Here’s your Labor Day to-do list
Labor Day is one of those holidays that may sneak up on you. It will be close to quitting time the Friday before, and it won’t hit you that Monday’s a holiday until a co-worker starts talking about getting a sweet deal on bedroom furniture. But the “headboard blowout sale” isn’t the only game in town, certainly not in Las Vegas, North America’s happiest travel destination, where we treat two-day weekends like the crew of the SS Tsiolkovsky before the hull fractured (that reference is for you, “Star Trek”’s Wil Wheaton).
So, how will you take advantage of this once-every-52-weeks opportunity? Here’s a compilation of close-to-home or just-around-the-bend Labor Day excursions that can top any mattress deal.
Go Antique Browsing (and Beer Drinking) In Boulder City
Sure, temperatures will hover around 110 degrees on Labor Day, but you don’t really feel it until it’s 115. So there’s no reason you can’t be out walking the streets of Boulder City, looking for sweet bargains on ironic accessories (bring me back a Fisher Price cassette recorder) and a lamp that goes with nothing in your living room. Boulder City still boasts the best antique browsing in Southern Nevada (don’t @ me downtown enthusiasts, I’m one of you) for two big reasons: covered sidewalks and plenty of tree shade. To top it off, the getaway town offers a bevy of breweries with cool names like Beer Zombies and The Dillinger. A shopping buzz isn’t a terribly bad thing. Maybe you do need that lamp?
Get Lost at AREA15
You may have done AREA15, but you haven’t done it all. The experience-centric “wanderland” is the ideal place to cool off without worrying that you’ll run out of things to do. Make a day of it. Throw some axes. Ride the Haley’s Comet zipline. Shop for weird stuff at Omega Mart. Shoot some VR zombies. Play games at the Emporium. Whatever you do, plan your exit so you’ll leave the parking lot after sunset. Otherwise the temperature in your car will be somewhere in the 120s when you head home. That late afternoon period between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. in Las Vegas is just… gross.
Go Underground at The Mob Museum
If you grew up in a town where homes had basements, you know that nothing beats a trek downstairs on a blistering hot day. Unless your neighbor has one of those apocalypse bunkers, with a bar, your best bet for an underground escape is The Underground at The Mob Museum. The Prohibition tribute is home to a distillery and one of the city’s OG speakeasies. The Underground is so cool—not just air conditioned cool—that you need a password to get in. Don’t worry, it’s on the website.
Plant Yourself at These Pools, and Stay There
There are two types of hotel pools in Las Vegas: off-the-rails, cake-throwing, champagne-spraying, EDM-blasting dayclub pools, and quieter pools with less attractive people. One’s not better than the other, they’re just different. If you want to get noticed outside of your apartment complex pool, consider Circa’s 365-day Stadium Swim if you’re in Downtown Las Vegas; or one of the aforementioned DJ-fronted dayclub parties on the Strip. Among the recommends: Rubi Rose at Mandalay Bay’s Daylight Beach Club; Mike Attack at The Cosmopolitan’s Marquee Dayclub (marqueelvnc.taogroup.com); and DJ Shift at MGM Grand’s Wet Republic.
Find Your Way to Flagstaff
When it’s a million degrees out and a holiday, your first instinct might be to flee to Mount Charleston. That’s not a wrong instinct, just know that a few thousand of your fellow Las Vegans might have the same idea. For that reason, consider giving Flagstaff a shot. Sure, the drive to northern Arizona takes a little longer, and it’s a strange, foreign land, but Flagstaff pushes the right buttons if you’re into small towns with nice scenery and lower temperatures (it’ll likely be high 70s, low 80s on Labor Day). If you want to make a weekend of it, Flagstaff has its own First Friday art attractions, a Haunted History Tour, outdoor yoga, and a farmer’s market. The town is also within not-too-painful driving distance of the Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and Grand Canyon National Park. Flagstaff, you just keep on impressing.