Our top Labor Day weekend picks

Labor Day weekend can make you feel kind of melancholy. You have to go back to school. You have to say goodbye to summer…and wearing white clothing.

But don’t shed too many tears. Labor Day also means you can have that one last weekend hurrah in Vegas — and you get a bonus day to party.

Vegas pulls out all the stops for holiday weekends and the ways in which you can have a big blow out are endless so we’ve helped you narrow it down. Here are our picks for what to do in Vegas this Labor Day:

Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel

Party by the pool

The last days of summer are always best spent by a pool, preferably with a drink in hand. Grab your cutest bikini and get yourself to Rehab, the wild pool party at the Hard Rock Hotel. They’ve lined up two of music’s biggest names for Labor Day. Jason Derulo kicks the party off Aug. 30 and Puff Daddy keeps it going on Aug. 31.

If EDM is your idea of heaven, Wet Republic at MGM Grand is the place for you. The pool club has some of the world’s hottest DJ talent on deck for Labor Day. Superstar DJ Steve Aoki starts the weekend off Aug. 29. Dutch DJ Tiësto performs Aug. 30 and Martin Garrix spins on Aug. 31. The weekend comes to a close Sept. 1 with Calvin Harris, who will undoubtedly have everyone dancing to his smash hit “Summer” one last time before fall.

Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay also has plenty of music on its Labor Day menu. On Aug. 30, Swedish DJ and EDM producer Alesso heats things up. Singer/rapper Trey Songz performs at the beach club Aug. 31.

Cabana at DayDream Pool at M Resort.

Chill by the pool

Pools aren’t just for debauchery in Vegas. Sometimes you want something a bit more casual and relaxing. If that’s you, the M Resort has the perfect party. The DayDream Pool Club will throw a “Laidback Labor Day” bash on Monday, Sept. 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Revelers can kick back with music by DJ Shy, partake in beer pong games or just lounge away the day as they enjoy $5 off pitchers of cocktails. Bonus: You’ll probably be making some new friends if you’ve got a whole pitcher of cocktails.

The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan has found an ingenious way to combine three of our favorite things: pools, cocktails and movies. During Dive In Movies the hotel’s marquee transforms into a colossal movie screen, showing a double feature of “Kung Fu Panda” and “Skyfall” on Sept. 1. Take a dip or lounge poolside as you sip on cocktails and enjoy classic movie snacks.

Restaurants, shops and the High Roller at The Linq.

Dine al fresco

What’s better than eating a really great meal? Eating it outside. If you live in the Midwest or on the East Coast, the balmy Labor Day temps  in Vegas could be some of the last beautiful weather you see for awhile, so you might as well take advantage.

The Monte Carlo has a new outdoor plaza boasting several restaurants with patios. Try Yusho for creative takes on Japanese street food; Double Barrel Roadhouse for Southern-inspired comfort food or 800 Degrees for gourmet pizza.

Be sure to stop at BLVD Creamery for dessert. We all know ice cream is good, but booze-infused ice cream is really, really good. The shop sells spiked ice creams made with champagne, wine and even Shock Top beer.

The Linq, a pedestrian-friendly entertainment district on the Strip, is another great place to enjoy patio dining. The Yard House, Brooklyn Bowl and Chayo restaurants all have second-floor patios that offer amazing views of the High Roller observation wheel.

Speaking of the High Roller, be sure to take a spin on it this weekend. This will be your last chance to enjoy summertime prices. During the daytime, an adult ticket is currently $19.95 plus fees. After Labor Day it’ll increase to $24.95 plus fees.

Ed Sheeran performs at The Cosmopolitan.

Rock out with your favorite band

Music fans have a lot to be happy about this weekend. Sheerios will be out in full force for popular British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran, who has two shows at The Cosmopolitan Aug. 29 – 30. The Cosmopolitan also hosts country superstar Keith Urban Aug. 31. Indie rock fans can catch The Avett Brothers for three nights at Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq Aug. 29 – 31. Soulful singer David Gray will have the ladies swooning at the Hard Rock Hotel Aug. 30.

And, if you’re in town on Thursday to get your Labor Day party started early, you can shake it with pop diva Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood Aug. 28.

SLS Las Vegas is now open.

Check out the new kid on the Strip

We like shiny new things in Vegas. And the shiniest thing right now is the new SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

Nightlife/hotel/dining gurus SBE converted the former Sahara Hotel & Casino into a swanky, modern resort, which officially opened to the public Aug. 23. Labor Day weekend will be full of grand opening weekend festivities at the property’s three nightlife venues.

The Sayers Club, one of Hollywood’s hottest live music venues, opens its doors at SLS Aug. 28 with Swedish pop sensation, Tove Lo, who will christen the venue with her addicting songs. Battle Fridays debuts Aug. 29 featuring up-and-coming DJ/drummer duos from around the world showcasing their skills simultaneously in an epic music battle.

Sessions at The Sayers Club Aug. 30 – 31 features live sets by some of the hottest vocal talent in the industry alongside the incredible house band. Every night’s a mystery — the crowd will never know who is going to be gracing the stage.

SLS Las Vegas opens the doors to Foxtail with an opening weekend celebration of international talent including Swedish starlets Rebecca & Fiona Aug. 28 and Afro-Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz Aug. 30 who will have guests singing along to their chart-topping summer hit “Am I Wrong.”

LiFE Nightclub at SLS Las Vegas features renowned DJ/Production team Deep Dish for its opening weekend lineup on Sunday, Aug. 31. House music pioneers, Sharam Tayebi and Ali “Dubfire” Shirazinia, will join the non-stop dance party and present an electrifying set to close out Labor Day weekend.

Be sure to check out the restaurants  at SLS while you’re there. The pancakes at Griddle Café will blow your mind.

Primm Valley Casino resorts will host an Aug. 31 fireworks display.

Ooh and aah over fireworks

Labor Day isn’t one of those holidays that screams fireworks like say, the 4th of July, but that didn’t deter the folks at Primm Valley Casino Resorts. They’ll be hosting their second annual Labor Day fireworks display at dusk on Aug. 31. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to secure a viewing location and to enjoy the fun. The best vantage point is located in the Star of the Desert Arena parking lot behind Buffalo Bill’s in Primm, Nev.

If you get there really early you can also take a heart-stopping ride on the Desperado roller coaster, which reaches speeds close to 90 mph and hurtles you down from a 209-foot peak.

For a complete list of Labor Day events in Vegas, go to http://www.vegas.com/laborday/


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.