Everything Fun You Can Do in ‌Las‌ ‌Vegas‌ This Weekend

The NFR Rodeo, WhiskyFest, BrewDog's rooftop bar, and lots more in Las Vegas this weekend.

Repeal Day Party at The Underground
Repeal Day Party at The Underground | Photo courtesy of the Mob Museum
Repeal Day Party at The Underground | Photo courtesy of the Mob Museum

It's that time of year again. The weather is getting colder, holiday events continue to roll out, and yes, the rodeo is back in town. The period around the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo always brings out a spike in tourism with more cowboy hats and country music concerts on the Strip than almost anyone can handle. In between all that, there's a lot of other stuff happening around town too, including WhiskyFest, a Repeal Day celebration, the Parade of Lights at Lake Mead, and new options for drinks and dining. So don't stay home. Move full steam ahead with the season and check out all the cool stuff Vegas has to offer this weekend.

Thursday, December 1-Saturday, December 3
Westgate
'Tis the season for Barry Manilow. The longtime Vegas headliner finally brought his on-the-road holiday show to his Westgate residency last year and is continuing the tradition this year. You've got two weekends to check out "A Very Barry Christmas"—December 1-3 and December 8-10. You'll hear plenty of holiday favorites plus a few of the singer's own hits. Think of it as Christmas at the Copacabana. Doors open at 6 pm. Show is at 7 pm.
Cost: Tickets begin at $54.

Try one of three new restaurants

Thursday, December 1-Sunday, December 4
Multiple Locations
You've got a few new restaurants to check out this weekend. BrewDog opens to the public Friday 6 pm at the Showcase Mall on the Strip with nearly a hundred beers on tap, 360-degree rooftop views, and food that ranges from pizza and tacos to lobster and wagyu burgers–while giving away a million-dollar bar tab to a lucky winner in the process. SOL Mexican Cocina is now accepting reservations inside the Forum Shops at Caesars, putting a Baja-inspired spin on south of the border flavors with coastal cuisine, at least 24 different salsas, and fresh-made margaritas. Old favorite Table 34 is back open with a new look, giving its dining room a modern, rustic makeover to go along with Salmon Ravioli, Pesto Chicken Pizza, and other dishes by executive chef Joe Valdez. A revamped happy hour debuts Tuesday.
Cost: Prices vary. Tickets are $10 for a concert by We Are Scientists at BrewDog on Saturday night.

Thursday, December 1–Saturday, December 10
Thomas & Mack Center
The 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo comes to Las Vegas for 10 days of cowboy madness. The competition gets underway at 5:45 pm at the Thomas & Mack Center each night, featuring roping, bull riding, and other events. NFR basically takes over Las Vegas with autograph sessions, parties and nightlife, and Cowboy Christmas, a shopping extravaganza inside the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Cost: NFR tickets begin at $70. Admission to Cowboy Christmas is free. Prices vary for other events.

Friday, December 2
Off the Strip
Topgolf has found a way to honor both the rodeo and holiday season at the same time. The on-site Birdie Bar has transformed into Western Wonderland, a lavishly decorated environment with photo stations at every turn through January 2. This weekend marks the debut of winter drinks like Toasted Marshmallow Hot Cocoa and White Chocolate Peppermint Coffee—and yes, either one can be spiked with a spirit of choice. A creamy Tomato Basil Soup is also available for a limited time. All ages are welcome, but guests must be at least 21 to sit in the bar areas.
Cost: Free admission.

Friday, December 2
Downtown
It's the final First Friday of 2022, and the monthly block party is taking on a "Believe" theme with holiday performances and a community art project with Opportunity Village. As always, visitors can browse works from about 60 artists and craftspeople on Boulder Avenue and First Street with food trucks and a bar service in the Art Square parking lot. This month's featured artist is Frankly Epic of Screaming Demon Art, whose pieces take inspiration from pop culture. First Friday runs 5-11 pm.
Cost: Free admission.

Friday, December 2
Resorts World
Have a designated driver or rideshare app on standby. The Whisky Advocate is bringing WhiskyFest to Las Vegas with the opportunity to sample hundreds of brown spirits from around the world. Everything from single-malt Scotch to Tennessee bourbon will be showcased with representatives and master distillers sharing details about their respective distillery's history and production methods. Keep your eyes peeled for samples from Nevada's own Frey Ranch and special editions like a Michelone Reserve straight wheated bourbon by Ohio's Middle West Spirits, featuring a blend of corn, red winter wheat, pumpernickel rye, and two-row barley. You may even try a whisky from India. Each ticket includes a Glencairn crystal glass, booklet, gift bag, admission to educational seminars (on a "first come" basis), and a gourmet buffet to help soak up all that whiskey. The event begins at 6:30 pm (with early entry for VIP ticket holders) on the ballroom level of Resorts World.
Cost: Tickets begin at $295.

Friday, December 2
Henderson
Gaetano's Ristorante is hosting a Taste of the World five-course dinner, featuring a selection of international wine pairings from Maisons Marques + Domaines at 7 pm. The menu includes a Fritto Misto seafood appetizer, Fettuccine Alfredo with crab, Roman-style porchetta with roasted potatoes, and a Torta Della Nonna cake for dessert. RSVP by email or calling 702-361-1661.
Cost: Dinner is $150 per person, not including gratuity.

See a show this weekend

Friday, December 2–Sunday, December 4
Multiple Locations
Thanks to the rodeo, Vegas is dominated by country music acts this weekend, including George Strait at the T-Mobile Arena, Cody Jinks at the Chelsea inside the Cosmopolitan, Gary Allan at The Theater at Virgin Hotels (all Friday-Saturday), and the Miranda Lambert residency at Planet Hollywood's Zappos Theater (Saturday-Sunday). The country crowd may also be down to see comedian Ron White at the Mirage Friday-Saturday and media personality Bobby Bones at Wynn's Encore Theater Saturday. If you want something different, there's always Aerosmith at the Park MGM Friday, Adele (if you have money to splurge on the resale market) at Caesars Palace Friday-Saturday, ZZ Top at the Venetian Theatre Saturday-Sunday, and The Lemonheads performing their alt-rock classic "It's a Shame About Ray" in its entirety at the House of Blues Saturday. Elle King, who seems to fall somewhere in between country and rock plays Brooklyn Bowl Friday.
Cost: Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, December 3
Downtown
The Tamales and Mariachi Festival runs 10 am to 4 pm at the Historic Fifth Street School's Centennial Plaza. Enjoy music from five different mariachi bands while wolfing down tamales made fresh on the spot. The recipes will represent a variety of regions from throughout Latin America. Activities are available for the kids. Beer is available for the adults, courtesy of the SerVehZah tap room.
Cost: Free admission

Saturday, December 3
Lake Mead
Holiday lights are everywhere you look—even on the water. More than 20 boats will participate in the 44th annual Parade of Lights at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, covered in colorful lights and other holiday decorations. Each one will be on display at the Las Vegas Boat Harbor and Lake Mead Marina from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. Then, the boats will depart and travel across Boulder Basin. Watch from the marinas or Boulder Beach. Marina restaurants will have extended hours with holiday drinks and food specials.
Cost: Free to watch, although the Lake Mead National Recreation Area charges an entry fee of $25 per vehicle, $20 per motorcycle, and $15 for anyone walking or bicycling.

Saturday, December 3–Sunday, December 4
Downtown
The Downtown Container Park is hosting a two-day celebration of Korean pop culture with K-Pop Republic, running 10 am-6 pm each day. Buy merchandise featuring BTS, Blackpink, and other South Korean chart-toppers while enjoying live dance performances, photocard trading, and random dance breaks. The first 100 people will receive a free poster with purchase each day.
Cost: Free admission.

Sunday, December 4
Downtown
This Monday is Repeal Day (a holiday that's almost more important than Nevada Day in Las Vegas), marking 89 years since Prohibition was repealed. The Underground at the Mob Museum (one of the best speakeasies in Sin City) is celebrating a day early with a party from 8-11 pm (with early entry for VIP ticket holders). Come dressed in your best attire of the era—like flapper dresses and pinstripe suits—and enjoy a special menu featuring Beam Suntory and lightbites. The Dixie Flats perform live.
Cost: Tickets begin at $115.

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