The Best Ways to Relax in Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas offers plenty of excitement for guests to enjoy; however, there is also a broad range of relaxing activities in DTLV to soak in. If you’re seeking a Vegas experience that’s fun and low-key, the downtown area won’t disappoint. Check out our picks for the best ways to relax in downtown Las Vegas.

Attend Second Saturday at Emergency Arts

You’ve probably heard of First Friday — an incredible art festival held downtown on the first Friday of every month, but you might not know about Second Saturday. Held at Emergency Arts on the second Saturday of each month, this event is a quieter celebration of art and is an opportunity to socialize with other art enthusiasts.

See a Show

Downtown Las Vegas is also a great place to see a show. For an evening of unforgettable entertainment, see The Scintas at the Plaza. This performing group is popular with fans of all ages due to their unique brand of variety-show-style comedy entertainment. The Scintas have been performing in Vegas since 2001, and the reason they have been able to stand the test of time is because of the unparalleled passion they have for putting on a great show. At their show in the iconic Plaza showroom, guests can expect to see impressions (keep an eye out for Bruno Mars), live music from the full band (you’ll love the horn section), both classic and non-traditional singing numbers, hilarious banter, and much more. No two shows are alike — so even if you’ve seen The Scintas before, you’re guaranteed something new at the next show.

Indulge Your Love of Books

The Writer’s Block is located on Fremont St. and is a book lover’s paradise. Browse through imported stationery, one-of-a-kind treasures, and plenty of books. This establishment even has its own bookstore bunny that guests can scratch behind the ears. The Writer’s Block is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day except Sunday when they close at 6 p.m.

Get Back to Nature

Visit Sixth St. and Carson to see the first “parklet” in downtown Las Vegas. The parklet is small, yet still serves as a green oasis in the concrete jungle, offering guests and locals a breath of fresh air in the midst of the city. Visitors to the parklet are shielded from the sun; take a break at the table and read the amazing facts engraved on the seats. It’s a mini-escape that lets you unwind without leaving the city.

Take a Stroll to See the Street Art

Downtown Las Vegas has a thriving art scene; in addition to its galleries and boutiques, there’s plenty of street art to see as well. Put on your most comfortable walking shoes and head to Stewart and N. 6th to see a depiction of a blood-spurting horned lizard, then check out the array of murals in the vicinity.

Sip Coffee at The Beat

The Beat isn’t just a coffee shop. Although the java there is excellent, this establishment also serves as a vinyl records shop. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped through time when you enter this laid-back cafe. This Fremont Street establishment also showcases local musicians and is open to patrons of all ages.

Have Dinner at Oscar’s

A leisurely meal is certainly a relaxing pursuit and that’s exactly what you get at Oscar’s — a steakhouse located right at the Plaza. Oscar’s steakhouse in downtown Vegas serves up a tempting array of appetizers, entrees, and of course, an extensive selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. The elegant décor and fantastic American cuisine make Oscar’s a Vegas legend. Although these activities are certainly something to consider, you may simply decide to relax in the plush indulgence of your downtown Vegas suite. No matter how you decide to relax, you can easily do it in downtown Vegas. Though the city has a reputation for exhilarating fun, you’ll find that relaxing in DTLV can be incredibly enjoyable, too.

Your Guide to the First Friday Festival in Downtown Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas isn’t just about bright lights and casino excitement. Although DTLV is legendary for its neon lights and historic gaming establishments, the area also offers its fair share of arts and culture. The amazing art scene is due in large part to First Friday — a free art festival held on the first Friday of every month that’s been going strong since its 2002 debut. Today, First Friday welcomes over 20,000 guests and is the largest event of its kind in Las Vegas. First Friday is popular with locals and visitors alike; some guests to downtown Las Vegas travel here specifically for this event. Here is everything you need to know about this eccentric event.

First Friday Transportation and Parking

First Friday is held in the Arts District of downtown Las Vegas. The spacious district also referred to as 18b, is home to a variety of galleries and boutiques that participate in this highly popular event. It’s so popular, in fact, that reaching the festival by car can sometimes be a challenge. Consider using a parking garage, such as the free lot at 7th and Ogden – just make sure to arrive early at this lot to get a space. Paid parking areas are also an option, such as the Fremont St. Experience lot on 4th and Carson, or The Plaza Hotel & Casino lot on Main and Carson. Royal Rewards members may qualify for free parking. If possible, walking to First Friday is a hassle-free option, although crowds can get heavy at times.

The First Friday Experience

First Friday is an art event; however, guests also enjoy incredible food and live entertainment. The event is a great opportunity for both visitors and locals to discover talented local artists. Thanks to this venue, pedestrian traffic in the downtown area has grown by leaps and bounds. First Friday has also helped promote the fantastic small businesses in the district. Dress comfortably — think outdoor festival wear — and prepare for lots of walking. If you need a break, there are ample cafes and restaurants where you can rest your feet and grab a bite. A piece of art purchased at First Friday is a great souvenir to commemorate your time in Vegas.

Area Attractions

The Arts District spans 18 blocks; here, you’ll find art galleries and so much more. Visit Glam Factory Vintage on Colorado for incredible vintage clothing. If its home décor you’re after, stop by Inside Style, a boutique specializing in interior décor. You’re likely to work up an appetite at First Friday — luckily, there are plenty of palate-pleasing downtown Vegas food options available. Casa Don Juan serves up authentic Mexican cuisine, and for fusion fare and cocktails, head to Mingo’s. There are even hair salons and tattoo parlors in this eclectic district.

First Friday: Something for Everyone

Although there’s nothing wrong with relaxing in your plush downtown Vegas hotel suite, First Friday is a fantastic opportunity to get outside and mingle with guests and locals. You don’t even need to be an art enthusiast to enjoy this event because there’s something to appeal to everyone! Although you’re sure to discover art that appeals to you at this event, there’s plenty of food, beverages, and street entertainment to enjoy as well. When visiting Vegas, attending First Friday is part of a well-rounded experience.

Must-See Spring Shows in Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas delivers exciting shows this spring, ranging from art exhibitions to comedic performances. There are so many options when it comes to entertainment in downtown Vegas that it can be difficult to decide which show you’d like to see. From comedy to classical music, there’s a little bit of everything from which you can choose. Check out our picks for the best spring entertainment options in downtown Las Vegas.

The Scintas

When: April 8, 9, 15 & 16 / May 6, 7, 13 & 14 / June 3, 4, 24, 25 / July 8, 9, 15, 16 / August 19, 20, 26, 27 / September 16, 17, 23, 24 / October 7, 8, 14, 15 / November 4, 5, 11, 12 Where: The Plaza You don’t have to travel far to enjoy world-class entertainment — because it’s right here at the Plaza! The Scintas are a four-person comedy troupe that offers variety show style entertainment that varies at every show. The Scintas truly offers something for everyone. At any given time during a show, you have the opportunity to see Mick Jagger, Dean Martin, Bruno Mars, exciting music from a full horn section, opera numbers, and more. The show is an emotional roller coaster that will have you laughing, crying, and hoping it never ends! Scintas-Home-Page-Slider-1600x500 If you’ve seen this act before, don’t worry — you’re guaranteed to see new material from this talented foursome. The Plaza is also currently running The Scintas and a Steak $99 special where guests can enjoy a delicious dinner at Oscar’s Steakhouse before heading down to the iconic showroom for The Scintas.

My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m Still in Therapy…

Where: The Smith Center When: Throughout April Get ready to laugh! Steve Solomon will take you on a journey through his hilarious and often brow-raising family life in this show that centers around his eclectic family. If you like stand-up comedy, you’re sure to appreciate this comedic offering.

Exhibitions at The Arts Factory

Where: The Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd. When: Throughout April Thanks to First Friday and an impressive array of art galleries, downtown Vegas has earned a reputation as an art hot spot. Many galleries – like The Arts Factory, hold regular exhibitions. Every month, The Arts Factory showcase changes and is not announced until First Friday. Although, if you want to get an early peek, attend Preview Thursday. Regardless of what kind of art is on display, The Arts Factory is sure to delight art lovers from all walks of life.

Disney’s Beauty and The Beast

Where: The Smith Center When: Throughout April If you’re in the mood for some Disney magic, you won’t want to miss Beauty and The Beast at the Smith Center. This classic tale is the story of Belle, a headstrong yet kind young woman, who awakens true love in the heart of the Beast and changes his life forever. Check show times and buy your tickets for this heartwarming romance at The Smith Center’s website.

Mozart, Poulenc, & Beethoven

Where: The Smith Center When: April 26 at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a night of beautiful classical music at The Smith Center. Masterpieces by Mozart, Poulenc, and Beethoven will be performed by talented musicians on piano and wind instruments. Get your tickets at the Smith Center website. Downtown Las Vegas has it all — arts, entertainment, and so much more. In addition to the shows listed above, there’s always the Omaha Lounge at the Plaza. Every night, guests are treated to a rotating variety of entertaining performances.

About the Plaza’s Newest Resident Act: The Scintas

Few Vegas shows have the wherewithal to survive the constant evolution of the city and still come out on top. The Scintas have done just that. With injections of fresh material, an energetic dynamic between group members, and a new residency at the Plaza, The Scintas are on track to give downtown visitors an exciting show they are not soon to forget.

The Beginning

Frankie Scinta began performing at the age of 9 and instantly knew he wanted to spend his life on the stage. “Once I heard that applause that was it, I knew that’s what I was going to do for the rest of my life,” said Frankie. The Scintas formed and began performing in their hometown of Buffalo, New York before relocating to Las Vegas in 2000. the-scintas-live-at-the-plaza The group started at the Hilton where their show was much different than what you see today. “It was my brother, my sister, myself, and our drummer,” said Frankie, “we had no band, no horn section, no rhythm section, we were the band!”

Vegas Then & Now

While performing at the Hilton, The Scintas quickly gained recognition because their show was perfectly suited for Vegas. “It was an incredible time in Vegas because there were other shows,” said Frankie, “there were other resident headliners here that you could see who were performers — not just comedians, but entertainers.” And, as Frankie explained, those entertainers had a strong relationship with the hotel they were performing at, something The Scintas are looking to replicate during their time at the Plaza. “This, at the Plaza, it’s a marriage between the Plaza and The Scintas,” said Frankie, “and so far, it’s working out very well!” The relationship between The Scintas and the Plaza also aims to bring back aspects of what Frankie refers to as vintage Vegas. “What I really miss about vintage Vegas is that every hotel had a headliner,” said Frankie, “you could go to the MGM, and you would know Tom Jones was going to be there, and people made a night of it.”

To encourage the idea of a full night out on the town, visitors can indulge in a fine meal at Oscar’s Steakhouse before heading down to the plush showroom to enjoy The Scintas.

During the show, every member of the audience is then invited back up to Oscar’s Steakhouse for a cocktail and the chance to meet and chat with the performers. This is another nod to keeping the vibe of vintage Vegas alive at the Plaza. “That’s what entertainers did in the old days,” said Frankie. Although it may seem like much of the show’s emphasis is on returning to old Vegas, the show truly offers something for everyone.

“Our show offers those who are between 30 and 70 somewhere to go where they can have an emotional connection to a show and can leave with a feeling,” said Frankie. After all, where else can you see Michael Jackson, Dean Martin, Bruno Mars, and Mick Jagger in one place?

About the Show

Although The Scintas have performed at a variety of venues in Vegas, while watching the show, it’s easy to see the entire cast feels like they are at home at the Plaza. “We have an incredible showroom manager here, he’s taken us in like family,” said Frankie, “we are like one big family and I really think this is one of the few showrooms in Vegas that’s happening.” Before signing with the Plaza, The Scintas had other offers, but knew it had to be the Plaza after seeing the showroom. “We are in an iconic showroom, they don’t even make them like this anymore,” said Frankie, “this is where the icons performed!” The dynamic between the members of the Scintas creates a remarkable balance that guides you through the show. The performer of the group is, of course, Frankie, who feeds on the energy of the audience and banter with drummer and “honorary Scinta” Peter O’Donnell. The comedic relief and relaxed vibe come from Frankie’s brother, Joe, whose spot on impressions are so over the top you can’t help but laugh. The newest member of the group, Janien Valentine, does a classical opera number that is sure to have every member of the audience on their feet. the-scintas-janien-valentine-live-at-the-plaza “Nothing is contrived and every night is different because every audience is different,” said Frankie, “we perform to everybody sitting there because if they came to see a show, we’re going to give them everything in our hearts.” The show also features a moving tribute to veterans, something Frankie considers very important to the group. “We walk the streets today free in America like no other country, because of every veteran,” said Frankie, “whether they lost everything or nothing.” If you are looking to see comedy, or impressions, or want to enjoy some of the best live music complete with an incredible horn section that will wow you; The Scintas has it all. The show has something for everyone–something Frankie says he’s very proud of. “I don’t like to do this, I don’t love to do it, I live to do it,” said Frankie, “it’s never been a job for me.” The Scintas perform at the legendary Plaza showroom two weekends per month and hope to start eventually playing every weekend. More Info about The Scintas