Hot Entertainment for Hot Summer Nights

Water Street District
Henderson’s newly revitalized
Water Street District offers plenty
of open-air summer entertainment.

I have to admit that summer days in the Vegas heat can be hard to bear. But once the sun goes down, the temperature drops to a more comfortable level, too. That’s when we locals come out to play. Warm evenings in the open air create the perfect atmosphere for enjoying a bit of live music.

Of course, Vegas is a place where entertainment is taken very seriously, and you can pay for pricy musical reviews and concerts on The Strip. But it’s not hard to find free entertainment in the valley. In fact, every summer weekend offers a choice of two or three locations where you can spread your picnic blanket and enjoy all kinds of music. It’s healthy, it’s convivial and, best of all, this entertainment is all free.

Henderson Events Plaza Amphitheatre
The new Henderson Events Plaza

I live in the Water Street District in Henderson, in the southeast part of the Vegas valley, and I can walk to one of the newest concert venues. Originally built to house workers for World War II industries, the Water Street District is emerging as a revitalized downtown area, resplendent in its revival of Art Deco style. The Henderson Events Plaza Amphitheatre, located downtown at 200 Water St., opened last year. This year, the city is again sponsoring two summer performance series: “Thursday Night Live,” which features local and emerging talent, and “Fridays at 8,” which showcases touring performers. The music scheduled for the 2008 season varies widely, ranging from classical to country to reggae.

Set behind the Henderson Convention Center, the Amphitheatre offers something not always found in open-air concerts: actual chairs to sit on. But there are some patches of lawn, too. Picnics, blankets and personal coolers are all permitted at this family-friendly locale.

Montelago Village
The Montelago Village at
Lake Las Vegas

A short drive takes me to the Montelago Village at Lake Las Vegas. Lake Las Vegas is a resort and residential community, also in Henderson. The centerpiece of the resort is the man-made Lake Las Vegas, which was created by diverting water from the Las Vegas Wash. Tucked in next to the lake is Montelago Village, a miniature Mediterranean-style town complete with quaint shops, fountains and cobblestone streets.

But the sleepy village rocks during summer evenings. Every Friday and Saturday night offers a chance to picnic on the lawn by the lake while enjoying a concert. “Friday Night Music” features local rock talent and tribute bands like Tommy Rocker and Southern Stue. On Saturdays, things are a bit more mellow with “Jazz on the Lake,” featuring such jazz musicians as Bobby Cottonwood, Dotsero and J’Nae.

The District at Green Valley Ranch
The District at Green Valley Ranch
offers free summer concerts in
the Courtyard.

If you like your music interspersed with a bit of fancy shopping, The District at Green Valley Ranch, also in Henderson, is the place for you. This open-air shopping mall also offers concerts every Friday and Saturday night. Set up your chair or blanket in the Courtyard and enjoy a rich variety of local and regional talent. If you want to stretch your legs, you can always go shoe shopping, too.

Granted, those long summer days in the Las Vegas heat can be wearing. But one advantage of living in the desert is that your outdoor concert almost certainly will not be rained out. Enjoy!


4 responses on “Hot Entertainment for Hot Summer Nights

  1. “…The centerpiece of the resort is the man-made Lake Las Vegas, which was created by diverting water from the Las Vegas Wash…” Actually this is much repeated, but incorrect assumption. 100% of the water that flows down the Las Vegas Wash bypasses the lake in its entirety. All of that water passes through gigantic pipes which are laid under the lake and re-enter the wash in the form of waterfalls on the eastern edge of the property.

    100% of the water for the Lake Las Vegas property is pumped from Lake Mead, thus proving the old adage… “Money always flows up hill towards money.” You can read more about this amazing water diversion in Megan’s article, here.

  2. Another free entertainment options this summer happens at the Green Valley Ranch resort swimming pool every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In past years, I have been to some of these concerts — great views!

    June 4 -The Brothers Ali
    June 11 – Michael Ward
    June 18 – Gipsy Knights
    June 25 – Lao Tizer

  3. July Concerts on the Lake at Monelago Village!

    7 to 10 pm. Blankets and chairs welcome.

    July 5 – Boy Katindig
    July 12 – J’Nae
    July 19 – Darren Michaels
    July 26 – Sacr Groove

  4. Passing this on from Laraine on behalf of the Las Vegas Chamber Music Society:

    “Hi, I would like to submit my free and open to the public chamber music
    concerts coming up in September. They are at the Summerlin Library and
    Flamingo Library, sponsored by the Las Vegas Chamber Music Society and the Performing Arts Society of Nevada. I will perform with my Piano Trio “Mechta Trio” on Sept. 19th and 24th.”

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