returning to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway May 19-21 with more than 140,000 EDM fans each night to see DJs like Tiesto, Marshmello, Zedd, Armin van Burren, and dozens more. The Lovers and Friends festival hits the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on the Strip May 6 with headliners Usher, Missy Elliott, and Mariah Carey. Sick New World debuts at the same venue May 13 with hard-hitting acts like a reunited System of a Down, Korn, Deftones, and Incubus. Punk Rock Bowling takes over downtown May 26-29 with Rancid, Bad Religion, and Dropkick Murphys headlining concerts at the Las Vegas Events Center. If that wasn't enough, you can catch new residencies by Garth Brooks at Caesars Palace (beginning May 18), The Chicks at Planet Hollywood (May 3-13), and the B-52s at the Venetian (May 5-13 before returning this fall).
Cost: Prices vary.

Tao Beach
Tao Beach | Photo courtesy of Tao Group Hospitality

Party by the pool at a dayclub

The Strip
Now that the sun is back, Vegas pool parties have returned with stuff everybody loves – beats, booze, food, and minimal clothing – all in one place. Wet Republic at MGM Grand, Ayu at Resorts World, Daylight at Mandalay Bay, Tao Beach at the Venetian, Liquid at Aria, Encore Beach Club at Wynn, and Drai's on the rooftop level of the Cromwell tend to draw the biggest crowds with top DJs. New this year: Venus Pool at Caesars Palace is hosting daily Night Swim events throughout the season and Bare Pool at the Mirage is dropping its topless policy while keeping an upbeat lounge atmosphere.
Cost: Prices vary

Beverly Theater
Photo by Patrick Gray, courtesy of Beverly Theater

The Beverly Theater is a mixed-use space for independent film, music, and other art-focused events. The main attraction is a 146-seat high-tech theater that's fully sound insulated and adaptable for multiple purposes with retractable seats and a 360-square-foot screen. Movies are usually just $10, ranging from the latest independent films to cult-classic favorites. Hang out in the courtyard or enjoy live open-air jazz on the upstairs terrace. The Beverly Theater operates as a nonprofit under the Rogers Foundation and is a companion piece to the neighboring Writer's Block book store.
Cost: Tickets start at $10.

Fried Chicken Fridays is a new pop-up by the Toddy Shop on the second and fourth Fridays of the month at Parlour Coffee and Cooking on Fremont Street. Chef Hemant Kishore offers a choice of Trivandrum chicken (marinated in yogurt and spices and dusted in coconut masala powder) or traditional Tandoori chicken (buttermilk-brined with the option to add a spicy sauce) with a Wednesday deadline to place orders in advance. Go with a side of cauliflower Manchurian, ghee rice, or warm black garbanzo salad. Pickup times are between 6 pm and 9 pm, with limited seating available. In a town full of great Indian food, this may be some of the best you'll try all year.
Cost: Prices vary.

BattleBots "Destruct-a-Thon"
BattleBots "Destruct-a-Thon" | The Vox Agency/Flickr

Off the Strip
Following a TV taping and championship tournament late last year, BattleBots continues as a nightly live-action "Destruct-a-Thon" series at the Caesars Entertainment Studios east of the Strip. Based on the original Comedy Central show that debuted more than 20 years ago, BattleBots is a fierce competition between remote-controlled machines. It's kinda like watching what would happen if high school science experiments turned violent and engaged in combat. Don't be surprised if a few burst into flames. The events begin at 6 pm Thursday-Saturday with daytime shows 12 pm Saturday and 3 pm Sunday.
Cost: Tickets start at $62

Home + History tours
Home + History tours | Photo courtesy of Nevada Preservation Foundation

Multiple Locations
The Nevada Preservation Foundation's annual Home + History tours provide glimpses into Las Vegas' heritage and past that are often overlooked. More than 45 tours unfold April 27-30 on foot, bicycle, bus, or driven in your own car. Some come with booze (like a martini tour of Elvis' suite at the Westgate, a look at the original Block 16 red-light district, or an Arts District beer crawl). Others explore old-school neighborhoods like Beverly Green and Paradise Palms. New this year: expeditions of the Huntridge neighborhood (and newly revived Huntridge Theater), the exclusive Scotch 80s, and a stretch of Fremont Street where vintage motels or "motor courts" once reigned supreme. You must book in advance. The foundation is also introducing a new app this year with self-guided tours available all year long.
Cost: $25-$35.

AXION by Christopher Bauder
AXION by Christopher Bauder | Photo by Ralph Larmann, courtesy of Christopher Bauder and TRANSFIX

Resorts World
Transfix is a maze-like exhibit of nearly 50 art installations in a multi-level 2,000-square-foot space at Resorts World. The pop up attraction runs from spring to fall, featuring large-format pieces that use video, lighting, and even fire to make an impression. Take part in a three-minute meditation session with biometric technology and walk through an illuminated tunnel to simulate an intergalactic journey. Give yourself at least 90 minutes to check out the whole thing while taking extra time to stop at 10 bars and speakeasies along the way, some of which have an artistic design in their own right.
Cost: Tickets start at $25.

Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas
Photo courtesy of Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas

Henderson & Southwest
Henderson's Cowabunga Bay waterpark expanded its presence in Las Vegas last summer, taking ownership of Wet'n'Wild in the Southwest Valley; rebranding it Cowabunga Canyon with a Wild West theme and millions in renovations. The two parks span a combined 45 acres with more than 50 attractions, including wave pools and water slides. The best deal is the Cowabunga Vegas Pass, which provides unlimited admission throughout the season for $99.99. Funnel cake and chicken strips not included.
Cost: Single-park tickets start at $46.99; season passes $99.99.

Off the Strip
Ferraro's is not only one of the best places for Italian cuisine in Las Vegas, but also a great destination for those who appreciate fine wine. The restaurant is moving full steam ahead with a series of monthly Taste & Learn events that combine multi-course menus with pairings from select Italian vineyards. The only problem: reservations are often snatched up quickly. The April 22 Taste & Learn with Banfi is already sold out, but you can still book seats for events featuring wines by Mastroberardino (May 20), Pieropan & Argiano (June 17), and Fumanelli (July 22).
Cost: $110 per event.

Horseshoe Las Vegas
Horseshoe Las Vegas | Photo courtesy of Caesers Entertainment

The Strip
It's been a slow transition over the past year, but Bally's is now officially the Horseshoe with some changes more noticeable than others. There’s a few big restaurants to check out: Jack Binion's Steak and M.Y. Asia (the first Vegas restaurant by O.G. celebrity chef Martin Yan, featuring Peking Duck, Orange Chicken, dumplings, fried-rice, and other Far East favorites with frequent noodle-pulling demonstrations). Kids will be eager to check out a new neon-lit gaming arcade and the just-opened Dino Safari: A Walk Thru Adventure. Adults may want to stick with the Cabinet of Curiosities, a cocktail lounge with quirky mini-exhibits and a hidden speakeasy in the back. The Horseshoe will once again be the center of the gaming world this spring and summer as it hosts the World Series of Poker.
Cost: Prices vary.

FlyOver Las Vegas
Photo courtesy of FlyOver Las Vegas

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 debuted "Windborne: Call of the Canadian Rockies" last year 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 and blasts of cold air are a welcome relief from the hot Vegas weather.
Cost: Tickets start at $50

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

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 arrived just in time to coincide with the centennial 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.
Cost: Tickets start at $33. 

Illuminarium After Dark
Illuminarium After Dark | Photo courtesy of Illuminarium

Off the Strip
Illuminarium is a multimedia museum for a new generation, using ultra high-def video, computer-generated graphics, sound effects, smells, and 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. 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. The program alternates with “WILD: A Safari Experience” and immersive sports viewing parties. Illuminarium After Dark begins at 8 pm for the 21+ crowd with cocktails and small bites in a lounge surrounded by digital images.
Cost: Tickets start at $30.

Lost Spirits
Photo courtesy of Lost Spirits Distillery Las Vegas

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 entertainment. Box seats were recently installed to view an aerial performer stage. Take a dive 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by booking 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.
Cost: Tickets start at $49. 

Garagiste Wine Room & Merchant
Photo courtesy of Garagiste Wine Room & Merchant

Take a sip of low-intervention wines

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 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. 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 at Virgin Hotels. The Thai restaurant has an all-natural wine list and one of the best happy hours in Vegas. 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.
Cost: Prices vary

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours
Photo courtesy of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

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. Keep your eyes peeled for sporadic, special-event tours that focus on one style of food, like BBQ restaurants or pizza joints.
Cost: Prices vary.

Fremont Street Experience
Photo courtesy of Fremont Street Experience

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 Hennessey's Tavern, play the only Sigma Derby horse racing game at The D casino, 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 with views of both the Strip and Downtown. Drink your way down Fremont Street with 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.
Cost: Free entry

Meow Wolf Omega Mart
Photo courtesy of Meow Wolf Omega Mart

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.
Cost: Tickets start at $49.

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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.