Vegas Weekender: Hot headliners, film premieres and sensational food and spa treats

A month of summer is already behind us. If you haven’t been to Las Vegas yet, then now is definitely the time to go. Don’t let the triple-digit temperatures intimidate you – the events are just as sizzling, so pack your summer gear and head to Vegas.


See all your favorite performances by the talented impressionists at "Legends in Concert" at the Las Vegas Hilton.


If you want to hear a handful of your favorite songs all in one show, what better way to do this than seeing “Legends in Concert”  inside Harrah’s? Tribute artists include Elvis, The Temptations, Barry White, Dolly Parton, and Madonna, to name a few. The show runs from Sunday through Friday, with performances at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The show has a rotating line-up of tribute artists and can change without notice. 

Don’t miss the 2011 Las Vegas Film Festival at the Las Vegas Hilton July 14 – 17. This four-day event showcases more than 40 original films and documentaries, adding a touch of culture and creativity to the Las Vegas entertainment scene.

Films include the Las Vegas premiere of “The Story,” starring ski legends and Olympic gold medalists Bode Miller and Lindsay Vonn; a celebrity tribute and award presentation to actor Michael Madsen, star of “Reservoir Dogs,” “Donnie Brasco” and “Kill Bill;” and a tribute to celebrity animator Chuck Jones, the genius behind “Looney Tunes,” “Tom and Jerry” and “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!”

For the second year in a row, the festival also includes two student film blocks showcasing a collection of short films by student filmmakers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the College of Southern Nevada. Tickets for the festival are $8 for individual screenings and $25 for a five-film mini pass. In addition, the festival offers all-day film passes for $50, an all-access pass for $100 and an all-access plus pass for $150.

While you’re at the Las Vegas Hilton, get a dose of laughs with comedian Shayma Tash performing from Wednesday, July 13 through Sunday, July 17 at 10 p.m. The jokes continue with performances by David Spade at the Venetian on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16. The show starts at 9 p.m.

Laugh with comedian Darren Carter this Saturday, July 16 or rock out with ‘90s alternative group Smash Mouth at Sunday, July 17 inside Hard Rock Café, located on the Las Vegas Strip.


Get a dose of old-school rock with Widespread Panic playing at the Hard Rock this Friday and Saturday.

Rock band Widespread Panic celebrates its 25-year anniversary and performs at The Joint, By Rogue on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16 inside the Hard Rock Hotel. Special guests include Karl Denson’s Universe on July 15 and Lotus on July 16.

Relive the ‘80s and get “so excited” with performances by The Pointer Sisters at the Orleans this Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17. Show time for both dates is 8 p.m.

Legendary folk singer/songwriter Bob Dylan performs at the Palms this Saturday, July 16 at 8 p.m.

Alternative rock band Neon Trees performs at Red Rock’s Revolution summer concert series this Friday, July 15. Patrons can enjoy drink specials until 8 p.m. and a live DJ set from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The concert is located at the poolside Sandbar.

See DJ MIKEATTACK and OB-One during CLASH Fridays at Rain nightclub inside the Palms. The party starts at 10 p.m. On Saturday, July 16, night clubbers can check out Zen Freeman and Stellar. If hip-hop is more up your alley, DJ Jazzy Jeff spins on the same night just a few steps away at Moon nightclub.


If you want to master the technique of creating French cuisine, Mon Ami Gabi offers a cooking class this  Saturday, July 16. Learn how to prepare a three-course dinner with the restaurant’s executive chef, Terry Lynch. Learn the secrets behind some of his signature dishes such as the refreshing Ahi tuna tartare with avocado and savory grilled chicken paillard with summer salad and warm lemon vinaigrette.

Learn how to make this culinary masterpiece during Mon Ami Gabi's cooking class this Saturday.

You’ll also get the inside scoop on how to whip up a scrumptious vanilla pound cake with ripe farmers market berries and Crème Chantilly. Impress your friends at your next summer soiree – every attendee receives a recipe booklet to try these dishes at home. The class is from 10 a.m. – noon and the cost is $50 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required, so please call Mon Ami Gabi at (702) 944-4224.

Even if you’re not at home, you can still enjoy a barbecue at Stripburger’s “Blues, Brews and BBQ” on Sunday, July 17 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. For $25, diners can enjoy in an irresistible barbecue buffet and two featured drinks. Specials also include Sierra Nevada beer and Hpnotiq cocktails, each $5. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Stripburger is located on the Strip at Fashion Show Mall.

Summer spa bliss

You can never experience too many spa services this season. Just in time for summer, Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian and Palazzo pampers spa goers with treatments infused with summer fruits and fragrances.

Celebrate summer and Indulge in July’s Banana Split ice cream pedicure. This “sundae for the feet” includes Havana Banana ice cream, strawberry kiwi sherbet, a chocolate foot mask and vanilla body icing. The service begins with a moisturizing foot bath with a scoop of ice cream.  Next, your feet are cleansed and exfoliated with a scoop of sherbet, followed by a foot mask. The service ends with a moisturizing body icing and toenail polish application. Ice cream pedicures are $95 during the week and $100 during the weekends.

If your face is craving moisture due to the summer heat, the Soothing Fruit Facial sloughs off sun damage and helps skin hold its natural moisture. The service includes lemon, mandarin and papaya and finishes off with a hydrating masque. This treatment is $160 (Tuesday through Thursday) and $170 (Friday through Monday).

Other services include the aromatic Sweet Summer Massage, which features certified-organic soybean oil infused with a cucumber and mint fragrance. You’ll have leftover oil, which will be perfect to use after a day at the pool. This treatment is $155 (Tuesday through Thursday) and $165 (Friday through Monday). The organic grapefruit scrub features organic fair-trade cane sugar and Hawaiian Alaea red sea salts to remove rough, dull skin and organic shea butter, cupuacu butter and soothing passionflower extract to leave the skin baby soft. This treatment is $175 (Tuesday through Thursday) and $185 (Friday through Monday).


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.