Where to Go on a Date in Las Vegas This Summer

Summer is heating up, and so is your love life.

Romance can mean a lot of things in Las Vegas, from hooking up at a crowded nightclub to spending some time over a quiet meal at one of Sin City's best date-night restaurants. But what if you need a new idea to impress someone special this summer season? Don't let the brutal triple-digit heat get you down. There are lots of cool ways for couples to get to know each other a little bit better around town. As summer kicks into high gear, check out the following 20 date ideas to help keep you busy, have fun, and take your relationship up a notch.

Twin Creeks Steakhouse
Photo courtesy of Twin Creeks Steakhouse

Love can be a roll of the dice. Sometimes dinner is too. The Twin Creeks Steakhouse at the Silverton casino just launched an ongoing "Stakes Are High" promotion. Order the Creekstone Farms Tomahawk (sliced for two to share) and a tableside cart will show up, giving you the opportunity to roll three dice. Depending on the results, you could receive a discount on your meal or a free dessert. For example, roll three sixes and get 100% off the Tomahawk entree–a devilishly good deal.

Las Vegas Little Theatre
Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Little Theatre

Support local community theater

Multiple Locations
The pandemic greatly reduced the scope of the local Las Vegas theater scene, but things are getting back on track with a busy summer season. The Las Vegas Little Theatre is following up the return of its Las Vegas Fringe Festival (after a two-year hiatus) with a production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in July. Broadway in the HOOD is teaming up with The Center for a production of Rent (June 28-July 4) in honor of National Pride Month. The Majestic Repertory Theatre in the Arts District is getting ready to welcome David Mamet's Oleanna in July, and looking ahead to programming that will tie into the midterm elections later this year. Super Summer Theatre continues to be an annual tradition at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, taking advantage of the higher elevation for milder weather during outdoor productions of Mary Poppins The Musical (through June 25), Sister Act (July 13–August 6) and Matilda (August 24–September 10). Feel free to bring a picnic basket, chair, or blanket while stretching out on the lawn.

Sand Dollar Downtown
Photo courtesy of Sand Dollar Downtown

Enjoy a different kind of dinner and a show

The Strip & Downtown
Live music pairs well with good food, you just need to know where to go. Nellie's Kitchen is now open at the MGM Grand. The business venture by the Jonas Brothers specializes in Southern comfort food (like chicken and waffles, biscuits, and meatloaf) with a stage in the middle of the dining room for local live bands on weekends. SoulBelly BBQ in the Downtown Arts District has some of the best barbecue in Vegas, cold beer, and regular live music. You may even see chef and owner Bruce Kalman take the stage to rock out. Meanwhile, the Sand Dollar Lounge (a cocktail bar in Chinatown) just opened a second version at the Plaza Hotel near the Fremont Street Experience. Both locations have great pizza, plenty of booze, and live bands seven nights a week.

Photo courtesy of Saffron

Do brunch in Las Vegas

Multiple Locations
If you've already spent spring eating your way through the best brunch restaurants in Las Vegas, we've got a few more ideas for you. The new brunch at NoMad Bar on the Strip runs Saturday-Sunday 10:30 am-2:30 pm with live music, shareable cocktails, and a killer Lobster Benedict in a sophisticated setting. Saffron now serves a vegetarian-friendly brunch (Sunday 10 am-3 pm) in Chinatown, featuring Ube Pancakes, a vegan breakfast-style Bahn Mi, Edamame Avocado Toast, and other intriguing flavors. The Sunday brunch at Brezza has a few unconventional dishes, ranging from Zucchini Crepes to a savory Sausage and Walnut Tart, with fantastic cocktails, including a Bloody Mary made with heirloom tomatoes. Another Resorts World restaurant, Caviar Bar, just launched an all-day Sunday brunch (11 am-7 pm) with Benedicts topped with either jamon or crab, Martini & Rossi mimosas, and of course, caviar tastings—because who doesn't want caviar these days?

Space: A Journey to the Moon and Beyond
Space: A Journey to the Moon and Beyond | Photo courtesy of Illuminarium

Surround yourself in computer-generated visuals

Multiple Locations
You may have noticed: immersive worlds of projection mapping are a growing trend in Las Vegas. Illuminarium at AREA15 is the most impressive, presenting "Space: A Journey to the Moon and Beyond" between now and Labor Day Weekend. The attraction depicts a rocket liftoff and visit to the lunar surface (with a replica of NASA's Apollo module), where the craters on the ground and stars in the sky are true to life in the surrounding high-def scenery. Illuminarium also incorporates audio, vibrations, scents, and even "footprints" in moon dust for a truly compelling experience. The Original Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit was extended through at least September 5, inside the Shops at Crystals, bringing Vincent Van Gogh's iconic art to life on a grand scale with animated visuals. By comparison, Perception Las Vegas recently opened as "the Strip's first permanent digital art museum" with a Leonardo Da Vinci presentation, but it's more of a graphics show than an educational tool. At best, it's loosely based on imagery connected to the artist.

One of the best steakhouses in Las Vegas has put together a playful dessert that's fun to share. Bazaar Meat by José Andrés serves Dessert Graffiti, a blank canvas artfully brought to life with a tableside presentation of chocolates, pastries, and colorful creams. The theme is "A Taste Through the Bazaars," with dessert components curated from past and present Bazaar Meat locations, often with a Spanish influence. Ideally, Dessert Graffiti is shared between at least four people, so round up another couple for a double-date. The dish is served every other month, currently available throughout June before returning in August. A full serving is $85, while a half-size version is $50. A portion of sales benefit the Epicurean Charitable Foundation.

dim sum
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Explore the Dim Sum scene in Chinatown

You may have noticed that Las Vegas is full of great dim sum restaurants, and that's especially true in Chinatown. Explore the cuisine of this captivating neighborhood by sharing bite-sized servings of Har Gau, Siu Mai, and Xiao Long Bao (all different kinds of dumplings) at restaurants like New Asian BBQ, ShangHai Taste, China Mama, Xiao Long Dumplings, and Hong Kong Garden. Each one has its own vibe, but all utilize authentic Chinese recipes with reasonable prices, allowing you to break the ice on a first date without breaking the bank.

Lake Mead
Official tours at the Hoover Dam—on hold during most of the pandemic—are back at full capacity. However, there's another cool way to see the giant hunk of concrete in person. Lake Mead Cruises has an afternoon Hoover Dam Sightseeing Cruise that runs seven days a week. The 90-minute tour departs from the Lake Mead National Recreation Area with food and booze served on board. The vintage-style paddle boat is best enjoyed during the sunny weather, when you can hang out on the rooftop deck while snapping nonstop photos.

Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Park MGM
Add a playful touch to a meal on the Strip by ordering from the secret menu at La La Noodle, a fun spot for casual Pan-Asian cuisine. You can use the secret passcode ("Park MGM sent me") or just ask for the secret scroll, which unrolls to reveal off-menu dishes like Black Pepper Filet Mignon and Scallion Pancake Rolls. However, if you want to do things right, request the "chef's inspiration of the moment" for a custom presentation based on seasonal ingredients and customer preferences. It's not uncommon for Chef AJ Ang to walk out from the kitchen to discuss your options in advance. He's especially fond of lobster, whether grilled in the shell with the heat of Asian spices or mixed with crab in a flavorful fried rice.

Allegiant Stadium
Allegiant Stadium

Off the Strip
Football season is over until fall, but Allegiant Stadium continues to welcome guests for private tours of the 65,000-seat venue. The 75-minute experience, offered on weekends when a major event isn't taking place, provides rare access to the stadium with interactive multimedia touches like drone cameras capturing guests as they enter. Check out the Al Davis torch (near the "lanai" window overlooking the Strip), owner's suite, broadcasting booth, and even the Raiders locker room. The tour ends with the option of drinks on the observation deck.

afternoon tea
Photo courtesy of Founder Coffee

For a first date, you may opt to "meet up for coffee," but go a step further and meet for tea instead. Founders Coffee has an afternoon tea program at its St. Rose location, seven days a week (1–6 pm) with 48 hours notice required by calling 702-780-5554. You'll receive a pot of blooming flower tea and a tiered tray with fun finger food, including pastries and fresh fruit. At $40 per person, it's enough to impress without breaking the bank. If you prefer to stick with java, Founders now has a seasonal coffee flight of Peppermint Mudslide, Praline with Candied Pecan, Nutcracker with a cinnamon sugar rim, and Lavender Rosemary that's available until the end of December.

If you really want to impress a date, take control of an aircraft and prove you can navigate the skies above Las Vegas—with professional supervision of course. All In Aviation offers experiential flight lessons, beginning at $415 per person (and yes, you can bring a guest). Circle above landmarks like the Hoover Dam or travel to a destination like Zion National Park or Big Bear Lake before returning home. The lesson, conducted by a certified flight instructor, takes place in a Cessna 172 or if you really want to get fancy, a Cirrus SR22, departing from Henderson Executive Airport.

Royal Crawl
Photo courtesy of Royal Crawl

Exploring the lights and sights of the Fremont Street Experience is one of the coolest things you can do in Vegas. It's even better with a drink in hand. Royal Crawl's Downtown drink crawl begins at Overhang and Mega Bar at Circa, continues at Bar Prohibition inside the Golden Gate, then wraps up at Bar Canada and Longbar at The D. Go at your own pace while following the Royal Crawl app with a choice of beer, wine, or cocktail at each stop. Each drink earns a digital playing card with a prize for the day's best hand. Crawls are $70 (but use the code FREMONT40 to receive 40% off).

Grand Canal Shoppes
The Museum of Dream Space is an exhibit in the Grand Canal Shoppes inside the Venetian. Think of it as a place where cameras aren't only allowed, but encouraged. Six rooms are transformed into colorful immersive environments with lights, projection mapping, and other effects. The staff is on standby to help snap the perfect photo, so post one on social media and update your status from "It’s complicated" to "In a relationship."

fire pit
Photo courtesy of Legacy Club at Circa

Snuggle up with someone special at the Legacy Club, a rooftop lounge at Circa (one of the new hotels making an impression in Las Vegas). The views from the 60th floor are especially engaging at sunset, whether inside the main bar or sitting by a fire pit on the open-air patio. Like the rest of the hotel, the Legacy Club has its share of Old Vegas touches; most noticeably, busts and portraits of Vegas casino magnates and a tower of gold bars with its fluctuating market value consistently updated on a digital display. Admission is free with a reservation.

Photo courtesy of The Bellagio

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. The new summer exhibit, "Jungle of Dreams," runs through September 10, to celebrate the season with 10,000 brightly colored flowers and plants crafted into large-scale shapes and designs. You'll see lions, zebras, giraffes, and more in floral form. Just try not to walk in front of someone's camera shot. The exhibit is one of the most photographed places in Las Vegas.

One great photo op deserves another. The Neon Museum, where historic Vegas signs and marquees are preserved and restored, 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 celebrate an engagement or take your relationship up a level. If you're looking to simply hang around and absorb the history, that's cool too. The Neon Museum recently added Spanish-speaking tours, making the attraction more inclusive than ever.

The Strat ride
Photo courtesy of The Strat

The Strat
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.

Photo by Laurent Velazquez, courtesy of AREA15

Off the Strip
The entertainment, dining, and retail space known as AREA15 is a great place to bring a date. Omega Mart, a massive walkable art installation by Meow Wolf that's a trippy spoof of a superstore, is the main attraction. Otherwise, feel free to grab a cocktail at Oddwood, Emporium Arcade Bar, or Liftoff (which elevates guests 130 feet in the air). Ride the Haley's Comet motorized zip-line, play one of eight simulator bays at Five Iron Golf, and check out the Wink World hall of infinite mirrors. Todd English's The Beast remains the top spot for grabbing food, while Lost Spirits is a distillery with a Willy Wonka-style tour and a few fun surprises along the way.

 Maverick Helicopters
Photo courtesy of Maverick Helicopters

The Strip
Maverick Helicopters has a couple sky-high ways to help plan a perfect night out in Las Vegas. The Savory Bites & Neon Lights Tour begins with a Lip Smacking Foodie Tours food crawl of top Strip restaurants followed by a ride above the lights of the Strip. If you're a couple that prefers mountain scenery, the Neon & Nature tour flies from the Strip to the colorful sandstone cliffs of Red Rock Canyon with a 30-minute landing, champagne toast, and panoramic views on a private 2,900-foot-high vista.

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than seven years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. His favorite idea for a Las Vegas date is drinks on the back patio with his wife. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.