11 Actually Fun Things to Do in ‌Las‌ ‌Vegas‌ This Weekend

National Finals Rodeo, a Repeal Day cocktail party, craft beer festivals, and more.

The big story in Las Vegas this week isn't Omicron. It's Adele, who finally put endless speculation to rest and announced a residency at Caesars Palace, the only concerts currently announced for the singer since the release of her new album, 30. Weekends with Adele is a series of performances inside the Colosseum, every Friday and Saturday night between January 21 to April 16. Want to go? Ticketmaster is using a "Verified Fan" system to cut down on bots. Those who register online by 11:59 pm on Thursday, December 2, will have first crack at tickets at 10 am on Tuesday, December 7 (a day that will live in infamy). If there are any tickets left afterwards (insert that emoji with the monocle here), they will be sold to the general public. Good luck. Now spend the next few days on pins and needles while exploring all the cool stuff to do this weekend in Las Vegas.

Thursday, December 2–Saturday, December 11
Thomas & Mack Center
The National Finals Rodeo comes to Las Vegas for ten days of cowboy madness. The competition gets underway at 5:45 pm at the Thomas & Mack Center each night. NFR basically takes over Las Vegas with too many country music concerts to count, parties and nightlife, and Cowboy Christmas (a shopping extravaganza inside the Las Vegas Convention Center).
Cost: NFR tickets begin at $76. Admission to Cowboy Christmas is free. Prices vary for other events.

Friday, December 3
Downtown Arts District
First Friday, a monthly art walk and celebration in the Arts District, returns with "It's a Wrap" as the latest theme, not only bidding farewell to 2021 (a year we'll describe as complicated), but to welcome donations for Toys for Tots. There will also be a gift wrapping station for any purchases. As always, guests can explore art galleries and vendors while enjoying drinks and bites from at least 15 food trucks. This month's featured artist is Doctor Ziso, an expert in street graffiti murals. First Friday runs 5-11 pm.
Cost: Free admission.

Friday, December 3
Downtown Arts District
SoulBelly BBQ is hosting a Whole Hog Rock n' Roll Jam 7–9 pm. Chef Bruce Kalman will be joined by guest chef Billy Terrell to smoke an entire hog on the outdoor patio—and take the stage for a performance by the Hot Sauce Band. Music begins at 8 pm.
Cost: $25 to feast on the hog. Order tickets in advance on Secret Burger.

Friday, December 3
Off the Strip
You may have noticed: Las Vegas has an awesome craft beer scene. See what it's all about at the Winter Wonderland Beerfest, presented by the Southern Nevada Brewers Guild and Pub 365. Sip on unlimited beer tastings and munch on holiday-themed bites inside the Tuscany Ballroom 7-10 pm (with early admission, exclusive sips, and other perks for VIP ticket holders). Everyone is encouraged to wear an ugly sweater and bring a Toys for Tots donation in exchange for raffle tickets.
Cost: General admission is $50 in advance ($65 at the door), VIP is $80 in advance ($95 at the door).

Friday, December 3
Downtown
Hidden Cinema Rooftop Garden proved to be a hit during Halloween and returns for a series of winter holiday screenings with Die Hard at 7 pm. It all takes place on the top level of a parking garage a few blocks south of the Fremont Street Experience. Cozy up on a blanket or bean bag chair, order up a beer, wine, or hot chocolate from the snack bar, and watch the movie on a 30-foot screen, surrounded by the glow of the Downtown skyline. Saturday's screening of Love Actually is already sold out.
Cost: Tickets begin at $17.50.

Friday, December 3–Saturday, December 4
Tivoli Village
Stop by Tivoli Village Friday or Saturday between 3–6 pm for live music and holiday discounts from more than 20 shops. Kids can enjoy hot chocolate and photos with Santa. Adults get complimentary winter cocktails. Things pick up on Saturday from 2–8 pm for the 6th Annual LV Margarita, Mojito, Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival. Dance to the retro sounds of Boogie Nights and the Spazmatics while sipping on unlimited booze tastings with a souvenir glass. At least 20 food trucks will be around, along with a few arts and crafts vendors.
Cost: Tickets for the LV Margarita, Mojito, Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival are $45.

Friday, December 3-Saturday, December 4
Resorts World
While you cool your jets waiting for Adele to show up, score some tickets for the debut weekend of Carrie Underwood's residency at Resorts World. It's the first chance for the general public to see what the hotel's all-new theater is about. Spoiler: great sound, great sightlines, and a few bars here and there. Underwood, a three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year and the biggest selling American Idol winner in history, plays a total of six shows in December before returning for more performances in March, April, and May.
Cost: Tickets begin at $58.

Friday, December 4-Sunday, December 5
Silverton
Take a moment this weekend to check out Twin Creeks Steakhouse, back in action after being shut down for more than a year during the pandemic. The dining room was given a fresh makeover with a few new dishes (like a truffle short rib tortellini and a 40-ounce Tomahawk for two with lobster mashed potatoes and asparagus) added to the menu by executive chef Ashley Archer. The restaurant now has bourbon and whiskey tasting flights to wash down all that red meat.
Cost: Prices vary.

Saturday, December 4
Downtown
If you see thousands of people in red suits running down Fremont Street, don't panic. It's just the Las Vegas Great Santa Run, an annual fundraiser for Opportunity Village. The festivities get underway at 8 am with a 5K or one-mile run at 10 am. Celebrate with an after-party near the finish line at Llama Lot until 1 pm. The Chippendales have been enlisted as the Grand Marshals. Registration is open until Friday and includes a five-piece Santa suit, medal, and swag bag. Participants can also choose to do a virtual run on their own time instead.
Cost: Registration is $40.

Sunday, December 5
Henderson
Sometimes, brunch is even better at night. The Stove kicks off a "Drag Me to Brunch" pop-up series at 5 pm. The intimate soiree is limited to just 60 seats with appearances by some of Vegas' favorite drag performers. Enjoy a three-course menu by Chef Antonio Nunez that includes sausage corn dogs or a crab fritter; short rib street tacos, a Nashville chicken benedict or butternut squash risotto; and pumpkin cheesecake or butterscotch pudding. Call or text 702-625-5216 for tickets.
Cost: Tickets begin at $60 for the meal and a bottle of house bubbly.

Sunday, December 5
Downtown
Repeal Day celebrates the reversal of Prohibition, which allowed Americans to legally booze it up once again. So it's kinda like a holiday in Las Vegas. The Underground at Mob Museum, a basement-level speakeasy with its own distillery, is throwing a Repeal Day party 7 pm to midnight with an open cocktail bar, light bites, and live music by the Moonshiners. This is a party you might need to sleep off, so book a room at Circa (between December 2 and December 7) and receive 15% off using the code REPEAL.
Cost: Tickets are $115.

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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.