Vegas Weekender: Visit Vegas and bring home a T-Rex

Can you believe it’s already October? Neither can we. But even with summer officially behind us, Vegas continues to sizzle with hot events, concerts and parties this weekend.

Attractions

Autumn means colorful gardens and Halloween fun

Sampson

Celebrate the fall by taking a trip to the Bellagio Conservatory. Accented with gold, scarlet and amber hues, the autumn display captures the sights and colors of the season. The Conservatory features everything from a 35-foot-tall cider mill powered by a gentle stream to an enchanted “talking” tree. This 10-foot-tall mythical tree made of recycled paper and wood, sits atop a bed of gigantic pumpkins. The Conservatory’s autumn theme is on display through Nov. 28, 2009.

Can’t get enough of gardens? On Saturday, Oct. 3, the Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd., hosts “In the Gardens: The Edible Garden.” This session focuses on winter greens and creating your own salad bar. You’ll learn how to grow your own tasty garden with minimal tools and time. The class is $27 and will run from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

While Halloween isn’t until the end of the month, Fright Dome at Circus Circus’ Adventuredome opens to the public on Oct. 2. With five haunted houses as well as freak shows, Fright Dome isn’t for the faint of heart.

Fright Dome is open from 7 p.m. – midnight on select nights Oct 2 – 31. General admission tickets are $34.95.

Up for auction: T-Rex and friends at the Venetian

Speaking of scary, you’ll get the chance to see one of the most frightening creatures ever to roam the Earth. This Saturday, Bonhams & Butterfields will hold its first-ever natural history auction at the Venetian on Oct. 3. The centerpiece is “Samson,” a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. This rare 66-million-year-old dinosaur is one of the three most complete specimens ever found. To get an idea of Samson’s size, the dinosaur measures 40 feet in length and is tall enough to look through a second-story window.

The starting bid for Samson is to be determined. But Sue, the T-Rex skeleton that sold in 1997, fetched a whopping $8.3 million. Even if you’re not planning to take home a T-Rex for your own personal use, it is free to view the exhibit, located next to the hotel’s front desk area.

Shows

Rock all night, laugh all day with concerts,comedians

Slash & Friends are coming to the Mirage at 9 p.m. Oct. 2. The all-star performance includes Jason Bonham, Rocco Deluca, Tommy Lee, Courtney Love, Rick Nielsen, Joe Perry, Nicole Scherzinger, Matt Sorum, Rob Zombie, Billy Boy and host Kiefer Sutherland.

Start the weekend off with Dead by Sunrise featuring Chester Bennington of Linkin Park Oct. 1 at Hard Rock’s Wasted Space.

If country is more up your alley, you can catch Randy Travis Oct. 2 at Texas Station and Blake Shelton Oct. 3 at the Star of the Desert Arena at Primm.

Other headlining acts this weekend include Barry Manilow in “ULTIMATE MANILOW: The Hits” at 8 p.m. at the Las Vegas Hilton Oct. 1 – 3. Tickets start at $77.45. At Caesars Palace, Cher has audiences dancing in the aisles Oct. 3 – 4. Tickets start at $117 and show time is 7:30 p.m.

If you’d rather save the night for laughs, see comedian Jon Lovitz at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Excalibur. Tickets are $59.40. Jay Leno is at the Mirage Oct. 2 – 3 at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $91.90.

Events

Get inked or un-inked at “Biggest Tattoo Show”

Learn more about the art of tattooing at Mario Barth’s “The Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth” at Mandalay Bay Oct. 2 – 4. The convention showcases the latest trends, fashion and techniques in the tattoo industry. Seminars, workshops, live music, celebrity guests, tattoo training, a historic tattoo museum and even on-site laser removal will be available.

For $500, tattoo artists can work with Mario Barth one on one. Weekend passes are $100. Daily passes are $45.

Dining

The spirit of Aloha keeps summer alive

Miss summer and aren’t ready for fall? Catch the spirit of summer all year long at Planet Hollywood’s Hawaiian Tropic Zone where bikini-clad waitresses greet and serve you. HTZ features Aloha Hour, offering sizzling happy hour specials. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, HTZ offers half off all appetizers as well as a selection of well drinks and $10 pitchers of Coors and Coors Light. Catch up on the biggest sporting events and games on the venue’s 36-foot-tall plasma screen wall.

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