Must dos this weekend in Vegas: Dec. 11 – 13, 2015

Whoa! We can’t believe Christmas and New Year’s Eve are both less than a month away. December in Vegas is always eventful with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo events and many other festivities leading up to the holidays. So if you’re in Vegas this weekend, we got something for everyone.

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Alabama, photo courtesy of Vegas.com.

Boot-stompin’ fun with country shows

This is the second and final weekend of NFR, so you better enjoy it. You still have time to gallop to the National Finals Rodeo at Thomas and Mack Center now through Saturday, Dec. 12.

In celebration of all things country, Vegas has some shows for you: Southern classic rock band Alabama sings all the hits on Thursday, Dec. 10 and Friday, Dec. 11 at The Grand Event Center at Golden Nugget. Both shows start at 10 p.m. For more Southern rock music, see Charlie Daniels at Orleans Friday, Dec. 11 and Saturday, Dec. 12 (7 p.m. both nights). Gary Allan performs on these same nights at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel, both shows starting at 9:30 p.m.

Rodeo fans can meet some cowboys this year at Double Barrel Roadhouse inside Monte Carlo on Friday, Dec. 11. These NFR stars will sign autographs starting at 10 p.m. While you’re here, watch country singer Justin Adams perform a 90-minute set.

Head to MGM Grand now through Dec. 12 and check out the Crown Royal Gold Buckle Zone inside the resort’s conference center. Activities include live feeds of the rodeo, fashion shows, dancing, a mechanical bull and complimentary country music. The area transforms to a late-night party zone at 11:30 p.m. Speaking of nighttime parties, check out Losers Bar also in MGM Grand. Losers Bar gives folks a taste of Nashville’s nightlife scene, complete with live scheduled music.

You can find more NFR festivities here. Yee haw!

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Photo courtesy of Vegas.com.

Ultimate Fighter Championship bring a knock-out weekend

One month later and we’re still on a high from watching Holly Holm beat undefeated champion Ronda Rousey. Well, the fun’s not over folks: Cowboys aren’t the only ones turning it up in Vegas this weekend. These fights are sure to give your weekend that adrenaline rush.

Watch as Frankie “The Answer” Edgar and Chad “Money” Mendes battle for the Featherweight title at this year’s UFC Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The fight begins this Friday, Dec. 11 at 3:30 p.m.

After this fight, Hyde Bellagio throws an over-the-top celebration starting at 10:30 p.m. The nightclub’s after party will have appearances by UFC Octagon Girls including Arianny Celeste, Chrissy Blair, Vanessa Hanson and UFC personality Kenda Perez.

UFC 194 courtesy photo.

UFC 194 courtesy photo.

For UFC 194, see UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo fight UFC world champion Conor McGregor inside MGM Grand Garden Area this Saturday, Dec. 12. The co-main event also features UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman as he battles No. 1 contender Luke Rockhold for the UFC Middleweight title. Doors for the event open at 3 p.m.

Save your energy — after the fight on Saturday, McGregor hosts his official post-fight after party at Foxtail nightclub inside SLS hotel. UFC Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer is also scheduled to appear here.

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“So You Think You Can Dance” contestants take the stage with street vs. stage techniques. Photo courtesy of Vegas.com.

Dance, rock out or toast to Ol’ Blue Eyes

Sin City has huge events for cowboys and UFC fans, but also for everything in between.

Are you a huge fan of “So You Think You Can Dance?” So are we. We’re so stoked this season’s “So You Think You Can Dance” contestants will show off their “Stage vs. Street” talents at The Pearl inside The Palms on Friday, Dec. 11. Whether you’re a fan of hip-hop, contemporary or both, you’re in for a real treat. The energy-packed show starts at 8 p.m.

If you’re a Deadhead, you won’t want to miss Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at Brooklyn Bowl. The quintet will play all your favorite Grateful Dead songs this Friday, Dec. 11. Doors open at 8 p.m., with the show starting at 9:30 p.m.

You can always feed your holiday fix with a live performance of The Nutcracker starting Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. inside The Smith Center. The featured production will be in Vegas on select dates through Saturday, Dec. 19.

In case you missed the exclusive tribute performance at Wynn Las Vegas last week, you can still celebrate the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra. The legendary icon’s birthday is actually this Saturday, Dec. 12. Toast to his memory at Franklin bar inside the Delano. This 21-and-older event will feature live music inspired by the Rat Pack era and drinks complete with festive – wait for it – fedora ice cubes. We’re sure Frank (and Matt Goss!) would be proud.  Order Frank’s Drink, made with four ice cubes, two fingers of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and a splash of water served in a commemorative glass. Bottles of Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select are also for sale. Admission to this celebration is free.

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DMX, photo courtesy of Kirvin Doak.

DMX-mas and other X-mas parties

“Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here!” There’s no denying it. Whether you bumped this popular DMX anthem in your car or at a house party, you couldn’t help but get your dance on. And have you seen the DMX “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” video? (If not, go ahead and watch it. We’ll wait.) OK, back to business: Grammy-nominated rap legend DMX kicks off the Christmas season with a wild holiday industry party at Foxtail nightclub on Sunday, Dec. 13.  In honor of the holiday, DMX performs a variety of his biggest hits. We really, really hope his rendition of “Ruldolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” makes the cut. Tickets start at $20 and doors open at 10 p.m.

If you wanted to get an early start in partying, Hyde Bellagio hosts its Nightmare Before Christmas-themed party on the same night at 6 p.m. (Lucky you — that means it’s possible you can hit up both.) If you’ve ever been to a Hyde party, then you know it’s a lot more fun if you dress up. For this night, Hyde welcomes sexy skeletons and mischievous elves.

For another wintry celebration, Cabo Wabo Cantina inside Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops offers two signature cocktails now through Sunday, Jan. 31. Try the Red Nose Rocker, a combination of Espolón tequila, amaretto, cranberry juice, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; and the Mistletoe, a seasonal blend of Skky cranberry, Midori, apple cider and citrus. These drinks are $13 each.

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Photo courtesy of Shake Shack.

Holiday treats we’re ready to eat

Now that we got you thinking about holiday drinks, we can’t leave out Shake Shack’s yummy surprises. Located inside New York-New York hotel, Shake Shack offers a trio of holiday themed shakes now through Jan. 3, 2016. Choose from gingerbread (gingerbread-spiced frozen custard topped with whipped cream and cinnamon cookie crumble); chocolate peppermint (frozen chocolate custard blended with peppermint and topped with whipped cream and crumbled chocolate covered candy canes); or Christmas cookie (frozen sugar cookie custard topped with whipped cream and red and green sprinkles), pictured above. Each shake is $5.75.

Hanukkah celebrators can indulge in the Hanukoncrete which features vanilla custard, strawberry puree and glazed doughnut ($4.75 for a single, $6.25 for a double). This is available through Monday, Dec. 14.  And if you’re looking to stay warm, the salted caramel hot chocolate ($3.75) is available now through March 31, 2016.

Take something back home with you: This year’s holiday ornament is a custom made wooden penguin. Mast Brothers chocolate bars (which includes notes of cherry malt and vanilla) are also for sale.

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Photo courtesy of Rí Rá.

Afternoon tea time

There’s no better way to end your weekend than sharing your wild stories over tea, right? Make room in your schedule for afternoon tea time. Now available at Rí Rá inside Mandalay Bay, this Irish pub introduces a traditional afternoon tea menu with a variety of leaf teas, finger sandwiches, homemade scones and decadent desserts. Tea time is available daily from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Priced at $22 per person, afternoon tea includes six finger sandwiches, two fruit scones, four desserts and a pot of tea for two. Finger sandwiches include egg mayonnaise, ham and tomato and Irish cheddar and Ballymaloe Relish. Tea time gets sweeter with freshly baked homemade fruit scones (served with fresh cream and raspberry or strawberry Irish preserve) and miniature desserts such as napoleons, raspberry roulade, fruit tartlets and chocolate-dipped macaroons. The pub’s range of full leaf teas include a wide variety including Early Greyer black, Wuyi Oolong, The People’s Green and much more.

Champagne tea is also available: It features an afternoon tea meal followed by a glass of champagne for $30 per person. Not too hungry?  For $8, you can partake in cream tea, which includes a freshly baked scone with cream and Irish preserve served with your  tea of choice.

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Art work by Paige O’Hara / Photo courtesy of Magic Memories.

Disney fans, rejoice

We’re big Disney fans over here (“Beauty and the Beast” in particular), so we couldn’t be more thrilled that Town Square is opening Magical Memories, featuring Disney fine art. Magical Memories showcases limited edition and hand-signed artwork inspired by Disney’s iconic films. The gallery celebrates its Town Square grand opening from Friday Dec. 11 through Sunday Dec. 13.  See artwork, catch live performance paintings and meet Disney artists, animators and voice actors.

You’ll also get a chance to meet Paige O’Hara, the original voice of Belle from the 1992 Oscar-nominated animation. She’ll also be doing live painting demonstrations and autograph signing for fans throughout the day. We won’t blame you if you leave here singing. “Oooh…isn’t this alarming? Who would have ever thought that this could be…”

The Town Square gallery is right next to California Pizza Kitchen. This is Magical Memories’ second location in town.

Find out even more awesome things to do in Vegas while you’re here.

Comments

Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.