Seven Great Dates

Maybe you just met last night. Or maybe you’re tired of the same-old Saturday night routine. Either way, kick-start your relationship with these outings that will take you from one end of the Valley to the other.

Have the bartender at the Griffin mix your cocktail of choice. | Photo by Jon Estrada

Have the bartender at the Griffin mix your cocktail of choice. | Photo by Jon Estrada

The Feeding Frenzy

For food lovers and those who want to explore new restaurants without committing to a full dinner, newcomer Lip Smacking Foodie Tours offers a three-hour Savors of the Strip guided excursion on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Small groups (a dozen or less) can sample six or more signature dishes from a variety of restaurants. Since all the planning and guesswork is done by the experts, all you have to do is keep up with the group and sample to your belly’s content. – Melinda Sheckells

The Downtown Throw Down

Because some of the best dates happen after the witching hour, head Downtown to the Fremont East Entertainment District, where the personalities of the bars are as diverse as the patrons who frequent them. Drinkers can plan a mini bar crawl—we suggest starting with a classic American cocktail made by the mixologists at Vanguard Lounge—while nondrinkers can enjoy the cozy fireplaces at the Griffin or the classic arcade games at Insert Coin(s). Vanguard Lounge, 516 Fremont St., 702-868-7800,; the Griffin, 511 Fremont St., 702-382-0577; Insert Coin(s), 512 Fremont St., 702-477-2525, – Ian Caramanzana

Go the DIY route with a cooking class at Sur La Table. | Photo  by Eric Bell

Go the DIY route with a cooking class at Sur La Table. | Photo by Eric Bell

The New Dinner and a Movie

Downtown Summerlin is quickly becoming a popular date destination on the west side. But rather than having someone cook your meal for you, go the do-it-yourself route by taking part in a cooking class at Sur La Table. Spend two hours learning how to prepare the perfect seafood or pasta dish, then taste the results. After getting your Puck on, stroll over to the Regal 5 theaters—flagship of the chain’s luxury brand—where you’ll find a full menu (in case you’re still hungry), full-service bar and oversize recliner seats. Gone are the days of sneaking bottles of Champagne into the theater to pair with hot buttered popcorn—now the booze is out in the open for everyone to enjoy. Sur La Table, 1980 Festival Plaza Dr., 702-448-8611;; Regal, 2070 Park Center Dr., 844-462-7342; – Aric Lairmore

The Vegan Adventure

Thanks to a slew of new restaurants, it’s becoming easier to live the vegan lifestyle in Las Vegas. Look no further than Chinatown for some animal–free culinary delights. Start at all-vegetarian restaurant Veggie House, which offers a vegan-friendly menu as well. Sample such dishes as Chef Kenny’s Spicy Crispy Beef or Veggie Fish (you read that right) with a spicy bean sauce, then head down the street for dessert at Tea Station for an almond or coconut milk tea (with boba, of course). Veggie House, 5115 Spring Mountain Rd., 702-431-5802,; Tea Station, 4355 Spring Mountain Rd., 702-889-9989, – IC

Enjoy a post mob-tour nightcap at the legendary Monkey Bar at Piero's. | Photo by Jon Estrada

Enjoy a post mob-tour nightcap at the legendary Monkey Bar at Piero’s. | Photo by Jon Estrada

The Blast From the Past

There’s nothing more gratifying than walking out of a casino with a pocket full of cash—and it doesn’t matter if that pocket is filled with a bunch of Abe Lincolns rather than Ben Franklins. So hit up the $5 single-deck blackjack tables at El Cortez, where you’ll enjoy the rare occasion of the odds actually being in your favor (ever-so-slightly, anyway). After cashing out, keep with the casino vibe and walk over to the Mob Museum and sign up for the Casino tour. Hosted by former mobster Frank Cullotta, you’ll visit sites made famous by both history and Martin Scorsese’s film, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Finish off the evening with a martini at Piero’s Monkey Bar, the Las Vegas Convention Center-adjacent restaurant that had a cameo in the film. Show up on the right night, and none other than Pia Zadora—who performs regularly in the lounge—just might serenade you. El Cortez, 600 Fremont St., 702-385-5200,; Mob Museum, 300 Stewart Ave., 702-229-2734,; Piero’s Italian Cuisine, 355 Convention Center Dr., 702-369-2305, – MS

The sky's the limit at Top of the World restaurant at the Stratosphere. | Photo by Jon Estrada

The sky’s the limit at Top of the World restaurant at the Stratosphere. | Photo by Jon Estrada

The High Times

Whether you’ve been married for 10 years or are embarking on your first date, there’s never a bad time to get a little adventurous. So check out Refuge Climbing & Fitness and take a 90-minute class that teaches the basics of indoor rock climbing. If scaling faux rocks isn’t your thing, get your gravity-defying fix at SkyZone, where you can show off that double backflip while bouncing on their wall-to-wall trampolines. Either way, you’re going to work up a bit of an appetite, so keep reaching for the stars with dinner at the Stratosphere’s Top of the World restaurant. The spectacular view of the Valley will surely take your breath away—as will watching people pay for the privilege of bungee jumping off the tower. Refuge, 6283 S. Valley View Blvd., Suite C, 702-383-0175,; SkyZone, 7440 Dean Martin Dr., Suite 201, 702-560-5900,; Top of the World, 702-380-7711, – AL

The World According to Vegas

It’s a great big world in this here Valley, so why not step out of your American comfort zone and explore other cultures? Start off in Germany, with a visit to the German-American Social Club, which showcases jazz music at 6:30 p.m every Tuesday. When the melodies get you in dem gute Laune (the good mood), travel to the Middle East for some belly dancing and baba ghanoush at Ali Baba. Continue your world tour with a taste of the Far East at Izakaya Cocokala (affectionately known as the poor man’s Raku), where you’ll indulge in delicious skewers of meat, pork and vegetables, as well as sushi and sashimi. Finally, head next door to the chic J Sake Bar and sip until the sun rises over Vegas (and Tokyo). German-American Social Club, 1110 E. Lake Mead Blvd., 702-649-8503,; Ali Baba, 8826 S. Eastern Ave., 702-688-4182,; Izakaya Cocokala, 4449 W. Flamingo Rd., 702-538-9556,; J Sake Bar, 4459 W. Flamingo Rd., 702-701-8515. – AL

Try some belly dancing at Ali Baba. | Photo courtesy Leila Sas

Try some belly dancing at Ali Baba. | Photo courtesy Leila Sas

For the College Students

Having a good time on a small budget isn’t what Vegas is know for. But the Gold Spike located in Downtown Las Vegas is the perfect fix for the semester blues. Filled with games like Giant beer pong, jenga and connect four, it is the ultimate adult playground. At the end of the night, hit $2 Adobada Tacos from Tacos El Gordo. Gold Spike 217 Las Vegas Blvd. North, 702-476-1082;; 1724 E. Charleston Blvd. 702-251-8226; Ramirez

Keeping it all in the Family

Finding a kid-friendly place for a pseudo-date-night in Las Vegas is no easy feat. King Putt offers a fun alternative to the typical Las Vegas night out. Blacklight Minigolf and Laser Tag are just some of the offerings. After, head over to Strip N Dip Chicken Strips for a meal that you and the kids will love. The chicken is made with fried panko breadcrumbs and chicken breast, making it a healthier alternative to most chicken places. King Putt 7230 W. Lake Mead Blvd., 702-823-1519,; Strip N Dip, 873 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-823-2835,

Melinda Sheckells talks Great Dates on 97.1 the Point. Listen to the broadcast below.



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