It’s the most wonderful time of the year and it’s not just filled with holiday and Christmas cheer, it’s filled with fashion, boot stompin’ cowboys and cowgirls, whiskey-filled glasses, shopping and tons of fun! The National Finals Rodeo is one that many anticipate all year. From team roping, barrel racing and bull riding, to starched jeans, unique boots, sequins, turquoise and felt hats, hitting the town looking fresh in Vegas is rather vital! When the rodeo isn’t rockin’, there is still tons of glitter, glam, hootin and hollering to be had. Below is a list of only the best, tastiest and amusing restaurants, shows and things for you to see as you make your way around the magical town. Also, don’t forget to check with your hotel about offering free shuttle rides to and from the Thomas and Mack, as there are many that offer this service with your stay.
Fashion and Shopping
• Denim & Velvet Fashion Show: Dec. 9 starting at 3 p.m. is free to public and is located at the Stetson Country Christmas at the Sands, on the RIDE TV Stage. Follow: @denimandvelvet for updates.
• “Cowboys & Indians Magazine” and the Bleacherbabe, Brianna Bigbee are hosting a “Best of the West Ball” – Dec. 10 at the Silverton Casino. Follow @cowboysindiansmagazine for updates.
Cowboy Christmas Gift Show, co-located with the RMEF Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo: Dec. 7-16 Open daily 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Free admission and open to public.
Cowboy Marketplace Gift Show: Mandalay Bay, Dec. 7-16, open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission and open to the public.
Country Christmas: Sands Expo, Dec.7-17, open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission and open to the public.
South Point Western Gift Show: South Point Exhibit Hall and Boot Barn Concourse, Dec.7-17, open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free admission and open to the public.
Concerts, Entertainment & Parties
• George Strait, Dwight Yoakam, Cody Johnson, Clint Black, Charlie Daniels, Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan, Lone Star, Dierks Bentley, Lady Gaga and Bill Engvall are just a few amongst the line-up. Visit: www.nfrexperience.com/home/entertainment_around_town for a full schedule.
• Cowboy FanFest – Dec. 7-16, adjacent to Cowboy Christmas Gift Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center, free admission. Open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Rodeo Vegas at The Mirage is the official Wrangler NFR After-Party of the PRCA, Dec. 7-16,
6:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. at the Mirage Race & Sports Book, nightly NFR action on high definition TV screen
• Free entertainment: My personal fave, Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, The Bellagio Fountains, The Art of Richard MacDonald.
• The Legendary Buck’N Ball is the BEST Rodeo After Party in Las Vegas, featuring live country music, two-step dancing and drink specials. Open 9 p.m.-2 a.m. nightly inside the Bourbon Street Lounge at the The Orleans Hotel & Casino.
• MGM Grand free live music and dancing at the Gold Buckle Zone, Dec. 7-16
from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Central at MGM Grand, near the Sports Book.
• Shows: “Love,” Cirque Du Soleil; Chris Angel, Mind Freak; Mat Franco; Le Reve - The Dream; Absinthe at Caesars Palace; Penn & Teller at Rio; Blue Man Group at Luxor.
• Other fun things to do: Ride the High Roller at the Linq, the world’s largest observation wheel; Red Rock Canyon tours; Freemont Street Experience; Bodies The Exhibition at the Luxor Hotel and Casino; Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris Las Vegas; Las Vegas Escape Room Experience
• Buffets: Bellagio, Le Village at Paris Las Vegas, Carnival World Buffet Rio Las Vegas, The Buffet
Wynn Las Vegas, The Rio (one of my personal faves).
• Breakfast: Eat, Mr. Mamas, Buffet, Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, The Egg & I, Omelet House , Crepe Expectations.
• Coffee: Sambalatte Torrefazione, Desert Wind Coffee Roasters, Cowgirls Espresso Las Vegas, Makers & Finders Coffee, Mothership Coffee, PublicUs.
• Steak: Andiron Steak & Sea, Anthony’s Prime Steak & Seafood, Charlie Palmer Steak at Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, Jean-Georges Steakhouse at ARIA Las Vegas, Carnevino.
• Dinner: Arawan Thai Bistro and Dessert, Le Cirque, Raku, The Capital Grille, Picasso, Andiamo Italian Steakhouse, Hot N Juicy Crawfish, Mastro’s Ocean Club, Rollin Smoke Barbeque.
• Dessert: Garrett Popcorn Shops, Freed’s Bakery, Sprinkles Cupcakes (my fave!), Is Sweet, Milk Bar Las Vegas, The Cookie Bar, Bouchon Bakery at the Venetian Casino, Royce’s Gelato Bar.
Have a joyous, fun, safe, happy, and peaceful Christmas and New Year! See you next year!
The author of the blog, California Dreamin’ (www.calidreamin.com), Amy Witt’s articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers around the world. A fashionista, cowgirl and journalist, Amy strives to motivate and inspire people around the world.