It started with a simple question. I asked my mom what she wanted to do to celebrate her 60th birthday. I thought maybe we’d get our nails done or take in a movie.
I was wrong. So, so wrong.
Instead, it was two single girls on a Sunday afternoon flight to Las Vegas. Because, why not?
Vegas has a rather sordid reputation so I was a little nervous as I packed my bags and headed off for three days of assorted licentiousness. As it turns out, there is plenty to do in Sin City that involved keeping our clothes on.
1. Breakfast at Crepe Expectations
Featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Crepe Expectations is unobtrusively located in a shopping center about 10 miles off the Strip. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch and features an extensive menu of crepe options that are sure to please every palate. For our trip, we tried The Marco Polo, barely spicy Italian sausage, fluffy scrambled eggs and jack cheese with a spinach add-in, and added spicy chorizo to The Sunday Morning with eggs, potatoes, and cheese.
The food was divine, the weather was perfect, and the outdoor seating area was surprisingly tranquil. What really impressed me, though, was the service. Co-Owner Jenn Remillard took our order and made the suggestions for add-ons that really made our selections sing. She was so sweet and welcoming that I felt like we were old friends by the time we left.
2. Hoover Dam
A short drive out of Vegas proper takes you to the historic Hoover Dam, which straddles the state line from Nevada to Arizona. We parked and walked across the dam, which boasts scenic views and impressively enormous infrastructure. There is also a monument that depicts the exact star placements when the dam was built, exciting the science geek within. The monument features an explanation of how the cosmos was recorded and ends with these words:
When in the course of time the composition of our world and those other worlds in space be more fully known, record it here for future men to see and have seen to speculate, investigate, and carry on the search.
No joke, shivers up my spine.
3. Stand Up Comedy
There are constantly comedy shows going on around town, but we had a great time at The Improv at Harrah’s. Closed Monday nights, the Improv runs shows Tuesday through Saturday. A great tip for scoring tickets at a great deal is to find one of the Tix4Tonight kiosks scattered around the city. Show tickets, restaurant vouchers, and more, it definitely stretches your vacation budget a lot further. You can get tickets up to a day in advance, so it’s great if you have a relatively flexible schedule.
Once you make a purchase, you become a VIP so you can jump the line on successive visits.
4. Rock of Ages – The Musical
The show was fantastic, though not exactly kid-friendly. Currently on at the Venetian, Rock of Ages tells the story of a local hang out under threat of buy out, a couple starving artists with stars in their eyes, and a rock star who has forgotten where he came from. Peppered with sometimes touching, often hysterical covers of your favorite songs from the 80’s, it’s part romantic comedy, part coming of age, completely fun.
*Absolutely no photography allowed (they are watching!) so take your selfies outside before you find your seats.*
5. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
Mom getting close to her boyfriend…
It’s corny, but it’s still awesome. Wax figures of celebrities from music, film, sports, and television make you feel like you’re standing next to the real thing, without trying to make awkward conversation. Snuggle up to George Clooney or Channing Tatum, go head to head with Mike Tyson, or jump up and down on Oprah’s couch. The museum also features a Marvel 4D Experience which includes some of your favorite animated superheroes and involves 3D glasses and getting a little bit wet.
Sure, there are a lot of questionable activities in Sin City, but there is also a ton of fun things to do that have nothing to do with Chippendales.