With bone-chillingly cold temps and snow drifts burying the nation, 60 degrees and sunny skies sound pretty nice. Escape the dead of winter with a weekend in Las Vegas, where you can relax in a desert paradise.
Slots, swimming, and sipping drinks are all must-dos, but there’s so much more to Vegas than just that. Check out these seven alternative activities for the days you want to get off the Strip, take in some art, or simply try something unique (driving construction equipment anyone?).
Meow Wolf Omega Mart
From the minds of Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf art collective comes Omega Mart, an immersive art installation disguised as a supermarket. Climb through secret portals and into a surreal experience of playful, interactive art suited for all ages. An optional RFID card allows viewers to interact with devices throughout the exhibit and experience psychedelic art on a whole new level.
Best yet—there’s a secret bar hidden away in the gallery. Slide down slides, crawl through tunnels, and search for clues until you find it! A well-deserved drink awaits.
Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa
Located 25 minutes off The Strip, Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa is nestled at the base of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Offering majestic views of the canyon’s sepia-toned mountains, Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa offers a serene getaway from the flashing lights of the Las Vegas strip without sacrificing any amenities.
Still want to gamble without the hustle and bustle of the casino? Enjoy an online casino experience from the comfort of your room or better yet … the pool. This watery oasis is an influencer’s dream with three-acres of deck, swim-up gambling, private cabanas, and more. And, if you’d really like a break from Vegas, escape into nature at the nearby conservation area where you can take a 13-mile scenic drive or bike ride, hike, or climb, and photograph the stunning geology.
Mike Morey’s Sip ‘N’ Tip
Hidden off in an alley off a downtown Vegas side street, Mike Morey’s Sip ‘N’ Tip is an intimate speakeasy with only 30 seats that are mostly occupied by locals. You’ll first have to find the door and ring the bell. If there’s room, you’ll be let into the small bar complete with an old-school jukebox, candle-lit vibes, and hundreds of bargoers’ polaroid pictures papering the walls.
Order from an extensive beer list or simply tell your mixologist what flavors you crave, and they’ll whip up a craft cocktail to satisfy your palate. Reasonable prices, laid-back patrons, and an exclusive feel make Mike Morey’s the perfect spot to wind down from a night out.
Truly off the beaten path, you’ll need a four-wheel drive vehicle and at least a few hours to visit Michael Heizer’s Double Negative in Overton, Nevada. Located about an hour’s drive from Vegas, Double Negative consists of two long straight trenches, 30-feet wide and 50-feet deep, cut into the tabletop of Mormon Mesa.
To complete this feat, Heizer removed 240,000 tons of sandstone, leaving behind two magnificently deep cuts that span the plateau’s curved perimeter. Don’t forget, you don’t have to drive all the way to Vegas, you can always ship your 4WD vehicle there.
Bring a camera, plenty of water, and sturdy walking shoes so you can venture into the artwork. Downloading a satellite map before departing is highly recommended as well—this is one of those travel destinations where cell phone service can be spotty.
Speaking of digging a trench, try your hand at operating heavy construction equipment at Dig This! Huge excavators, bulldozers, backhoe loaders, and more equipment is yours to play with after a safety orientation and warm-up session. Skilled instructors guide you as you dig, push, pull, and rip your way to satisfaction.
Feeling really frustrated? Release pent-up energy with a car-smashing session where you get to destroy a car using a 30,000 lb. Caterpillar excavator. Break out the high vis!
The Garden Las Vegas Bottomless Drag Brunch
It wouldn’t be Las Vegas without a show! Skip the casinos and Cirque du Soleil for something with a little more sass and a lot of cocktails when you brunch at The Garden. Located in the Arts District, this chic restaurant hosts a drag show during brunch every Saturday and Sunday featuring top queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race and more.
Your ticket gets your bottomless mimosas, a brunch entrée, and the show of a lifetime from a cast of the city’s most sickening queens.
Akhob by James Turrell
It’s rare that you can find world-renowned art hidden on the top floor of a handbag store. But this secret light installation by the famed James Turrell calls Louis Vuitton and Las Vegas home. Admission is free and by appointment through the City Center store.
Once you arrive, let an employee know you’re there to see Akhob, and they’ll bring you to a hidden floor for your very own silent light show. An immersive experience of slowly changing vibrant hues, Akhob cycles through soothing colors for 24 minutes. The perfect dose of calm in Sin City.
Jewelry & Mineral of Las Vegas
Unique gifts can be hard to find in Las Vegas where all the tourist stores look the same. Ditch the keychain for a visit to Jewelry & Mineral of Las Vegas, a more than 60,000-square-foot store that boasts hundreds of crystals, gemstones, and minerals.
Whether you’re shopping for something with healing vibrations or just seeking an interesting piece of home décor, Jewelry & Mineral has it all. Forbes List rated, the store has been serving Las Vegas shoppers for over 35 years. Even if you’re not in the market for magical rocks, it’s worth a stop to see some of the store’s largest acquisitions, including a 12-ton geode.