Category Archives: Things to Do in Las Vegas

Park People at The Park Make for Irresistible Selfie Bait

The Park, a restaurant row between Monte Carlo and New York-New York on the Las Vegas Strip, has become a hub for public art.

Upping the selfie ante, The Park is currently playing host to Park People, a series of life-sized human figures fashioned entirely from Lego bricks.

Park People Las Vegas

“Lego” comes from the Danish phrase “leg godt,” or “play well.” A good fit for Las Vegas, actually.

The Park People series was created by Nathan Sawaya, and is said to “explore the conceptual and expressive potential of process driven forms of the human body.”

So, yeah, Lego people.

Here’s a little video we slapped together, mainly because video is the new reading. Or something.

httpvh://www.www.youtube.com/watch?v=_edlmJ_NG-0
More Lego people, please!

Park People Las Vegas

Dude, it’s Vegas. You might want to pick up some sunscreen.

Sawaya holds an intriguing distinction—he is said to own more Lego bricks than any other individual, with two million bricks in each of his two studios (one in L.A. and another in New York).

Park People Lego art

Yeah, he’s nude, but at least he’d modest.

During our recent visit, guests were cozying up to the  nine interactive figures, providing a memorable moment in Las Vegas for tourists and, as an added perk, great buzz for The Park.

Park People Lego art

Watch the hands.

According to the news release about Park People, the Lego figures are “situated curiously” on “elegant” wooden benches. There’s a reason “elegant” is in quotation marks. Mostly because they’re just benches.

Park People artwork

The plural of Lego is Lego.

Each Lego sculpture can take two to three weeks to build, and each Lego block must be glued into place.

Park People Lego

Pretty sure somebody’s going to be hearing from Blue Man Group’s lawyers.

The Park People exhibit ends Dec. 30, 2016, so if you’d like to see these Lego sculptures, you’d better step on it.

Because Lego. “Step on it.”

We’ll wait.

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15 New Things in Downtown Las Vegas Since Your Last Visit

We may spend a wee bit too much time in downtown Las Vegas, partially because we work there (at Fremont Street Experience), but also because we like our Vegas cheap, lucky and occasionally semi-nude.

There is some benefit to our chronic infatuation with downtown, however, as we’re uniquely qualified to share all that’s new in Glitter Gulch. Which we’re using generically to mean downtown, as the actual Glitter Gulch (the strip club) has closed. See? Things move fast downtown, so here’s what’s new since your last Vegas visit.

1. Turmeric Flavors of India

This new Indian restaurant is in an odd location, and completely worth finding. Turmeric Flavors of India sits across from the Downtown Container Park and serves up traditional flavors with a French presentation. A welcome addition to the downtown dining scene.

Turmeric Fremont Indian

Too pretty to eat? You’ll get past it.

2. Evel Pie

This throwback restaurant has a charming, relaxed vibe and delicious, cheap pizza. At Evel Pie on Fremont East, you can get a beer and slice for $5 at lunch, play classic arcade games and check out tons of Evel Knievel memorabilia. If you’re not sure where everything is on Fremont East, we’ve got this.

Evel Pie

There’s a happy hour, too, with $3 well drinks. Sold.

3. Freedom Beat at Downtown Grand

Out with Stewart + Ogden, in with Freedom Beat. It’s a music venue during the evenings, with a solid menu, including deep friend Twinkies, in case you’re craving them now that Mermaids has closed on Fremont Street.

Freedom Beat Downtown Grand

Freedom Beat’s menu was developed by Chef Scott Commings, season 12 winner of Gordon Ramsay’s reality TV hit, “Hell’s Kitchen.”

4. Wana Taco at Four Queens

Four Queens has rolled out a pop-up taco stand that suits the Fremont Street mojo (drunken revelry) to a tee. The tacos are quite satisfying, and the only downside is there are no beverages sold at Wana Taco. Thankfully, there’s an outdoor bar nearby. It’s Fremont Street, after all.

Wana Taco Four Queens

The tacos at Wana Taco are surprisingly good, about on par with the excellent Taqueria El Buen Pastor just across Fremont.

5. Redwood Steakhouse

This one isn’t entirely new, but it sure looks that way. Redwood Steakhouse at the California recently underwent a major renovation. New look, new menu and there’s an adjoining bar with a great happy hour.

Redwood at The Cal

Redwood Steakhouse features “handsomely detailed, carved-walnut pilasters.” We’re not taking the time to look up “pilasters,” so you’re on your own.

6. Holo Holo Bar

The Cal takes up three spots on this list of new downtown things, including the new Holo Holo bar. The Holo Holo bar takes the place of the hotel’s San Francisco Pub, as The Cal continues to hone in on its key customer base, visitors from Hawaii. Holo Holo means “Let’s go!” in Hawaiian slang. The drinks are cheap and the video poker is plentiful.

Holo Holo Bar at California

The Cal has spend millions renovating its rooms and casino, and we’re focused on a bar. Telling.

7. Cal’s Sports Book and Lounge

The California went all out for its new sports book and lounge. The venue is just off the main casino floor (replacing the tired second floor sports book), and has ample seating and hooch.

California sports book bar

We like it, despite the sports.

8. Fremont Arcade

This new diversion has breathed new life into Neonopolis, the much-maligned shopping center wherein Heart Attack Grill and Denny’s reside. Fremont Arcade has a number of rare and custom pinball machines, and it’s a great way to spend some time for a fraction of what it costs to gamble.

Fremont Arcade

Several of the limited edition pinball machines at Fremont Arcade cost $10,000 or more, so be gentle.

9. Neonopolis eSports Arena

We rolled our eyes when we heard an eSports Arena was opening at Neonopolis, but we stopped by during an event and it’s sort of a thing. Hundreds of people showed up to watch competitive video game playing. We’re still rolling our eyes, but that doesn’t make it any less a thing.

Neonopolis eSports Arena

Yes, there was even a girl.

10. Binion’s Charger Stations

Kudos to Binion’s, not exactly known for being particularly innovative, for installing phone charging jacks at every single chair at every one of its casino table games. You can’t have the phone on the table, but you can set it on your lap as you charge the device and play. There’s another, less pleasant thing at Binion’s, too, unfortunately. Binion’s (along with its sister casino, Four Queens) has converted pretty much all its blackjack games to 6-to-5. A true shocker given its hallowed history as a place that catered to gamblers.

Binion's charging station

Yes, at every seat. Bring your own cord, or they’re for sale in the gift shop.

11. Hennessey’s Pint Glass

For some time, Hennessey’s Pub has boasted what’s billed as the “World’s Largest Pint Glass.” When you visit again, however, that pint glass will look more like a mug. The pint is being rebranded to promote Not Your Father’s Root Beer. Progress has been slow, but it’s happening, and the structure will get a “handle” to complete the motif.

Hennessey's root beer

This isn’t the first time somebody’s taken a mug shot downtown.

12. Red

Red is a bit of a head-scratcher, but it’s new and it’s open! Red took over the space formerly occupied by Insert Coins, and it’s sort of a bar that aspires to be a nightclub, but without the pretense and $500 bottles of Gray Goose. Red had some trouble with its sign (it didn’t pass inspection), so most folks don’t even realize it’s there. If you stop in, feel free to dance like nobody’s watching, because from what we’ve seen, nobody is.

Red Fremont Street

The folks behind Red say a remodel is planned for 2017, and describe it as a “sports bar by day, nightclub by night.”

13. Coffee Stand at The D

We are not a coffee person, but apparently some people are really into it. The D recently opened a pop-up coffee stand that features Zingerman’s coffee, whatever that might actually be. The stand opens at 6:00 a.m. and is rolled away by noon each day. It’s located near the hotel’s registration desk, and here’s the full menu.

Coffee stand at The D

If you’re not a coffee person, the stand also serves iced drinks, expresso drinks, blended drinks and smoothies.

14. Big Rig Jig

This awesome art piece is a little like a human centipede but with trucks. Big Rig Jig is an eye-catching photo op, so if you’re feeling bold (it’s in a not-so-great area, but you’ll be fine during daylight hours), seek it out and behold a wonder of WTF. If you’re interested in more weird photo ops in Las Vegas, we’ve wrangled 25 of them.

Big Rig Jig

Big Rig Jig is located in the courtyard of the closed Fergusons Motel. Like that helps.

15. Eclipse Theaters

We’re not sure who was clamoring for a luxury movie theater downtown, but Eclipse Theaters has opened, anyway. Movies are $18 (stop clutching your chest, it’s embarrassing), but offers chef-catered meals, pre-assigned, reclining seats and hooch. If we’re paying $18 for a movie ticket, there had better be procedures in place to deal with idiots talking or using their phones, or we’ll be looking for a bail bondsman. Thankfully, the neighborhood is teeming with them.

Eclipse Theaters Las Vegas

We can’t wait to drink, eat and movie here, especially that first thing.

Oh, and here’s another something new in downtown Las Vegas. The Harley-Davidson retail store has closed. That’s not really the new part. The retail store has been emptied. Which still isn’t the new we’re talking about. What’s new is that by the next time you visit downtown, it is likely to have a new White Castle. No, really. The White Castle on Fremont Street is expected to open in early 2017.

Harley White Castle Fremont

The Harley-Davidson store has a sign that says, “Closed for renovations.” True, sorta.

That just about covers it. Las Vegas is always racking its brain to come up with newer and bigger and differenter. Which is possibly not a word, but Las Vegas doesn’t live by society’s rules.

If you stumble upon new things downtown, or on The Strip for that matter, we’d love to hear about them. Especially if they’re imbibable. Again, possibly not a word, but it certainly should be.

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Wheel of Misfortune is a Quirky Las Vegas Discovery

We’re always on the lookout for quirky attractions, offbeat photo ops and things to do in Las Vegas, and the Wheel of Misfortune certainly qualifies.

Back in 2012, a graffiti artist named Aware breached security at an abandoned mining site just outside Las Vegas. He and his crew painted a massive, Wheel of Fortune-style wheel.

Wheel of Misfortune

Come for the originality, stay for the misguided social commentary.

Most of the spaces in the wheel say $000, but others contain such upbeat messages as “Lose a Home,” “Lose a Job,” “Bank Owned” and “Lose All Hope.”

The artist reserved one space for himself. Here’s a closer look at this over-sized roadside curiosity.

The Wheel of Misfortune is holding up pretty well considering it’s been exposed to the elements for years.

The sheer magnitude of the work is impressive. The Wheel of Misfortune is about 250 feet wide.

Wheel of Misfortune

It took three days to paint the Wheel of Misfortune. Some people are really committed to the glass being half empty.

Here’s a look at the Wheel of Fortune being painted.

The Wheel of Misfortune was painted inside one of several abandoned “thickener” pits at the Three Kids Mine, operated from 1917 to 1961. The pits were used to “leach a processing pulp” in the production of manganese, whatever that might mean.

Wheel of Misfortune

Suggestions for the other six pits: Beach ball, clock, wagon wheel, Christmas ornament, pizza, casino chip.

The Wheel of Misfortune is on private property, and the site might be toxic, but that’s part of the fun of visiting to check it out.

The Wheel of Fortune is located just behind Laker Plaza and Lake Mead Boat Storage, just a few hundred feet past the entrance to Lake Las Vegas, off of Lake Mead Parkway.

If you’re up for an adventure, find Laker Plaza and the River Mountains Bicycle Shop, pictured below.

Wheel of Misfortune

The owners of the shop are no strangers to people seeking out the Wheel of Misfortune, so they charge $5 to park. Go, Capitalism.

As you exit the store, hang a right and go to the end of the paved parking lot. There, turn right toward the hills. There are no signs, so you’re on your own. Also, the path isn’t paved, but it’s an easy, two-minute stroll to the Wheel of Misfortune.

You can either take photos from a distance or climb the short wall and get into the pit for some selfie action.

Be sure to make some noise, as the pit has a sweet echo effect.

Wheel of Misfortune

Millennial for scale.

The Wheel of Misfortune may not be there forever, so if you’re curious, add it to your list of things to do in Las Vegas.

Of course, we would never encourage trespassing (probably) and don’t blame us if you get a brain tumor from traipsing across a field of manganese mining waste. Hey, some people take manganese as a supplement, so for all you know, you could come out of this with not only epic Instagram photos but also stronger bones and more regular menstrual cycles.

Your results may vary, tumorwise.

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Las Vegas NHL Team Named at Last: Vegas Golden Knights

After what feels like years of speculation, Vegas Golden Knights has been chosen as the name of Sin City’s NHL franchise.

Here’s the team’s new logo.

Vegas Golden Knights

Vegas Golden Knights, you’ll be hearing from Magneto’s lawyers.

We don’t exactly know what to make of the Vegas Golden Knights name, other than the fact it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Las Vegas.

The team’s name is a nod to the alma mater of its owner, Bill Foley, a graduate of the United States Military Academy, also known as West Point. The school’s athletic teams are called the Army Black Knights.

The team’s management made up a bunch of clever reasons justifying both the name of the team and its logo. Something about “defenders of the realm” and “the elite warrior class” and “massaging the narrative.”

We tried massaging the narrative a few times, but found the cost of waxing our palms to be prohibitive.

The team has a secondary logo inspired by the star that sits atop the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign designed by the immortal Betty Willis.

Vegas Golden Knights

“We are proud of the team of high school graphic arts students who spent upwards of 20 minutes developing this secondary logo,” said team representatives.

The Vegas Golden Knights will be the first major professional sports team in Las Vegas, and the NHL’s first expansion team since 2000.

If the Golden Knights name sounds familiar, it could be you attended Clarkson College in Potsdam, New York. The school uses the Golden Knights name as well.

Vegas Golden Knights

Silver Knights and Desert Knights were also in the running for the NHL’s 31st franchise, but Vegas Golden Knights ended up storming the castle. Or something.

The Vegas Golden Knights will hit the ice, or whatever it is hockey teams do in addition to punching each other repeatedly in the face, at the 17,000-seat T-Mobile Arena in the 2017-18 season.

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Lip Smacking Foodie Tours Will Whet Your Appetite for Las Vegas Restaurants

When you’re a Las Vegas blog, one of the most common questions you hear is “Which restaurants should I visit?” Another common question is, “What makes you think you can do a blog when you write as though you’ve experienced a traumatic brain injury?”

Focusing on that first question for a moment, Las Vegas has so many great dining options, it can be overwhelming. That’s where Lip Smacking Foodie Tours comes in.

Therapy restaurant

Therapy restaurant’s soft truffled goat cheese and almond stuffed date wrapped in bacon served on Romesco sauce. Say that five times fast.

Interest in foodie tours has skyrocketed in recent years, mainly people are lazy and indecisive. Foodie tours take the guesswork out of deciding what’s for dinner.

In the case of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, recently named the “Best Las Vegas Tour” in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s “Best of Las Vegas” honors, guests choose between exploring restaurants on The Strip or downtown. We chose downtown, mainly because we work there. (You thought we were kidding about the “lazy” thing?)

In the downtown and Strip tours, guests gather at an appointed place and time. In our case, the tour began at Carson Kitchen. We didn’t eat there, but it’s sometimes included in the tour.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Let the appetition begin. Which, we should say, we’re only 40% confident is an actual word.

Right off the bat, you start to bond with your fellow tour mates. Foodie tours are a great way to meet new people, especially because there’s also alcohol involved.

The downtown version of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours includes visits to three restaurants and a bar, plus a guided tour around downtown, including the Downtown Container Park and other points of interest, some of them super top secret.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

We’ve walked by this wall a hundred times, but until our tour we didn’t know you could peek between the stickers into the super private Laundry Room at Commonwealth, a popular downtown bar.

Our first stop was Therapy restaurant, one of our favorite downtown Las Vegas eateries. And drinkeries, come to think of it.

The restaurants on the tour set aside special seating, and the food comes out very quickly, since everyone has the same dishes.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

It’s Therapy, in more ways than one.

The restaurants serve a selection of their signature dishes, which means guests get more variety, and the restaurants get to show off.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Foodie tours are perfect for people with commitment issues. Try everything!

One cannot live by signature dishes alone, so this was the panty-dropper cocktail we had at Therapy. We’d tell you the name, but it was a very, very good cocktail.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tour

This is The Smash, with Four Roses bourbon, blackberries, fresh limes and mint. Translation: Get in our belly.

Our next restaurant was Itsy Bitsy Ramen & Whiskey, in the Ogden luxury apartment building. The day after our group visited, the restaurant closed its kitchen. They were like, “That meal was so good, we can never match it, so we’re dropping the mic and we’re out.” Or something along those lines.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

We probably shouldn’t bore you with photos of Itsy Bitsy Ramen & Whiskey food which no longer exists. Moving on.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours changes up its roster of partner restaurants, so it’s not a big deal to lose one.

Next up, we hit the Wayfarer bar at Inspire, for a cocktail. That cocktail is included in the tour price ($125 downtown, $199 Strip), but there’s a cocktail package add-on for $40 ($60 Strip) where you get a cocktail at each restaurant. Oh, just do it, you big baby.

Part of the Inspire visit involved special access to a “secret,” members only bar, 365 Tokyo.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

According to the owner of 365 Tokyo, it doesn’t exist. Let’s pretend this photo never happened.

A bartender showed us how to chip a block of ice into a ball, as well as showing us his herbs. The other kind of herbs. What is wrong with you?

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Sharp object, dark room. What could possibly go wrong?

If you’d like to know where the bar is that doesn’t exist, just look for the mirrored part of Inspire’s exterior.

Inspire Las Vegas

It’s the protruding part, upper left. Now you know.

Our last restaurant stop was Glutton restaurant.

The food was great, and when you’re on a Lip Smacking Foodie Tour, you get the full VIP treatment from the restaurants. No waiting. Expert information about the restaurant and food, and just an all-around great time with 15 of your new best friends.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours Glutton

Just power through, gang. It’s Glutton!

The food was fast and fresh at Glutton, another downtown restaurant success story we completely forgot to take notes about.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

We have a vague memory this cocktail at Glutton is called ‘Merica. Just order the cocktail with the coconut. They’ll figure it out.

All the dishes at Glutton were shared, and you’ll feel relieved that’s the case, unless you’re wearing pants with an expandable waistband.

Everything was delicious, from the ahi tuna tacos to the Spicy Coppa Flatbread, from the wood charred broccoli to the pickled tomatoes. Yes, we just said the broccoli was good. By this time, the cocktail package was doing all the heavy lifting.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Flatbread is like pizza, but after it’s been to the gym.

Glutton did a masterful job of topping off the evening’s festivities with dessert, apple cobbler and caramel corn profiteroles, whatever those might be.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

It’s a cream puff, choux à la crème if you’re a blog trying to pretend you know something about food.

We chatted with Donald Contursi, President of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, for our podcast, so it’s worth a listen.

Contursi is not only a very likable tour guide, we were impressed with his vast knowledge of not just the restaurants and bars on the tour, but Las Vegas and downtown in general. And we don’t tend to be impressed by things that haven’t been enhanced with saline or silicone.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours take between two and three hours, but the time flies by.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

The tour pops in at the Downtown Container Park. There tend to be children, so they don’t stay long.

The company offers other packages, including one with five restaurant visits and a helicopter flight ($299).

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours are a great way to sample some of the best food in Las Vegas, while meeting new people and learning about the city from those in the know. Gratuities are included in the cost of the tour, so you can enjoy your night out without having do to any math whatsoever.

Thanks to Lip Smacking Foodie Tours for hosting our tour, and you can find out more at the company’s official site.

If you give it a try, let us know what you think. Oh, and you should probably avoid eating during the 48 hours prior your tour. You’re going to need the room.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

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25 Utterly Offbeat Las Vegas Photo Ops

Just about everyone’s taken photos of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign and the Bellagio fountains, but we like our photo ops a little more twisted.

We’ve pulled together 25 obscure, quirky and downright bizarre photo ops in Las Vegas, so wipe the schmutz off your lens as we expose the offbeat side of Sin City.

1. Park People at The Park

They’re the newest eye candy at The Park, the restaurant row between Monte Carlo and New York-New York. “Park People” are nine colorful, life-size Lego sculptures by artist Nathan Sawaya. During a recent visit, it seemed everyone was sitting next to these eye-catching figures for a selfie.

Park People Las Vegas

Dude, it’s called sunscreen.

2. Bliss Dance

Oh, we’re not done at The Park yet, bub. Yes, we said bub. Somebody had to. We broke the story Bliss Dance was coming to Las Vegas, so she holds a special place in our heart. She’s also naked, so there’s that. Bliss Dance, a 40-foot public art piece by Marco Cochrane that originally appeared at Burning Man, is based upon an actual woman who would never date us in a bajillion years.

Bliss Dance

Similar to many professional dancers in Las Vegas, Bliss Dance took about 10,000 hours to construct.

 3. Typewriter Eraser at Aria

It’s an eye-catching piece of art, and its name is Typewriter Eraser, Scale X. Aria and City Center are bursting with art, and Aria even offers a brochure to help find it all.

City Center typewriter eraser

We like it for its dizzying scale and its ability to confound millennials. Because typewriters. And erasers. And brochures.

4. Berlin Wall at Main Street Station

There’s no way this chunk of the Berlin Wall isn’t making our list of offbeat Las Vegas photo ops. Not so much because it’s the Berlin Wall, but because it’s in the men’s restroom. Women can get their pic, too, just ask security to escort you in.

Berlin Wall Main Street Station

When erected, the Berlin Wall was 27.5 miles long. We can all see where this photo caption is going.

5. St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Wall at The Mob Museum

Speaking of unique walls, how about this macabre offering at downtown’s must-visit Mob Museum? It’s a strange and fascinating artifact from the 1929 whackings of seven mobsters, presumably by members of Al Capone’s posse. Why anyone would associate the mob with Las Vegas is anybody’s guess.

Mob Museum St. Valentine's Day massacre

The Mob Museum Web site has a fun nickname generator. Try it later, you’re in the middle of a listicle.

6. John Gotti’s Sportscar

While we’re downtown, we should probably hit the Plaza. And speaking of “hits,” be sure to snap a photo of the Teflon Don’s car in the Plaza’s casino. No, really, in the middle of the casino. The car is on loan from the aforementioned Mob Museum.

John Gotti

The 1972 Jaguar XKE convertible was supposed to be on display until mid-2015. Think they’re giving it back? Fahgettaboudit.

7. The Pink Motel

Fun City is a motel in a fairly crappy part of Las Vegas, but it’s worth the risk to life and limb, mainly because the motel’s pink. Fun fact about Fun City: In “Vegas Vacation,” the Griswalds got remarried at the adjoining Chapel of the Bells.

Pink Motel Las Vegas

Many Las Vegas strippers fly in for weekends and stay at Fun City. Which might explain why the Stratosphere looks like that. Just saying.

8. Diamond Inn Motel’s Pink Elephant

You can never have too many seedy motels or too many pink things. This roadside curiosity recently got some repairs, so it’s ready for its close-up. The pink elephant can be found along Las Vegas Boulevard, near Mandalay Bay and the welcome to Las Vegas sign.

Pink elephant Las Vegas

The pink elephant was imported from Disneyland in the 1950s. It used to trumpet loudly, but the County forced the owners to remove the sound device. Thank you, County.

9. Elephants at Rainforest Cafe

If you’re a fan of pachyderms, you’ll be thrilled to know there are more elephant photo ops in Las Vegas, and these babies still have their trumpeters intact. These large elephants can be found at the new location of Rainforest Cafe, Harmon Corner, at the juncture of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue. They’re a little cheesy, but the lifelike movements will win you over.

Rainforest Cafe elephants

Embrace the cheese. Although we were expelled from school for that one time.

10. Crazy Girls Bronze Statue at Planet Hollywood

Just around the corner from Harmon Corner is Planet Hollywood, and Planet Hollywood is the new home of an iconic, and decidedly offbeat, photo op. It’s a bronze statue for “Crazy Girls,” a topless revue that was once at the demolished Riviera. The statue can be found at the base of the escalator leading up to the hotel’s Sin City Theatre.

Crazy Girls statue

It’s considered good luck to rub the statue, hence the strategic buffing, if you get our drift.

11. Chocolate Statue of Liberty at New York-New York

Everything’s better with chocolate, so it follows the Statue of Liberty is better made of chocolate. Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York-New York boasts a Lady Liberty replica made of 800 pounds of chocolate. Yes, in a city where the temperature often exceeds 120. Here’s a video about the making of this curious Vegas photo op. The statue took 1,000 hours to make, or roughly the amount of time your flight takes when you’re headed to Las Vegas.

Chocolate Statue of Liberty

We’re thinking this has the makings of the world’s largest, and most patriotic, s’more.

12. Dogs at Cosmopolitan

We don’t know much about these dogs, other than that they’re very cooperative when it’s time to take a photo. The collection of pups (there are five) can be found on the level above the Cosmopolitan’s casino.

Cosmopolitan dogs

The position of the dogs changes from time to time, so drop by and check out the latest doggy positions. We probably should’ve checked your I.D. before letting you read these photo captions.

13. Headless Lenin at Mandalay Bay

Just outside the Red Square bar at Mandalay Bay you’ll find a headless statue of Lenin, sometimes referred to by his DJ name, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. When the statue first went up, it had a head, but customers complained, mainly retired servicemen. So, the head was lopped off in 1999.

Lenin Red Square

Lenin is considered one of the most influential foreign leaders of the 20th century, so 96% of Americans have no clue who he is. All due respect.

14. Big Rig Jig

Let’s head (please refer to #13) back downtown to get a look at Big Rig Jig, a hidden gem and spectacularly weird Las Vegas photo op. Big Rig Jig is a 50-foot, 25-ton sculpture, assuming you use the term “sculpture” very loosely.

Big Rig Jig

Big Rig Jig sits in the courtyard of the closed Fergusons Motel. Think “Human Centipede,” but with trucks.

15. Manneken-Pis at The D Las Vegas

No, really, that’s what it’s called. This defiant statue is an over-sized replica of the famous statue in Brussels. Which is another country altogether, we’re pretty sure. Manneken-Pis means “little man pee” in Dutch. This isn’t rocket science, you know. This blog personally tossed the very first coin into the Manneken-Pis fountain and promptly won $1,000 on a Top Dollar slot machine in The D. Which makes this not only an offbeat photo op, but also a financial planning strategy. Or something.

Manneken-Pis The D

The original Manneken-Pis was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder, a name which got the dude epic amounts of tail, trust us.

16. Mantis at Downtown Container Park

This 150:1 scale model of a praying mantis lights up the sky with fire each night at the Downtown Container Park, a shopping district fashioned from recycled shipping containers. The flame-throwing mantis took 3,000 hours to build and burns through about 50 gallons of propane each day. Flames from the beast reach six stories high.

Container Park mantis

Be sure to bring some extra bejesus with you, as the mantis is sure to scare what’s in you out of you.

We weren’t kidding about the “six stories high” thing, by the way.

17. Painting at Park on Fremont

Park on Fremont is a bar and restaurant on (wait for it) Fremont Street. East, to be specific. Fremont East is flush with idiosyncratic bars, and Park on Fremont is no exception. On the restaurant’s patio, you’ll find an awkward painting most customers don’t even notice. We did, and now you will, too. Snap away!

Park on Fremont

Ask your server if you’d like to sit in the non-blushing section.

18. Giant Fire Hydrant

This larger-than-life fireplug, found in downtown Las Vegas, is said to be the world’s largest working fire hydrant. We’d love to say we verified that claim, but that would involve setting our drink down for a minute, so no thanks. The hydrant is located near the Western Hotel, which was euthanized in 2012.

World's largest fire hydrant

On hot days, officials uncap the hydrant so children can cool off. They can be reclaimed in Arizona.

19. Truck Cab at Pizza Rock

All right, just one more Las Vegas photo op downtown before we head back to The Strip. Guests of our favorite Vegas restaurant, Pizza Rock, are sometimes surprised to see a Peterbilt truck cab. Their surprise turns to WTF when they realize the truck doubles as the restaurant’s DJ booth.

Pizza Rock truck cab

This is the only acceptable kind of “long-hauling” in Las Vegas, thank you very much.

20. Blue Man Group at Luxor

Back to The Strip we skip! In November 2015, Blue Man Group moved back to Luxor after a number of years at Monte Carlo. After settling in, they set up a photo op to help market the show. Inside the display, you’ll find life-like blue persons and random props to up the weird quotient. Guests can stick their head through a hole in the wall of the display (swapping faces with legendary TV painting instructor Bob Ross), making the display both interactive and sort of disturbing, in a good way.

The display is named the Blue Man Wax Shack, a cross-promotion with Madame Tussauds, which created the blue men.

The display is named the Blue Man Wax Shack, a cross-promotion with Madame Tussauds, which created the blue men.

21. “Ka” Dragon at MGM Grand

At the entrance to the “Ka” Theater at MGM Grand, there’s a massive, colorful dragon, the perfect addition to your Las Vegas photo collection. “Ka” is one of the Cirque shows in Las Vegas that offers a free open house to guests. There are very few words we love as much as “free.” They include “Captain,” “craps” and “formicophilia.” Don’t ask.

Las Vegas photo op

Dragons are mythological, much like the Alon resort.

22. Mastro’s Ocean Club at Crystals Mall

You either get why this is an offbeat photo op or you don’t. And if you don’t, we admire the rose-colored glasses through which you view the world.

Mastro's Ocean Club

We’ve tried getting a reservation at Mastro’s, but it’s hard.

23. Penn & Teller at Rio

That’s right, one of the quirkiest Las Vegas photo ops isn’t a thing, it’s a who. Troublesome magicians Penn & Teller hang out with audience members after their show, signing autographs and taking photos. Unlike some Vegas celebs, they don’t charge for the meet-and-greet, they do it as a way to show appreciation to their fans.

Penn & Teller

It’s not a Madame Tussauds thing, promise. It’s the actual Penn & Teller.

24. Scorpions at Nacho Daddy

If you thought the scorpion shots at Nacho Daddy were creepy, wait until you see their new display case. Nacho Daddy opened a location on The Strip in August 2016 (at Miracle Mile Shops) and installed a custom display featuring gargantuan Emperor scorpions. The case was built by the team from the reality show “Tanked,” and Nacho Daddy was featured on the show.

Nacho Daddy scorpions

The Emperor scorpions at Nacho Daddy share their case with lots of very, very nervous crickets.

25. Seven Magic Mountains

They’re big, they’re bold and they’re out in the middle of nowhere. Seven Magic Mountains is about 10 minutes south of the Las Vegas Strip, and you sort of can’t miss them. Seven Magic Mountains is seven pillars, all between 30 and 35 feet tall. Each rock weighs between 20 and 25 tons. The public art piece took five years to complete, at a cost of $3.5 million. You want offbeat? You’ve got it!

Seven Magic Mountains

About a third of Vegas visitors come from California, so this photo op has quickly become a Sin City fanatic favorite.

Here’s a look from a slightly different perspective.

Well, that should keep you busy during your next visit to Las Vegas.

Have a favorite offbeat Las Vegas photo op? We might just include your suggestion in our follow-up story which we’re sure you’ll be clamoring for any time now. We’ll wait.

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