Must dos this weekend in Vegas: April 3 – 5, 2015

College basketball may be winding down, but that means things are heating up in Vegas.  It’s down to the last four teams and if you’re not at the actual games in Indianapolis this weekend there’s no better place to be than Vegas. Not only do we have major parties, drink specials and wagering on the games, it’s already pool weather for us.

If basketball isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of other stuff to keep you busy. We have iconic music stars headlining in town and a beer festival pouring dozens of craft brews.

The Loft at Cabo Wabo Cantina

Nothing but net

March Mayhem is coming to an end this weekend with the semifinal games on Saturday. Regardless of whether your bracket is still alive or not you should stick around through Monday for the national championship.

Basketball fans will be in hoops heaven if they head to the Fremont Street Experience for the 6th Annual Downtown Hoopstown. The four blocks underneath the Viva Vision canopy are lined with college banners and flags and there are special events. Catch the stage production show Hardwood Hotties (featuring “American Idol” Season 6 finalist Haley Scarnato), play in an interactive High Hoops Zone, see the world’s largest college basketball bracket (which sounds pretty impressive) and a special basketball-themed light show.

If you want to party while you’re watching the games (and really, who doesn’t?), try the Loft, a new event space directly above Cabo Wabo Cantina, which will feature the games on multiple flat-panel, big-screen TVs including a 184-inch video grid, a 180-inch projection screen and multiple 80-inch HD TVs. You can’t get that at home. Unless you’re Bill Gates or something.

The games will also be shown on more than 20 high-definition TVs located throughout the lower-level cantina area. There will be plenty of game time bites like a nacho platter for $14.95. Drink specials include $21 beer buckets, shots delivered by beautiful “shot girls,” or select beers from the beer tubs on Cabo Wabo’s Strip-side patio.

Diana Ross

Music royalty

Diana Ross performs her greatest hits at the Venetian Friday and Saturday as part of a special nine-show engagement, “The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade.” Your memories of the ’70s and ’80s will surely come flooding back to you when you hear Ross belt out Motown classics like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” as well as pop favorites like “I’m Coming Out” and “Endless Love.”

The production, which also features breathtaking costumes and stage designs, has a carefully crafted set list that highlights the musical milestones that Ross has reached over her five-decade-spanning career.

Elton John

Another legendary singer, Elton John, is back at Caesars Palace Friday and Saturday for his show “The Million Dollar Piano.” And he’s not kidding about the piano. The namesake instrument, created by Elton and Yamaha, is an engineering marvel that took nearly four years to make and weighs 3,200 pounds.

The piano, which Elton calls “the other star of my show,” features more than 68 LED video screens on the side of it, which display imagery that complements hit songs like “The Bitch is Back,” “Bennie and the Jets” and “Rocket Man.”

Rock Star Beer Festival

Rock out with some hops

We think beer and music make a great combination and apparently so do the folks who organized the Rock Star Beer Festival at the SLS on April 3. Not only can you sample more than 50 craft beers from Las Vegas and Southern California breweries, you can rock out to the “One-Man Dance Party” Dan Fester and California band Falling Doves. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $50 for VIP.  The festival runs from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Foxtail Pool and your ticket will get you into the after party at Life Nightclub.

Kenny Chesney

No shoes, no shirt, no problems

Popular country crooner Kenny Chesney is performing at the Hard Rock Hotel this weekend and you can get psyched for it with a pre-concert pool party at REHAB Pool. The party will feature performances by Uncle Kracker and Dee Jay Silver, poolside games, specialty cocktails and more on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4. When the sun goes down each night, partygoers can then make their way across the property to Chesney’s shows at The Joint.

The party, at the hotel’s 4.8-acre pool area, will feature drinking games such as beer pong and cornhole and, since it’s a country concert, inflatable bulls will fill up the pool. Sip on Corona Extra and specialty cocktails infused with Blue Chair Bay from Chesney’s Caribbean-inspired line of premium rum. Tickets start at $10 for females and $20 for males per day.



It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.