Tina in Real Life – Vegas Guide

I get asked all the time for input on what are the must-do, must-see things in Vegas. If you asked and I never replied I am so sorry!! Finally sitting to write down some of the things we’ve done and loved (and mention a few things I recommend skipping). We’ve lived here for almost two years and I know we haven’t even scratched the surface of all there is to do, but we have gone to some great shows, eaten at some yummy and unique restaurants, and had some really cool experiences!


We have not eaten out a ton on the Strip (because $$$) but I’ll share the few we have tried, plus some that are off the Strip and worth checking out!

Hell’s Kitchen (Caesar’s Palace): we went here for our anniversary dinner in 2018 and loved it! It was very pricey but everything was delicious and the service was great. They do have a lunch menu that is slightly more affordable.

Mama Rabbit (Park MGM): not a restaurant, but a really cool bar that does have delicious light bites. I love mezcal and this is a tequila & mezcal bar where you can get flights and signature cocktails. The vibe is really cool and the night we went they had an awesome live band.

Water Grill (Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace): this was our anniversary lunch in 2019! I had eaten here once before at a blogger event and OMG everything is delicious. As a midwest girl, this is Red Lobster on crack (haha!), they have giant tanks with every kind of crustacean imaginable. The ambience is great and they have a bunch of private rooms for hosting parties and events.

Smoked Burgers & BBQ (Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace): we stumbled across this little restaurant with the kids one day and have been back a few times because the food is great and very affordable for being on the strip. One time I met some out-of-town girlfriends there and we sat outside by one of the giant fountains!

Sushi Roku (Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace): first time I went here was for a blogger event and I’ve been back with my mom and with Simon! Really good food including delicious vegan options. For dessert get the Carnival Cake, the presentation on it is super fun!

Eataly (Park MGM): I love coming here, it’s a big marketplace with shopping, walk-up food counters, open seating, bars and sit down restaurants. We’ve eaten at the counters and one of the restaurants and it’s all been amazing.

The Front Yard (Ellis Island Casino): this is newly opened and we love it! The vibe is fun, the food is delicious and the beer is cheap!!

The Golden Tiki (Chinatown): off the Strip but worth going to! It’s like a bar meets Disney, haha! You can get a Dole Whip with or without alcohol, you can get a flaming drink, and the whole place is super cute and kitschy.

Marrakech (off the Strip): this is an experience! Their website sums it up with “You will be transported to another world within the ambiance of our Moroccan tent while enjoying our six-course prix fixe menu and live belly dancing.”

Black Bear Diner (off the Strip): when we want a big, delicious breakfast, this is where go! They have multiple locations but we go to the one by the south outlets.

Carl’s Donuts (off the Strip): Carl’s has been a wholesale donut operation since the 60’s but opened a retail shop in 2018 and it is our FAV! They have all the classics plus speciality donuts, fresh squeezed orange juice, and a donut wall for selfies!

Container Park (downtown): one of our favorite places to go as a family. They have a big play area, several restaurants/bars you can order from and then eat/drink by the play area while the kids burn off energy!

AYCE Sushi: there are TONS of all-you-can-eat-sushi restaurants in Vegas, just jump on Yelp and read reviews first! We personally like BF Sushi but it is about 7 miles from the Strip.


The Beatles LOVE (The Mirage): we’ve seen this twice, it’s an excellent show, my one piece of advice for this show is that I do think sitting closer makes a difference, I enjoyed it more when we sat closer.

Michael Jackson ONE (Mandalay Bay): really cool show with incredible dancing. I feel like I don’t really understand Cirque shows though, haha. I enjoyed it but I wouldn’t go again.

Cirque show I want to see: “O” (pricey, if you get a chance to go, GO! I’ve only heard good things)

Cirque shows I’ll skip: (we heard over and over that it’s not good and then Kyle saw it and concurred, haha) and R.U.N. (sounds like a cool concept but we heard a surprising part of the show is just video projection and not live action)

Potted Potter (Bally’s): I have seen this a bunch of times and I love it. It’s funny and clean, the showroom is small and intimate, and you don’t have to know Harry Potter to enjoy it!

Mike Hammer’s Comedy Magic Show (Four Queens on Fremont St.): another one I’ve been to over and over and love every time. The tricks are the same each time, but because so much of the show is audience interaction and Mike picking on people, it’s always different and hilarious!

Mac King Comedy Magic Show (Harrah’s): this is really fun with young kids, it’s pretty clean with silly humor, and the magic is impressive! Simon’s favorite!

Blue Man Group (The Luxor): so fun! I had a blast and got to go on stage when we went!

Carrot Top (The Luxor): wildly inappropriate and very funny, but now that I’ve been once I don’t need to go again.

Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club (The Linq Promenade): with any comedy club of course it just depends on the night and the comedian but I liked the vibe here and it’s fun to stroll the Linq Promenade before or after.

Menopause the Musical (Harrah’s): my mom and I went and laughed our butts off, this is a really cute show!

Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream (Bally’s): in the same showroom as Potted Potter, this is a really cool magic show! I sat front row and I have to say from there I could how some of the tricks worked but it didn’t take away from how talented he is!

Shows to skip: Terry Fator @ The Mirage (sorry, but this did nothing for us, he is super talented but the show content needs some work and better writing), MJ Live Show @ The Stratosphere (haven’t heard anything good about it), Matt Goss (good singer, might be for some people but wasn’t for us, overpriced and underwhelming).

Shows I want to see: Celestia, Tapeface, Penn & Teller, Piff The Magic Dragon, Matt Franco, Shin Lim.

Risque shows that I’ve heard good reviews on: Zumanity, Absinthe, Miss Behave Game Show.


Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace: this is my FAVORITE shopping destination on the Strip. It’s a mix of experience (cobblestone streets, sky painted ceiling, fountains galore), high end shopping (Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, etc….), budget shopping (3-story H&M, Altar’d State, Gap, etc…) and a bunch of amazing restaurants (several are mentioned above!!).

Fashion Show Mall: my other favorite shopping destination on the Strip. This mall has over 250 stores, 25 dining options and 8 department stores!! True to its name there is a runway that pops up in the center of the mall and there are live fashion shows!

Town Square: south of the Strip, this is a great outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment spot. There is a park/splash pad for the kiddos and lots of stores that I like!


Walking: of course you can walk and walk and walk in Vegas. Depending on the weather we like just strolling through the casinos and their many shopping areas. If it’s nice out we love “The Park” which is the outdoor area between New York-New York, Park MGM Las Vegas, and the T-mobile Arena and has tons of outdoor seating, restaurants and entertainment. I also like the Linq Promenade, it’s a mix of shopping, restaurants, entertainment, ziplining, and of course the High Roller observation wheel.

High Roller: I am afraid of heights and this totally did freak me out. But now that I’ve done it once I do want to do it again and get over my fears, haha! It takes about 30 minutes, you get an awesome view of the whole valley, and we’ve only done a regular cabin but they do have cabins with an open bar!

Ziplining: Surprise! Even though I am very afraid of heights, for whatever reason I LOVE ziplining. Anything where I am strapped in and feel secure, I am all in for. There are three ziplining options in town (Slotzilla at Fremont St., Rio Zipline and FLY LINQ at the Linq Promenade) and I did some more serious out-in-nature ziplining with my brother and sister-in-law at Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon and it was amazing.

Big Apple Coaster (at New York-New York): Look, this is a fun, but BUMPY ride! I’ll do it with any out-of-towners that want to do it but it won’t be something I seek out on my own, haha!

Bellagio Fountains/Mirage Volcano: one night I caught both by chance walking the Strip with a friend and had a blast!

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign: I think it’s fun to get a photo with the Welcome to Las Vegas sign! We’ve made it a tradition to get a family picture there every December. You will probably have to wait in line if you want a primo spot in front of the sign, but if you’re in a hurry and don’t care if there’s other people in your shot you can stop and grab a quick picture. During busy times there is usually a person there who is happy to use your camera or phone to take a photo of your group and they just accept tips.

Seven Magic Mountains: a 30-minute drive south of the Strip, fun as adults or with the kiddos! It’s an art installation that is seven towers of huge, colorful, boulders. Out in the desert it is so striking and a fun photo spot.

Hiking: We love going as a family to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park (adjacent to Red Rock) and a few times a year we drive an hour north to Valley of Fire State Park.

Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay: kind of expensive for what it is, but fun with the kiddos, we ended up getting an annual pass and got our money’s worth in that year but we didn’t renew.

Springs Preserve: another place to go with kids, this is a sprawling property north of the Strip. We had a year long membership, went a ton, and still didn’t see all there was to see.

Discovery Children’s Museum: I am picky about children’s museum and I approve this one, haha! Three floors of fun and a really nice range of activities for all ages.

Parks/Splash Pads: there is a PLETHORA of incredible parks and splash pads in the Las Vegas Valley, so if you come to town with your kids and want to get away from the casinos you have a ton of options! In our part of town we frequent Mountains Edge Regional Park, Exploration Peak Park, Olympia Sports Park and James Regional Sports Park. Closer to Summerlin we like Mesa Park and Fox Hill Park, next to the airport is Siegfried and Roy Park, up north there’s a park I want to check out called Aliante Nature Discovery Park. There are tons more I haven’t mentioned!

IKEA: I love IKEA, and I’ve always lived several hours away from it, so even though we are 15 minutes away now, it’s still amazing to me, haha!

Shopping Cart