Vegas Weekender: Catch the Big Game and more!

With the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers set to square off in Sunday’s highly anticipated football match-up, you’ll find a good time on tap in many of the bars and sports books in Las Vegas. But the Big Game isn’t all that’s happening this weekend. Several other sporting events are scheduled and many big entertainers will be hitting the city’s showrooms as well. Here’s a look at all the action!


Joe Rogan

Comedian Joe Rogan will appear at the Mandalay Bay Events Center (photo courtesy of

In the mood to laugh? Joe Rogan, best known for hosting the reality TV series “Fear Factor,” brings his edgy brand of comedy to the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Feb. 1 at 9 p.m.

Comedian Tim Allen is returning to the Sands Showroom in The Venetian on Feb. 1 – 2. Known for his role on the TV sitcom “Home Improvement,” he can also wield a microphone for major laughs. Allen goes onstage at 10 p.m. nightly.

Double up in hysterics at “Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza” on Feb. 1 – 2 in the Hollywood Theatre at MGM Grand. Carey, host of “The Price Is Right,” will gather a group of his funny friends (the Improv All-Stars) for a no-holds-barred evening of improvisation. Their antics get under way at 11:30 p.m. nightly.

Rounding out the city’s visiting funny guys is Daniel Tosh, who stars in “Tosh.O,” a show he created for Comedy Central. He’s coming to the Terry Fator Theatre on Feb. 1 – 2 as part of The Mirage’s Aces of Comedy series. Tosh will take the mic at 10 p.m. nightly.

George Strait and Martina McBride

George Strait and Martina McBride are coming to the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Calling all country music fans! Legendary artist George Strait is bringing The Cowboy Rides Away tour to the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. He’s had 59 No. 1 hits and sold more than 65 million albums. Strait also announced this will be his last tour. He’ll be joined by special guest Martina McBride, a four-time winner of the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year title.

Another music genius, Carlos Santana, can be heard at the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay on Feb. 1 – 2 at 7 p.m. nightly. This engagement, “An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live – Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow,” is part of a two-year residency at the club that he began in 2012.

Take advantage of a free concert featuring Smashing Alice at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Feb. 2 at 10 p.m. The Las Vegas band will play a selection hard-rocking covers.            

The Big Game on Feb. 3

Head to the Silverton, where you can enjoy the “Big Game – Big Easy-Style.” Six giant screens will be set up in the Veil Pavilion, and guests can place bets using Cantor Gaming’s Mobile Sports Wagering system. A drawing will be held featuring a grand prize trip for two to New Orleans on April 13 to see George Strait and Martina McBride in concert. Admission is free, but there are a variety of food and drink packages ranging from $20 (for either all-you-can-eat or all-you-can-drink access) to $35 (for both). The action gets underway at 2:30 p.m.

Crossroads at House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay is throwing a Big Game party. The restaurant will be transformed into a football lover’s paradise with an all-you-can-eat buffet, an open bar and multiple screens for viewing. The cost is $85 per person. Or there’s a VIP lounge package for $1,000 that also includes your own couch, a private TV and a personal keg for up to eight guests.

The Mirage Race and Sports Book

The Mirage's Race & Sports Book is hosting Big Game viewing specials.

The Mirage’s Race & Sports Book is another great spot for watching the Big Game. Kick back on plush leather couches and take in 10,000 square feet of big screens. Among the beverage packages available are a bucket of beer, Absolut cocktails, featured wines and Patron bottle service. Or try the “Cheering Fuel” for $10, which consists of a hot dog, beer and potato chips.

Go to The Pub at Monte Carlo for the All-You-Can-Eat Tailgate Buffet stocked with Buffalo wings, chili garlic wings, sliders, crab cakes, Pub crunchy potatoes, assorted flatbreads and more. There will even be build-your-own nachos and hot dog stations. In addition, there’s an open bar showcasing more than 110 premium draft beers, 12 premium spirits, five red wines and six white wines. The game will be shown on a 20-foot projector screen, three 10-foot projector screens and 52 televisions. Each fan will receive a raffle ticket upon entry, and drawings will be held at the end of each quarter and during halftime. Options range in cost from $60 (for the all-you-can-eat, walk-in package) to $325 (for the all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink and VIP sofa seating package, by reservation only). The fun begins at noon.

Fans will be able to indulge themselves at The Sporting House Bar & Grill in New York-New York. The restaurant boasts more than 130 HDTVs, two 16-foot HD screens and surround sound for the best Big Game viewing possible. Delight in an all-you-can-eat buffet with build-your-own nachos and baked potatoes, hot dogs, bratwursts, chili and novelty ice cream bars. The Open Standard Bar Package is $195, while the Premium Bar Packages start at $225. Doors open at 11 a.m.

Food and drink aplenty will be on hand at the party in Luxor’s Public House. An all-you-can-eat buffet will contain fan favorites like jalapeño poppers, burger sliders and home-style mac ’n’ cheese. The game will be broadcast on 22 HD televisions as well as a television wall above the bar that measures six by 14 feet. Packages range from $55 for the buffet only to $255 for the buffet, an open bar and guaranteed seating. The restaurant opens at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays.

There are special showings going on in several of the restaurants at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. Watch the game on big-screen TVs located in Allegro (next to the race and sports book), Society Café, the Eastside Lounge and the Lobby Bar & Café, where there will either be an all-you-can-eat buffet or à la carte menu selections.  There is a $95 to $125 minimum spend required per person. Reservations are suggested and available starting at 1 p.m.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Big Game-inspired sweets from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts at the Castle Walk Food Court inside Excalibur

Score a treat and a great deal at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in the Castle Walk Food Court located inside Excalibur. It’s offering Big Game-themed specials (today and all weekend). Indulge in football-shaped doughnuts decorated in purple and black for Baltimore Ravens fans and red and gold for San Francisco 49ers supporters. They’re only $1.90 each!

Station Casinos is offering a variety of choices for viewing the NFL championship game at many of its properties. A good one to try is at the Louie Anderson Theater in Palace Station, which begins at noon. For $30 ($20 in advance at the rewards center), you get admission, an all-you-can-eat buffet and one bucket of beer (four bottles). Similarly, Kixx in Boulder Station is hosting a party with no cover charge that starts at 2 p.m. For $25, you can tuck into a buffet loaded with stadium food and guzzle down three drinks.

For a complete listing of Big Game viewing parties in Las Vegas, click here.

Special Events

Interested in arts and culture? Downtown’s First Friday festival is on Feb. 1. This month the theme is the “Art of Romance.” Check out hundreds of vendors and more than 75 artists with someone special. There will be 15 live bands and DJs on four different stages, along with at least 25 food trucks. Other highlights include a massive hopscotch party and Green Street, where patrons can learn about renewable energy, water conservation and loving the environment. Designed for families, KidZone presented by The Chuck Jones Experience will feature art lessons from animators. First Friday runs from 5 – 10 p.m. with free shuttle service available from 5 – 11 p.m. There is no admission cost.

UFC 156:  Aldo vs Edgar

UFC 156 with Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar comes to Mandalay Bay.

Sports hungry Vegas visitors are in luck this weekend. UFC 156 is taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Feb. 2. The featherweight title fight is between reigning champ Jose Aldo and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Two other match-ups are scheduled for the octagon. Alistair Overeem will battle Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, while “Suga” Rashad Evans meets Rogerio “Lil Nog” Nogueira. Doors open at 3 p.m., and the main bout starts at 7 p.m.

Or fight fans may want to see Frankie “Pitbull” Gomez vs. Lanard Lane, headlining Golden Boy Promotions’ debut event at The Cosmopolitan on Feb. 2. Another co-featured fight that night – in association with Mayweather Promotions – pits the undefeated Mickey Bey Jr. against 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the hard-hitting action begins at 7 p.m. It will also be televised live on FOX Sports Networks.

Daylife and Nightlife

Blondes vs Brunettes Bowl at TAO

The Blondes vs Brunettes Bowl at TAO Nightclub in The Venetian.

For some sexy fun before the Big Game, stop by TAO Nightclub in The Venetian on Jan. 31. It will be hosting the Blondes vs. Brunettes Bowl. A contest will be held with a $5,000 prize going to the hottest blonde- or brunette-paired girl-on-girl kiss. DJ Five is providing the night’s music. Doors open at 10 p.m.

Or get into the spirit of the Big Game with Ghost Bowl at GBDC in the Palms on Feb. 2 at 1 p.m. The dayclub in the resort’s popular Ghostbar is offering an afternoon extravaganza celebrating football. The party will also include adult-friendly piñatas, jeweled beer bongs, sassy go-go dancers, music by world-renowned DJs, delicious food and much more.

There will also be loads of hot women at 1 OAK inside The Mirage on Feb. 2. The Tropic Beauty Model Search is being held here. The event commences at 10:30 p.m.

Super Moon Saturday at Moon Nightclub in the Palms is featuring Maxim Girls Liliana Nova, Sara Balint and Korrina Rico on Feb. 2 at 10:30 p.m. DJ Presto One will be at the turntables.

Enjoy house music in all forms at Body English inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. On Feb. 2 listen to sounds by Stefano Noferini, and on Feb. 3 Peanut Butter Wolf is at the helm. Doors open at 10 p.m. on both nights.


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+.