Family Friendly Attractions in Downtown Las Vegas

The transformation of Downtown Las Vegas over the past couple of years has made the area more family friendly than ever. Today, there are plenty of different attractions and activities to keep every member of the family happy. The eccentric atmosphere of Downtown Las Vegas means you are also sure to find truly unique activities while enjoying the area. If you are in town with younger family members, make your way Downtown for a day the whole family can enjoy.

Container Park

  This open air shopping area is made up entirely of shipping containers is one of the best places to go to entertain the entire family. The complex features an interactive kid’s play area, known as the Treehouse, unique shopping opportunities for both kids and adults, and enough food options for even the pickiest eaters in the family. Don’t forget to check the events calendar before heading to Container Park, as they host family movie nights, live music and much more.

Slotzilla

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This one-of-a-kind zip line attraction lets visitors experience Fremont Street from unexpected heights. This attraction offers two different experiences, one from 77 feet up and the other from 114 feet up. This attraction is sure to get your adrenaline pumping with speeds up to 40 miles per hour. Although there is no age requirement, flyers under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult and meet weight requirements. Slotzilla is perfect for all members of the family and is an experience you are not soon to forget.  

Segway Las Vegas

 
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If you are looking for a new and exciting way to explore Las Vegas, look no further than Segway Las Vegas. This unique tour company specializes in tours of Segway Personal Transporters throughout the city. These tours give you the opportunity to operate your own Segway while cruising around different parts of the city, presenting unparalleled photo opportunities. The age limit for these tours is 12 year of age and are sure to be the most exciting tour you will ever take.

Museums

Discovery Children’s

Perfect for kids of any age, the Discovery Children’s Museum, located in Symphony Park, is both fun and educational. The three story, 58,000 square-foot facility features nine award-winning interactive exhibits including toddler town, eco city and water world. Each exhibit and interactive activity in the museum is geared toward teaching children more about how certain things work. Discovery Children’s Museum provides hours of fun and exploration for the whole family.  

Natural History

  Created in an effort to foster understand and appreciation for global life forms, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, located in the Cultural Corridor of Downtown Las Vegas, offers a truly unique experience. As a Smithsonian affiliate the museum features exhibits with treasures you can’t see anywhere else. Explore everything from Egyptian relics to displays on diverse African wildlife and much more. These are only a few of the exciting family friendly activities Downtown Las Vegas has to offer. So the next time you are in town with your family, remember that Las Vegas is fun for both adults and kids!

5 Unique Shops to Check Out at Container Park

Made entirely out of empty shipping crates, Container Park is one of the most unique shopping and entertainment centers in the city. With a distinctly downtown Las Vegas feel, Container park is full of fun stuff to see along with one-of-a-kind shopping opportunities. The shops located inside the 3 story open-air retail center give visitors a chance to find boutique apparel, jewelry, art and more while supporting small, local businesses. Here are 5 of the most unique shops to check out next time you are exploring Container Park.

Blumarble

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Blumarble offers unique, handcrafted glassware, jewelry, gifts, home décor pieces and much more that you can feel good about. This is because Blumarble collects as many glass bottles from the Las Vegas Strip as possible, and then upcycles them into unexpected products that can add variety into your everyday life. They partner with businesses on the Strip and currently collect over 15,000 bottles of month to keep up with the high demand for these amazing products.

IndianSoulArt

Founded in 2004 with the goal of sharing Native American Arts and Crafts with others, IndianSoulArt not only sells art, but provides a space for display as well. Offering and expansive collection of paintings, pottery, totems, dreamcatchers, jewelry, traditional baskets and much more IndianSoulArt also offers documentation of authenticity for all pieces of art. No matter what kind of original Native American products you are looking for, this is the place to go.

San Miguel Trading Company

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Featuring an eclectic mix of authentic home décor, furniture, art, jewelry and apparel offerings, San Miguel Trading Company strives provide customers with only the most unique offerings. The company was founded in an effort to bring the rare and one-of-a-kind artisanal goods from Mexico to share with more people. All of the good in the shop are handmade with lots of love and pride and are sure to bring you joy.

Max Luxx

Max Luxx is the perfect place for anyone looking for great prices on authentic designer handbags, wallets, belts, travel gear, sunglasses and much more. This unique resale boutique that combines the best aspects of luxury and affordability. With amazing products from some of the most well-known designers in the world, you are sure to find exactly what you want at Max Luxx.

Kappa Toys

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This one-of-a-kind toy store is carefully designed and well-stocked to instill a heavy dose of nostalgia to everyone who enters. The store is sure to provide hours of discovery for both adults and children. With never before seen toys from all over the world to classics sure to remind you of your childhood, Kappa toys is a great place to find something fun for both you and the kids.

Mob Museum Spotlight

It’s no secret that the mob was linked with the establishment of the city of Las Vegas as it is today. The history of both the city and some of the better known hotels in Las Vegas is strewn with some of the most recognizable mob names imaginable. Although this was previously considered to be a weak point in the evolution of the city, it has been embraced in recent years. This is in large part due to the opening of the Mob Museum in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas. This uniquely Vegas museum breathes history, including everything inside, along with the building in which it is houses.

The Building

One of the most exciting aspects of the Mob Museum is the corresponding history of the building where it is located. Falling perfectly in line with the rich history of the entire Downtown area, The Mob Museum was originally both the U.S. Post Office and courthouse and was opened in 1933. Although it was not primarily used as a courthouse for several years after opening, in 1950 the building gained notoriety for holding one of the Kefauver Committee Hearings.   The famed hearings, led by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, were to investigate organized crime in interstate commerce. Although these hearings took place across the country and were intended to investigate organized crime in general, it became clear the mob connections in Las Vegas were front and center. The courtroom on the second floor of the museum, where testimony was heard for these hearings, has been restored to its original glory. The building was sold to the city in 2002 with the agreement that it be preserved and used as a museum.

The Museum

The idea of the museum was proposed by the Mayor of Las Vegas, and well-known mafia criminal defense lawyer, Oscar Goodman, as a way to tell the complicated story of organized crime in society.
  The Wiretapping Exhibition at @TheMobMuseum. #History #Vegas #MobMuseum   A photo posted by The Mob Museum in Las Vegas (@themobmuseum) on
Officially known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement the museum is an interactive journey using a vast collection of exhibits to tell true stories. The underlying theme of the museum is how mobsters led to the rise of the city and how law enforcement led to their eventual downfall.

Exciting Exhibits & Artifacts

One of the most anticipated exhibits in the museum is the restored second floor courtroom where visitors can see video clips of the actual Kefauver hearings that were broadcast to Americans during the time. There are also plenty more interactive exhibits to visit including a wiretapping display, a firearms simulator and an audio visual panel where you can see FBI testimonies. The most valuable and exciting artifact in the entire museum, however, is the blood stained and bullet battered brick wall where the infamous Chicago Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre took place. Some of the other notable artifacts include the sunglasses worn by Bugsy Siegel on the day of his death, the white suit famously worn by John Gotti during court appearances and a 1919 World Series ticket showing the game has been fixed.

Notable Names

 
  100 years of #mademen. Newly updated for all of our wonderful guests! Come in and check it out. #alcapone   A photo posted by The Mob Museum in Las Vegas (@themobmuseum) on
Those who curated the amazing artifacts for this one-of-a-kind museum clearly spared no expense in securing artifacts from some of the most well-known names in organized crime. There are rare items from Al Capone, Charlie Luciano, Tony Spilotro, George Moran, John Gotti, Bugsy Siegel, Carlo Gambino, Edgar Hoover, Estes Kefauver, Eliot Ness, Rudy Giuliani and many more. This unique museum is a must visit next time you find yourself looking for something interesting to do in Downtown Las Vegas. You are sure to leave the museum with a great understanding of how organized crime infiltrated American culture and society during these times.

6 Restaurants to Check Out in Downtown Las Vegas

Dining Downtown Las Vegas The exciting transformation of Downtown Las Vegas continues as more retailers and restaurants come to the area. As the community continues to grow, we are able to experience some of the most amazing new food the entire city has to offer. No matter what you are looking for, you are likely to find it right here in Downtown Las Vegas. So come down today to check out some of these great restaurants.

VegeNation

As one of the few truly vegan restaurants in the city, VegeNation is sure to get you excited about healthy eating. Featuring a wide variety of different types of cuisine, you can get everything from Vietnamese pho to Mexican and Italian dishes all made with 100 percent plant-based products. Don’t forget to also check out their signature “juicetails” featuring local distilled liquor and cold-pressed juice while you are there!

Carson Kitchen

This Downtown favorite, located at Sixth and Carson streets features a perfectly crafted menu of new American food with a unique twist. The restaurant also has a garden-style rooftop patio for an outdoor dining option. Designed for sharing with your party, the menu features favorite items including crispy chicken skins, bacon jam, sandwiches, flatbreads and much more. The restaurant also features a wised variety of beer, wine and stiff specialty drinks.

Le Thai

Frequently lauded as one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas, Le Thai is a small restaurant that delivers big flavor. Located across the street from the El Cortez, the restaurant features a large outdoor dining space complete with a misting system for those warm Vegas nights. Le Thai is best known for its delicious three color curry complete with strips of fresh daikon, carrot and basil. Other must-try dishes include the short rib fried rice, awesome noodles and fried bananas.

La Comida

La Comida, located on Sixth street, is a rustic yet chic interpretation on a traditional Mexican cantina. The vast restaurant features a large indoor dining area complete with interesting furniture and light fixtures along with a comfortable outdoor dining area as well. The menu features plenty of tasty Mexican classics such as Pozole, Mexican street corn, ceviche, tacos and much more. Take some time to sample one of the over 100 tequilas on the menu or one of their famous fruit margaritas.

Therapy

This hip new restaurant, located in the Fremont East District, touted as a “gastro-lounge” gives a whole new outlook on American cuisine.  The restaurant features both tapas-style dishes that are meant for sharing, along with individual entrees, and something called cast iron s’mores, which sounds worthy of a trip on its own. The restaurant caters to everyone with offerings like a wagyu beef burger, charred kale salad, steak tartar, Scottish salmon and much more.

Monta Japanese Noodle House

Monta Japanese Noodle House serves “KURUME” style Tonkotsu Ramen, with a broth made from selected pork bones and the unique soy sauce imported from Japan. The prices are great and the portions are large, pick up any of their delicious Ramen bowls downtown. Downtown Las Vegas is quickly becoming the place to be if you are looking for uniquely delicious food offerings. Make sure to stop and check out one of these new restaurants next time you are looking to try out something new.

5 Pieces of History Worth Visiting in Las Vegas

Las Vegas History Las Vegas boasts a rich history, and the city offers up plenty of opportunities to step back in time. Throughout the years, Las Vegas has undergone several shifts in identity leaving traces of each change behind. From the Wild West era to mobster playground, and now a gambling mecca, Las Vegas is more than just neon lights and craps tables. If you’re looking to experience something a little different next time you visit, here are 5 pieces of Las Vegas history sure to change the way you think about the city.

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort

Serving as the very first permanent structure in the valley, the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort was built in 1855, strategically located near a spring fed creek.  The original structure was a 150-foot adobe fort intended to serve as a mid-point regrouping area on the trail from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. Today, a small portion of the original structure still remains just east of Las Vegas Boulevard. Make sure to take some time to check out the visitor center of the state park for great details about this historic place.

Railroad Cottage District

The rail services in the area helped Las Vegas develop into the city it is today. In order to provide housing for those building the rails, the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad built a total of 64 cottages in what is now Downtown Las Vegas. Although only a handful of cottages remain in the original district, the area remains on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is sure to bring you back in time.

Famous Neon

Vegas Vic is the unofficial name for the famous neon cowboy located outside of a souvenir shop that was formerly The Pioneer Club. This staple of Downtown Las Vegas since 1951 measures in at 40 feet, and can wave and talk. Located directly across Fremont Street is another famous piece of Downtown neon known as Vegas Vickie. She is a seated cowgirl with a leg kicked over Fremont, erected in 1980, who now sits over the Glitter Gulch Neon Sign. In 1984, Vic and Vickie were married in a fun ceremony covered by local news. For more pieces of Vegas neon history, be sure to check out the Neon Boneyard.

The Bellagio Fountains

Since their first show over 15 years ago, the fountains at Bellagio have become an award winning staple of Las Vegas. This amazing (and free) fountain show takes place at regular time intervals every day and featured over 30 different combinations of water movements carefully choreographed to a variety of popular songs. The fountains are located on an 8-acre manmade lake and feature over 4 thousand lights and over a thousand nozzles. For another amazing free show, make sure to head down to The Mirage for the famous volcano show!

Hoover Dam

One of the most well-known manmade landmarks resides just outside of Las Vegas on the border of Nevada and Arizona. The Hoover Dam, completed in 1935 to control flooding and irrigation along the Colorado River, was built from 5 million barrels of cement and 45 million pounds of reinforced steel. This amazing artificial wonder of the world created Lake Mead, the largest manmade reservoir in the U.S., now a mecca for outdoor activities in the area. Make sure to take some time to check out some of these amazing historic sites next time you find yourself looking for something different to experience Downtown.

5 Unique Shopping Destinations in Downtown Las Vegas

Dining Downtown Las Vegas

Source: Vegasseven.com

Downtown Las Vegas is one of the most unique areas in the city. Over the past couple of years, and still continuing today, the area has undergone a massive transformation to make it a truly captivating destination for locals and visitors alike. One of the many things making Downtown so unique is the one-of-a-kind shopping presented by the wide array of boutiques located throughout the district. Whether you are looking for a special Vegas-themed antique, the perfect book for the gambler back at home or a highly coveted record, the shops in Downtown Las Vegas have you covered.

11Th Street Records

The perfect stop for the music lover in your group, 11th Street Records is dedicated to buying, selling, trading, and even recording records. The store boasts vinyl listening parties, in-store parties and performances, live streaming webcasts of these performances and much more. Stop in and do your part to help support the music industry and community today.

The Writer’s Block

The Writer’s Block is the only independent bookstore in the entire city and is much more than just that. The shop boasts not only an amazing selection of unique books, but also books from larger publishers, a collection of children’s books, apparel, collectibles and a book machine that prints, binds and trims paperback books in 5 minutes.

Retro Vegas

Just up the street from the Plaza, Retro Vegas is the place to go if you are looking for one-of-a-kind Vegas antiques. This massive shop is full of both Las Vegas themed collectibles and general mid-century antiques, and enough variety to fit into any price point. While you are there make sure to check out the famous pink kitchen. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, simply saunter up Main Street for over 10 more different antique shops to peruse.

The Gamblers General Store & Book Club

For the widest variety of gambling related products, including books, The Gamblers General Store is your go-to in Downtown Las Vegas. For over three decades, this Downtown staple has specialized in providing all your gambling needs including personalized chips, high-quality cards, dice, poker tables, memorabilia and much more. If you are searching for a book about gambling, check out the over 3,000 gambling books available at Gamblers Book Club.

Container Park

What good would an article about shopping in Downtown be without a mention of the amazing Container Park? This one-of-a-kind open-air shopping area is made entirely from shipping containers and contains enough activity to keep everyone in your group (especially the kids) occupied and entertained for hours. No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find it here. Don’t forget to check out some of the mouth-watering food and drink options while you are here. No matter what you are looking to buy or do, Downtown Las Vegas has it all.  So make sure to give yourself ample time to explore this district the next time you are in town!

What to Expect When Dining at Oscar’s

Oscar's Steakhouse Las Vegas

Source: Vegasmagazine.com

Come on In

It isn’t a trip to Vegas unless you’ve dined at Oscar’s. Flirt with all the showgirls you want, but you haven’t done Sin City without the signature steaks and cocktails that await you at the only dining establishment that’s earned the name of the Happiest Mayor on Earth. And while you’re here, you may even get to meet the legendary mob-boss-turned-mayor, Oscar Goodman himself. Located in the iconic glass dome of the the jewel of Downtown – the Plaza Hotel and Casino – it’s a true Vegas experience worthy of any appetite.

Take in the View  – Inside & Out

The all-glass dome of the Plaza used to be home of this Downtown classic’s pool. This was a scene where you wanted to be seen…and not much has changed to this day. From your table, you’ll be treated to views of the iconic Fremont Street Experience. Inside, enjoy the glitz and glam of old-school Vegas with mood lighting and classic jazz. While you’re here, take in some of Oscar’s rare photographs of vintage Vegas, along with memorabilia from Mr. Goodman’s 12-year tenure as mayor.

Did We Mention the Broads?

Can you beat beauty and brains? No way. The Broads of Oscar’s are beautiful dinner hostesses and companions who can regale you with tales of Vegas history, recommend must-do Vegas attractions (although you’d be experiencing one during your conversation), talk sports, debate politics – anything you want. They were inspired by Oscar Goodman’s “booze and broads” trial back when he was a mob attorney, and the Bacchanal Room at the old Caesars Palace where guests were invited to party with the Goddesses. Oscar’s Broads are there to enliven your experience…after all, nothing complements a great dinner like sparkling conversation with a beautiful companion. As the man himself says, “I’d take one Betty over 100 showgirls any day.”

Eat and Drink Like You Own This Town

Oscars Steakhouse Steak The crowning jewel of Oscar’s is the amazingly varied food menu and classic drink offerings. As a fine dining steakhouse, Oscar’s offers a variety of perfectly aged cuts which are then seared over a 600 degree grill to ensure they are flavorful, juicy and tender. Adding to the unmistakably Las Vegas glam feel, Oscar’s offers jumbo shrimp, crab legs and lobster tail to complement any of the already delicious entrees. All of the side dishes at Oscar’s are made from scratch with only the highest quality ingredients. Featuring staples such as smashed potatoes and steamed asparagus to less-expected offerings such as roasted corn brulee and onion strings, you are sure to find something you love. With a full bar, you can opt for a classic cocktail or one of the many signature and hand-crafted Las Vegas inspired drinks at the restaurant. Don’t forget to try Mr. Goodman’s signature Bombay Sapphire martini while you’re here. Oscar would insist on it.

So When Are You Coming?

Hopefully your appetite is whetted for the quintessential Vegas dining experience, courtesy of beloved Mayor and famed mob attorney Oscar Goodman. Just remember, if you haven’t been here, you haven’t really been to Vegas. Cheers!

The Best Spots in Downtown Las Vegas to Have a Nightcap with “Old Vegas” Nostalgia

Atomic Liquors Las Vegas Travel back in time to the days of Elvis, Frank Sinatra, mobsters and showgirls. Here  nightcaps are in style and cocktails are elaborate concoctions unique to every bar, lounge or speakeasy on the streets of Vegas. Flash forward to present day: The magic of Old Vegas is alive and well downtown. Many of the vintage bars and cocktail lounges have become a part of the downtown renaissance — destinations that are reminiscent of days long passed but with a decidedly modern twist. Here are some of the best spots to have a nightcap with Old Vegas nostalgia.

Atomic Liquors

The oldest freestanding bar in Vegas, Atomic Liquors has been around since 1952.  The name comes from what used to be the main attraction — watching nuclear blasts at the nearby atomic test site from the roof of the bar. This downtown gem has quite a history in show business and was frequented by the Rat Pack, the Smothers Brothers and Barbara Streisand. Today, it boasts a well-stocked bar, a fabulous drink menu, late night hours and special events just about every day. Step into the Atomic and head right back to the 1950s.

Downtown Cocktail Room

Located in the Fremont East Entertainment district, the Downtown Cocktail Room is an upscale cocktail lounge and speakeasy that serves up luscious libations in a Bohemian-Chic atmosphere. The handcrafted cocktails are one-of-a-kind creations that have acquired a huge following among locals and visitors alike. Be a part of the downtown scene that escapes the spectacle of the Strip — and embrace the glamour of Vegass’ past, present and future.

Oscar’s Steakhouse

Locatedin the iconicx dome at the Plaza Hotel and Casino, Oscar’s has been attracting discriminating visitors to its restaurant and bar since 2011. Oscar’s famous bar, adjacent to the steakhouse, serves up world-famous martinis in a glamorous, old-school Vegas atmosphere. Overlooking the Fremont Street Experience, Oscar’s also has the best view in town.

The Commonwealth

This swanky, 6,000-square-foot cocktail lounge was inspired by pre-prohibition era design. Serving a huge array of cocktails, craft beers and other libations, Commonwealth boasts over-the-top chandeliers, bow-tied bartenders, a dance floor and a rooftop patio. What more could you want in a classic, downtown bar? When you are ready to reminisce, there is no place like downtown to find that Old Vegas style. With such a unique array of nightlife opportunities, these are truly hidden gems, tucked away from the circus of the Strip. If you have been neglecting the downtown area, now is the time to visit these popular watering holes to see what you’ve been missing.

5 Spots that Showcase the Downtown Las Vegas Revival

Praying Mantis at Downtown Las Vegas Downtown Las Vegas may not be the first thing you think of when you think of Vegas, but in recent years it has done a fabulous job of rebranding itself. Instead of competing with the circus of the strip, downtown Las Vegas has worked hard to create an image that embraces art, music, and culture in a world-class destination. If you’re wondering why you should consider a stay in downtown Las Vegas, here are five must-visit spots that showcase the best of the downtown revival.

Mob Museum

Located in the heart of downtown, the Mob Museum shares the thrilling story of organized crime in Las Vegas. The mob scene played a huge role in the shaping of modern Las Vegas – helping it evolve and to become the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” At the Mob Museum, you’ll explore high-tech theater presentations, unique artifacts, and awesome interactive exhibits that tell both sides of the story; that of the mobs and that of the law’s. This intriguing presentation of Las Vegass’ colorful history will surprise and enthrall you. A must see.

Smith Center for the Performing Arts

From Broadway shows, to jazz, ballet, and the Las Vegas Philharmonic, there is always something happening at the Smith Center. This thriving cultural complex has enabled southern Nevada to take its place on the international stage, and the sprawling campus has become a mecca for world-class culture, art, and musical events. In fact, the Smith Center is an exhibit in-and-of itself, with unique architecture, outdoor sculptures, and beautifully landscaped grounds. A picnic in Symphony Park is almost as exciting as the first-rate performances.

Downtown Container Park

Downtown Container Park is a truly unique experience, unlike anything in Las Vegas. A Fremont Street destination built entirely of shipping containers, this urban gathering area features nightly music, boutique shopping, world-class cuisine, and a kids’ play area, complete with a 30-foot slide and water-play attraction. There’s always something going on at this hip, downtown destination.

The Neon Museum

Neon Museum Downtown Vegas

Founded in 1996, the spectacular Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and displaying the iconic Las Vegas signs that used to tower over Sin City. Indoor and outdoor display areas, with more than 150 rescued signs, chronicle the changes and trends in sign design and technology from the 1930s to the present day. This uniquely Las Vegas museum is located downtown on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Discovery Children’s Museum

Located in Symphony Park, adjacent to the Smith Center, the Discovery Children’s Museum has helped redefine downtown Las Vegas as a cultural and artistic destination. This huge, interactive and educational play space provides a vibrant and engaging experience for kids of all ages. The 58,000-square foot building has nine exhibition halls spread across three stories. Science, art, technology, music, and theater: It’s all here, just waiting for your family to discover. Over the years, Las Vegas has become so much more than an opulent gambling destination. Thanks to a modern revival, Downtown Las Vegas is now an attraction in its own right, helping to define Vegas as a culturally diverse and internationally renowned urban center.    

How to Make the Most of Your Convention in Las Vegas

Conventions in Las Vegas If the mere mention of the word convention has you hiding from your boss and hoping you won’t be the one that has to represent your company this year, you’re not alone. Chances are you’ve experienced a host of regular conventions in run-of-the-mill cities across the country. Enter: Las Vegas. Here, conventions are an entirely different experience altogether. Sure, you’ll do your fair share of networking and work, but forget heading back to your hotel room after hours to watch reruns. Vegas never sleeps and when your work is over for the day, the fun is just beginning. Here are some tips for making the most of your Las Vegas convention.

Navigating the Las Vegas Convention Center

For your conference or convention, chances are you’ll be situated in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). This 3.2-million square foot building is sprawling, crowded, and unique. When packing for your trip, the most important item to include is a pair of the most comfortable shoes you own. There is a lot of ground to cover, and your feet will feel like lead balls if you don’t coddle them from the start. The LVCC does a great job of keeping its visitors full and hydrated throughout the day. There is a food court, a Starbucks, and a plethora of vending machines. Note:  There really isn’t much within walking distance of the convention center any more.

Getting Around

The LVCC is conveniently located to Downtown Las Vegas and the Strip, making it easy to navigate the city after hours. While taxis are the most popular transportation choice, there are also RTC buses (subway like) that service both areas with single and multi-day passes available.

Dining

After a long day of networking, a world-class meal will refresh you and will help prepare you for a little nightlife. Downtown Las Vegas boasts some of the best restaurants in the area. Here are some suggestions to satiate your appetite.
  1. Tripe George Grill – This Downtown Las Vegas staple is a foodie favorite for their fresh-made, well-conceived cocktails and classically inspired, Bay-area style cuisine. The space is cozyand on the slightly smaller side, so it would be advised to get a reservation beforehand.
  1. The Peppermill Inn — Eat your fill whenever the urge strikes! This iconic restaurant on the strip is open 24 hours. The Peppermill Inn is famous for its giant portions and classic Vegas atmosphere.
  1. Oscar’s Las Vegas Steakhouse — Want a steak cooked to perfection served in a classic old-school Las Vegas atmosphere? Look no further than Oscar’s. This sophisticated restaurant features perfect martinis, excellent service and the best food around. It is located just three miles from the LVCC, in the iconic dome at the Plaza Hotel.

Paint the Town Red

Looking for a little nightlife before heading back to your hotel? Check out the Fremont Street Experience. Stroll the pedestrian promenade, watch the mesmerizing light show or fly on the Slotzilla Zipline. You can’t have these adventures anywhere but Vegas! Also, the Fremont East district offers a vibrant nightlife scene that goes until the wee hours of the morning. Catch a show, boogie down to some live music, or just sample the fantastic cocktail selections. No matter how much time you have in Vegas, you’ll never run out of new experiences. Make the most of your convention with a stroll Downtown, where anything can happen. Las Vegas is full of surprises.

Get Ready for the Ultimate Fight and Sports Weekend in Vegas This Year!

Vegas Fight WeekendThe long anticipated boxing match between Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao and the undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather will be held in Las Vegas on May 2. With the annual running of the Kentucky Derby also taking place, it is shaping up to be the ultimate fight and sports weekend of the year. If you still need a room for the excitement, take advantage of a special offer from the Plaza Hotel and Casino by entering the code “RUMBLE” when you book your room. Then take a look at some of the great events that will be happening in Las Vegas during your stay.

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Kick the weekend off with the official weigh-in on May 1. Tickets will be $10, so be sure to reserve your seat in advance. The main event will take place the next day at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. You can also watch the fight live from any of the MGM Resorts Properties in Las Vegas. Look for ticket availability on MGMGrand.com. End your night with a little downtown revelry at the Fremont Country Club’s Pacquiao-Mayweather After-Party. The music will be provided by The Amazin Kreskin, The Old School Show, DJ Magreni, and DJ Tino.

Kentucky Derby

Easily the most highly anticipated event of the year in horse racing, The Kentucky Derby has become a full-day celebration that extends past the roughly two minutes of race time that is the main event.  On May 2nd, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky will be packed with race fans looking to get in the spirit for the annual “Running of the Roses;” however, Vegas will still command much of the attention as hotel sports books throw their own bashes.  Finding a good spot to take in the race is as easy as getting an early seat at the sports book and ordering the race’s traditional drink – a mint julep.

English Premier League

The first weekend in May kicks off the final month of the English Premier League 2015 schedule. Place your bets and watch a match or two in the newest William Hill Race and Sports Book at the Plaza Hotel and Casino. Enjoy the action on any of the 75 screens available in downtown’s largest sports book, while placing a bet in comfort and ease with the mobile sports wagering app and a self-service wagering kiosk. Whether you will be watching the big fight or not, it is sure to be this year’s ultimate sports weekend in Las Vegas. Book your room at the Plaza Hotel and Casino and get ready to rumble!

Vegas Hopes to Score with an MLS Team

soccer  player Las Vegas has almost everything – nightlife, casinos, world class entertainment, amazing food, haute couture and more. Despite all of that, Sin City is without a professional sports team. Venue proposals and pitches to various sports leagues and teams have come and gone for nearly 20 years, including baseball and hockey bids, but nothing has come to fruition. That could soon change. Bids to bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) team to Las Vegas began in 2011. A proposal was made for a multi-use stadium in the downtown area that would share space and construction dollars with UNLV, but MLS wanted a venue that was primarily dedicated to its sport. The idea has since been revived and talks started again earlier this year. MLS officials have visited the area and appear to be interested in discussing further. Additionally, it seems as if there is both the backing and the desire needed to have a pro team in Las Vegas, but there is no confirmed deal as of yet. In a recent interview with USA Today, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman stated, “[Las Vegas is] the perfect place for people to come and enjoy all the amenities we have, and we’re certainly ready for major league sports. We’ve made so many advances in the medical community and in cultural offerings. Pro sports is the one little piece we haven’t quite gotten the hook around.” The population of the Las Vegas metro area has grown to nearly two million people, which is more than two metro areas currently home to MLS teams – Columbus, Ohio and Salt Lake City, Utah. Will Las Vegas become home to an MLS team? We’re hopeful, but cannot be sure. However, it is one of the largest cities in the country without a pro sports team.

Food Diary: Eating Our Way Through the Day

Plaza breakfast 7:00 a.m. The alarm clock went off and there was no hitting snooze. We had a lot to get to at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, but before we could do anything, whether work or play, we needed to eat a solid breakfast. The best way to start the day is with breakfast at Hash House A Go Go. One of our favorite dishes there is the classic Boston Hash – crispy potatoes, mixed onions and fresh tomatoes crowned with blue crab cake drizzled with horseradish cream and served with eggs and fresh fruit. After a breakfast of that magnitude we were almost ready to begin the day. We just needed to stop by Cafelatte for a Lavazza coffee first. 12:32 p.m. Before we knew it, it was already time for lunch. We were still a little full from breakfast and were busy making the most of the day so we opted for something quick and easy at Pop Up Pizza. We indulged in a slice of cheese, but also had a salad. Mom always said eat your veggies! 5:00 p.m. Five o’clock rolled around. It was a busy and productive day, but now it was time to relax and enjoy the evening. It was a beautiful fall day in Vegas. Today’s sky was a mix of pink, orange and red as the sun set. We headed to the Bier Garten for a craft beer and to enjoy the sights and sounds of Downtown Las Vegas from the outdoor area. In addition to our beers, we ordered a giant pretzel and wurst to share as a snack before dinner. Bier Garten food and drinks 6:52 p.m. We had a reservation at Oscar’s for 7 p.m. so we headed upstairs to the restaurant. The decor of Oscar’s is glamorous. It incorporates memorabilia from Oscar Goodman’s 12-year tenure as mayor as well as classic photographs of Las Vegas from over the years. It makes you feel like a star. We started with some calamari and chose the pork chop for the entrée. The calamari was nice and crispy on the outside and the pork chop had been perfectly seared. Not a bad way to wrap up another fun day at the Plaza. Oscar's calamari Oscar's pork chop

Celebrate 10 Rockin’ Days of Country in Vegas with NFR and Bucky Covington

Bucky Covington to Perform at Plaza in Vegas One of the biggest draws in Vegas every year is the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – and this year is no exception.  For 10 days, Las Vegas will be overrun with some of the most passionate rodeo sports fans from around the world as the best in their respective events are crowned champion.  Capping off all of the excitement will be country star, Bucky Covington, performing at the Showroom inside of Plaza Hotel Casino.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas

If you’ve ever visited Las Vegas in the beginning of December, then you’ve surely witnessed the way that the National Finals Rodeo takes over the city.  Fans from around the world don blue jeans, cowboy boots and hats to gather in anticipation for the largest rodeo competition of the year.  Casinos, nightclubs and restaurants alike will all be dishing out their own brand of “southern hospitality” to welcome these loyal fans and give them the experience of a lifetime during their stay. Starting Dec. 4, NFR will take hold of Las Vegas for 10 days of pure competition as the top 15 ranked competitors from a wide range events, including bull riding and steer wrestling, display their talents for the chance to be recognized as the best in their respective field. In addition to a noticeable impact on the culture and energy of Las Vegas during this special time, you can also expect to encounter some of the biggest stars in country music and entertainment while NFR is in town.

Bucky Covington to Perform at Plaza Hotel Casino

At Plaza Hotel Casino, we are throwing our own celebration by featuring country star and former American Idol contestant, Bucky Covington, in our very own showroom to cap off the event on Dec. 13. Best known for hits like “A Different World,” “It’s Good to be Us” and “I’ll Walk,” Covington’s debut, self-titled studio album reached #1 on the US Country Charts in 2007 following his appearance and eigth-place finish on Idol. His latest single, “Buzzin’,” was released earlier this year on iTunes and we are sure that he’ll provide a proper sendoff to the 10-day celebration in Vegas with his passion and energy as he graces our stage. For tickets and information, please visit our entertainment page.

Holiday Shopping in Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Container Park

holiday shopping downtown Everyone knows Vegas is one of the best cities to shop ’til you drop.  Whether it’s high end couture, beautiful boutiques or fantastic outlets, there are tons of places and a variety of ways to shop in Sin City.  Those who like to find special pieces that no one else will have should explore Downtown Container Park. It’s only a short walk from Plaza and has beautiful boutiques and a quirky design. And foor the bargain mavens there is Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, which offer an unparalleled combination of quality and great deals and are also located close to Plaza. Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful or just a task to cross off your to-do list. It can be quality, relaxing alone time or a destination event for the whole family. Container Park has an amazing array of stores (art, apparel, décor, toys), dining options (BBQ, Mexican, extravagant hot dogs, whiskey bar, wine bar) and activities (treehouse and play area for kids and adults, live music). You can bring the fun back to holiday shopping with a visit to this popular Downtown Las Vegas destination. It’s a fresh urban landscape and more than a collection of stores. The area is constructed from shipping containers stacked on one another and was created as a place everyone can enjoy. Spend the day perusing the boutiques, sampling the different food options and having fun in the park. While you can pay top dollar for anything you want in Las Vegas, you also can find amazing brand name goods at bargain prices if you visit the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets. Tell everyone you picked a little something up for them in Vegas – just don’t tell them you bought designer wear for less than designer costs! With 150 stores, the outlets offer all of the high end designers you’d find at malls and destination shopping venues.  Come visit Las Vegas and shop it up – you’ll love what you find!

Plaza Employees are Going to School!

plaza hotel casino employee school drive One day per month a group of volunteers will help at the Sunrise Acres Elementary School mobile food pantry. Three Square Food Bank works with the Downtown Las Vegas school to assist upwards of 400 families by providing 40 to 50 pounds of food for free every month. Many families struggle with proper nutrition because of difficult financial circumstances. The Sunrise Acres staff and volunteers ensure that students and their caretakers do not go hungry. The Plaza and its employees cherish opportunities to give back to the local community. If you would like to lend your help and donate time and/or nonperishable food to the Three Square Food Bank please call (702) 644-FOOD (3663) or visit threesquare.org.  

Downtown Las Vegas Buzzes as Life is Beautiful Returns

Life is Beautiful
Fred Morledge – FMPhoto.com
Downtown Las Vegas is a vibrant area that speaks to both a great past and promising future. The Life is Beautiful festival, which returns to Downtown Las Vegas on Friday, is a testament of this. The festival will bring some of today’s greatest musicians, chefs, artists and speakers to the art district for a three day inspirational social platform. The Plaza Hotel and Casino has defined Downtown Las Vegas throughout its historic past. Today, as the area continues to undergo substantial change and growth we continue to create the perfect combination of comfort and sophistication. The effort put forth by the Life is Beautiful team is something we admire. And as a fellow Downtown Las Vegas business we certainly appreciate the buzz it creates for our community. Adjacent to the arts district, the Plaza was a hub for those who attended last year’s inaugural Life is Beautiful festival and we be one this year as well. Whether you need a room to rest between days, something to eat or drink or just some help with directions, we are here to help make your Life is Beautiful experience as enjoyable and empowering as possible. For the full festival lineup, please visit lifeisbeautiful.com.

How to Make the Perfect Mint Julep

The Mint Julep has been the official drink for the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. How did this drink consisting of mint, sugar, and bourbon achieve such fame?

History of the Julep

“Julep” comes from the Persian for “rose water”. It describes a sweet drink used to mask the taste of medicine. Truth be told, mint juleps were the original energizing morning drink! Horse trainers who woke up early would prepare the drink to help face the day. Eventually, the julep started showing up at horse races. In 1938, Churchill Downs started charging twenty-five cents once they noticed the mint julep glasses disappearing. Those cups are the leading Kentucky Derby collectible. It is tradition for the Kentucky Governor to use the mint julep sterling silver glass to toast the winning Derby owner. KentuckyDerby.com explains that during the Kentucky Derby, 120,000 mint juleps are served over the two-day period. That’s eighty tons of shaved ice and 2,200 pounds of fresh mint! Since 2006, one has the option of purchasing a custom-made mint julep served in a gold-plated cup with a silver straw for $1,000! Proceeds from this extra-premium drink go to care for retired race horses.

Mint Julep Recipe

Oscar's Mint Julep Here at Oscar’s you can find a similar, more moderately priced, premium drink. If you are watching The Derby at the Plaza Hotel and Casino, come into Oscar’s Steakhouse for a perfectly muddled mint julep using Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of The Kentucky Derby! We also enjoy the mint julep mixed with Blanton’s Bourbon because of the festive bottle pictured below. Or make your own with the following recipe:
  • 10 Mint Leaves
  • ¼ oz Simple Syrup
  • Crushed Ice
  • 2 oz Woodford Reserve or Blanton’s Bourbon
  • ¼ oz Soda Water
  • 1 Lime Wedge
Muddle mint leaves with simple syrup. Pour over crushed ice. Add bourbon. Add sprits of soda water. Mix well. Garnish with mint leaf and lime wedge. Cheers! Blantons

What You Don’t Know About Las Vegas!

The bright lights of Downtown Las Vegas and the Strip plus the fast-paced and high-energy gambling at any number of casinos. That’s Las Vegas in a nutshell — or is it? Sure, you’ve heard of these attractions, and you’re certainly going to hit them up the next time you’re in the city, but is there more to Las Vegas than meets the eye? Of course! Las Vegas is a city of surprises. Whether its your first time visiting Sin City or you’re a Vegas veteran, these beyond the strip attractions will give you a well-rounded vacation you’ll remember forever.

Ethel M. Chocolate Factory Tour and Botanical Cactus Gardens

chocolate What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so that means you’re free to overindulge. The Ethel M. Chocolate Factory promises fun, education, and a free sample. You’ll see how chocolate is made and learn about Ethel M., the genius behind the gourmet morsels. Once you’ve toured the factory, you can head next door for a completely unique experience – a visit to the Botanical Cactus Gardens. Displaying over 300 types of cacti, these botanical gardens are truly engaging, offering three acres of prickly pears, yuccas, aloe, and more. This excursion is perfect for parties of all ages, but it’s a great way for families to spend part of the day doing something together – and it’s free!

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon Have you ever dreamed of soaring above all your troubles? At Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon, you can do just that – at 60 miles per hour. The moderately priced attraction ($159 for your three-hour tour) is perfect for those who love nature and adventure. Not only will you have the time of your life flying down four ziplines, but you’ll also get a captivating view of the historic and beautiful Bootleg Canyon. It’s one of the most breathtaking sights in the Las Vegas area. You might even glimpse some horn sheep or lizards as you zip through the Red Mountains. This experience is perfect for teens and adults with a sense of adventure or who are ready to get one! However, it’s not a great choice for those with health conditions, and there are strict weight limits.

American Muscle Car Driving Experience

musclecar Have you ever wanted to drive a really cool, really fast car? If so, Las Vegas is your town. The American Muscle Car Driving Experience provides you with a really awesome car – a 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8, 2013 Corvette Z06, or 2014 Camero ZL1 – and lets you drive it really fast through 30 miles of Red Rock Canyon. While this is obviously an attraction for adults, almost everyone loves shiny cars, so it could be a fun opportunity for your whole group, provided no one is afraid of high speeds! One person can drive for $299, a passenger is $99, and an additional driver costs $150. Las Vegas has always been considered one of the world’s top tourist destinations, but there’s more to do than gamble and take in shows. Make your experience unique with one of these destinations.

Plaza Las Vegas Bartender Keith Wins Competition

Congratulations to Oscar’s Beef Booze and Broads’ bartender Keith Baker for winning the Mob Museum’s first annual “Boss of the Bars” contest! This event, hosted by and at the Mob Museum, located in downtown Las Vegas and is just steps away from Fremont Street Las Vegas. The “Boss of the Bars” contest marks the date that Prohibition was repealed in the United States.
keithKeith is originally from Memphis, Tennessee and has been bartending since he was 21 years old. Keith says he has entered several contests online but has never actually won a contest before winning the “Boss of the Bars” contest. Keith’s winning drink is called the “21st Hour”. The clever name served two purposes. First, cocktail parties on December 5th celebrating the end of prohibition, traditionally had hostesses who planned to be “kickin’ it” (really busy) at 9pm (the 21st hour), the second reason is, the Mob Museum was hosting a cocktail party at 9pm on December 5th, when the contest was set to start, so he figured it paid great homage to the occasion. Keith was kind enough to share the winning recipe with us!
photo

The recipe is:

  • 1 oz. Bathtub Gin made with Tito’s Vodka
  • 1.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
  • .5 oz. Artisanal Sweet Vermouth
  • .25 Horsford’s Acid Phosphate
  • 1 dash Handcrafted Bitters Solution
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a mixing vessel and stir 20-30 times with no ice. Pour over crushed ice in an old fashioned glass. The cinnamon stick will be your garnish.
For the “Boss of the Bars” contest Keith went all out. He actually made his own vermouth and bitters from scratch. He used a “bathtub” gin he made himself with Tito’s Vodka infusing it with juniper, other spices and aromatics. Back in the days of prohibition Keith says he would have used grain alcohol, moonshine, juniper extract or other cheap ingredients and diluted them with water. That process was of course illegal back in the day and, in Nevada, it still is.Keith used Horsford’s Acid Phosphate as well in his cocktail. It is a re-creation by the Extinct Chemical Company of a real product that was in heavy use at the end of the 1800’s all the way up until the 1950’s when the soda fountain died out and drinking sodas on the go became the norm. Back then you would belly up to the counter and ask for a Cherry Phosphate; sweetened cherry syrup, acid phosphate, and soda water or similar beverage or, of course, a Coke. This ingredient would have been very familiar to bartenders of the time and easy to get without suspicion. Come in to Oscar’s Beef, Booze and Broad’s, the best steakhouse downtown Las Vegas and order yourself the 21st Hour from award winning “Boss of the Bar” Bartender Keith Baker!