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Updated: March 12, 2020
When is the best time to visit Las Vegas?
The best time to visit Las Vegas is during the spring and fall when the weather is warm but hasn’t gotten uncomfortably hot and the crowds are somewhat thinner. Summer months can be very hot but casinos are air-conditioned and most hotels offer pools. Winter typically has cool, but not freezing weather with little chance of snow.
- Best Time to Visit Las Vegas for Good Weather: The best time for good weather in Las Vegas is in the spring and early fall when temperatures will be warm, but not too hot. Due to its arid climate, winter can have pleasant temperatures with little chance of precipitation.
- Best Time for Bargains: The peak of summer might be prime time for most American vacation destinations but for Las Vegas, it’s a great opportunity to find a bargain. That’s because the sizzling heat often keeps visitors away between June and August. It’s also a slow period for conventions and special events, meaning even fewer people are in town. Summer temperatures soar high, which is great if you have a shaded cabana by the pool. Otherwise, it’s best to stick to casinos, shopping, and indoor attractions during the day. Higher elevation in nearby Mt. Charleston, Red Rock Canyon, and Valley of Fire offer lower temps, but it’s not recommended to hike in the sun mid-day, especially on your own. Parts of early December also bring great bargains, particularly the week before Christmas. However, the least busy Vegas holiday period is around Thanksgiving in late November.
- Best Time to Book a Hotel Room: Booking early may seem like a good idea to reserve a Vegas hotel room, but many hotels don’t start offering discounted rates until about three months out. One trick is to book a room at one or more hotels that can be canceled without penalty, and then see if you can find a better, reduced rate closer to your scheduled trip. The best prices are usually found mid-week no matter the time of year, with summer and winter (right before or after New Year’s Eve) generally having the most enticing discounts.
- Best Time for Buffets: Buffets are very popular in Las Vegas, so if you’re planning to indulge, go when the time is right and avoid waiting in line for an hour or even longer. At the same time, if you go when it’s too quiet, some of that food may have been sitting under the heat lamps a bit too long. Going just before lunch switches over to dinner will generally bring the freshest food and the shortest lines. By doing this, you’ll usually pay the cheaper lunch price while being able to enjoy the more extensive array of dinner dishes.
- Best Time to Ride the High Roller: At a peak height of 550 feet, the High Roller at The LINQ is the tallest observation wheel in the world. The cabins are large enough for groups to walk around inside while soaking in 360-degree views of Las Vegas. Try to arrive just before sunset for a spectacular evening view that includes the Bellagio fountains, the lights of the Strip, and jets arriving at the airport. You can even arrange to have your own bartender on board to serve drinks throughout the 30-40 minute rotation. The best times not to go are on Earth Day (April 22) or Earth Hour (usually the last Saturday in March) when the lights of the Strip dim for 60 minutes at night. Nothing will ruin a trip on the High Roller more than a view of a dark Las Vegas Strip.
- Best Time to Book a Wedding: Las Vegas is known as the wedding capital of the world due to its convenience in quickly getting a marriage license and the wide array of chapels and other locations to tie the knot. October is the best month in Vegas for a wedding, due to its mild, predictable weather. April and May have similar mild and sunny temperatures but can get windy. Weddings on or around Christmas, New Year’s, or Valentine’s Day will face cold weather, so plan for an indoor ceremony.
- Best Time to Place a Casino Bet: Any big sports event will bring out crowds to place a wager at a casino sportsbook. The biggest single day for betting is the Super Bowl, but the most overall traffic is generated for the March Madness college basketball tournament. In either case, expect viewing parties at casinos and bars up and down the Strip. A big boxing or UFC fight will encourage plenty of betting action as well. (Keep your eyes peeled for last-minute shifts in the odds.) So will home games by the Vegas Golden Knights or the Raiders. Most sportsbooks have been dramatically updated in recent years to feature high-def video walls, drink and food menus, and comfortable seating.
Las Vegas Travel Seasons
- High Season (January through April, October, major holidays): Las Vegas is a popular year-round destination. The high and low seasons aren’t well-defined, but activity predictably spikes based on holidays, major trade shows, and sporting events (for betting). March picks up with pools opening for the season, Spring Break, and the NCAA Basketball Tournament giving casinos their biggest traffic of the year. Late spring and early autumn draw crowds looking for sunny weather without the brutally high temperatures. Beware of high hotel rates, crowded pools, and busy Strip traffic during Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend. Between the National Finals Rodeo, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, December picks up dramatically heading into the new year.
- Shoulder Season (May through June, September and November): TDespite being in the middle of the desert, Vegas can get uncomfortably cold during the winter months. If you don’t mind bundling up, you can score some good deals. Just remember that it’s also prime convention season. Navigate your trip between holidays and conventions to take advantage of low crowds and discounts. A mid-week stay in the shoulder season is your best bet for cheaper hotel rates.
- Low Season (July and August): The sizzling temperatures of summer tend to keep some tourists away, though not all. This is the time of year you’re most likely to find the shortest lines and most attractive discounts, particularly for midweek dates at hotels. Be prepared to spend most of your time indoors due to the heat, and be sure to bring a lightweight jacket or sweater for overly air-conditioned casinos and restaurants.
Las Vegas Weather by Month
- Las Vegas Weather in January: January is the coldest month in Las Vegas, although it will probably feel more like a beautiful autumn day then what you’re used to during the winter unless you’re coming from a particularly warm southern climate. On average, high temperatures reach 14°C, but it’s not uncommon for the mercury to rise into the upper teens, and temperatures have even been known to get as high as 24°C. After dark, it does get rather cool, with overnight lows just above freezing at 1°C, and occasionally it can fall below 0°C, though snow is unlikely. Its dry desert location means that there is only an average of 13mm of precipitation, with just an 11% chance of rain early in the month, and 15% around January’s end. The most common form of precipitation is light rain, though light snow, moderate or heavy rain can occur. When it comes to packing, bring a warm jacket if you plan to walk around in the evening, along with clothes that can be layered so that you can remove items easily as needed when spending time indoors. As the days are fairly short in January, with sunset at 4:37 am on the 1st, and just after 5 pm by month’s end, you’ll also want to plan your itinerary accordingly. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 13mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in February: By February things are already beginning to warm, though it is the second coldest month of the year after January. Afternoon highs now reach 17°C, and as the month progresses, the chance for an especially warm and pleasant day increases, with the temperature sometimes rising above 22°C. Precipitation increases slightly to 19mm over six days, but most of the time the skies will be sunny and clear, and the odds of snow are virtually nil, with overnight lows averaging well above freezing now at 4°C. As the weather can be rather erratic in February, you may want to be a range of clothing, planning for some sunny, warm days as well as cooler, and possibly rainy days as well. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 19mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in March: With temperatures averaging as much as 20 degrees warmer than the U.S. average, March is typically an ideal time to be outdoors in Las Vegas. While the average high now rises to 21°C, temperatures have been known to reach 28°C, and occasionally even hotter. But keep in mind that some years, it can be rather cool in March, staying in the low to mid-teens. It will still be chilly at night, with temperatures dropping to an average of 7°C. That said, once again, bringing clothing that can be layered, including long- and short-sleeved shirts, a sweater and a light jacket, as well as a pair of shorts if especially warm weather hits, will ensure that you’re prepared for just about anything. With just 11mm of precipitation over five days on average this month, rain is unlikely to interrupt your plans. There is more good news for trips to Las Vegas in March – thanks in part to Daylight Savings Time, by month’s end, the sun stays up until about 7pm. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in April: With spring in full swing, you can expect near-perfect weather in April, with this month bringing an average of 12 hours of sunshine and few if any cloudy days. There’s even less chance for rain in April, with 5mm of precipitation on average over three days. Temperatures are definitely warming up too, with average highs at 26°C, and evenings that are cool but not cold, with overnight lows averaging 11°C. The mild temperatures make it pleasant to be outside just about any time of the day, but to stay comfortable you’ll still need of mix of clothing, including shorts and short-sleeved shirts or dresses for warm days and a light sweater or jacket for evenings and inside air-conditioned casinos. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 5mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in May: May is another great month to be in Las Vegas. Temperatures continue to warm, but it doesn’t get miserably hot just yet. Afternoon highs rise to 31°C but keep in mind that the later in the month you arrive, the warmer is likely to be. It’s even pleasant after dark, and some may not even need a jacket or sweater to keep warm, with the average lows now at 16°C. If you visit in May, you’ll want to bring lots of summer wear, including lightweight clothing, shorts or dresses, sunglasses, and sunscreen, although you may still need a light sweater for overly air-conditioned indoor spaces. You can expect a full 13 hours of sunshine each day and little to no rain, with just 3mm of precipitation on average. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 3mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in June: With summer officially here, you can expect Vegas to be very hot. Afternoons are scorching, with the mercury rising on average to a sizzling 38°C, and by month’s end, you can expect it to get even hotter than that. The good news is that the night will bring relief, with temperatures dropping back down to a much more pleasant 21°C; however, nightfall doesn’t come until around 8 pm throughout the month. Like May, there is very little if any rain to cool things off, with just 2mm of precipitation on average over three days in June. Plan to pack plenty of loose, lightweight clothing, lots of sunscreen and perhaps a sweater in case you get chilly indoors. (Average Max Temperature: 38°C. Average Precipitation: 2mm)
- Las Vegas Weather in July: July is the hottest month in Las Vegas, with temperatures soaring all the way to 41°C in the afternoon now. Although it only happens an average of once every 10 days, temperatures can reach above 43°C. For those who are especially heat-sensitive, this isn’t the best time to be in Las Vegas; however, if you plan your days right by staying indoors in the afternoon and venturing out in the evening when there are more pleasant temperatures in the mid-20s, you can make it work while also enjoying discounted accommodation rates, especially for midweek stays. Although there won’t be much in the way of rain to cool you off, precipitation does increase a bit to 11mm over five days. If you go in July, pack plenty of light, airy clothing and a boatload of sunscreen along with a sun hat for added protection. You’re likely to need a light sweater or jacket for overly air-conditioned indoor areas as well. (Average Max Temperature: 41°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in August: August is the second hottest month in Las Vegas, with the average high temperature now at 39°C, though the mercury can occasionally rise higher than 42°C. Like July, this isn’t the best time for heat-sensitive people to visit, but you can potentially save money on your hotel room and you’ll still find plenty to do indoors with the endless casinos, shows, and other attractions so that you don’t have to endure the intense heat of the afternoon sun. The evening hours are still ideal for being outside, with overnight lows averaging 23°C. Precipitation increases slightly to 13mm over six days, and the further the month progresses, the greater the likelihood for some rain to help cool things off a bit. No matter which part of August you’re here, you’ll have lots of bright, hot sunny days, so you’ll want to pack as you would for July, with all of your summer gear, including plenty of sunscreen. (Average Max Temperature: 39°C. Average Precipitation: 13mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in September: The weather gradually starts to cool in September, though it will still be quite hot early in the month. The average temperature is a little over 30°C during the first week, gradually dropping to 28.5°C by mid-September, and by the month’s end, it’s all the way down to 25°C. Afternoon highs average 35°C overall, so it won’t feel chilly by any means. The days are becoming shorter, with sunset at 6:25 pm by September 30th, so you’ll have a little more time to take advantage of cooler evenings too. Don’t expect much in the way of moisture, this month is very dry with just 7mm of precipitation on average. As far as what to pack, summer wear is still the focus this month, with plenty of light and airy clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses, along with a sweater for cooler indoor conditions. (Average Max Temperature: 35°C. Average precipitation: 7mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in October: Now that autumn is officially here, you can expect much more pleasant weather conditions in Las Vegas. Early in the month temperatures may rise to 31°C, but on average the high temperature is now at a much more comfortable 28°C. It is getting slightly chilly at night, with overnight lows averaging 12°C, though it’s still usually quite enjoyable to walk around the city after dark with a light sweater or jacket all that’s needed to stay warm. Now is the time to think about packing clothes that can be layered – you’ll likely still need lightweight, summery clothing during the day, especially earlier in the month, along with long-sleeved shirts and pants for the cooler evenings. October is another very dry month, with only around 7mm of precipitation, so rain is unlikely to interrupt your plans. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 60mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in November: When it comes to the weather in November, it can be all over the place, with a mix of pleasantly warm days as well as cool ones. The earlier in the month you arrive, the higher the temperatures generally will be, though the average high overall is a comfortable 19°C. Evenings will be cool, if not downright cold, with overnight lows dipping to 6°C. It is still quite dry in November, with just 11mm of precipitation, so you can expect lots of sunshine and clear, blue skies, but it might be a bit too chilly for lounging outside by the pool. When it comes to packing, to be prepared your best bet is to bring clothes that can be worn in layers, covering a range of temperatures. Though it only happens on an average of three days this month, the mercury can reach or even exceed 27°C, and occasionally drop to freezing or just below. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
- Las Vegas Weather in December: With winter arriving in December, temperatures drop significantly, with afternoon highs only at 14°C, and lows dipping to just above freezing at 1°C. Although it’s unlikely to snow, with just 8mm of precipitation this month, a light dusting is not unheard of. With the shortest days of the year in December, you’ll have less daylight too, as the sun goes down just before 4:30 pm throughout much of the month. While you’ll probably be spending much of your time indoors, be sure to bring a warm coat for cold days as well as a sweater or light jacket for warmer ones. Clothing that can be layered is helpful too, in case you begin to feel too warm in overheated indoor spaces. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average precipitation: 8mm.)
Las Vegas Special Events by Month
Las Vegas in January
- New Year’s Day – New Year’s Day may be a national holiday (and known unofficially as “Hangover Day”), but it’s business as usual in Vegas with restaurants, bars, casinos, shops and attractions open. The New Year’s Day bowl games are shown on high-def screens at sports bars and casino sportsbooks throughout the Strip, while bartenders keep the drinks flowing to help that hangover disappear.
- Veganuary – Going vegan for the month of January is a recent trend that’s especially strong in Las Vegas. Check with Vegans, Baby, an online resource that promotes the initiative and encourages top restaurants to offer something more than salads on special limited-edition plant-based menus.
- International Consumer Electronics Show – Every January, the eyes of the world are on CES to get a first look at the latest innovative technology. The annual consumer electronics show features more than 3,800 exhibiting companies, showing off everything from cars and drones to televisions and cellphones, all with the latest futuristic enhancements. The event has grown to include 160,000 attendees from 150 countries with a few celebrity guests thrown in for good measure. Keep in mind, CES isn’t open to the general public. You’ll need to be an approved member of the tech industry or the media to get inside.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade – This annual parade held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (observed the third Monday of January) honors the late civil rights leader with floats, marching bands and an awards ceremony recognizing those who have contributed to his dream of a nation where all are seen as equal. The parade takes place downtown and is one of the largest in the western United States.
- Adult Entertainment Expo – This annual event is strictly for adults only. The AVN Expo, hosted by Adult Video News, is a four-day trade event, featuring adult entertainers and products. Unlike CES, the public is definitely invited with tickets available to not only the expo itself but after-parties held throughout the week. Everything wraps up with the AVN Awards, also known as the “Oscars of adult entertainment.” The entire spectacle has been held for years at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and is expected to return when the property reopens as a Virgin Hotel.
- Hot Air Balloon Festival – Venture northeast of Las Vegas to Mesquite for the town’s annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. The event takes flight the final weekend of January with dozens of balloons rising into the sky for three straight days. Admission is free. Guests can check out the Night Glow each evening and a variety of entertainment at the Casablanca resort.
Las Vegas in February
- Chinese New Year – Every year, Lunar New Year (which is usually in February, but can also fall in late January) is celebrated throughout Las Vegas. Many Strip hotels go all out with dragon dances, parades, and special lobby decorations, although nothing beats the seasonal display at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. For the most authentic example of Asian culture and cuisine, make sure to visit the diverse array of restaurants and shops in Chinatown.
- Dam Short Festival – Boulder City comes alive every February for the Dam Short Film Festival, the largest annual independent event of its kind in Southern Nevada. The four-day festival includes screenings at the historic Boulder Theatre, after-parties, and an awards ceremony gala.
- Vegas Shoot – The Vegas Shoot is considered to be the largest and most prestigious indoor archery tournament in the world. The competition attracts beginners and Olympic-level participants from all corners of the globe. Thousands of archers and spectators attend the three-day event at the South Point resort.
- Valentine’s Day – The romantic holiday is celebrated throughout Las Vegas with restaurants offering special prix fixe menus geared toward couples. It’s also a popular day to get married at one of the dozens of wedding chapels around town or during a special group ceremony led by an Elvis impersonator at The LINQ outdoor promenade.
- Black History Month Festival – The Springs Preserve hosts an annual Black History Month Festival, typically held on the third Saturday in February. The event includes food, music, dancing, carnival games, face painting, and more.
Las Vegas in March
- Dayclub Season – It may seem early, but pool party season traditionally gets underway the first weekend in March. Check in advance for specific days and times, but the most popular dayclubs include Wet Republic at the MGM Grand, Daylight at Mandalay Bay, Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan, and Encore Beach Club at the Wynn. The best surroundings are at Drai’s Beach Club, which has sweeping views of the Strip from the top floor of the Cromwell resort.
- NASCAR Cup Series – In an annual tradition, race fans descend on Las Vegas for NASCAR Weekend, which takes place in March (or the end of February, depending on the year). The multi-day celebration of auto racing officially gets underway with the Hauler Parade on the Las Vegas Strip. The action continues with racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, culminating with the Pennzoil 400. Along the way, fans can attend autograph sessions, meet-and-greets, concerts, and other affiliated events.
- CinemaCon – The annual spring event at Caesars Palace is a celebration of the film industry and a trade show for movie theater owners. Big-name actors and directors show up to hype the year’s most anticipated releases, often debuting never-before-seen clips and/or making major announcements. The gathering isn’t open to the public, so you need an insider hookup to get inside. However, it’s probably the best time of year to spot a celebrity walking through a casino lobby.
- March Madness – The NCAA College Basketball Tournament is the busiest period of the year for sportsbooks in Las Vegas. Casinos often host over-the-top viewing parties in their ballrooms, like the Hoops & Hops celebration at the Cosmopolitan. It includes comfortable seating, open-bar packages, food menus, and even some basketball hoops to practice a few shots of your own.
- Boulder City Beer Festival – Any trip to Vegas is worth a detour to see the Hoover Dam, a modern marvel that helped shape the development of Southern Nevada. While you’re in the area, find time to attend the annual Boulder City Beer Festival. The afternoon event is hosted by the Boulder Dam Brewing Co. but includes beer samples from dozens of vendors. The event is free to explore in Wilbur Square Park. Just pay extra for a glass to enjoy the samples.
- St. Patrick’s Day – The Irish spirit is strong in Las Vegas. Enjoy authentic food, live music, drink specials, and a rowdy atmosphere at Irish pubs like Ri Ra, Three Angry Wives, O’Sheas, and McMullan’s. Yet the biggest party is at Nine Fine Irishmen, which hosts the multi-day Celtic Feis festival on the outdoor patio of the New York-New-York casino. Celebrate with a parade that marches through The Park by the T-Mobile Arena next door.
- Vegas ToyCon – Vegas ToyCon is the largest toy, comic and pop culture convention in Las Vegas. Held at the Eastside Cannery over three days, the extravaganza features more than 10,000 collectors, an artist’s alleyway, a downhill diecast racing track, celebrity appearances, autograph sessions, Q&A sessions, and more. It’s one of the few trade shows that allows kids. (Those 12 and under enter free with a ticketed adult.)
- Nightclub & Bar Show – This expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center is all about nightlife and hospitality. Arrange a ride in advance. The main hall includes samples of cocktails, spirits, beer, wine, and more. The top nightclubs in the country are honored with special awards.
Las Vegas in April
- Academy of Country Music Awards – This annual celebrity-packed awards show is held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena every April. It’s a great time for country music fans to attend the show or at least get a chance to shake the hands of their favorite stars as they walk the red carpet. The question everyone wants answered: Who will be named Entertainer of the Year?
- City of Lights Jazz Festival – Jazz musicians from across the country gather at the Clark County Government Amphitheater in downtown for a fun outdoor picnic festival held over two days in mid-April. In addition to great music, expect a variety of concessions and craft displays.
- Great Vegas Festival of Beer – The largest craft beer festival in Southern Nevada takes place over two days at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. The first night is the Mad Craft Experience, featuring a food competition with beer as the main ingredient. The grand tasting is the following day with hundreds of craft beer samples available from breweries across the country.
- Evolution – Formerly known as UNLVino, Evolution is a wine-tasting festival to benefit the hospitality scholarship program for UNLV. Expect food from local restaurants to round out all that wine. The event is now held annually at Caesars Forum.
Las Vegas in May
- Cinco de Mayo – Cinco de Mayo celebrates the day in 1862 when Mexico defeated the French in the Battle of Puebla. The holiday has grown into a wild weekend-long celebration in Las Vegas. For the most fun, head to The LINQ promenade, where Cinco de Mayo is brought to life with dancers, decorations, and costumed performers.
- Fremont Street Experience Concerts – Beginning in May, the Fremont Street Experience hosts a summer series of free concerts by big-name acts. Past headliners include Joan Jett, Melissa Etheridge, Bret Michaels, Cheap Trick, Sugar Ray, Vanilla Ice, and many more. Check online for the latest listings. Seeing a live show surrounded by the neon lights of Fremont Street is one of those only-in-Vegas experiences.
- Vegas UnStripped – Want to see the best local neighborhood restaurants show off their most creative dishes? Vegas UnStripped is a street festival featuring the most acclaimed off-Strip chefs and bartenders. The culinary event is one-night-only in the Downtown Arts District, and one of the most rewarding ways to “eat like a local” in Las Vegas.
- Electric Daisy Carnival – The Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts the largest electronic dance music party in the United States. More than 135,000 fans pack the venue each night from dusk to dawn for three straight nights. Dance to sets from more than 200 DJs while enjoying carnival rides, art installations, circus-style performances, and more. If you don’t want to worry about traffic, spend the day at Camp EDC, a campground next to the stadium.
- World Series of Poker – The largest poker tournament in Las Vegas is actually a series of more than a hundred tournaments. It’s unique in that anyone can buy-in. The action gets underway at the Rio in May with the finals taking place later in the summer. You may see a few Hollywood celebrities quietly mingling among the players.
- Punk Rock Bowling – Punk rock favorites past, present, and future hit two stages in downtown Las Vegas for four days straight. In between performances, fans can go bowling, attend after-parties, splash around at pool parties, and check out art and comedy shows.
- Exodus Festival – This annual music festival held over five days in mid-May, as well as other long weekends throughout the summer, features a number of epic parties that take place at various venues throughout the city. It merges the classic pool parties with exciting night clubs and includes DJs that play an eclectic mix of musical genres ranging from R&B and hip-hop to EDM.
- Universal Whisky Experience – The Universal Whisky Experience is a lavish multi-day affair at the Wynn that’s strictly for those who appreciate higher-end whisky, rye, and bourbon. It includes a High Roller whisky speed dating event, opportunities to meet with some of the world’s best distillers, private tastings for rare drams, masterclasses and more. Everything leads up to the grand tasting.
Las Vegas in June
- Reggae in the Desert – The Clark County Government Amphitheater welcomes fans from all over the world for the Reggae in the Desert music festival in mid-June. Ticket holders also enjoy the food, art, and culture of Jamaica and the Caribbean with a variety of vendors.
- Restaurant Week – Despite the name, this annual fundraiser for Three Square Food Bank takes place over two weeks every June. The best restaurants in Las Vegas offer special menus at a set price. That means you get to save money on signature dishes while helping a good cause in Southern Nevada.
- Vegas Fringe Festival – A celebration of theater, the Fringe Festival is held over 10 days in mid-June at the Las Vegas Little Theatre. It features a multitude of plays that showcase the talents of actors, directors, designers, and companies, with everything from family-friendly musicals to improv shows and edgy debuts.
Las Vegas in July
- Fourth of July Fireworks – The fireworks are bigger on New Year’s Eve, but Las Vegas still knows how to throw a Fourth of July celebration. The best show is above Caesars Palace (check the latest information to see if it takes place on Independence Day or the prior weekend), but there are a few other displays around town. Look out for illegal fireworks, usually brought in from Pahrump, shooting off from backyards all over the valley.
- Las Vegas Tribute Festival – A long weekend of entertainment over four days in mid-July, the Las Vegas Tribute Festival at Sam’s Town celebrates the life and legacy of Elvis Presley. The event includes three headline shows and a contest among the world’s top tribute artists.
- NBA Summer League – It’s warm up time. See the future stars of the NBA in preseason action at the Thomas & Mack Center and the Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus. It’s a great way for basketball fans to see multiple games over 14 straight days in July.
- Big Dog’s Summer Beer Fest – Generally held on the last Saturday of July, this beer and music festival is free to all and features over 40 brews from around the region and the world, along with live reggae music, raffles, and great BBQ.
Las Vegas in August
- Vegas Tejano Music Week – Held over four hot August days, Tejano Music Week features more than 60 booths and an entertainment stage hosting Tejano artists from across the country. The event is best known for its “Gran Bailes” or “giant dances” with the industry’s top recording artists. You can also learn the basics of Tejano dancing.
- Psycho Las Vegas – This heavy metal music festival just gets bigger each year. Psycho Las Vegas virtually takes over Mandalay Bay with performances in venues large and small, including by the pool and in the hotel lobby bar. Past headliners have included Megadeth and Danzig. The top acts play the Mandalay Bay Events Center, a mid-size arena.
- DEF CON – The world’s largest annual hacker conventions is held annually over four days in early August. Running for nearly 25 years now, it brings together hackers, government agencies and corporate IT professionals to absorb cutting edge hacking research as well as to test their skills with hacking contests.
- MAGIC – MAGIC is the world’s largest fashion marketplace, made up of 11 unique communities which showcase the latest in apparel, footwear, accessories, and manufacturing. Held over three August days at the Las Vegas Convention Center, more than 60,000 industry insiders from at least 120 countries show up to preview the trends of tomorrow.
Las Vegas in September
- iHeartRadio Music Festival – The annual music festival by iHeartRadio celebrates pop music in all its forms, from today’s hitmakers to classic rockers plus R&B, rap, country, and everything else in between. Past headliners have included Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac, Chance the Rapper, Tim McGraw, and too many others to count. The main performances are at the T-Mobile Arena, while a special daytime outdoor stage features up-and-coming artists.
- Haute Cuisine – The Venetian hosts this annual food and wine tasting, featuring cuisine by the Master Chefs of France, a team of leading culinary figures from top restaurants in Las Vegas and across the country. The event usually has a different theme each time around and includes an outdoor dine-around by the pool or in the outdoor plaza on the Strip.
- Life Is Beautiful – Life is Beautiful is an annual music, culinary, art, and learning festival that takes place over three days in late September. It’s spread out over 15 downtown blocks with multiple stages and tents. The music has featured the likes of Stevie Wonder, Weezer, and Imagine Dragons over the years, but half the fun is wandering the festival grounds and seeing which new acts (and great food) you’ll stumble across.
- Motor Trend International Auto Show – Hosted at the Las Vegas Convention Center, this event offers the chance to see the latest new models and prototypes from automobile manufacturers around the world. Get a peek at the cars and trucks of the future before everyone else.
Las Vegas in October
- Oktoberfest – Vegas never needs a good excuse to drink, but bars and restaurants all over town will be serving up beer specials in honor of Oktoberfest. Make a point to visit Hofbrauhaus, styled after an authentic German beer hall with regular keg tappings. The German-American Social Club of Nevada hosts a family-friendly Oktoberfest that’s open to all ages and features authentic German food.
- Vegas Golden Knights – The Vegas Golden Knights haven’t been around long, but the NHL team has already built a strong bond with the local community and transformed Sin City into a true sports town. The regular season gets underway in October, so make sure to see a home game at the T-Mobile Arena. Win or lose, the atmosphere is always electric.
- Vegas Pride – The annual festival of LGBTQ culture includes a parade through downtown and a series of free celebrations at the Las Vegas Events Center. Numerous affiliated receptions and after-parties take place all over town. Celebrate diversity and inclusion in a city long known for welcoming all demographics.
- Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival – This longtime culinary festival is a staple of the autumn dining season, taking place over two nights at Tivoli Village near Summerlin. Wander from station to station while enjoying food and drink from the best chefs and restaurants in Las Vegas.
- RiSE Festival – Once a year, thousands gather in the desert to release lanterns into the sky. The illuminated sight is a spectacle, and the team behind the festival makes sure the lanterns are recovered in an eco-friendly manner. Food trucks and live music are part of the fun, as participants arrive before dusk to enjoy the scenery and assemble (and decorate) their lanterns.
- Helldorado Days – This long-running event was created in 1935 to attract tourists to Las Vegas and was revived in recent years to celebrate the city’s Old West roots and early history. Held over three days in October, Helldorado Days includes rodeos, a downtown parade, golf and poker tournaments, trap-shooting contests, art auctions, and trail rides.
- Greek Food Festival – Held in early October (sometimes September), Greek cuisine and culture is celebrated on the grounds of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church. It includes live music, folk dancing, and a bazaar.
- Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival – The three-day festival at Sunset Park has a wide assortment of food and drink, ranging from giant roasted turkey legs to frothy steins of mead. Mingle with costumed maidens and warriors while enjoying medieval reenactments, live music, shopping, and more.
- USA Today Food & Wine Experience – Las Vegas is one of the most anticipated stops on the USA Today Wine & Food Experience that tours across the country each summer and fall. The Las Vegas Festival Grounds welcomes celebrity guests, a beer garden, and some of the industry’s most accomplished culinary figures serving food bites and samples of wine.
- Downtown Brew Festival – The combination of beer, food, and live music never gets old. Enjoy a fun afternoon on the grass at the Clark County Government Amphitheater for the biggest craft brew celebration of the autumn season.
- Halloween – Dress your best. The spooky holiday is celebrated at nightclubs up and down the Strip. The Fetish & Fantasy Ball is one of the most popular events. Hosted by the purveyors of adult products, the risque event features adventurous costumes, food, drink, and live music the weekend closest to Halloween.
Las Vegas in November
- Professional Bull Riders Championships – In early November (or late October), the best riders and most challenging bulls come face to face in this four-day competition at South Point Arena.
- Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival – Held on the first Saturday in November each year, the Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival celebrates the world of comic books, pop culture and illustrated fiction. The free event features film screenings, live music, a costume contest, and guest speakers, including publishers and other industry figures.
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon – This popular mid-November marathon is one of the very few events that completely shuts down the Las Vegas Strip to traffic. Runners, taking part in either a marathon or half-marathon, make their way from the south end of the Strip to downtown and back, enjoying the sights of Vegas and the cheers of supporters along the way. National acts supply the entertainment, sometimes during the run itself.
- DSOSN Festival of Trees and Lights – In mid-November, the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada hosts a holiday gala with tree decorating contests, gift shops, craft displays, and an opportunity for kids to meet Santa. In the evening, silent and live auctions are held alongside a reception and dinner to benefit DSOSN.
Las Vegas in December
- Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden – Throughout the month of December, the Ethel M chocolate factory in Henderson showcases hundreds of cacti and desert plants with a free seasonal holiday light display. Make a point to tour the chocolate factory and order some delicious made-from-scratch hot chocolate.
- Nevada International Film Festival – The state’s annual celebration of American and international cinema takes place over two days in early December. The festival recognizes excellence in filmmaking in short films, feature films, documentaries, foreign films, music videos, animation, experimental works, and a screenplay competition.
- National Finals Rodeo – The National Finals Rodeo draws fans from throughout the U.S. and Canada for the sport’s biggest competition of the year. Rodeo’s best square off over 10 days in an attempt to place in one of seven events. Don’t be surprised to see cowboy hats all over town.
- Cowboy Christmas – The Las Vegas Convention Center hosts a holiday pop-up shopping mart in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo. It could be the best spot in the country for cowboy-themed gifts for the season.
- Glittering Lights – The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is transformed into Glittering Lights, an illuminated holiday light display. The display begins in November and is available throughout December. Drive through yourself or hitch a ride onboard the Santa Tram.
- Cosmopolitan Ice Rink – The rooftop pool deck at the Cosmopolitan welcomes an ice rink for the winter season. Have a skate under light snow and enjoy holiday-themed cocktails (and roast-your-own S’mores) by a fire pit. Weekly holiday movies are shown on the hotel’s Stripside digital marquee.
- MJBizCon – The largest trade show in the country dedicated to legal cannabis is a great opportunity to learn about business trends, new products, and constantly shifting legalities. Meet the movers and shakers behind one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. MJBizCon runs four days at the Las Vegas Convention Center with dozens of affiliated events and mixers throughout town.
- New Year’s Eve – Despite the frigid weather, New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest days of the year for Las Vegas. The Strip is closed to traffic and transformed into one big block party as fireworks shoot off the rooftops of seven casinos at the stroke of midnight. If you prefer to revel downtown, the Fremont Street Experience hosts “America’s Party” with live music on multiple stages, a midnight celebration, and a 9 pm simulcast of New York’s Times Square ball drop.