Where to Cool Down in Vegas

Las Vegas is a place of extremes. Not just in opulence and vice. The weather can play a big role in where you go and how you spend your time. Obviously the casinos are climate controlled and are ready to welcome you in no matter what the conditions are. Winters can get surprisingly cold, and most resort pools are closed seasonally from around October to March. Meanwhile, summertime temperatures are regularly above 100º F and finding a way to cool off becomes a top priority. Here’s some options to both embrace the sweltering summers and cool off that doesn’t involve spending time at the slots.

Mandalay Bay Beach

Have a beach day in Las Vegas.Mandalay Bay has the most elaborate pool area in town. There are lots of pools here. The Wave Pool spits out a wave every 90 seconds, and you can do a quick body surf in it. Children must be 48 inches tall for that one. But they also have other pools, including one that has a current called the Lazy River, which goes round and round and round, perfect for inner tubes. There’s plenty of sandy beach area, shaded beach bungalows with drink service, a tiki bar, beach grill and taco shack. Upstairs is an additional pool area called The Moorea Pool. It’s European-style—that is, it’s a topless adults-only pool. Although Mandalay Bay Beach and pools are supposedly for guests only, this is Vegas. Everything can be had for a price. Monday through Thursday beach reserved lounge chair seating starts at $25 and up (never on a holiday). It’s around $250 (and up) for a daybed for the day, and cabanas go up to $1,400 for up to 25 people. 


Surf an artificial wave in Las Vegas.

Surfing? In Vegas? Well, sort of… It’s not the same as being in the ocean, but in the desert beggars can’t be choosers. First, you have to find the north elevators inside Planet Hollywood and head to the pool deck, called The Scene. Take it to the sixth floor where, in the pool area, you’ll find a specialized pool with a standing wave called FlowRider. You get on a board that’s a cross between a skim board and a boogie board, and voila! You’re surfing. It’s actually kind of hard at first, and you’ll probably fall a bit before mastering it. You can get an all day pass just for surfing, or get better deals by booking a cabana. The pool operates March 1–Oct. 31. It’s $75 on weekdays, $125 on weekends and totally worth it. 

Minus 5º Ice Bar

Imagine a lounge made of ice. The atmosphere is so cool (in this case, literally) with chairs, tables and stools made of solid ice. Plus, the walls have all kinds of objects frozen into them. The whole place makes for all kinds of cool selfie opportunities. Minus 5° Ice Bar has a full bar, and though the drinks are on the small side, they don’t have any ice in them because… the “glasses” are made of solid ice. For $24 you get to go inside. You’ll be wearing parkas that seem to be specifically chosen to look ugly. That’s because for $49 you can get a fur coat and one drink. Kids 7–15 can get in (before 8 p.m.) for $13. There is no time limit—stay as long as you can bear the cold. Try not to wear open shoes—you’ll thank us for this—otherwise, the cold will run you out before you’re ready to go. There are several locations around the Strip. You can find them  in the middle of the LINQ Promenade, in the Venetian and at Mandalay Bay.

The Tank Water Slide

Take a water slide through a shark tank at the Golden Nugget.There’s nothing new about a water slide, but this one sets itself apart because at the end you cut through a 250,000-gallon aquarium filled with big fish and several sharks. Here’s how it works: At the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street, non-guests pay anywhere between $35 and $70 to use the pool for the day. (It varies based on how busy they are.) And part of the pool experience is using the waterslide as many times as you want. It’s not a really long slide, and perhaps it’s a lot of effort for 10 seconds of joy. (Reminds me of being a teenager the first time I… Never mind.) The clear tank portion will pretty much fly past you in a blur. But it’s still fun anyway, and you can bring a waterproof camera with you to record the experience. You’ll also have access to the adult pool, where kids are banned. Hours can vary and non-guests are advised to call ahead and make sure they have space. The pool closes early November to about mid-April for the winter. Swimming hours are longer than slide hours. Check their website. Non-hotel guests may not be allowed on weekends and the days around them.

Vegas Indoor Skydiving

So there you are in a round chamber wearing a nylon suit with strategically placed holes in the front. You leap forward toward the center, and the next thing you know… you’re flying! The feeling is incredibly exhilarating and unlike anything you’ve tried.

Not all indoor skydiving places are created equal. Vegas Indoor Skydiving was the first in the nation, built back in the ’80s, and it still uses old school technology. There is a single propeller on the bottom (below a layer of bouncy wire mesh) that blows upward, creating a strong updraft in the center with a weak updraft around the perimeter. Think of it as a large round ball with your body constantly trying to fall off and head for the perimeter. It’s actually pretty difficult to position yourself to stay on the column of air.

It’s $99 for two short flights in the tunnel. If you’re with a group, you can also purchase block time. Bear in mind that there might be up to 15 people in your group, but you’re guaranteed the time you pay for. The whole experience takes about 40 minutes from training to flying.

There’s way more to options for cooling off on the Strip, off the Strip and in areas around Las Vegas than I could fit here. Luckily, I have an app for that. Check out Las Vegas Revealed in my Revealed Travel Guide app for advice, tips and reviews of the best things in Las Vegas, and how to avoid the worst. My believable guides can help you have an unbelievable vacation.



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