[Summer Survival Guide]

When the sun goes down, summer in Vegas gets a little more awesome


If you’ve lived through a Vegas summer, you already know: Life’s better after dark.

That’s when we get a slight reprieve from the blistering heat of day, when it’s safe to actually go for a walk, open the windows or just stand outside without feeling like you’re being slow-roasted in a giant, Valley-wide oven. (Mmmm. Crispy.)

’Tis the season to get nocturnal. With these events and adventures, daylight is for the birds.

Red Rock Canyon Night Hikes Golden hour over the cliffs. BYO picnic dinner. A geologist and naturalist leading the way, pointing out plants, animals and rock formations. Pretty sweet, huh? Nearly every Monday in July and August, Red Rock hosts a free guided evening hike for outdoorsy folks who’d rather not fry. Just check the schedule at redrockcanyonlv.org, show up at the trailhead at 6 p.m. and bring a snack and a flashlight.

Astronomy in the Park You don’t spend enough time staring at the stars. Change that at this Las Vegas Astronomical Society event, which starts with a presentation on the wonders way out there and ends with you looking through telescopes into the starry night. July 5, 8-11 p.m. (arrive before 8 p.m. for entry), free with park fee, Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center.

Movie Night Take your pick of outdoor summer screenings: Float in the wave pool or snag a deck chair for Wet ’n’ Wild’s Friday night films (free with admission), including Finding Nemo (June 27) and Monsters University (July 4). Hit the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool for $5 Monday night double features on the marquee at 7 and 9:30 p.m., with such awesome pairings as E.T. and Apollo 13 (June 30) and Clueless with The Devil Wears Prada (August 18). Finally, Hendersonites can stay close to home for the District at Green Valley Ranch’s Saturday night picture show, kicking off at 8 p.m. through August and 7 p.m. in September and October. Sorry kids, no booze.

Night Golf Sweaty putting is no fun. Take your game past sunset at the TaylorMade Golf Experience on the Strip, where a lit nine-hole course beckons, and you’re plenty close to the bars for a post-round drink. 6730 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-897-9500.

Poolside Concerts Music, a cocktail and your feet in the water. Summer brings poolside shows at Hard Rock Hotel (Sammy Hagar, July 2) and Mandalay Bay Beach (311, June 28), where having your toes in the sand makes all the difference.


Moonlight Kayak After the sun sets, the Jet Skis jet back to shore and the beachgoers pack up their cars and head home, Kayak Lake Mead’s moonlight paddles hit the water. Drink in the quiet of Black Canyon or float along the lake, just you, the moon and the sounds of night on the water. $120, kayaklakemead.com.

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