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Bright lights, big party: Discover Las Vegas' nightlife scene

No city parties quite like Las Vegas. Here’s the latest and greatest on going out in Sin City. | By Matt Villano | September 29, 2022

Las Vegas is considered the entertainment capital of the world, and perhaps nothing entertains visitors more than the nightlife in and around town. We’re not only talking nightclubs here — think shows, immersive theater, bars, lounges and more. On your next trip to Vegas:

  • Join the clubs: Explore Las Vegas' hottest nightclubs and bars

  • Catch up on culture: Experience unrivaled theater, interactive art and live music

  • Go retro: Deep-dive into the culture of Vegas speakeasies

Join the clubs

No matter how much changes in Las Vegas, nightclubs remain at the heart of this vibrant city. One of the largest nightclubs on the Strip is Zouk Las Vegas at Resorts World Las Vegas. This world-class, all-night venue is the first United States outpost of a club brand born in Singapore, and it has attracted some of the hottest talent and big name DJs in the industry. Prefer something more low-key without losing the Vegas allure? Head downtown where the party crowd flocks to Inspire and Oddfellows, both smaller and more intimate venues along Fremont Street East.

Performance with a twist

Another burgeoning aspect of the Las Vegas nightlife scene: immersive and interactive theater. Perhaps the best example of this right now is Particle Ink: Speed of Dark, an Arts District show that combines live performances and feats of derring-do with virtual reality in the form of characters that are projected onto the walls. Other examples: The circus-style performances at Lost Spirits Distillery inside Area 15 and Majestic Repertory Theatre, a former vaudeville house and cinema on Fremont Street.

Mad Apple, the new Cirque du Soleil show at New York New York — conveniently located right on the Strip — incorporates acrobatics and seats audience members on stage for a unique point of view. Meanwhile, downtown’s Cheapshot delivers zany-yet-brilliant live performances.

Secret cocktail havens

Speakeasies and speakeasy-style lounges — a trend that has only intensified — remain white-hot in Las Vegas. Take Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den, a self-described hidden world of sin tucked behind a food stall in the food court at Resorts World Las Vegas. Most of the libations at this laidback hideaway incorporate Asian flavors and ingredients. Head mixologist Juyoung Kang also features a savory cocktail on each of her seasonal menus, including one that contained bone broth and tasted like spiked soup.

Other speakeasies worth visiting include Ghost Donkey, The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails and The Count Room in the back of Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse at the Flamingo and The Lock, located inside The Cabinet of Curiosities at Bally’s. Of course, The Laundry Room, the downtown speakeasy that launched this Las Vegas trend, is still open and worth a visit.

Festival fun

Another popular option for a memorable Las Vegas nightlife experience (and, for that matter, during the day, too)? Music festivals. These multi-day events bring together dozens of eclectic performers from across musical genres and from around the world.

The most popular music festival in town is Life is Beautiful, which unfolds over the course of three days in downtown Vegas every fall. Other ballyhooed festivals are the iHeartRadio Music Festival, which is mostly pop music; Electric Daisy Carnival, which spotlights electronic dance music and energetic DJ sets; and When We Were Young, which brings together popular bands from the 1980s and 1990s.

Freelance writer and editor Matt Villano has covered Las Vegas for more than 20 years — he has authored and co-authored 13 guidebooks about the city.

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