Fun Things to Do in ‌Las‌ ‌Vegas‌ This Weekend

When dinosaurs and Taylor Swift roamed the Earth.

SIX The Musical
SIX The Musical | Photo by Joan Marcus, courtesy of SIX The Musical
SIX The Musical | Photo by Joan Marcus, courtesy of SIX The Musical

There's a lot happening in Las Vegas, but Taylor Swift is the undeniable main event this weekend. Her tour kicked off a week ago in Phoenix, which was dubbed "Swift City" for the occasion. However, the Sin City tag still works for us just fine, especially during a loaded weekend of music that not only includes the debut of new residencies by Maroon 5 and Foreigner (as part of a billed farewell tour) but returning headliners Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Donny Osmond, Barry Manilow, Rick Springfield, and Tesla. If that's not enough, John Mellencamp takes the stage for a pair of intimate shows at the Wynn's Encore Theater, and George Thorogood and the Destroyers play the Palms. It's also worth noting that Adele wraps up the final dates of her residency at Caesars Palace, although signs are emerging of a return later in the year. Either you have tickets for that one, or you don't. Otherwise, there's a lot of other cool stuff to keep you busy this weekend in Las Vegas.

Now-Sunday, May 7
You don't see stage musicals on the Strip as much as you used to anymore, making the seven-week run of SIX The Musical feel like a welcome change of pace. The Tony Award-winning show is about the six wives of Henry VIII, mixing a theme of female empowerment with extravagant costumes in a format that can feel more like a concert than a musical at times. The show performs nightly (with two performances on Saturdays and Sundays) in the Palazzo Theater. To help get you in the mood, Black Tap down the hallway is serving a limited-edition "unShakeAble" blueberry CrazyShake inspired by the musical, featuring purple and gold sprinkles and rock candies, whipped cream, a cupcake, and a gold crown on top.
Cost: Tickets begin at $38 for SIX The Musical.

Thursday, March 23 and Saturday, March 25
The Strip
March Madness narrows down to the Sweet Sixteen this weekend, and you can feel the excitement throughout the valley with viewing parties at the best sports bars in Vegas. However, nothing beats seeing the college basketball games in person (especially if you have a bet on the line). The T-Mobile Arena hosts the Western Regional Thursday (No. 4 UConn vs. No. 8 Arkansas and No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 3 Gonzaga) and Saturday (with advancing teams to be determined).
Cost: Resale tickets begin at $150.

Friday, March 24
Caesars Palace
After a soft opening to sort out the kinks, Chris Santos' Stanton Social Prime celebrates its first official weekend open to the public. The restaurant is already setting itself apart from other steakhouses in Vegas, opting for a dark and moody vibe that mixes contemporary and throwback touches. Some recipes (like the French Onion Soup Dumplings) carry over from the original Stanton Social in New York, but it's a more refined environment with larger dishes. Highlights include a 64-ounce bone-in Super Tomahawk, presented tableside in a cognac-fueled flame with drippings of Kobe fat and bone marrow; a 10-ounce Pretty in Pink Filet with pickled red onion, pink oyster mushrooms, and pink peppercorn sauce; and branzino stuffed with caramelized saffron, leeks, and fennel. The sides are nearly as dramatic, especially the crispy miso eggplant (with the texture of a potato or pasta dish) and mac 'n' cheese overloaded with 1.5 pounds of lobster.
Cost: Prices vary.

Friday, March 24-Saturday, March 25
Off the Strip
Las Vegas is the second stop for The Eras Tour, with Taylor Swift taking over Allegiant Stadium for two sold-out nights. Based on early shows in Phoenix, don't be surprised to get a three-hour setlist of more than 40 songs, including a 10-minute version of fan favorite "All Too Well." That adds up to a long night–not even counting opening acts beabadoobee and Gayle–but the Swifties are ready for it, especially after an online ticket battle with so much bad blood Congress got involved. As the tour's name suggests, the shows span the singer's entire career, from country to pop and recent introspective releases like last year's Midnights.
Cost: A few tickets are available on the resale market, but they aren't cheap. Yet there's always a way to find tickets in Vegas.

Friday, March 24-Saturday, March 25
Park MGM
After a long tradition of playing New Year's Eve shows in Vegas, Maroon 5 finally commits and sticks around a while with a residency on the Strip. The band kicks off the first two dates of an eight-show run (through April 8) at Dolby Live inside the Park MGM, with eight additional performances confirmed for July and August. In a fun twist, AREA15 is hosting an affiliated pop-up fan experience with swag on sale at the S.I.N. Shop, Adam Levine's own Calirosa served at a tequila bar and a 360-degree projection mapping presentation of Maroon 5's Egyptian pyramids concert inside The Portal.
Cost: Tickets begin at $69 for Maroon 5: The Las Vegas Residency. Shopping at the S.I.N. Shop requires an RSVP for free admission. "M5LV Portal to the Pyramids" begins April 4 with an online waitlist for ticket sales.

Friday, March 24-Sunday, March 25
The next-best thing to Jurassic Park comes to Las Vegas for three days in The Expo at World Market Center. Jurassic Quest is a trip back in time to the Mesozoic Era with life-size dinosaurs brought to life via groundbreaking puppetry and technology. You can even hop on the back of one for a ride. The event also has fascinating exhibits for all ages with real-life bones and fossils (like the skull of a T-Rex) to give you a better understanding of a period when these giant reptiles ruled the Earth.
Cost: General admission tickets are $22.

Friday, March 24-Sunday, March 25
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is perfect for NASCAR racing and electronic dance music parties, but it also happens to be an excellent spot for a three-day food festival. The FoodieLand Night Market is a traveling concept that arrives in Las Vegas with more than 170 vendors and food trucks. The format is modeled after Asian street markets, with the selection carefully curated to reflect a global array of cuisine. Between all that eating, you'll enjoy carnival games, retail shopping, two stages for live music, and bars serving beer and cocktails. If you can't make it this time around, the event returns the following weekend (March 31-April 2).
Cost: General admission tickets with staggered entry times are $5 and must be purchased in advance online. No ticket sales will be offered at the door.

Friday, March 24-Sunday, March 25
Park MGM
One of the best date-night restaurants in Vegas is only improving. This weekend is the perfect opportunity to check out new dishes at NoMad Library, like cioppino in saffron broth, Moroccan-spiced rack of lamb, branzino with caper ragout, and a bone-in 40-ounce Tomahawk for two. The 2.5-pound Lobster Thermidor is also designed to share, but you can save a few bucks (and room for other dishes) with the 8-ounce lobster tail side dish in miso butter instead. The scene-stealer, however, is the double-cut pork chop, which strikes the right balance with a peppery achiote sauce and sweet apple compote. As always, the food is enjoyed to the fullest in a stylish dining room surrounded by two levels of bookshelves.
Cost: Prices vary.

Saturday, March 25-Sunday, March 26
Oming's Kitchen, one of the best places for Filipino food in Las Vegas, opened a second full location a few days ago at the Winterwood Plaza near Sahara and Nellis. The look, feel, and menu is similar to the Blue Diamond location, proving you don't need to mess with a good thing. See what the fast-casual restaurant is all about this weekend when Chef Salome Pilas likes to serve a lechon (roasted suckling pig) special. Round out the meal with favorites like grilled chicken and pork belly bowls, pancit rice noodles, sisig pork hash, and possibly the best lumpia (crispy spring rolls) in Vegas. Oming's Kitchen originally started as a food truck, which still shows up at events around town, and also has a smaller service-counter version at Allegiant Stadium. (Look for it in Section 320, Taylor Swift fans.)
Cost: Prices vary.

Saturday, March 25-Sunday, March 26
North Las Vegas
Pirate Fest takes over Craig Ranch Regional Park with food, games, and entertainment ranging from aerialists and sword swallowers to jugglers and a puppet theater for the kids. Adults may prefer the beer garden and whiskey tasting. Guests are encouraged to dress in their best pirate, steampunk, faerie, or Renaissance attire. Consider bringing your own chair or blanket. The event runs from 10 am to 7 pm with two exclusive 21-and-over hours, 7 to 9 pm on Saturday.
Cost: Single-day tickets begin at $15. The whiskey-tasting add-on is $25.

Sunday, March 26
The International Pizza Expo is next week, but the general public can get a feel for what the industry-focused event is all about a few days early with a kickoff tailgate party from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. It takes place in front of Pizza Rock on 3rd Street near the Fremont Street Experience. Sample unlimited bites from more than 20 pizza makers from Las Vegas and worldwide while enjoying a live DJ, prizes, and more. Las Vegas Pizza Alliance is hosting the event, which benefits Slice Out Hunger.
Cost: Tickets are $45.

Monday, March 27
The new 138° steakhouse in Henderson presents Killer Burgers, a one-night-only "burger speakeasy" at 5 pm. Choose between burgers like the Bahh-Bahh (made with lamb), Proper Smash (brisket and short rib on a house-made English Muffin), Not-So-Kosher (pastrami pork belly), Char Siu, and house favorite 138° Burger, crafted with a dry-aged steak blend. Two additional burgers will be selected via an online poll. A selection of three loaded french fry plates are also part of the special menu.
Cost: Burgers begin at $14 each. Loaded fries begin at $16 each.

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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.