By Renée LiButti
Las Vegas is like a magnet. It attracts visitors from all around the world. The pulsating neon lights, the action-packed casinos and the “anything goes” attitude create a powerful pull – one that leaves a lasting impression on those who travel here. Of course, you’ll want to bring something home to remind you of your trip. But what souvenir best captures the spirit of Las Vegas – a pair of fuzzy dice, a gold casino-inspired watch, a sequin vest or, perhaps, a magnet? Here’s a selection of trinkets and treasures from the city you’ll never forget.
Five Iconic Vegas Souvenirs
1. A miniature Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
($42.99 at Bonanza Gift Shop on 2460 Las Vegas Blvd. S.)
Without a doubt, this little sign is a behemoth best seller. It lights up like the original landmark, which was designed by Betty Willis in 1959 and still greets visitors at the south end of the Strip.
2. Fuzzy dice
($3.98 at Grand Canyon Experience in the Showcase Mall)
Whether cruising the world-famous Strip or your hometown highway, no car is complete without a pair of these plush cubes swinging from the rearview mirror.
3. A giant poker chip pillow
($15 at the Monte Carlo Boutique in Monte Carlo)
Instead of a wild night at the gaming tables, nestle up to this cozy cushion and let dreams of big winnings dance through your head.
4. Monopoly: The Las Vegas Edition
($36 at Caesars Gift Store in The Forum Shops at Caesars)
Ever wonder if you have the Midas touch like casino mogul Steve Wynn? This board game allows you to buy and sell the city’s famed megaresorts without jeopardizing your financial future.
5. A Las Vegas dice clock
($22 at Mr. Deli on 3961 Las Vegas Blvd. S.)
Not just for gaming geeks, this corny time-keeping piece makes for a great conversation starter hanging in the living room.
Five Cheap Souvenirs
1. A shot glass
(99¢ at Walgreens in The Palazzo)
Drink a toast to the city that loves libations in this simple piece of glassware that features a cartoon skyline of the Strip.
2. A key clip
($1.29 at ABC Stores in the Fashion Show mall)
Show off your adoration for Las Vegas, which has won the key to your heart, with a poker chip keychain. It comes from the fictitious “High Roller Casino” and is available in assorted denominations.
3. A nail file
(99¢ at CVS on 3758 Las Vegas Blvd. S.)
Ever chipped a nail while playing slots? A bright pink Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas emery board fits easily into your purse. It will keep your hands looking good and working efficiently, so you can continue to pursue that dream jackpot.
4. A magnet
($2.95 in the Off Broadway Store at New York-New York)
Remind yourself of the devilish fun you had in Sin City by hanging a “What Happens in Vegas, Stays…” magnet on your refrigerator. It will drive your straight-laced next-door neighbors crazy with curiosity.
5. Lip balm
($2.95 at Welcome to Las Vegas in Excalibur)
Keep your pucker moist in the dry desert climate with a tube of Vegas Cherry lip balm. Containing SPF 15 sunscreen, it also protects you from dangerous UV rays.
Five Luxury Souvenirs
1. An Altiplano watch
($27,500 at Piaget in The Shoppes at The Palazzo)
After a really, really, really good night at the poker tables, reward yourself with this playing card-inspired timepiece by Piaget. Featuring an 18-karat white gold and diamond-set case, its splendid mother-of-pearl dial displays the four card suits.
2. A Judith Leiber clutch
($3,995 at Prosecco in The Shoppes at The Palazzo)
Couture handbag artist Judith Leiber has crafted several Las Vegas-themed clutches from multi-colored Swarovski crystals and other gemstones. Her interpretation of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign sparkles with brilliance.
3. A framed signature cut of the Rat Pack
($4,500 at The Art of Music in The Mirage)
Pay tribute to Vegas’ past by purchasing this autographed photo of all five members of the legendary group, who are standing in front of the Sands’ marquee. A vintage piece of memorabilia, it offers a look into the lives of the Entertainment Capital of the World’s coolest cats.
4. A first-edition copy of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”
($1,500 at Bauman Rare Books in The Shoppes at The Palazzo)
Book collectors and party animals will cherish this well-preserved tome published by Hunter S. Thompson in 1971 that tells the story of a rollicking weekend road trip to Las Vegas. As you read it, compare your visit to the author’s hallucinatory journey through the city.
5. Four aces and a joker charm
($9,999 at Charms by Sarit Simāyof in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian)
This 18-karat white and yellow gold pendant is perfect for high rollers who want something that’s exquisitely crafted and exclusively designed. The ultimate poker hand is also adorned with blue sapphires, diamonds and rubies.
Five Elvis Souvenirs
1. An autographed microphone
($8,500 at The Art of Music in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino)
Elvis knew how to play to the microphone, using it convey the music that moved masses. This enthralling shadowbox houses a rare autographed microphone, along with a photograph of the King in his famous black leather jacket.
2. A giant Elvis PEZ candy roll dispenser
($61.95 at Welcome to Las Vegas in Excalibur)
Packaged in a limited-edition box with a gold-plated TCB necklace, this 12.5-inch candy dispenser is larger than life – just like the man it’s modeled after. It can hold 12 packs of PEZ and play five of the King’s beloved hits including “The Wonder of You.”
3. An “Elvis in Concert” varsity jacket
($295 at the Viva ELVIS Store in Aria)
Pretend you’re part of the King’s entourage in this black leather jacket. It was faithfully re-created from the one worn by Elvis’ crew in the 1970s, so they could be quickly identified from his hordes of fans.
4. A “Love Me Tender” lunch box
($21.95 at Citta Delle Luci in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian)
Your heart will swoon in remembrance of this classic love song, and your stomach will be overcome with joy if you’ve packed the King’s favorite belt-busting concoction – a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.
5. Classic Rock & Rollers sunglasses
($12.95 at Vegas Express in New York-New York)
Shade your eyes from the glaring Las Vegas sun Elvis-style – i.e., by donning a pair of these timeless gold-rimmed sunglasses with attached sideburns.
Five Outrageous/Strange Souvenirs
1. A Las Vegas tattoo
($200-$2,000 at King Ink in The Mirage)
Immortalize Vegas in permanent ink at Mario Barth’s studio in The Mirage. A Sin City-themed design can be done in just one visit and will take from five minutes to 10 hours, depending on its complexity.
2. A jawbone business card holder
($10 at the Clark County Coroner’s Office on 1704 Pinto Lane or www.vegascoroner.com)
The TV series “CSI” has made coroners cool – so cool, in fact, the Clark County Coroner’s Office now offers logo boxer shorts, T-shirts and do-rags. Visitors can even get a business card holder that is an uncanny replica of the human jaw.
3. A sequin vest
($62.95 at the Liberace Museum on 1775 E. Tropicana Ave.)
Everyone knows that Liberace had a flair for the outlandish – and now you can too. Be the picture of shimmering style, just like the renowned pianist, in one of these colorful vests featuring musical notes and instruments.
4. Peekaboo Dance Pole Kit
($140 at the Zumanity Store in New York-New York)
Attention women: tap into your inner Vegas stripper in the privacy of your own home. This kit, which comes in hot pink, contains everything needed to assemble a dance pole. There’s even a booklet so you can learn to do spins, flips and other unmentionables to drive your man crazy.
5. A slice of soap
($5.99 at Great Basin in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian)
Do you feel dirty after a trip to Las Vegas? Get a bar of Pair-a-Dice soap, which smells of champagne and citrus. There’s also a Poker formulation that combines cocoa, mint and clover.
Five Children’s Souvenirs
1. A great white shark backpack
($16 at the Shark Reef in Mandalay Bay)
This plush bag will remind kids of visiting North America’s only predator-based aquarium and serve as a deterrent to theft – since everyone will be too scared to reach inside it.
2. The Guardian Knights Sword & Shield
($9 at Kids of the Kingdom in Excalibur)
The only castle located on the Las Vegas Strip knows how to inspire medieval merriment. With these plastic weapons of war, your child can slay dragons and rescue damsels in distress.
3. Sock puppets
($8.50 at the Terry Fator Gift Store in The Mirage)
Ventriloquist Terry Fator won a million dollars and landed himself a Las Vegas showroom with his masterful sock puppetry skills. What can you do with one? Extremely loveable and full of personality, these sock puppets are guaranteed to bring laughter into your child’s life.
4. Mac King’s Suitcase-O-Magic
($14.99 after his show at Harrah’s or at www.mackingshop.com)
The comedy magician with the zany afternoon show created this collection to open up an imaginative new world for kids. It teaches 50 tricks and comes with props – like the “Perfectly Ordinary” deck of playing cards.
5. Funny feet lion
($26 at the Lion Habitat in MGM Grand)
This 19-inch stuffed doll will be your child’s mane squeeze and serve as a cuddly memento of the Las Vegas attraction that honors and safeguards the king of all beasts.
Five Delicious Souvenirs
1. ethel’s Cocktail Collection
($16-$32 at Ethel’s Chocolate in the Fashion Show)
Forego the bars and ultra lounges. Knock down this intoxicating chocolate assortment instead. Just be careful – you may forget your limit once you’ve tasted the champagne cocktail, lemon drop, chocolapolitan and yum rum confections.
2. Sin City Suckers
($3 each at Essentials in Luxor)
Lick it up! These dice-shaped lollipops come in six Vegas-themed flavors: Pina Co-Slot-a, Orange You Lucky, Cherry-Cherry-Cherry, Grape of Spades, 4 of a Lime and Lucky Lemon.
3. Selma’s Chocolate Crisped Rice Treats
($4 each at MGM Grand & Company in MGM Grand)
A longtime childhood favorite, these marshmallow-coated treats have been frosted to resemble playing cards. Go home a winner with “21” or a royal flush.
4. A small gaming box of chocolates
($10 at Sweet Habits in Excalibur)
Vegas Image makes a decadent assortment of gambling gear. The milk chocolate dice will melt in your mouth. Plus, the foil-wrapped chocolate poker chips and dollar signs are great for eating – or wagering.
5. Winning Gummies
($4 at the I♥NYNY Gift Store in New York-New York)
Satisfy your sweet tooth with yummy fruit-flavored gummies that are shaped like dice or poker chips.
Five Show Souvenirs
1. Cher’s Loree Bodkin bondage ring
($18,500 at the Cher Boutique in Caesars Palace)
Want a show-stopping piece of jewelry? This is it. Boasting 2.5 carats of gothic-inspired black diamonds, the bondage ring is hinged in two places and can expand the entire length of your finger.
2. Chinese silk birds from “The Lion King”
($495 at Disney’s The Lion King Store in Mandalay Bay)
Julie Taymor created the innovative costumes and props that amaze audiences of “The Lion King.” You can buy the same hand-painted, hand-sewn birds used in the show and entertain others by making them swoop and soar.
3. A bustier from “Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular”
($600 at the Phantom Boutique in The Venetian)
Become someone’s obsession when you slip into an exact replica of the black corset bustier worn by the actress who plays Christine Daaé. Custom-made to fit you, it snaps neatly in the front, while satin “Phantom”-logo ribbons are tied snugly in the back.
4. The Beatles “LOVE” logo pendant
($3,400 at the LOVE Boutique in The Mirage)
All you need is this delicate gold and diamond logo necklace to honor the iconic rock group from Liverpool and celebrate “LOVE,” the Cirque du Soleil tribute show that’s captivated fans since 2006.
5. Blue Man Group drumsticks
($20 at the Blue Man Gift Store in The Venetian)
Naturally, the Blue Man Group march to the beat of a different drum – one that’s covered in paint. Pound out your own rhythm with a pair of souvenir Vic Firth drumsticks that were used during the show. They have paint splatters to prove their authenticity.
Five Gambling-Related Souvenirs
1. World Series of Poker Mini Travel Poker Set
($29.99 at the Caesars Gift Kiosks in The Forum Shops at Caesars)
Play poker like the professionals. This set contains everything you need to hold your own tournament including 300 poker chips, a dealer button and premium playing cards.
2. Dice played at the craps tables
(75¢ each or $3.75 for the roll at the More Club Gift Shop in Jerry’s Nugget)
Collecting casino memorabilia is a popular hobby. In addition to used cards and casino chips, you can buy “cancelled” dice. Look for logos that aren’t too scraped up. Who knows, with a lucky roll of the dice, they might be worth something one day.
3. An antique slot machine
($3,295 at Gamblers General Store on 800 S. Main St.)
Technology isn’t always a good thing. If you miss the one-armed bandits of yesteryear, get a vintage slot machine. This 5¢ War Eagle model was manufactured by Mills in the 1930s. It’s a great place to store your pocket change.
4. M&M’s slot machine dispenser
($19.95 at M&M’s World in the Showcase Mall)
Fortunes are easily won and lost in Las Vegas. At least with an M&M’s slot machine dispenser, your stomach can always count on hitting the jackpot.
5. A casino-quality poker table
($1,395 at MS The Men’s Shop in The Mirage)
Experience the thrill of casino gaming in the comfort of your own home. This 92-inch poker table with suede felt puts even the finest poker rooms in Las Vegas to shame.
Five Funny T-shirts
1. “Girls Direct to Your Room in 20 Minutes 1-877-6-I-BE-OVA”
($19.95 from VEGAS.com at www.vegasarrowstore.com)
This T-shirt is perfect for guys who are considering a different line of work – perhaps in the world’s oldest profession.
2. “Before Vegas/After Vegas”
($16.95 at Welcome to Las Vegas in the Star Lane Shops at MGM Grand)
This T-shirt illustrates one of the basic laws of Vegas dynamics – you arrive with a wad of money, but you go home empty-handed.
3. “I Love My Wife…I Love My Wife…I Love My Wife…Vegas Baby Vegas!”
($16.95 at Citta Delle Luci in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian)
Unfortunately, as this T-shirt depicts, even the best of intentions aren’t enough to help you avoid temptation in Sin City.
4. “I Love Strippers”
($14 at the Stripper Bar in the Miracle Mile Shops at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino)
Spend your money on this T-shirt – it will last a lot longer than a lap dance.
5. “Shh…Vegas Hangover in Progress”
($19.95 at Caesars Gift Store in The Forum Shops at Caesars)
Who can forget the free cocktails in Las Vegas? This T-shirt is for those who know how to use the system to their advantage!