For many Southern California college students, Memorial Day Weekend is synonymous with one thing: Vegas. Thousands of students flock to Las Vegas every year to enjoy the gaudy and glamorous life on the Strip for a few days.
Not 21? No worries! Vegas has TONS of things to do for 18-20 year olds, so don’t let your status as a minor limit you from enjoying everything that Vegas has to offer!
Exploring the Strip
Especially for first-timers, exploring the Las Vegas Strip at night is a must. With all of the lights, loud music and mobs of people, there is never a dull moment. Definitely make the effort to walk the entire Strip; it’s long, but each hotel has something new and exciting to see! As you walk, make sure to stop inside the hotels and check out the extravagant ground levels. Often you can walk through the casino areas without any problems, just don’t loiter, and definitely don’t try to gamble or drink. As long as you are dressed nicely and are behaving, security usually doesn’t ask questions. Some stand-out hotels include New York New York, the Bellagio and Caesars Palace.
Vegas has plenty of free spectacles that anyone of any age can enjoy. Check out the impressive fountain show at the Bellagio, then head inside the hotel and explore the beautiful conservatory and botanical gardens. Watch the Mirage volcano erupt every hour on the hour from 6-11 p.m., and take in the nightly live shows outside of Treasure Island and Caesars Palace. For those with a sweet tooth, stop by M&M’s World and the Ethel M Chocolate Factory to get your chocolate fix.
Vegas has some seriously great (and classy) shopping. You don’t have to walk far to get to extensive shopping malls; they are conveniently located in most of the main hotels! Some of the best shopping experiences can be found at Fashion Show Mall, the Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes & The Shoppes at Palazzo, the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, The Shops at The Cosmopolitan and Via Bellagio.
For the thrill-seeking, the Stratosphere Tower offers four thrill rides –all located on the 109th floor! New York New York’s state-of-the-art roller coaster offers fun for all ages, as well as a stunning view of the strip. Or fly over Fremont Street on an 800-foot zip line at the Fremont Street Experience.
Most restaurants, as long as they aren’t bars, offer service to under-21 year olds. Some places start carding at night, so make sure to check with the restaurant and get there early!
Shows and Clubs
While most clubs in Vegas are exclusively 21+, occasionally 18+ clubs can be found (usually located on side streets off the Strip). While it won’t be the same experience as a night at one of the lavish casino clubs, everyone will still have a great time dancing and soaking in the Vegas atmosphere. For shows, most allow audiences of 18 and older. Some popular shows include “Blue Man Group,” “Cirque de Soleil,” “Chippendales” and “Criss Angel’s Believe.” To find cheap tickets, find a Tix4Tonight ticket stand. These stands sell unsold show tickets for reduced rates –up to 50 percent off!
Hopefully by now you have dismissed the myth that Vegas is for 21 year olds, so as you eagerly plan your next trip to Sin City, grab some friends, arrange a carpool and prepare to have the best weekend of your life! But always remember, what happens in Vegas... usually ends up on Facebook, so be responsible and keep it legal, and dare we say classy? Viva Las Vegas!