Terrific theme nights in Las Vegas bars

Everyone loves a theme night. Unfortunately, not everyone has cool enough friends to transform their home into a Slytherin dreamland and dress up their pets like Draco Malfoy just to throw the most amazing Harry Potter party on the block. But that’s alright because Vegas has enough theme parties for everyone. We may not have any that would come close to infringing on J.K. Rowling’s copyrights, but we could give her a run for her crazy amount of money when it comes to creating magical worlds full of interesting people. We’ve got a theme night for (almost) every day of the week. So, without further wizard references, here are some of our favorite theme nights in Las Vegas.

This beautiful space will be filled with exceptional music all night long. Photo courtesy of Commonwealth.

This beautiful space will be filled with exceptional music all night long. Photo courtesy of Commonwealth.

Martes Latin Night at Commonwealth

When: Every Tuesday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Of all the Latin nights in town, this one is the newest. We realize that’s not always the greatest reason to single something out, but in this case it also brings a new swing to one of our favorite bars on Fremont East. Commonwealth is a classy, inviting place that always delivers on whatever promise you might think it’s making with its simultaneous minimalist and adorned interior. But when it decides to throw a theme night, this bar goes all out to make itself the most special spot on the block. Martes will feature DJs spinning the best Latin house, salsa, bachata, hip-hop and more, as well as drink specials on Don Julio tequila and build-your-own tableside margaritas. We won’t say it’s the only Latin night in town you should check out, because that just wouldn’t be fair to all the other wonderful Latin nights, but we will say that if you have the chance to salsa dance on the roof of Commonwealth, you should absolutely take it.

How much fun is Gold Spike? All of it. It is all the fun. Photo courtesy of Gold Spike.

How much fun is Gold Spike? All of it. It is all the fun. Photo courtesy of Gold Spike.

PYT #RetroWednesdays at Gold Spike

When: Every Wednesday at 9 p.m.

In the immortal words of Depeche Mode, we “just can’t get enough” of Retro Wednesdays at Gold Spike. Like everything at Gold Spike, this theme night is quirky, random and totally tubular. Please note through the rest of this entry that we specialize in obscure ’90s references not ’80s, so bear with us. Each week the party is a little different, from Time CapSoul which features DJs like Lisa Pittman spinning your favorite throwback hits and Down and Derby where guests can lace up their roller skates and start a disco inferno in the back yard. Now we’re mixing in some ’70s, but when you’re talking about a bar that has corn hole games five feet from a random bed in the middle of the room, it’s probably OK to be a bit imprecise with your references. Whatever decade you like, whether you’re groovy, rad or pretty much anything to the maxxxxx, Gold Spike’s Retro Wednesdays are the party for you. And feel free to dress up, you probably won’t be the only one. But even if you are it’ll be on fleek. Did… did we use that right?

These are the good people of Charlie's. Most will be clothed on Skin nights. Photo courtesy of Charlie's.

These are the good people of Charlie’s. Most will be clothed on Skin nights. Photo courtesy of Charlie’s.

Skin Underwear Night at Charlie’s

When: Every Wednesday at 9 p.m.

You may be into the nostalgia of the previous entry, but feel that it lacks a bit of… what’s the word? Man-thong. Charlie’s is many things: gay bar, country bar, place for drag queens to get trashed on shockingly cheap drinks. But on Wednesday nights it turns into a strange cross between an episode of Deadwood and Calvin Klein underwear commercial. Boys can strip down to their—tasteful and clean—skivvies to receive free well drinks and beers. And ladies can, well, probably avert their eyes because most of the ladies in a gay bar probably aren’t interested in seeing man butt. However, if you’re a lad of any orientation and don’t mind dropping trou for a drink or nine, this is the place to be. And even if you don’t want to bare all for the thrill of it, Charlie’s always has great drink prices to help you work up the courage to let most of it hang out.

Fake beards do not count. They have tests to be sure. Photo courtesy of Hogs and Heifers.

Fake beards do not count. They have tests to be sure. Photo courtesy of Hogs and Heifers.

Beard appreciation night at Hogs and Heifers

When: First Thursday of every month.

Fresh off the heels of the last entry, let’s talk a little bit more about buff, burly men. But this time they’re wearing a bit more, on their faces. Hogs and Heifers is known as a bar for hard partying and the occasional lost bra. So it’s no surprise that they honor and reward the most hirsute of patrons with drink specials and a whole lot of praise. But this doesn’t mean just anyone with a beard will get special treatment, just like someone showing up to a biker bar on a Vespa might not get the best seat. Hogs and Heifers has well-established facial hair “requirements” that must be met. But if you think your beard is the best, your fur is for sure and your goatee is a go-to, head down and put your fuzz on the line. Who knows, you just might find someone willing to tickle your beard—we know how much bearded people like that.

This just looks awesome. We don't have anything more to say than that. Awesome. Photo courtesy of Atomic Liquors.

This just looks awesome. We don’t have anything more to say than that. Awesome. Photo courtesy of Atomic Liquors.

Bike Night at Atomic Liquors

When: First Saturday of every month at 4 p.m.

We’re going to start this one off with the disclaimer, there are no colors or back patches allowed at this event. If you don’t know what those things are then don’t worry about it. Now that that’s out of the way, everyone can enjoy Bike Night at Atomic Liquors. In addition to the obvious line of motorcycles and crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts chilling around the bar and patio, Atomic Liquors also brings in food trucks and offers some of the best drink deals around. When you’re talking about a bar that’s been around since 1952 and is one of the oldest bars in the city, it’s easy to go old school with it. But that’s never really accurate with Atomic Liquors. It’s been going strong for half a century and shows no signs of stopping. That’s probably an after effect of all the atomic testing. But even if your bike only runs on gasoline instead of nuclear waste, take it to Atomic Liquors for a taste of old school Vegas with an eye on the future.

We are all but dancers in the darkness of our souls. J/k. We're all dancers in awesome Las Vegas bars. Photo courtesy of Scarlet at Artifice.

We are all but dancers in the darkness of our souls. J/k. We’re all dancers in awesome Las Vegas bars. Photo courtesy of Scarlet at Artifice.

Scarlet at Artifice

When: First and third Saturdays of every month at 10 p.m.

When the darkness falls and the souls of the damned cry out for recognition, atonement and a stiff vodka cranberry, Scarlet at Artifice answers their beleaguered prayers with a goth theme night. Artifice is usually so laid back and artsy that we’ve called it one of the best places for hipsters. But twice a month it rises from its crypt to transform into the bloody, ravenous form of Scarlet. Behold her twisted torment and dance to DJs spinning the kind of music your daywalker friends will just never understand. Come in your favorite goth attire, or just as you are if you prefer to play the role of a sky wanderer who happened in, unaware of the danger that lurks around every corner. We promise you won’t get bitten on the neck, unless you want to be.

Everything about this street fair is fun and fantastic. You don't have to drink in a bar, but you totally can if you want to. Photo courtesy of Craig Tanaka and First Friday.

Everything about this street fair is fun and fantastic. You don’t have to drink in a bar, but you totally can if you want to. Photo courtesy of Craig Tanaka and First Friday.

First Friday in the Arts District

When: First Friday of every month at 5 p.m.

The Arts District in Las Vegas is where locals and tourists come together to celebrate local art, eat delicious fried foods and generally have a great time. Street performers fill the area just south of Charleston and just west of Las Vegas Boulevard. And the businesses of the area always make sure the party flows indoors. Every First Friday, bars like Artifice, Velveteen Rabbit, Hop Nuts Brewing, Mingo and Snick’s are all packed with people eager to mingle and drink. The actual theme changes every month, but the atmosphere is always the same—an artsy street fair with good food and great people. The family fun starts at five, and booths sell drinks throughout the evening, but you can always hang out in the bars as late as you want. That’s when all the artists finally get around to drinking anyway.

Comments

I came from a little town in the Midwest. And believe me, I’m never going back. It’s probably nice if you love grass and snow; but I love the lights, the glamour, and the flocks of tourists seeking fun and fortune. Once the sun goes down, I’ll be the first one out hitting the clubs or just wandering the Strip for a little nighttime adventure. Passing through Bond on my way to Lily Bar, or taking a shortcut through Double Helix before landing at Parasol Up/Down, I’m the one you’ll randomly bump into – only sometimes literally – strolling through Sin City’s liquored veins – and loving every minute of it.