Summer might be coming to a close, but there’s plenty to look forward to this fall in Vegas. Here are 15 seasonal must-dos to add to your agenda.
1. Check in With Your Favorite Rock Stars
Now through September 30, the lobby at Delano Las Vegas is spotlighting “Defiantly Inspired,” an exhibition from Robert Knight and Maryanne Bilham, two Vegas-based photographers who have utilized their cameras on rock icons ranging from Robert Plant to Lorde. Want to know the stories behind the images? Scanning the photos with your phone unlocks exclusive audio commentary.
2. Settle in for Some Stand-Up
The funny men we’re most looking forward to seeing this season include Jerry Seinfeld at the Colosseum (September 18-19), Nick Swardson at The Mirage’s Terry Fator Theatre (October 9), and Bill Maher at the Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort (October 24).
3. Drink the Season In
Thirsty? You’re in luck, because the season overflows with booze-centric events ranging from the 390-label Joy of Sake extravaganza at Caesars Palace (September 19), to Las Vegas Village’s 2015 installment of Wine Amplified (October 9-10), to the Downtown Brew Festival, a street fair-style celebration of all things craft beer (October 24).
4. Eat an Authentic Italian Meal
Two highly anticipated Italian restaurants are set to open in Vegas this fall—Andy Masi’s Salute at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa and New York stalwart Carbone at Aria (PICTURED)—meaning your hardest decision of the season might be trying to figure out where you want to eat first.
5. Spend the Weekend at a Music Festival
Vegas’ unofficial festival season kicks off with MGM’s iHeartRadio Music Festival, a star-studded weekend featuring performances by Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, and Nick Jonas, among others (September 18-19). The momentum builds over the last weekend of the month with two three-day events, Downtown’s Life Is Beautiful festival headlined by Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, and Imagine Dragons, and the Las Vegas Jazz Festival with Erykah Badu, Toni Braxton, and the Isley Brothers (September 25-27), and culminates in October with Las Vegas Village’s Route 91 Harvest Festival starring Keith Urban and Tim McGraw (October 2-4).
6. Get Your Off-Strip Art Fix
Boulder City stages Art in the Park, a two-day extravaganza featuring the work of hundreds of local artists and craftsmen (October 3-4), while Downtown Summerlin celebrates the 20th anniversary of its annual outdoor Festival of Arts (October 10-11), complete with paintings, pottery, photography, jewelry, and live entertainment.
7. Learn From the Best Burlesque Pros in Town
Grab your tassels, because from October 8-10, the Las Vegas Burlesque Festival takes over the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino for three days of burlesque competitions, classes taught by industry pros, and retro-flavored cocktail mixers.
8. Take in a Powerhouse Concert
We’re willing to wager that the season’s hottest solo tickets will be Pitbull, who kicks off a seven-night residency inside Planet Hollywood’s Axis theater on September 23, and Madonna, who brings her Rebel Heart Tour to the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 24.
9. Indulge Your Inner Foodie
A celebration of gourmet food and wine pairings, Festivino returns to Vegas on October 9, bringing 10 top chefs, fine wines, and live music to the Venetian’s grounds.
10. Witness the Release of Thousands of Paper Lanterns Over the Mojave Desert
Last year’s inaugural RiSE festival saw thousands of participants light up the night sky with paper lanterns. This year, the event invites guests to illuminate the Moapa River Indian Reservation on October 10, all while enjoying food trucks and plenty of Lagunitas beer.
11. Check Out the Strip’s Newest Sky-High Hangouts
When Mix at Delano closed last spring to undergo several months of renovations, we were slightly anxious to see what would take its place on the hotel’s 64th floor. We now have the answer: Rivea, chef Alain Ducasse’s Mediterranean concept inspired by the food of the French and Italian coasts, and its adjacent Skyfall Lounge, both of which are slated to open this fall.
12. Get an Arts Education
On October 14, November 11, and December 9, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art Executive Director Tarissa Tiberti and master sommelier Jason Smith are joining forces to present the resort’s Perfect Pairing series, a collection of interactive events featuring dual commentary on Smith’s hand-selected wines and the gallery’s current exhibition, “Picasso: Creatures and Creativity.”
13. Grab a Seat at the Smith Center
Fall in Vegas means an all-new roster of Smith Center performances from groups like the Las Vegas Philharmonic, which this year showcases the work of Beethoven, Brahms, and Sibelius under the direction of Donato Cabrera, and Nevada Ballet Theatre (PICTURED), whose seasonal highlights include a tribute to the choreography of George Balanchine (November 7-8) and a restaging of James Canfield’s visually brilliant Nutcracker (December 12-20).
14. Run the Strip at Night
Designed for runners of all skill levels, the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon takes over Las Vegas Boulevard from November 12-15, with musicians like Matt & Kim and Kid Rock providing finish-line entertainment between 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon races.
15. Revisit a Classic
And if you need one more reason to look towards fall with optimism, just remember the start of the season signals the return of Gilcrease Orchard’s famous apple-cider doughnuts.