Four things to do in Vegas after you watch Thursday’s March Madness games

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  • Published on March 23, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In Places

For the first time ever, the NCAA Tournament is in Las Vegas. Here are some things to do after you watch the games.

Get ready to place your bets because March Madness is finally making its way to Sin City. This time of year makes Las Vegas a major hub, reports ESPN. Between spring break and St. Patrick’s Day, the city is already brimming with visitors who are ready to make memories that they only hope will stay in Vegas. Add in March Madness, which is a huge draw for gamblers who have a vested interest in who advances in the tournament, and you’ve got an energized city.

This year is a special one for college basketball fans because, for the first time, the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 games are happening on the Las Vegas Strip. Match-ups between UCLA and Gonzaga, and UConn and Arkansas take place at T-Mobile Arena on March 23.

The NCAA has had an aversion to hosting March Madness games in Las Vegas in the past due to laws around sports betting, which is legal in Vegas. According to ESPN, the NCAA had a decades-long policy that prohibited championship games from being played in states with legal sports betting markets. In 2019, however, legal sports betting made its way to various markets around the country and, as a sign of the times, the NCAA rescinded its policy.

Vegas is sure to be a hot spot this weekend and the city surely isn’t lacking when it comes to activities to keep visitors occupied. Once you’re done watching the game, hit up these places to make the most of your time in the City of Lost Wages.

Secret bars

Celebrate your team’s win (or have an ugly cry over their loss) with a drink. Travel influencer Kemoy Martin put his Instagram followers onto some cool bars, including Ghost Donkey and The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails. Blink and you’ll miss them, though, because these spots are hidden in plain sight.

Ghost Donkey is located on the second floor of the Cosmopolitan near the Chandelier Bar and across the hall from Holsteins. Once you’re at Block 16, walk toward the back wall of the food court and look for the green door with the donkey on it. Once you’re inside, the intimate speakeasy embodies a uniqueness that is Las Vegas.

The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails, which is also located in the Cosmopolitan, has dual appeal. You can make an appointment for a fresh cut and then come back later for post-game drinks. Be sure to look for an unassuming janitor’s closet door to be transported into a swanky prohibition-style whiskey bar.

Michael Jackson One by Cirque Du Soleil

To not see a show in Vegas would be criminal, so why not see one honoring the Smooth Criminal himself? Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson One is an experience that focuses on the King of Pop’s iconic choreography and music while incorporating visual effects. MJ’s “The Immortal World Tour” musical director, Kevin Antunes had his hand in the production, as he was tasked with adding “surround sound effects to the multi-track master recordings.”

Omega Mart

Located about 10 minutes away from the Strip at Area 15, Omega Mart is an experience to excite all of your senses. The Meow Wolf permanent exhibition is an immersive art experience under the guise of a supermarket. Guests are encouraged to explore, as there are hidden messages and passageways, and so much more to discover.