2020 has been one hell of a year. From the virus to murder hornets and to the shut down of major cities, I don’t believe we can even be surprised anymore. For me, the toughest part is the feeling of being trapped in your town with nowhere to go and nothing to do.
If you have kids it’s even tougher as they’ve been home with you day in and day out without the celestial reprieve of the public education system. If you fall into the parenting bucket I’m describing, I bet you feel like you could use a vacation now more than ever…
This is exactly how my wife and I were feeling come August of this year. Every even year my wife and I plan a “parents only” vacation as a way to give us a break from our children (you all know you need it too) and to help rekindle our love and lives. It’s nice to remember what things were like “pre-children” again.
There was just one problem with this vacation that we had planned more than a year ago… CORONAVIRUS
We were first worried that our trip would be canceled completely until we saw that Nevada was opening up towards the end of July with some heavy restrictions. Although we were sad that many things would be unavailable during our trip, we still forged forward knowing that we couldn’t pass up a weekend to ourselves with babysitters already in place. So, if you’re like us with plans to Vegas (or needing a place to go) here’s a few things to know before you go as well as some of the best things you can still do so you aren’t asking what to do in Las Vegas during the Pandemic.
What to know:
1. You’ll be wearing a mask everywhere
This goes without saying and is strictly enforced. If wearing a mask doesn’t bother you, then you’ll be fine. We had to wear a mask 100% of the time when inside any building and when at the pool (unless we were actually in the water from the waist down). It’s recommended that you wear your mask while walking the Strip, Fremont Street, or when around other large groups of people. There are also lots of signs and markings reminding you to have 6 feet apart from the next group.
2. All of the shows are shut down except a few rare or later showings
Not much to this one… We were super bummed that we couldn’t go to any of the magic shows we wanted to see. As of today (September 2nd) there are a few shows that are listed on the Vegas website showing some are resuming in November.
3. Many locations are still closed
If there is something specific you want to see while in Vegas during COVID, then check online and call ahead. Also, call ahead on locations that say they are open online as hours may not have been updated. This happened to us when we tried to visit the Vegas Golden Knights store (online said it closed at 7 pm when it actually closed at 4 pm)
4. There are extra masks and sanitizers everywhere
If you happen to forget your mask or feel like you need to sanitize, don’t worry. Everyone has you covered with masks and sanitizer
After all of this, the question still remains… What can you do in Vegas during COVID? If you’re wondering if it is still worth the trip, here’s a list of things you can still do.
1. Visit Museums
Many of the museums have been reopened with strict COVID protocol guidelines. You can have an awesome historic light show at the neon museum, get your spook on at Zak Bagan’s Haunted Museum, or learn about the history of Organized Crime in the USA at the Mob Museum. Melanie and I decided on the Mob Museum which was absolutely incredible. We walked through many of the jaw-dropping exhibits while also participating in 2 of the 3 extra activities.
The 3 activities you can do while in Vegas during COVID are a SpeakEasy taste-testing experience, the crime lab, and the police training. We opted for the crime lab and police training. The crime lab was simple and had fun hands-on activities that taught you what forensic scientists do on the daily. The police training gives you a view into what life is like as a police officer when called into the line of fire. I recommend that experience as a MUST DO. Putting myself in the shoes of what cops go through on a daily basis has changed my mind about what their job is like.
Many (if not all) casinos are open. A lot of tables are shut down, depending on the casino, but the ones that are open have plastic guards up between players so you can still get a few games of Blackjack in (just be sure to have a mask). All of the slots are open but have seats removed every other machine. There are significantly fewer tourists so don’t worry about not getting a machine.
3. Go Swimming
It was filthy hot when we were there (heatwave of 110 degrees!) so going to the pool was a must. Though, you will want to check ahead of time what the pool restrictions are for your hotel. At the Golden Nugget, where we stayed, if the pool capacity was hit then you had to get on a “text” waitlist for your turn to go. Kind of a pain but worth it to cool off. Sadly, the hot tubs were shut down…
4. Dine at local restaurants
Many restaurants have opened up for dine-in. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe on the strip which was absolutely amazing! The burgers were thick and covered in delicious cheeses and sauce with a brownie dessert with hot steamy fudge and chilled vanilla ice cream. You’ll have to enter all restaurants with a mask and use it when walking around; but, you can take it off at your table.
5. Go shopping!
Many casinos and regular stores along the strip are open for shopping. Just be sure you’ve got a mask on or else you won’t be admitted.
6. Walk the strip or Fremont Street
We spent an evening just people watching down the strip one night and then down Fremont Street the next. There are always some fun street entertainers or just interesting characters to see.
7. Check out the Bellagio Fountain show
This is probably the only show that was still going on in all of Vegas while we were there… The best time is to see it is as night so be sure to add this to your “walk down the strip” night.
8. Go get a few drinks
Sadly, the bars and nightclubs are all closed (as far as August goes). However, you can order drinks to your room, at a dine-in restaurant, or on the casino floors.
9. Go do water activities at Lake Mead
If you have a little extra cash and a car, you can go rent a boat or some jet skis out on Lake Mead to mix things up.
10. Get a Massage
This was the one thing in Vegas we could do during COVID that was a must. Whenever my wife and I go on any vacation, a massage is always in the cards. We found an amazingly priced massage parlor with pretty much all 5 star reviews on Google… and it was well worth it.
Well, there you have it. A list of 10 things you can do in Las Vegas during the COVID Pandemic. It’s not too much, but it’s definitely enough in my opinion to get out of the house and mix things up a bit. If you’re going quarantine crazy and need to go somewhere, Vegas still has plenty to do during the Pandemic that will make it worth the trip. Just make sure you are healthy before you go without any pre-existing conditions that would make you susceptible to serious complications if you happen to come in contact with someone sick.
Have you been on a trip since the pandemic hit? Where did you go and what did you do there?