20 Date Ideas for Las Vegas This Winter

How to get cozy with someone special in Sin City.

Dating isn't always easy in Las Vegas—and winter is no exception. You've got holiday gift shopping to do, booster shots to schedule, and crowds of California tourists showing up to hog all the free parking. Fortunately, there's a lot of cool stuff to do this winter, and it's even better when you get to share it with someone special. So if Santa doesn't stuff a pair of Adele tickets in your Christmas stocking, we've got some backup plans for putting together a perfect date night in Las Vegas.

Photo courtesy of Festival of Lanterns/j3creative

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Henderson
After debuting in time for fall, the Festival of Lanterns now has a winter holiday theme and will shift into a Lunar New Year celebration before wrapping up in February. The massive exhibit of custom-designed Chinese lanterns transformed the Cowabunga Bay waterpark into an illuminated spectacle of lights and vibrant designs. Come hungry and try fun seasonal bites like turkey cranberry sliders, caramel apple churros, and gingerbread funnel cake.

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Off the Strip
Now that Allegiant Stadium is welcoming fans and no longer much of a mystery, the 65,000-seat venue's formerly sold-out tours have openings again. The 75-minute experience, offered on weekends when football games and other events aren'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 touch (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.

Enchant Las Vegas

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Downtown Summerlin
If you've had to fight it out over a parking space at Downtown Summerlin in recent weeks, you already know Enchant has become the big hit of the winter holiday season in Las Vegas. It's got ice skating, booze, food, a photo-ready light maze, shopping, and more—all inside the Las Vegas Ballpark. The only downside is the crowds. So spend a few more bucks and opt for the Star Experience (with a 21-and-over option), which includes a private lounge area, exclusive bites, drink tickets, and priority access to Enchant attractions.

Fend off the weather with outdoor dining pods

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Multiple Locations
Tivoli Village has a new way to eat outdoors while fending off the frigid chill of winter. Greenhouse-like dining pods have popped up throughout the shopping plaza, offering a table, cozy seating for four, and whimsical decor. Scan a QR code and order food from Ada's, PKWY Tavern, El Dorado Cantina, or Leone Cafe. You'll also find similar concepts at Esther's Kitchen (where comfortable glamping-style backyard tents have returned for another season) and Red Rock Resort (where the new Merry Crimson holiday pop-up bar has intimate "igloos" around the pool deck).

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Downtown
If you're going to do a movie date, do it right. Eclipse Theaters (which didn't last long) is back open as Art Houz with a bright new interior and eight luxury cinemas with reclining leather seats and swivel tables for full-service cocktails and dining during the screening. Want to sip on craft beer and nibble on charcuterie during House of Gucci? No problem. Pan-seared scallops or even a ribeye steak during West Side Story? Let's do this! Just try not to chew too loud. Art Houz has also worked in a few special events in recent weeks, including live music performances, salsa nights, and guest chef pop-ups.

Photo courtesy of Front Yard at Ellis Island

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Off the Strip
Losing the Mt. Charleston Lodge in a fire a few months ago was a crushing blow to the ski community northwest of Las Vegas. In a small, but welcome note of condolence, the restaurant's signature Mt. Charleston Lodge Coffee, with the same official recipe, is now offered at The Front Yard inside Ellis Island casino. The mix of coffee with Drambuie, brandy, and vanilla milk with whipped cream and a cherry on top is exactly what we need to warm up this winter season. Two straws, please.

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Resorts World
One of the cool things about the new Resorts World is all the new stuff that keeps getting added to it. The hotel just introduced Awana Spa, where guests can not only book a couples massage, but also spend time at the "Fountain of Youth"—a co-ed lounge with six vitality pools, steam rooms, and a crystal laconium room that produces heat in a more comfortable manner than a traditional sauna. LED screens project scenes from calming, serene destinations. On the flip side, you and your significant other can add some sizzle to date night with a stop at Pepper, a sexual wellness and lifestyle store that actually occupies the largest retail space at Resorts World. One room is a little more tame with books, lingerie, cocktail kits, and chocolate, while the second is spicier, featuring a "touch bar" and a "connection concierge" to guide you through the collection of toys for sale. Free tutorials are Friday and Saturday at 4 pm.

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MGM Grand
The Las Vegas Strip has its share of French fine dining, but L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon likes to play around with the format a bit. The best seats are at a wraparound counter, where guests can receive personalized interactive service and watch the kitchen team in action. Executive Chef Jonathan Doukhan runs a tight operation, staying true to Robuchon classics (like the double-shot of roast lobster drenched in lobster bisque or filleted-on-the-spot dover sole with brown butter and lemon) while adding an Asian touch of soy and sesame to the frog legs. Dishes can be ordered a la carte, as part of a multi-course tasting menu, or in a build-your-own meal with a choice of appetizer, main course and dessert for a set price.

afternoon tea
Photo courtesy of Founder Coffee

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Henderson
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.

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Henderson
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

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Downtown
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).

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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

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Downtown
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

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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 winter exhibit, "Holiday Time," celebrates the season with thousands of flowers and plants crafted into large-scale shapes and designs. A 42-foot holiday tree with 7,000 lights and nearly 9,000 ornaments is the centerpiece, surrounded by floral recreations of a Swiss ski chalet and Santa's sleigh.

Share a beautiful bottle of wine

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Multiple Locations
Pop open a bold, robust bottle of wine for a romantic rendezvous. Restaurants like Marche Bauchus at Desert Shores and Le Cirque at Bellagio (which just reopened with a new chef and menu), are known for their extensive wine lists to pair with dinner. French Cellar (operated by the team behind Partage, a French restaurant in Chinatown) has a wine club for both singles and couples. Members receive two bottles of high-end wine or champagne each month with discounts on additional wine and a multicourse dinner series. Prefer Italian wines? Ferraro's has one of the best collections in the country.

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Downtown
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

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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.

AREA15
AREA15 | Photo by Laurent Velazquez

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Off the Strip
The entertainment, dining, and retail space known as AREA15 is only getting bigger and better. The main attraction is Omega Mart, a massive walkable art installation by Meow Wolf that's a trippy spoof of a superstore. Otherwise, feel free to grab a cocktail at Oddwood or Emporium Arcade Bar, 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

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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.