10 things you didn't know you can do in Las Vegas

If you're lucky, you'll try them all

By Lois Alter Mark,

Las Vegas may be synonymous with neon lights and casinos but there is so much more to experience.

Here are ten surprising activities that may change your perception of Las Vegas forever. Forget about "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," because you'll want to share photos with everyone you know.

Do yoga on a Ferris wheel

Yoga class on the LINQ Promenade's High Roller — Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment

Take your Child’s Pose to a higher level – literally – with a one-hour yoga class on the LINQ Promenade’s High Roller. Yes, ON the High Roller. 

The world’s tallest Ferris wheel (technically, an Observation wheel) is transformed into a yoga studio as instructors from Silent Savasana guide you through a peaceful and totally unique experience high above the Strip. You may not reach Nirvana but you’ll get pretty close as, over the course of two rotations, you’ll hit 550 feet, where the stunning views take your breath away and give you so much to appreciate.

Operate heavy machinery

The excavator at Dig This Las Vegas — Photo courtesy of Dig This Las Vegas

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit how much I enjoyed this. Billed as America’s Heavy Machinery Playground, Dig This Las Vegas gives you an unheard-of opportunity to operate a bulldozer or excavator just like the professionals.

Take the controls on the massive machines and, with an instructor’s voice in your ear, get busy digging gigantic trenches, building mounds of dirt, stacking 2,000-pound tires and playing Bucket Basketball. The feeling of accomplishment afterwards is surprisingly thrilling.

Eat at the buffet to end all buffets

Desserts at Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

Okay, you already know that buffets are a must while in Las Vegas but did you know that Caesars offers a Buffet of Buffets pass that lets you enjoy all you can eat at four of their properties for 24 hours?

If that seems like too much of a good thing, opt for the aptly-named Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, where you can choose from over 500 dishes. Really, why choose when you can have them all? 

Appreciate some art

Dale Chihuly's Fiori di Como at Bellagio — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

There’s something to look at everywhere you go in Las Vegas but to really surround yourself with beauty, take time to visit Bellagio.

Walk into the lobby and look up to admire Fiori di Como, the gorgeous Chihuly glass sculpture that’s become an Instagram star in itself. Continue walking through the sky-lit Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where flowers, plants and trees are transformed into beautiful works of art, and find your way to the Gallery of Fine Art to view an impressive collection of world-class paintings. 

Take a cooking class

Executive Chef Julien Asseo at Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace — Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment

Las Vegas is a foodie paradise, and now you can take a private cooking class with Executive Chef Julien Asseo of the award-winning Restaurant Guy Savoy.

Learn how to prepare an appetizer and main dish – white asparagus salad with sauce lauris and croutons; duck breast, carrot and button mushrooms; and chestnut and celery soup – then sit down to feast on it at the Krug Chef’s Table, the most coveted seat in the place.

Escape to an oasis

Tea Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas — Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

In the middle of the neon-lit Strip you'll find the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, a five-star, non-gaming, smoke-free luxury hotel that provides a much-welcome respite from all the action.

Park yourself in the Tea Lounge for the most decadent afternoon tea, or soothe your body and soul in the zen-like spa which features a variety of heat and water experiences plus a Chinese foot spa to heal those tired tootsies. The only problem with actually booking a room here is you’ll never want to leave.

Get a bird's-eye view of the Strip

Las Vegas Strip Helicopter Tour — Photo courtesy of Maverick Helicopters

There’s no better way to see Las Vegas than from a helicopter, where you get a truly panoramic view of all the sights that make the Strip so iconic.

Maverick Helicopters offers daytime and night flights, complete with live narration from the pilots. Try them both for totally different perspectives and to prove that, when it comes to Las Vegas, the sky’s the limit. 

Raise a glass like an A-lister

Lip Smacking Boozy Brunch Tour at Bardot Brasserie — Photo courtesy of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Start the day with toast and a toast on the highly-spirited Lip Smacking Boozy Brunch Tour, where the cocktails (or mocktails, if you prefer) flow as freely as the conversation.

Innovative drinks accompany signature dishes at Chef Brian Malarkey’s Herringbone, Chef Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie and dim sum at Lemongrass. And suddenly you understand why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day.

Indulge in a spa treatment

The Spa at Encore — Photo courtesy of Encore

Because Las Vegas is all about indulgence, the best thing you can do to relax and rejuvenate is indulge in something healthy – like a therapeutic massage.

I got an amazing Mana Lomi massage from Sahra Spa at the Cosmopolitan, and experienced the 24-karat gold facial – a treatment once reserved for royalty – at the Spa at Encore, which is so over-the-top gorgeous, I started feeling stressed out about having to leave for dinner.

Get back to nature

Kayak tour on Vegas Glass Kayaks — Photo courtesy of Vegas Glass Kayaks

Granted, Las Vegas is not the first place you think of for natural beauty but a short drive out of the city leads you to Vegas Glass Kayaks, which offers a unique way to experience a completely different type of scenery.

Enjoy 360-degree views of the breathtaking landscape as you paddle through caves and canyons, past historic ruins and beautiful beaches, stopping for a hike and a gourmet picnic lunch. Whether you embark on the half-day Emerald Tour or the full-day Black Tour, you’ll leave with your head as clear as the fiberglass kayaks and paddles.