12 Actually Fun Things to Do in ‌Las‌ ‌Vegas‌ ‌This‌ Weekend

‌‌It took a while, but EDC is finally back in Las Vegas.

Photo by Jake West, courtesy of Insomniac

It's one of those bad news, good news weeks. Celine Dion was scheduled to open the new Resorts World theater in November, but cancelled shows through January due to muscle spasms. Refunds for authorized sales are being automatically refunded to credit cards. This week also marks the long-awaited return of the Electric Daisy Carnival with the excitement of the festival carrying over to the nightclub scene on the Strip. So if you can't score EDC passes for the Speedway, head to Omnia on Friday to see Martin Garrix, XS the same night for Marshmello, or Zouk Nightclub Saturday for Zedd. Elia Beach Club may be earning the most buzz with the only Las Vegas appearance this year by Above & Beyond on Saturday and the return of deadmau5 on Sunday. That's just the start of a busy weekend here in Las Vegas—and it's not all about dancing.

Friday, October 22
Off the Strip
It's the debut weekend of Via Focaccia, a new fast-casual restaurant with an artisan touch at Ellis Island. Much of the food, including sandwiches made with house-baked focaccia bread, is inspired by the Sicilian heritage of Chef Ismaele Romano, who previously worked at kitchens inside the Wynn and Bellagio. The menu also includes pastries, charcuterie, coffee, in-house canned cocktails, and of course, Ellis Island's own craft beer.
Cost: Prices vary.

Friday, October 22
Caesars Palace
Nobu Matsuhisa returns to his namesake restaurant at Caesars Palace for "A Taste of Nobu" with reservations accepted 5-7:30 pm and 8-10:30 pm. The reception-style dining experience will present dishes popularized by the celebrity chef, including miso black cod, jalapeno yellowtail sashimi, and A5 Wagyu beef tacos with an assortment of sushi and food stations serving fresh-shucked oysters, caviar, and Nobu's elevated take on ramen. Everyone goes home with a signed copy of the "World of Nobu" cookbook.
Cost: $350 per person with reservations via OpenTable.

Friday, October 22
Paris Las Vegas
Join former Oakland Raider and Super Bowl MVP Fred Biletnikoff and other NFL legends for the 21st Annual Celebrity Crab Fest inside the Paris casino's Champagne Ballroom 6-11 pm. The evening includes a lavish dinner of fresh crab, appearances by the Las Vegas Raiders, and live music by Chicago co-founder Danny Seraphine. The event is a fundraiser for the Biletnikoff Foundation's efforts to stop domestic violence, substance abuse, and human trafficking.
Cost: Tickets begin at $200 (Call 925-556-2525 for reservations).

Friday, October 22
The 2021 Rise Up benefit gala for the Tyler Robinson Foundation (a nonprofit founded by Las Vegas' own Imagine Dragons to fight pediatric cancer) is sold out at the Wynn Pavilion. However, fans can tune in and watch the band's acoustic performance live-streamed from the event at 9:30 pm via the Bandsintown channel on Twitch. There's no charge to watch, but viewers will have an opportunity to donate to the cause.
Cost: Free.

Friday, October 22-Sunday, October 24
With shipping supply-chain delays, everyone is saying the same thing: get your holiday shopping done early this year. Vintage Market Days is the perfect way to cross a few gifts off your list. The three-day event takes place outdoors from 10 am to at least 4 pm on The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin. An autumn theme of "Vintage Soul" will be in place as independent vendors sell everything from antiques, vintage jewelry, and clothing to farmhouse-style decor, artwork, and outdoor furnishings. Enjoy live music and food trucks while you shop.
Cost: Admission is $15 Friday, $10 Saturday, and $5 Sunday. Tickets are good for re-entry all weekend. Kids 12 and under are free.

Friday, October 22-Sunday, October 24
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Electric Daisy Carnival has a long history in Las Vegas, but is now taking place in October for the first time. And while fall is a great season for music festivals, you might want to bundle up a little more than usual at the three-day dusk-to-dawn electro dance music party. More than 140,000 fans will pack the Las Vegas Motor Speedway each night for sets on eight stages by more than 200 DJs, including big names like Tiesto, Kygo, and the Chainsmokers. Even all that music is almost secondary to the atmosphere, which includes imaginative decor, carnival rides, drinks, food, and more in a supercharged neon environment. Vaccination or a negative COVID test is required to enter.
Cost: EDC is officially sold out but with multiple postponements, the resale market seems to be more active than usual. Fans have also been able to cash in Hilton Honors points for EDC Las Vegas and EDC Orlando packages for the first time this year.

Saturday, October 23
The Las Vegas Ballpark in Downtown Summerlin hosts Concours d'Elegance, a showcase of more than 100 classic and luxury automobiles, featuring Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Bentley, Maserati, and other prestigious brands. The car show runs 12-6 pm, followed by an awards presentation. The event is a fundraiser for Miracle Flights, which provides free air transportation to those in need of crucial medical care.
Cost: Tickets are $100.

Saturday, October 23
West Valley
The hard seltzer trend isn't slowing down anytime soon. Here's proof: Seltzerland, a touring festival designed to encourage outdoor fun in the age of social distancing, arrives in Las Vegas at the Angel Park Golf Club. Enjoy a day on the green while sampling more than 100 boozy seltzers from White Claw, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Vizzy, and others. Food will be available to purchase in between games of cornhole and other activities. Tickets are sold in staggered time blocks to minimize crowds.
Cost: General admission (12:30-3 pm) is $39. VIP (11 am-12:20 pm) is $59 with a few added perks.

Saturday, October 23
The Cosmopolitan
WhiskeyX is 7 pm (or 6 pm for VIP ticket holders) at the Boulevard Pool rooftop deck with views of the Las Vegas Strip as the backdrop. Sip on whiskey (with more than 60 choices available) while rocking out to sets by Fitz & The Tantrums and St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Some of the Cosmopolitan's best restaurants (including Jaleo, Momofuku, and STK) will be serving bites to soak up all that bourbon, rye, and Scotch. If that's not enough, unwind in a cigar lounge or get a complimentary beard or hair trim from Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails.
Cost: Tickets begin at $75.

Saturday, October 23
The Smith Center
Some of you may actually prefer classical music to electronic dance music. If that's the case, you'll welcome the return of the Las Vegas Philharmonic to the Smith Center for the first time since the pandemic brought performances to a halt. Hear the music of Copland, Dvorak, Tower, and Tchaikovsky on stage at the majestic Reynolds Hall with the debut of cellist Joshua Roman as the Philharmonic's first artist-in-residence. Call it a good start and a preview of big things to come. The Philharmonic plans to play all nine Beethoven symphonies this season in honor of the composer's 250th birthday.
Cost: Tickets begin at $29.

Saturday, October 23
A late-night tradition returns to Las Vegas. The Back of the House Brawl runs 11 pm-2 am in the Vegas Test Kitchen alley with food by Naked City Pizza, the Black Pearl, This Mama's House, and So Good Italian. Cocktail deals will be offered as well. The main event, however, is a chef competition at 1 am with a few of our city's best given a list of secret ingredients to prepare a dish in just 30 minutes.
Cost: Free admission. Food and drink are priced separately.

Sunday, October 24
The Sahara
Chickie & Pete's, which started as a corner sports bar in Philadelphia, just opened a Las Vegas location at the Sahara—and Eagles fans will be out in force to watch their team take on the Raiders at 1 pm. Watch the game on one of 50 TV screens while wolfing down the seafood that made Chickie's & Pete's a local legend in the City of Brotherly Love. Lobster is used as a topping on pizzas alongside cheesesteak for a surf-n-turf you can eat with your hands. The restaurant's famous crab fries don't actually have any crab, but come with an addictive crab seasoning. It just works. Try it. Chickie's & Pete's is also one of the few sports bars in Las Vegas to have its own in-house betting window.
Cost: Prices vary.

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than seven years. In addition, his work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Leafly, Supercall, Modern Luxury, and Luxury Estates International's seasonal publication. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.