25 Great Las Vegas Dates To Go On Right Now
It’s tough out there, so let's make things a bit easier.
It's amazing how quickly Las Vegas has changed in just a few months. Many of the standard go-to date ideas -- nightclubs, shows, big-name residencies -- are off the table right now, thanks to COVID-19. But that doesn't mean there isn't stuff to do, especially if you have a hot date to impress. As we escape the heat of summer and welcome fall, we've put together 25 date ideas to make the most of the season.
One great photo op deserves another. The Neon Museum now has a portrait hour for guests to bring their own photographer for a professional shoot in the north gallery. It could be just the thing to take your relationship up a level. Attendance is limited to maximize space and social distancing. The Neon Museum, where vintage signs and marquees are preserved and restored, is one of the best places in Vegas to get your fill of local history.
Perhaps some scares and excitement will bring you and your date closer together? Venture to the top of the 1,149-foot Stratosphere tower, where four different thrill rides -- plus a bungee-like cable jump -- dangle over the side. If that seems a little too intense, check out the views from the safety of the observation deck, grab some dinner at Top of the World, sip on drinks at 107 SkyLounge, or maybe just buy a few sweet treats -- like chocolate marshmallow or birthday cake cookies -- for your sweetie at 108 Eats. And if things really go well, take a detour to the Chapel in the Clouds and seal the deal.
Go on an Arts District beer crawl
The Downtown Arts District is suddenly a major player in the Las Vegas beer scene. The neighborhood is now home to several breweries and taprooms, including Hop Nuts, Able Baker, Beer District Brewing, CraftHaus, and the Mad Fermentist. They’re all just a few blocks from each other, so take a walking tour with someone special and pick out a few favorites. There's even more beer to come with HUDL and Nevada Brew Works. Choices, choices.
Off the Strip
From the space station-like entrance to the dazzling LED tree above the Oddwood cocktail bar, AREA15 is already a fascinating destination -- and it's only just getting started. The event, dining, and retail space is welcoming guests with reservations available online to limit crowds. Ride the Haley’s Comet motorized zip-line, fly through the air (virtually) with Birdly, and snack down on a preview of The Beast, Todd English's upcoming food hall, with a pop-up in A-Lot outside. In the months ahead, AREA15 will welcome other attractions, including an immersive art installation by Meow Wolf and an interactive distillery tour from Lost Spirits.
With Golden Knights done with their season, it’s time to focus your energy on cheering on the Las Vegas Raiders. Unfortunately, the team's debut season at the brand new Allegiant Stadium is taking place without fans in attendance, so you're stuck watching the action at home (or your favorite sports bar). For an authentic touch, order a Gameday To Go package for pickup, featuring food you’d otherwise enjoy inside the stadium.
Support your local bars
Bars are back in Las Vegas. After being forced to close -- or effectively operate like a restaurant to stay open -- bartop service is once again permitted. So safely venture out to all your old favorite speakeasies and try out a couple new bar experiences on Fremont Street: Lucky Day, which serves agave spirits underneath an elaborate light display, and the Laundry Room, which is no longer hidden behind a secret wall, but has now taken over Commonwealth for at least the rest of the year. Be respectful of social distancing and individual bar protocols.
Take a day trip out of town
Not every road trip from Las Vegas has to be a long one. Head north to Beatty, where you can visit Death Valley and the Rhyolite ghost town. Head southeast to Boulder City for an up-close look at the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Or venture to Laughlin, a charming casino town by the river separating Nevada and Arizona, and take the romance level up a notch with a dinner cruise or a couples massage inside the spa at Laughlin Ranch.
One of the top restaurants in Vegas is launching a new wine club in time for fall. Singles or couples are welcome to sign up for $99 a month or $999 a year (with a private wine tasting at home for up to 10 people included with the latter). Members receive two bottles of high-end French wine or champagne each month with discounts on additional wine and a multicourse dinner series to reveal the latest selections. Take your bottles home or have them stored in the Partage wine cellar.
Head back to a movie theater
Movie theaters are resuming business as usual -- with social distancing guidelines in place. If you prefer to play it as safe as possible and stay in your car, you can catch a new release at the West Wind Drive-In or a rotating selection of independent short films at Snappy Burgers. Cinebarre at Palace Station is a luxury theater with a bar and seat-side food service. Maya Cinemas in North Las Vegas is marketed toward the Latinx community and allows you to book your own auditorium for a private VIP experience.
Share a meal outdoors
In the era of COVID-19, some prefer to stick with outdoor dining -- and it's only better when the mild fall temperatures are here. Fortunately, Vegas is full of restaurants with spacious patios. If you’re hanging out on the Strip, try Lakeside and Costa di Mare at the Wynn or Mon Ami Gabi and Hexx at Paris. Neighborhood options include Americana at Desert Shores, Firefly in the southwest, and Wolfgang Puck Players Locker at Downtown Summerlin. If you’re looking to stick to just drinks, there are plenty of bars with rooftop decks and outdoor patios in Vegas, too.
Take your own art tour of Las Vegas
Las Vegas is a place where art often hides in plain sight. Wander the streets of Downtown, and you’ll see random murals and sculptures, including some left behind by the Life is Beautiful festival (off this year, but returning in 2021). More recent additions include BLM murals at the site of the long-gone Moulin Rouge (the first integrated casino in Vegas) and efforts by Downtown Alley to beautify neglected back alleys. On the Strip, you'll find pieces near the front steps of the Fashion Show Mall and inside hotels like the Cosmopolitan and Aria. Galleries by Richard MacDonald and Elena Bulatova are open to visitors at CityCenter. Or just check out the Art Island installations outside AREA15.
For a true sense of fall, head to Gilcrease Orchard, where you and your date can pick your own fruits and vegetables. The popular pumpkin patch is open until Halloween with apples and cucumbers also currently in season. No wagon ride or hay maze this year due to COVID-19, but you can still snap a few picks, say hello to the chickens, and share an apple cider doughnut.
For a while, the historic Water Street District was best known for run-down casinos full of old timers. But that’s starting to change. The neighborhood is going through a major rejuvenation with two breweries (Lovelady and Mojave) and fun restaurants like Hardway 8, Sunset Downtown pizzeria, Biscuits & Bourbon, and Triple B - Brooks Brothers Burgers inside the Rainbow casino. There’s even a DIY walking tour and a newly built pair of arches to let you know when you’ve arrived.
Throughout the current pandemic, the Majestic Repertory Theatre has been setting new standards for what’s possible in drive-in entertainment. The latest outdoor pop-up production, The Parking Lot, features two actors quarantined together and can be viewed from the safety of your car with sound piped in over the radio. Although advertised entertainment is banned at the moment, the theater gets around it by selling an air freshener ($50 per car) and offering the show as an ambient “retail experience.” After the Parking Lot wraps its run, expect a new Halloween-themed experience to take over in mid-October.
Explore new attractions at Tivoli Village
There’s a lot of new stuff at Tivoli Village. The Old World-inspired outdoor shopping plaza is welcoming Hole19, a pop-up mini-golf course on the second level with a cocktail bar and vintage clubhouse atmosphere. Make a point to visit El Dorado Cantina for fresh, organic Mexican food (and a next-door tapas and cocktail lounge opening in the near future). Invite your date to help pick out clothes at the first off-Strip Vegas location of Stiched, a men's haberdashery that mixes custom designs with upscale brands. Coming soon -- Scuola Vecchia, a new Italian concept by James Trees and Bruce Kalman taking over the shuttered Brio space while Trees’ currently closed Ada’s transforms from a pizzeria into a wine bar.
For a romantic Italian dinner, pay a visit to Rao’s. Between its brick walls and dark orange lighting, it packs the atmosphere of the smaller New York original into a comfortable space overlooking the Caesars Palace pool deck. Order a bottle of wine and a few things to share -- like the crab carbonara (original to Vegas), ricotta and pear “beggar purse” ravioli (shaped like money bags), and the tender, juicy lemon chicken. Rao’s famous cheesecake, supplied by a bakery in New York, is made in-house here in Vegas -- and has a subtle nutty taste.
A show at the Smith Center is always great for date night, but the venue remains closed during the pandemic. To help fill the void, members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic are teaming up with The Space and BroadwayWorld for a series of virtual performances throughout fall and winter. The on-demand concerts are $30, and sure to provide plenty of romantic ambiance when watching at home.
The first new Downtown resort built from the ground-up in decades is already an impressive sight in the Fremont Street skyline. Although room reservations aren’t available until late December, Circa officially opens on October 28 with a three-level sportsbook, massive rooftop swimming pool and entertainment deck, and restaurants like Barry’s Downtown Prime steakhouse and 8 East for contemporary Asian street food. Did we mention the property is 21-and-over?
A new tour is proving it’s possible to safely mix cannabis and exotic animals. The Desert Ranch Experience at Camel Safari (about 80 miles north of Vegas) is introducing Canna-Camels, a day trip that includes dispensary discounts at Thrive or Pisos, a drive-through safari, snacks, a BBQ lunch, and some social time in the 176-acre ranch’s Mongolian-style gers (similar to yurts). Don't worry -- transportation is covered. Packages begin at $249 per person.
Going on a food crawl with Lip Smacking Foodie Tours is one of the coolest things you can do in Las Vegas -- whether following a guide or on your own with Finger Licking Foodie Tours, the company's new self-guided concept. However, if you want to splurge for a special occasion -- like a birthday, anniversary or engagement -- try the Savory Bites & Neon Lights Tour, in which a visit to four top Strip restaurants is capped off with a Maverick Helicopters ride over the Strip. Prices start at $299 -- a great deal for all you get.
You don't have to wait until ski season to visit Lee Canyon on Mt. Charleston. The resort is open for its first-ever autumn season. Snuggle up on chair lift rides in between rounds of disc golf, archery, and watching the leaves change color.
David Chang’s Majordomo, which combines steaks and fresh seafood with Asian flavors, is one of those restaurants that's been somewhat overlooked this year, opening shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak hit. Maximize your dollars on Smokehouse Sundays. The $45 deal includes a chef’s choice of three meats (anything from chicken and pork belly to short rib and sausage), three sides (like potato salad, collared greens, and beef-fat fries), and a dessert.
Need a cheap date? Walking through the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden is one of the best things you can do for free in Las Vegas -- and now has an Into the Woods theme for fall. The floral exhibits include a giant talking tree, pumpkins, dragonflies, and acorns. Crowds are being limited with social distancing in mind. When you're done, head outside for a show at the Bellagio fountains.
You may have heard -- karaoke is a thing in Las Vegas. Book a room at KAMU, an Asian-style karaoke parlor at the Grand Canal Shoppes. Each one has a different theme -- and a booming audio system. Sing along to your favorite hits or just crank music videos on YouTube. With nightclubs currently closed, this is one of the few places in Vegas where you can still order bottle service.
The Ethel M chocolate factory offers treats from its retail shop and tours that reveal how artisan candies are made through a long window. Head outside and you'll see the three-acre Botanical Cactus Garden with walkways to explore more than 300 species of desert plant life. The annual holiday light display begins November 7. Book a free reservation online (and order some hot chocolate in advance) to visit 5-9pm daily.
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