Celebrate Pride with Pool Parties, Free Donuts, and More Fun in Las Vegas This Weekend

We’ve also got the scoop on how you can get free hot chicken!

ELEVATE at SAHARA Las Vegas | The Vox Agency/Flickr
ELEVATE at SAHARA Las Vegas | The Vox Agency/Flickr

June is here. What does that mean for you? Well, the Word Series of Poker is back at the Horseshoe and Paris casinos, with the sport's biggest tournament drawing players throughout the month with buy-ins as low as $300. Last year's edition attracted nearly 200,000 entrants. June is also Pride Month, and while Vegas saves its biggest celebrations for October when the weather is more bearable, you can still celebrate LGBTQ culture all month long with pool parties (Elevate Pride Saturdays at the Sahara and Temptation Sundays at the Luxor), a Mt. Charleston Pride OUTside hike June 17, Vegas Pride Bar Crawl on Fremont Street June 17, and Transfix Pride Night at Resorts World June 23. Plan ahead while enjoying all the other cool stuff happening this weekend.

See an exciting concert this weekend

Thursday, June 1-Sunday, June 4
Multiple Locations
It's a big weekend for concerts, led by Garth Brooks' ongoing sold-out Caesars Palace residency Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Colosseum. At last check, a few ultra-premium tickets remain for the return of Bruno Mars Friday-Saturday at Dolby Live inside the Park MGM. Meanwhile, Seal plays Friday-Saturday at the Venetian Theatre, James Taylor kicks off the first shows Saturday-Sunday of a five-date mini-residency at The Chelsea inside the Cosmopolitan, and Walk the Moon performs on the 3rd Street Stage as part of the Downtown Rocks free concert series Saturday at the Fremont Street Experience.
Cost: Ticket prices vary. Walk the Moon is free.

Score deals and freebies on donuts

Friday, June 2
Multiple Locations
It's National Donut Day–a holiday all of us can get behind, especially with deals all over Las Vegas. Easy's Donuts at the Aria's Proper Eats Food Hall is giving away one glazed donut with the purchase of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Yonutz in Centennial Hills is giving away a choice of one free smashed donut to the first 10 customers at the top of every hour, beginning at 4 pm, with a few other surprises and giveaways throughout the evening. Maverik convenience stores have special "M" shaped donuts (50% off for Adventure Club members, one free for Nitro members) and are kicking off Free Frazil Fridays with a complimentary 12-ounce Freezing Point Frasil to Adventure Club members every Friday in June. Pinkbox Doughnuts has a special online cyber sale and is giving away t-shirts to those who buy a dozen doughnuts in stores throughout Vegas.
Cost: Prices and deals vary.

Friday, June 2
Off the Strip
It's the debut weekend for The Lexi, the first cannabis-friendly hotel in Las Vegas. The laws are still being sorted out, but the boutique 64-room property, formerly known as the Artisan, has all the pieces in place, including plans for a consumption lounge and specially designed and air-filtered rooms and suites that limit and eliminate smells. The Lexi also has a bar and lounge with bites ranging from avocado toast to steaks and an intimate European-style pool. That means tops are optional. No kids allowed. The Lexi is strictly 21 and over.
Cost: Room rates vary.

Friday, June 2
The Mirage
Heritage Steakhouse hosts a one-hour session of Sippin School at 4 pm before the restaurant opens for dinner. Take a seat at the bar and pair three craft beers (one from Brooklyn Brewery and two from Vegas' own Able Baker) with a selection of small bites. General Manager Manuel Sanchez will guide participants through the tastings and share details on each beer.
Cost: Tickets are $25 per person.

Friday, June 2
Downtown Arts District
The First Friday monthly block party and art walk is back 5-11 pm in the thriving Downtown Arts District. This time around, there's an emphasis on "plein air" outdoor painting. Javiar Gonzalez of the Daily Cloud comics is this month's featured artist. The event also includes more than 20 food trucks, live entertainment, and lots more. Fun bonus: Head a mile east on Charleston to Yukon Pizza, which is offering a one-night-only First Friday special: a delicious Indian-inspired Butter Chicken pizza in collaboration with The Toddy Shop's Hemant Kishore.
Cost: Admission is free. Yukon Pizza special is $21.

Friday, June 2
Downtown Arts District
Houston, TX Hot Chicken holds a grand opening party for a new Arts District location on Main Street with free food, a raffle, and an exhibit of luxury cars 6-10 pm. Ten contestants are invited to sign a waiver in advance and participate in a Spice Challenge at 7 pm. The first person to wolf down three chicken tenders at the hottest spice level (known as "Houston We Have a Problem") and complete a three-minute cooldown with no liquids will score a $1,000 prize.
Cost: Admission is free. 

Saturday, June 3
Industrial Corridor
The Erotic Heritage Museum debuts the Catherine Exhibit, which documents the unlikely collaboration between the late Eddie Van Halen and erotic film director Michael Ninn. Guests can hear samples of Van Halen's music, composed for and inspired by three of Ninn's films, including Sacred Sin, which the guitarist co-produced. The exhibit also has guitars and other memorabilia on display.
Cost: Tickets are $34.

Saturday, June 3
The Strip
The Vegas Golden Knights have only been around for six years but are now making their second appearance in the Stanley Cup finals. The puck drops for the series' first game against the Florida Panthers at 5 pm inside the T-Mobile Arena. Tickets are officially sold out, but if you can't see the historic showdown in person, sports bars throughout Vegas will be hosting spirited viewing parties. Game #2 is Monday.
Cost: Be careful when buying tickets on the resale market. Certain digital tickets are ineligible for resale.

Saturday, June 3
Fremont East
The Vegas Test Kitchen wraps up its awesome run as a Downtown culinary incubator with a farewell party 6-9 pm. Six stations will each feature at least a dozen dishes, serving up food by Stay Tuned Burgers, Solamente Pizza, Down 2 Earth Plant-Based Cuisine, Arepaheads (South American), Jawgogi's (Korean), and PopnPies (one of our favorites for pies and pastries in Vegas) with drink specials and an optional open-bar package. While we're sad to see the Downtown Test Kitchen close, founder Jolene Mannina just announced plans to open a similar concept, Paladare, in the Huntridge neighborhood later this year.
Cost: $40 covers food, and $30 covers the open bar.

Sunday, June 4
Tivoli Village
"Somm Sundays" returns to Ada's, one of the top places to enjoy a sip of vino in Vegas. Guest sommelier Dana Farner, who built her reputation as one of the industry's best at CUT Beverly Hills, will offer carefully selected French and Austrian wines to complement dishes by Chef de Cuisine Jackson Stamper. Farner will be around to discuss the picks with visitors. The best thing you can do is sample them in flights of two or four and take your favorite bottle home at a 25% discount. Somm Sunday runs 3-6 pm.
Cost: Featured wines are $17-$40 by the glass and $35-$70 by the bottle. Flights are $25-$70.

Monday, June 5
Multiple Locations
An annual tradition is back to save money on food and help a good cause at the same time. Restaurant Week returns with dining spots throughout the valley offering special prix fixe meals that benefit the work of Three Square food bank. A whopping 205 restaurants are participating this year. Enjoy a lunch special with fresh fish at Estiatorio Milos for $40 or a dinner of German beer hall favorites at Hofbrauhaus for $60. Try out a new restaurant like Basilico with four courses of imaginative Italian cuisine for $60, or score a value at a top Vegas steakhouse like Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres with dinner for $80 (plus $49 for wine pairings). You've got plenty of time. Despite the name, Restaurant Week actually runs 12 days through June 16.
Cost: Prix fixe menu prices vary.

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than nine 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.