Must dos this weekend in Vegas: May 21 – 25, 2015

Are you ready? Memorial Day weekend, one of the most exciting three-day weekends of the year, is almost here. Expect some unabashed revelry in Vegas. Since the holiday officially honors men and women who’ve passed away while serving in the U.S. military, be sure to raise a toast to them when you’re drinking. Unofficially, Memorial Day weekend marks the kickoff of summer. This means lots of poolside partying in Sin City’s dayclubs, followed by more music, booze and dancing in the nightclubs. But that’s not all. You can attend several cool concerts, see some major sporting events, eat to your heart’s content at a food festival and much more. Here are the hottest happenings in Vegas for Memorial Day weekend.



Top-name DJs and performers like (from left) Steve Aoki, Kaskade and Fabolous will be in Vegas’ pool clubs and nightclubs for Memorial Day weekend.

 It’s time to party!

Vegas’ dayclubs and nightclubs are turning up the heat. You’ll find the world’s top DJs in the house for Memorial Day weekend. Daylight Beach Club, a massive pool club at Mandalay Bay that can fit up to 5,000 partiers, is packing its stage with tastemakers like Morgan Page on May 22, Alesso on May 23 and Danny Tenaglia at Sundown (an Ibiza-style sunset party) on May 24. Or soak in the festive atmosphere at TAO Beach in The Venetian with Brody Jenner and DJ William Lifestyle on May 23 and hip-hop artist Fabolous on May 24.

Of course, you’ll have to follow all this sun and fun with more drinking, dancing and debauchery in the evenings. Head over to Hakkasan, where you can see a handful of talented and totally sexy DJs. Things kick off on May 21 with Steve Aoki’s album release party. Taking over the turntables in the days to come are Hardwell with Kill the Buzz on May 22, Calvin Harris on May 23 and 25, and Tiësto on May 24. Of course, XS at Encore has a sizzling lineup that features Kaskade on May 22, Avicii on May 23, David Guetta on May 24, and Diplo with Skrillex on May 25. You’ll also hear some great sets around the Strip by Martin Garrix at Omnia in Caesars Palace on May 23, Erick Morillo at LiFE in SLS Las Vegas on May 24 and Carnage at Marquee Nightclub in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on May 25. For a more extensive list of where to party in Vegas – day and night – this Memorial Day weekend, check out this blog post.


Bette Midler and the Eagles are headlining the MGM Grand Garden Arena on separate nights during Memorial Day weekend.

Bette Midler and the Eagles are headlining the MGM Grand Garden Arena on separate nights during Memorial Day weekend.

Big names take center stage

The MGM Grand Garden Arena is hosting a couple of music industry legends over Memorial Day weekend. Don’t miss your chance to see Bette Midler, one of the world’s best loved and most versatile entertainers, on May 22 at 8 p.m. This is her first major tour in a decade and supports her latest album, “It’s the Girls!” You’ll be swinging as The Divine Miss M covers songs from girl groups through the ages spanning everyone from the The Shirelles to Destiny’s Child. And she does it in her own unique way, which is why we love her. Come back again on May 24 at 8 p.m. to catch an epic performance from the Eagles. There’s just nothing like hearing “Witchy Woman,” “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California” live. Stopping off in Vegas as part of their History of the Eagles tour, the night will feature the band’s classic songs, of which there are many, as well as a few songs that have never been performed live.


PBR's Cowboy Spring Break is bringing a country superstars and up-and-comers to Vegas this weekend including (clockwise from top): Mongomery Gentry, Gary Allan, The Band Perry and Tarra Layne.

PBR’s Cowboy Spring Break is bringing country music superstars and up-and-comers to Vegas this weekend including (clockwise from top) Montgomery Gentry, Gary Allan, The Band Perry and Tarra Layne.

Cowboys, bulls and country music stars – oh my!

PBR’s first ever Cowboy Spring Break is being held May 22 – 24 at MGM Resorts Village, the outdoor festival grounds located on the Las Vegas Strip across from Luxor. What can you expect? Well, first off, there’ll be some dang exciting rodeo action as 50 of the top bull riders in the world compete in the Last Cowboy Standing competition. And from late afternoon until early evening, your ears will be in for a treat thanks to concerts featuring some of the biggest-name country artists around along with some smaller up-and-comers. The main stage will showcase Montgomery Gentry on May 22, Gary Allan with Ryan Bingham on May 23 and The Band Perry and Clay Walker on May 24. On the Monster Energy Stage you’ll get to hear Tarra Layne, who has been chomping at the bit to show off her talents. Based in L.A., she’s a pop/Southern rock artist who knows how to raise the roof with her powerhouse vocals – so it’s a good thing this event is being held outdoors. Her third EP, “One You Go Red,” is being released tomorrow. Some other performers not to miss include Cassadee Pope, Lauren Alaina, Wolf Creek and Mickey Guyton. For more information visit,

After the music’s wrapped up for the night and the bulls have gone to sleep, continue your party at PBR Rock Bar & Grill in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. You can watch all the bull-riding action on their more than 105 HD TVs and projector screens as well as enjoy fun events throughout the weekend like the late-night after parties on May 22 – 23 at 11 p.m. (with $7 Jack Daniel’s cocktails and $5 Budweisers and Bud Lights) and the Cowboy Party Brunch on May 24 from 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. on the patio.


From left: The 2014 Las Vegas Epicurean Affair and chef José Andrés

From left: The 2014 Las Vegas Epicurean Affair (photo by Kristine McKenzie) and chef José Andrés.

Get ready to eat it up

It’s time again for a night of absolute indulgence at the annual Las Vegas Epicurean Affair. Fine food lovers can taste their way through signature creations from the city’s most revered chefs and then wash them down with divine cocktails. Among the nearly 75 restaurants and nightclubs participating in the event are db Brasserie, Cleo, N9NE Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante, Bazaar Meat, Jaleo and STK. It will be held poolside at The Palazzo on May 21 from 7 – 10 p.m., with early admission access at 6 p.m. In addition to general and early admission tickets, VIP tickets are available that include an exclusive reception, hors d’oeuvres and a meet-and-greet with chef José Andrés, who is often credited for bringing the small plates dining concept to America. Proceeds from the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair support the Nevada Restaurant Association’s scholarship programs.


Among the featured fights for UFC 187 are (from left) Chris Weidman vs Vitor Belfort, Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier and Donald Cerrone vs. John Makdessi

Among the featured fights for UFC 187 are (from left) Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort, Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier and Donald Cerrone vs. John Makdessi (photos courtesy of

Go on, be a sport…

Or rather a sports lover, that is, because Memorial Day weekend promises to be an action-packed one. Fists will be flying on May 22 as the Downtown Las Vegas Event Center hosts the inaugural “Knockout Night at the D,” an evening of outdoor professional boxing presented by Square Ring Promotions and Championship Title Boxing. The main event is a lightweight clash between IBF world-ranked No. 9 Richard Commey and Bahodir “Baha” Mamadjonov. Located adjacent to the D Las Vegas, doors at the DLVEC open at 6:30 p.m., with the first bell scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Get pumped up for UFC 187 on May 23 beginning at 4 p.m. in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Among the great fighters you’ll get to see clash are Daniel Cormier, who’s taking on No. 1-ranked Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Also on the main card, middleweight champion Chris Weidman will battle “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort, Donald Cerrone faces John Makdessi, Andre Arlovski confronts Travis Browne, and Joseph Benavidez meets John Moraga. There’ll be a lot of great preliminary action too.


Machine Gun Las Vegas (left) offers a high-tech firearms experience (right) with an ultra lounge vibe.

Machine Gun Las Vegas (left) offers a high-tech firearms experience (right) with an ultra lounge vibe.

Shoot ’em up for a good cause

If you’re gunning for a good time in Sin City on Memorial Day, head to Machine Guns Vegas where you can attend a parking lot party and shoot machine guns all while supporting a veterans group. This firearms facility  located a few minutes west of the Strip is holding “Shoot to Salute” to benefit the Wishes for Warriors organization on May 25 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. If you register to fire a series of four guns for $160, you’ll get a $5 food ticket (think weenie roast) as well as a ticket for a raffle featuring more than $5,000 in prizes. A VIP option is also available for $1,000. In addition to an upgraded shooting package, you’ll get to shoot with a Wishes for Warriors veteran.


From left: Gabriel Iglesias, Kevin Hart and Martin Short

From left: comedians Gabriel Iglesias, Kevin Hart and Martin Short.

You’re going to crack up

At least you will, if Kevin Hart, Martin Short and Gabriel Iglesias have anything to do with it. These three hilarious comedians will appear live in Vegas over Memorial Day weekend offering rib-cracking jokes and lots of fun. Hart, known for starring in the 2014 remake of “About Last Night,” is appearing in the Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 23 – 24 at 8 p.m. as part of his tour called “What Now?” The Aces of Comedy series at The Mirage boasts Short, a beloved comedian and actor (we loved him as Franck Eggelhoffer in the “Father of the Bride” movies), on May 22 at 10 p.m. He’ll be followed by Hawaiian shirt-donning comic Iglesias on May 23 – 24, also at 10 p.m. Iglesias’ stand-up act includes a mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects that bring his personal issues to life in an uproarious way.


I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.