Silhouette of man drinking water on a hot day
Stuart Bak

Things to do in Las Vegas When It's Hot Outside

It’s built slap bang in the middle of one of the planet’s hottest deserts, so it should come as no surprise that Las Vegas can get uncomfortably warm from time to time. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to experience triple-digit days between June and September, when the mercury hits a sweltering 100°F on the regular and has even been known to top out at an earth-scorching 115°F. 

So yeah, Sin City simply sizzles in summer. But fear not: there are plenty of ways to beat the heat in Las Vegas, from lazy rivers and frozen cocktails to ice rooms and air-conditioned mega malls. Here’s our guide to the best things to do in Las Vegas when it’s hot outside.

Ice Ice Baby

Woman holding ice cream cones designed to look like animals

So you’ve donned your Saturn-sized sun hat, slathered on the sunscreen and kept well hydrated with chilled water, but you’re still overheating like a faulty gasket. Good news: Las Vegas caters for precisely this issue and you never have to walk far before stumbling upon some fine purveyor of frozen drinks, extravagant ice creams, boozy popsicles or other thirst-slaking concoctions. Hit up Sticks and Shakes on the Strip for a quite dizzying selection of gelato and milkshakes (literally hundreds of flavor combos available), or head to the colorful Best Friend bar at Park MGM for some of the best spiked slushies in town. The signature CrazyShakes at Black Tap in the Venetian – spectacular frozen confections topped with candy, cookies and whole slabs of cake – are pure Las Vegas. Dive in!

Pool the Other One

Swimming pools at the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas

Huge aquatic playgrounds abound in Sin City, where man made beaches, staggeringly large swimming pools, VIP cabanas, poolside cabanas and servers that could be models are de rigueur. And let’s face it, floating down a lazy river, pina colada in hand, is probably just about all you’re good for in this heat anyway, right? The Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, the MGM Grand… take your pick. The modestly monikered Garden of the Gods at Caesars comes complete with epic Romanesque columns, statues and fountains, as well as a whopping SEVEN pools. Meanwhile over at the Golden Nugget, you can ride a water slide right through the middle of a 200,000-gallon shark tank. Only in Vegas. 

Get Wet and Wild

Kid at a water park

More water-based activities await at Cowabunga Canyon Waterpark, a bumper 40-acre attraction that presents dozens of inventive ways to cool off in the hot Las Vegas sun. We’re talking high-octane water slides with names like the Ricochet Racer and Boomer Wrangler, the massive Cadillac Shores wave pool, the Piñata Falls play area (complete with refreshing 1,100-liter tipping bucket), and the thousand-foot-long Cactus Creek lazy river. A fine way to keep the kids entertained (and cool) all at the same time.

Get Outta Town!

Mount Charleston in Nevada.

Temperatures on majestic Mount Charleston in Clark County tend to be around 20-30 degrees lower than in the city during summer, making this fine natural wonder a great choice for escaping the Las Vegas heat. The scenic drive northwest out of Sin City is worth the journey in itself, as the otherworldly landscape transforms from the rust reds and arid heat of the desert floor to a cooler alpine environment. This lush wilderness, all pine forests, wildflower meadows and crashing waterfalls, offers a wide range of hiking opportunities, from canyons to high summits. Steel yourself for the 16-hour round-trip ramble to Charleston Peak, 11,916 feet up, where intrepid explorers are rewarded with life-affirming views of Death Valley, the Sierra Nevada, and Las Vegas itself. 

Splash the Cash

Neon casino sign in Las Vegas

It goes without saying that Las Vegas is no slouch when it comes to indoor entertainment. Casinos, malls, bars, buses: every square inch of Sin City real estate is air-conditioned to within an inch of its life, the welcoming Arctic blast that greets you in every single doorway providing the most straightforward solution available to beating the desert heat. And, here in the world’s entertainment capital, it’s near-impossible to run out of fun ways to occupy yourself. Where, then, to begin? You could try your luck in any one of dozens of Vegas casinos: keep your cool at the Cosmopolitan’s craps tables, go for gold at the old-school Golden Nugget downtown, play hundreds of slots at the STRAT, and recreate your favorite scenes from The Hangover at Caesars Palace.

A gondolier at the Venetian resort in Las Vegas

Assuming you haven’t just bankrupted yourself at blackjack, you might also consider taking yourself off to one of the city’s mega malls. These great cavernous cathedrals to capitalism are lovely and cool inside, meaning the only thing at risk of going into meltdown is your credit card. Try window-shopping the Venetian’s upscale Grand Canal Shoppes, where a gondola ride on the replica of Venice’s Grand Canal may be just enough to distract you from that eye-wateringly expensive Dior choker you’ve been coveting.

Cool Cultural Highlights

Tourists at the 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' sign

Thankfully there are plenty of alternative indoor attractions that are far less likely to break the bank. Ride the (fully air-conditioned) Deuce bus for a cost-effective way of seeing some of the Strip’s highlights, including the Bellagio fountains, the Mirage volcano and the iconic ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign. Or drop by one or two of Sin City’s rather awesome museums: the Pinball Hall of Fame contains more than 150 fully operational old-school arcade classics, while The Mob Museum charts the history of organized crime in the USA and – bonus alert! – comes with its own with Prohibition-style subterranean speakeasy, serving real cocktails.

Then there’s the cooling effects of the lush vegetation in the Bellagio’s eye-popping Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Or the fantastical, futuristic worlds to be found inside Area15 and the epic Las Vegas Sphere, both, of course, air-conned up to the hilt.

Chill Out!

A marmot in the snow

Still too hot? You need to get yourself over to the opulent Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace. Inside the Arctic Ice Room, the mercury drops to a teeth-chattering 55°F – not quite cold enough for snow in the real world, but this is the surreal world of Las Vegas, baby, so snow you shall have nevertheless. There’s also ice to rub on your skin should you feel inclined to do so. Believe us when we say it won’t be long before you’re begging for some of that circulation-reviving 100-degree outdoor heat!

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