Updated: Jul 11
Father's Day in Las Vegas. Yes, you read that correctly. Step away from the grill, this will NOT be another typical day with your dad. Vegas may not be your first choice when it comes to places to spend Father’s Day, but it should be. It has just about anything you could ever want to try, see, eat or feel (more on that later). One of the main reasons people from all over the world flock to this desert oasis is because there’s something for everyone, including your dear old dad.
So before you load your cart with his favorite beer (like you did last year and probably the year before that), why don’t you try envisioning who he was before he had to wipe your regurgitated breakfast off his shirt. We all have a finite number of Father’s Days with our dads, and if we’re being honest, he probably got macaroni art for about half of them. It’s time to pony up, spend some real time together, and create a cherished memory you’ll have for the rest of your lives.
Remember, getting older is a gift. You gain perspective, and if you’re one of the lucky ones, you get a chance to become friends with the people who made you who you are today. So come spend Father’s Day in Las Vegas, especially because it’ll be just as fun for you as it will be for him. You can thank me later.
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An insider's guide to A Father's Day in Las Vegas that's anything. but lame
For the dads who have a need for speed
If you’ve ever woken up in the car on a family road trip and your dad was racing the guy next to him, pay attention, this is probably your category. That actually happened to me on a lonely stretch of Florida highway circa 2004, so I knew my dad was going to love this gift for Father’s Day.
If your dad has a serious love of cars, like my dad does, there are going to be very few experiences he’ll love as much as racing exotic cars. At Exotics Racing, he’ll be able to drive every single car of his wildest dreams (like the crazy man he is) without your mom screaming at him from the back seat. My dad slid behind the wheel of a Ferrari 430 F1 that has 490 horsepower and goes from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. He giggled like a sweet little pigtailed girl scout. You can also try Dream Racing and SpeedVegas.
For the daredevil dads
Sky Combat Ace
If that seems like child’s play, Sky Combat Ace will give this adrenaline junkie just the fix he needs. He’ll hop in the cockpit of an Extra 330LC and learn to barrel roll and dogfight at 250 mph with retired pilots. He’ll even learn how to take out ground targets on combat missions.
At Battlefield Vegas, you’ve got the right to bear arms in the indoor (read air conditioned) shooting range. The 5-acre facility is loaded with military equipment like tanks, helicopters, and other vehicles. You'll have access to range training officers, safety equipment and of course, your own personal arsenal. They’ll bring out the big boys, as in machine guns and military- grade weapons, and let you and your dad pop off rounds faster than you can count them.This place will have firearms enthusiasts (or the curious) drooling all over themselves. Plus, they'll pick you up from your hotel in a military humvee.
Did your dad serve in the military? Or maybe he’s just a huge Rambo fan, you can combine those experiences and send the main man high above the Nevada desert where he can shoot a machine gun out of an open-door helicopter. With Gunship Helicopters, he’ll fire at ground targets with a belt-fed M249 SAW, M4 and MP5 machine guns, a Barrett M82A1 sniper rifle, or the only aerial rotary machine gun in Vegas, the minigun.
Too much? OK, maybe he just wants to flirt with danger a little. Take him to Vegas Indoor Skydiving where he’ll experience 120 mph winds that will send him soaring high above the floor. He’ll be twisted and twirled and flipped over onto his back, and if he’s really good, the instructor will fly next to him. If you’ve given him grandchildren who also want to celebrate his awesomeness, this is one of the best things to do with kids in Vegas that parents will actually enjoy.
For the dads who are sports fanatics
NHL's Vegas Golden Knights
NFL's Las Vegas Raiders
WNBA's Las Vegas Aces
If your dad dunked on you and your Fisher-Price basketball rim when you were 4 years old, this is going to be right up his alley. Vegas has become a major hub for professional sporting events. Just look at the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces and the almost-here Las Vegas Athletics.
Watching sports in Vegas is next level, with crazy special effects, A-list celebrities and entertainers, and brace yourself: nightclubs. That’s right, T-Mobile Arena even has its own Hyde Lounge, relocated from its original lagoon-side spot at the Bellagio Las Vegas. Not to be outdone by Allegiant Stadium that offers Raiders fans a retractable roof and million-dollar view of the Las Vegas Strip. Seriously, neither of you will ever look at professional sports the same way.
For the dads with competitive streaks
Wynn Golf Club
Bali Hai Golf Club
Desert Pines Golf Course
Topgolf Las Vegas
But maybe you’d like to get in on the action, not just watch it. A bowling alley, a concert venue and a restaurant all in one; Brooklyn Bowl is everything you need for hours of trash talking and laughs. You’ll lounge around on swanky chesterfield sofas and knock back a few adult beverages while waiting your turn.
If your father’s preferred method of dissing is a little more subdued and refined, the lush tropical grounds at Wynn Golf Club, Bali Hai Golf Club, and Desert Pines will be the perfect setting for you to battle it out on the greens. These five-star golf courses transport you to paradise in the middle of the desert.
If he clobbers you during the day, throw him a curve and take him to Topgolf where you can swing the night away in 120 all-weather bays spanning four stories. In true Vegas fashion, it’s indoor/outdoor with two pools, five separate bars, a concert venue that holds 900 people, a 48-foot (15 meter) video wall, a DJ and obviously, VIP cabanas and private suites all overlooking the Strip.
For the Art Aficionado Dad
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
The art of Richard MacDonald
If your dad is pensive and brooding, there’s a chance he’s missed his calling as one of the world’s art greats. Let him indulge in a little highbrow expression while he takes in the likes of Dalí, Monet, Rembrandt and Picasso at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. There’s nothing like a little well-curated exhibit to get the creative juices flowing.
Play-Doh may be the extent of his sculpting knowledge, but he doesn’t have to know a single thing about art to figure out why The Art of Richard MacDonald is celebrated all over the world. There are more than 50 bronze sculptures that are featured at the Bellagio's “O” Theatre, some of which took eight years to finish.
Looking for something more avant garde? The immersive digital art exhibits at Area15 are like stepping into new dimensions, or at the very least, world-renowned works by Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe and more. Museum Fiasco, another favorite interactive art exhibit, features sensory experiences to distort your perceptions of time and space. And that's before you even visit the digital maple tree bar for cocktails. Omega Mart by Meow Wolf is also at Area15 and is a lot like stepping onto a movie set. International artists have created a convenience store to explore, but nothing is quite as it seems.
For the adventurous and outdoorsy dad
Las Vegas ATV Tours
Extreme RZR Tours
If your dad can recite the lines of every Indiana Jones movie, he might have a little bit of an adventurous streak. Las Vegas ATV and Extreme RZR tours takes you riding through rugged desert and mountain terrain, across dry lakes and extinct lava beds in parts of the Mojave Desert that are rarely seen.
Maybe his hell-raising days are behind him, and he prefers something a little more low-impact. The only thing low-impact on Maverick Helicopter Tours is the comfort and exclusivity of a helicopter. Everything else is one jaw-dropping moment after another. Send dad flying high above the beautiful southwest, over the Valley of Fire, Lake Mead and Hoover Dam to the Grand Canyon. He’ll land on the canyon floor and enjoy a bit of bubbly before his return flight over the Las Vegas Strip.
For the dapper dad
Stitched at The Cosmopolitan of las vegas
The Shops at Crystals
Is GQ your dad’s middle name? Then he’ll probably love to customize his own suit all the way down to the buttons and thread color. Stitched, inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will help him design the epitome of his unique style with their made-to-your-measurements creations.
While you're in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, stop at the Barber Shop for a hot towel shave and a trim before ducking through the Janitor's closet and into the speakeasy. It's a nod to the Prohibition era with gleaming chandeliers, dark wood paneling and leather chesterfield sofas. Belly up to the antique wooden bar and stay for the live music on most nights each week.
Get your credit cards ready for a shopping spree at some of the largest designer stores in the city. The Shops at Crystals offers a massive selection of high-end retailers like Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Tom Ford. They’ve even got the largest Louis Vuitton in the country, spanning two-stories of sheer decadence.
For the pampered papa
Canyon Ranch Spa
Dad deserves to be pampered too, and there are plenty of ways to do it at the many spas on the Strip. Canyon Ranch at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas is the largest day spa in North America and is featuring a Gentlemen’s Facial and Pedicure designed specifically for male skin that fights wrinkles, firms and energizes your father’s face and target the muscles in his overworked feet. But if you really want him to relax, let me spend the day using the spa facilities like the experiential showers, the sauna and steam rooms, the Aquavana wave room and meditation pods. Bonus points if you book him a Chakra Balancing treatment.
Ashley Oñoz-Wright has been a travel writer and editor based in Las Vegas, NV for the last ten years and is a regular contributor for Manifesting Travel, Modern Luxury, Sophisticated Living, Greenspun Media Group, Vegas.com and LasVegas.com. She holds a degree in Sociology & Anthropology from DePauw University.