10 ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions in Vegas

It’s that time again. It’s almost a new year and that means everyone is thinking about resolutions. We make them every year but they can be pretty hard to keep. Sometimes you just need a little help to get started and that’s where Vegas comes in. Whether you want to lose weight, de-stress, eat healthier or add more excitement to your life in 2014, Vegas is the place to do it.

Here are 10 common resolutions and suggestions on how you can keep them in Vegas:

1.       Lose weight and exercise more: Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Head over to the V Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and take a Stripper 101 class. The striptease cardio and pole dancing class offers women the chance to let loose and unleash their inner bombshells while burning major calories. Students learn sexy striptease moves and lap dance techniques, while working off between 300 to 400 calories in an hour and 15 minutes.

 If you’re looking for something a little tamer, Aria hotel at CityCenter offers an indoor hike.  A fitness teacher will lead you through the hotel past its art installations, restaurants, bars, stores, theater, convention area, casino and outdoor areas.

Yoga with Dolphins, courtesy of The Mirage

At the start of the 60-minute hike, which begins from the Spa at Aria, you’ll get a bottle of water, hand weights and a yoga mat for stretching. In addition to the cardio from walking and stair climbing, you will also benefit from short strength-building exercises at various stops throughout the hike such as push-ups, squats, dips and lunges.

2.       Lower your stress level: Yoga is one of the best ways to chill out and ease stress. Add dolphins into the mix and you have an unbeatable relaxation experience. The Mirage offers Yoga with the Dolphins, a 60-minute yoga workout at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The class is held in an indoor viewing area underneath the water and while you practice yoga you can watch the dolphins float by.  It’ll boost your mood and leave you feeling stress-free.

3.        Eat a healthier diet: Counting calories? Or just want to make some healthier choices at the dinner table? MGM Resorts’ Smart Plate program is here to help. The company has announced the addition of a new program providing guests and visitors delicious and healthy menu items at 700 calories or less per dish. The exclusive calorie-conscious items are available on select in-room dining menus and at participating cafes.

Vegan choices at The Country Club at Wynn

Smart Plate selections, designated on menus with a specialized logo, will be updated frequently, offering guests new choices throughout the year. Some choices include Café Bellagio where you can get grilled Atlantic salmon served with a side of broccolini and topped with yellow tomato and cucumber salsa (690 calories); or Raffles Café at Mandalay Bay, where you can enjoy a blackened ahi tuna sandwich served with a side of fresh cut fruit (510 calories).

Maybe you’re not dieting but just want to try a healthy vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Wynn and Encore hotels offer vegan/vegetarian menus at all of their restaurants. You can enjoy amazing meals with meat and dairy-free ingredients.

4. Make more friends/ be more social: If you want to make some new friends, jump on a party bus and head out for a  VIP Club Crawl . You’ll visit an ultra lounge and three Vegas clubs as your limo party bus takes you around town to places like Lavo, Pure, 1 OAK, LAX, Chateau, Haze, The Bank, Lily Bar & Lounge, Gold Boutique Nightclub & Lounge and Body English.

Your evening will  begin at a swank Vegas ultra lounge where you will be met by a VIP host. After meeting your host and your fellow partiers, you’ll stop at your first nightclub, located in the same hotel as the ultra lounge you just visited.

You’ll stop at three Las Vegas nightclubs throughout your night of dancing and fun. Enjoy VIP service as your host guides you past the lines and into the club within five to 10 minutes of your arrival. When the tour is over, there’s no reason to go home. You and your new friends can stay out on the town all night.

Big Shot

5.  Conquer your fears and put some excitement into your life: Afraid of heights? There’s no better way to conquer your fear than by facing it head on. Head to the top of the Stratosphere Tower and try the thrill rides. Start out with the Big Shot, which launches you 160 feet in the air in 2.5 seconds along the tower’s needle-like top. From there, graduate to X-Scream, a ride that features a 69-foot pivoting track that propels as many as eight passengers almost 30 feet over the edge of the building at 30 mph. Real daredevils will want to try the SkyJump, a “controlled free fall,” with riders attached to a vertical zip line. Brave souls dive 855 feet from the 108th floor of the Stratosphere Tower to a landing mat on the ground.

If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, there are plenty of other places to find excitement in Vegas. How about zooming around a track in an exotic race car? Located at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Exotics Racing school is the ultimate driving experience where you can stop dreaming and start driving. Choose from a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Porsche or Audi, then take it out for the drive of a lifetime on a real racetrack.

Bodies the Exhibition

6.  Quit smoking: Giving up smoking is incredibly difficult. Need some motivation? Visit Bodies the Exhibition at the Luxor. Bodies offers an intricate, 3-D vision of the human form. Visitors get the chance to see real bodies, preserved along with their inner organs. The exhibit showcases 13 whole-body specimens from China and more than 260 organs and partial body specimens. One of the more startling sights in the exhibit is the display of a smoker’s lung in the respiratory section. Visitors can see and compare a healthy lung to a blackened smoker’s lung. After reading some scary, mind-opening facts (like a single pack of cigarettes takes three hours and 40 minutes off your life), you may think twice about puffing. For the guests’ convenience, there is a cigarette disposal bin nearby.

7. Save money: There are lots of ways to save when you come to Vegas. You can often find bargains on shows, hotels, tours and more on VEGAS.com’s Deals page here. Want to watch your dining budget? You can find cheap drinks, steak specials, happy hour deals and more on our dining bargains page here. Believe it or not, there are a lot of fun things to do in Vegas that are completely free. For a list of free Vegas attractions, click here. And for some more advice on staying budget conscious while you’re in town, check our our blog on 20 things to do in Vegas under $20 here.

Shark Reef

8. Spend more quality time with your family:  Coming to Vegas can be a family affair. There are lots of things to keep both the kids and adults happy that will make lasting memories for the whole family. Take your children to see the animals at The Mirage’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat or Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef. They’ll love the free circus acts and the Adventuredome amusement park at Circus Circus and the three stories of chocolate at M&M’s World. Teenagers and young kids alike will be entertained for hours at the Pinball Hall of Fame.

9. Learn something new: There are opportunities to learn all over Las Vegas. The city has a number of educational museums and exhibits. Head to the Luxor to see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, which features more than 300 artifacts as well as replicas from the famous ship. Want to learn something about Las Vegas’ history? The Mob Museum downtown features an inside look at organized crime’s impact on not only Las Vegas, but the world. Learn fascinating facts behind the 50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic in an exhibit at the Venetian. The Springs Preserve is a 180-acre cultural and historic attraction offering state-of-the-art exhibits, galleries,

Springs Preserve

hiking trails, live animal shows and botanical gardens that teach visitors about the city’s rich heritage — while also getting them to think about its future. The 70,000-square-foot Nevada State Museum is also located on the property.

10. Get a makeover / change your look: Want to start 2014 with a new hairstyle? Christophe Salon of Beverly Hills at MGM Grand can help you out. Christophe’s list of clients includes Liv Tyler, Mariah Carey, Pamela Anderson, former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton. Christophe flies in top colorists and stylists from as far away as Paris to give clients the perfect look. You’ll want an outfit to go along with your new hairstyle, so check out a runway show at the Fashion Show mall. Every weekend, catch models strutting down the catwalk donning clothes you can actually buy that day. Think of this as a live fashion look book. If you don’t want to commit to a new wardrobe, head over to The Cosmopolitan to Rent the Runway, a shop where you can rent designer dresses without breaking the bank.


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 Vegas.com, 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.