5 Off the Beaten Track Things to Do in Las Vegas

May 1st – 4th ~ Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Baby! (View from our window at Bally’s)

Last summer Tim and I flew up to Medford where we had the chance to have a mini reunion with two dear friends that I have known since Junior High School, Karen Snyder and Cheryl Erickson Scott. We had so much fun that we decided to try to make it an annual event.

This year our destination was LAS VEGAS

With all of our husbands in tow, we rendezvoused at Bally’s where Steve and Karen were able to get our rooms comped for us. Nice!

Our large room at Bally’s with a great view of the strip

There are many ways to fill the time in Las Vegas. Of course going to any number of great shows, gambling, eating, shopping and people watching are all options, but we also wanted to have time to visit, laugh, get caught up on each others lives, and do a few “off beat” or not so traditional things while here.

If you find yourself in Las Vegas and are also looking for different options, may I recommend:

Bellagio Conservatory Flower Display

Small sample of the Floral Display at the Bellagio

“Most hotels have gardeners, but the Bellagio has 120 of them. That’s not including the designers, engineers and electricians who work behind the scenes to make all that magic happen. With 15,000-18,000 visitors to impress every day, you don’t have to be a genius to understand why they need so many hands on deck. Five times a year: Chinese New Year, spring, summer, fall and winter, the Bellagio Conservatory team creates a full-blown floral production…During the course of each seasonal exhibit, more than 10,000 potted flowers are hand-watered and switched out every two weeks.” ~ vegas.com

The tulips were magnificent

While you are at the Bellagio, don’t miss the art work of glass mystro, Dale Chihuly. Over two thousand glass flowers hang overhead in the check-in lobby.

Glass Flowers

Fiori di Como is a garden of hand blown glass that is one of Dale Chihuly’s better known public installations. The entire structure weighs over 40,000 pounds, there are more than 2,000 flowers displayed in the glass garden. The structure is a representation of Italian Fields in the spring. The structure is said to be worth about 3 million give or take a few million” ~ vegas.com

And of course, if you have not already seen their dancing fountains set to music, they are both entertaining and relaxing. The 1214 water jets shoot up to 460 feet in the air and are choreographed to 30 different songs.

The Mob Museum

The Mob Museum – This first class museum is located near Fremont street and well worth the time. If you are even slightly curious to learn more about the history of Las Vegas and the mob, you will find the stories, movie clips and displays engaging.

Cheryl, Karen and Joanne at the Mob Museum

“The Mob Museum provides a world-class, interactive journey through true stories. From the birth of the Mob, to today’s headlines. Shadows and whispers. G-Men and Made Men. Whether you like it or not, this is American history. This eye-opening, authentic view of organized crime’s impact on the world reveals an insider’s look at the events and characters of the continuing battle between the Mob and the law.” – The Mob Museum

Menopause, The Musical – With Cindy Williams of “Laverne & Shirley” fame guest starring, one laugh followed another. Obviously, this show is more hysterical for us ladies who have reached a certain stage in life…

Not sure if Cheryl has forgiven me yet, but I somehow managed to drag her on stage with me at the end of the show to join in the last dance number where we celebrated our membership in the club.

Shelby Museum – Tim was able to arrange a VIP tour through the Carroll Shelby Museum for the guys while we girls went for a stroll through the mall (that is code for shopping).

Tim with Vince at the Shelby Museum

“From CSX2000, the first Cobra, to the latest Ford Shelby GT500 “Super Snake” and the first Ford GT prototype, the museum celebrates the life and cars of Carroll Shelby.” ~ CarrollShelbyMerchandise.com

Casa de Shenandoah

Casa de Shenandoah (Wayne Newton’s estate) – Wayne Newton is synonymous with Las Vegas. Karen had purchased some discounted tickets for us ahead of time for a package that included the movie, a tour of his mansion and a visit to see his exotic animal collection. The magnificent Arabian horses he raises can be admired when driving through the property. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 wild peacocks roam the grounds.

Steve, Karen, Bruce, Cheryl, Joanne, Tim at the front door of Casa de Shenandoah

I was fascinated by Wayne Newton’s eclectic art taste. One wall was covered in Margaret Keane paintings, but on the floor to the right of the sofa was a Van Gogh, Sunflowers! Could this possibly be an original??? Our guide said yes, but I can find no information to confirm it.

Look in the far right lower corner…

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Karen Snyder and Steve Doty

Bruce and Cheryl (Erickson) Scott

HELPFUL HINT: Sometimes discounts and two for one tickets can be obtained either through Groupon or if you have a priority gaming card with your favorite casino.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: I love traditions, and am delighted that we are starting a new one. Our get together for next year is already set, as it will coincide with our 50th class reunion to be held in Medford on 8-18-18. Having friendships that have lasted for over 50 years are priceless. I am already looking forward to seeing many more of my classmates at the reunion who I have been fortunate to have found and rekindled a relationship with through the miracle of Facebook, this blog and other forms of social media.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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21 Responses to 5 Off the Beaten Track Things to Do in Las Vegas

  1. LTodd says:

    Fantastic view from your room. Someone had connections. Looks like you had a great time.


  2. Terry says:

    What fun. I think Tim got the best deal with the Shelby Museum.


  3. The real Sunflowers is in the National Gallery in London.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ray, you are correct that one of them is in the National Gallery, however this painting was repeated several times by Van Gogh with slight changes. I have seen the version that hangs in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. There is also one in Japan, Germany and Philadelphia. I believe two are unaccounted for. Love a good mystery.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Because of my photography style, I have followed and read about Van Gogh for probably 30 years. The one most commonly call Sunflowers is the version in the National Gallery. The others are more or less variations on a theme. One of the “two” missing versions was likely taken and lost by the Nazis, leaving perhaps one more which I’m pretty sure isn’t in Las Vegas unless it’s in the Wynne collection.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. tippysmom2 says:

    Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. I can’t imagine changing out that many flowers every 2 days! No wonder they have so many people employed to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This looks a like a wonderful time.


  6. Fun post. There is so much more to Vegas than gambling. I’d like to check out the Mob Museum.


    • I think you would like the Mob Museum. It is well done.


      • Richard says:

        Indeed! I’ve been there, and it must be stated that it is NOT solely about “Vegas and the Mob”. The museum’s full, official name is the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. And they do bring things up to the current day, with displays on DVD piracy and the like. My favorite parts were the exhibit on how people try to cheat at the casinos, and the booth where visitors could record tales of their own encounters with organized crime. Some of those stories were played on a continuous loop…. The woman who, as a young girl, delivered “notes” for her “uncle”. The repo man in Boston who got tasked with repossessing a car owned by a mob boss….


      • You are so accurate that the museum is about much more than the mob. I did not see the section you mentioned where people recorded their own story. That must have been fascinating.


  7. Aunt Beulah says:

    I have loved ones who live in Las Vegas and so visit there often. I’d seen the sights you mentioned except for Wayne Newton’s estate, a must-see for next time. The six of you look like you really enjoy one another. How wonderful is that!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. H.J.M. says:

    Best wishes for your forthcoming trip to North America & Canada ! If you’re taking the Albany-Buffalo-Lake Huron route, I’d like your personal historical snippets linked to my blog ‘ The last of the Mohicans — not yet ‘ of April 2016 , on my website wideworldexplorer.com. I intend linking your blog on Tombstone, Arizona, to my next blog.


  9. Thanks for sharing these tips! I missed the flower show at Bellagio and Wayne Newton’s house. Menopause sounds great! I’ll try to see that show when I go to Vegas this fall.
    If you get a chance to go again, try to find the Secret Pizza Place. There’s more information about it on my blog, but I don’t reveal it’s exact location. 🙂


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