Vegas Values: One stop shopping

Thanksgiving has come and gone. That can only mean that Christmas is near and the holiday shopping season has begun. There is one place that can make the experience bearable, pleasant, even. That is the European themed village known as Town Square, located on Las Vegas Blvd. just south of Mandalay Bay.

A sample of the difference in architectural details
A sample of the difference in architectural details
Photo by Kellee Kunovic

This open air shopping center has become a great gathering place for visitors and locals alike. Lovely landscape and pedestrian friendly streets welcome you. The wide array of stores will temp you. The 18-Screen Rave Motion Pictures, The Stage Door Theatre, and Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar can entertain you. Over a dozen restaurants and bars will lure you. There is even Eleven spa to spoil you.

Rave Motion Pictures
Rave Motion Pictures
Photo by Kellee Kunovic

No, this isn’t your ordinary mall. Twenty-two buildings offer over seventy different façade types to create a blend of contemporary and old world architecture. The goal was to develop a city that appears to be built over time. One walk around will reveal the sense of history felt in other cities, something many might argue that Las Vegas lacks. Nevermind the shopping center just celebrated its second anniversary, but we’ll keep that our little secret.

Some malls offer a small area to let little ones burn off energy. However, at Town Square, there is a children’s park that will keep children occupied for hours. Complete with a tree house and hedge maze. It’s the perfect opportunity for mom to sneak away to shop while dad watches on. Even I found it great while my nephew visited over the summer. My sister and I promised him fun at the park if he behaved while we got shopping done at H & M, our favorite store. Talk about a win-win.

Then, there are the Rave theaters. After one visit, my husband and I were hooked. We won’t see a movie anywhere else. The comfort and quality of the state of the art digital projection are too good to pass up. We often parlay a visit there with a stop at Yard House. It’s home to the largest selection of draft beer. Sometimes, we’ll stop in to sample beers and other times we’ll grab a bite. Who am I kidding? Either way we sample beers. They also have one of my favorite desserts in the city, the Kona Coffee Ice Cream Sundae.

Yard House, as well as a number of eateries including Blue Martini and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza offer Happy Hour with half price food and drink specials. Times and days vary, but most are available Monday – Friday 4-6pm. Check individual websites for details.

Visit Santa in the Norman Rockwell inspired house
Visit Santa in the Norman Rockwell inspired house
Photo by Kellee Kunovic

This holiday season Town Square is paying tribute to Norman Rockwell. Scattered about the square there are life-size replica displays of a number of Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers printed in the 20’s and 30’s.

A replica from the 1926 Saturday Evening Post Cover.
A replica from the 1926 Saturday Evening Post Cover
Photo by Kellee Kunovic

Additionally, Santa has taken up residency at the Norman Rockwell inspired house. Children can share their Christmas wish list and take photos with Santa until December 24, 2009. Monday-Saturday from 10am-9pm and Sunday from 11am-7pm. Furry friends have not been forgotten, bring your pets to visit Santa on Wednesdays from 10am-9pm until December 23.

If you’re up for a real treat stop by Santa’s house Monday – Thursday at 7pm, Friday – Sunday at 7pm and 8pm for Snow in the Square, a 10-minute holiday show.

All year round Town Square hosts a number of charity events. This Saturday, December 5, it will host the 5th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run. The event benefits Opportunity Village. Same day signups are welcomed. Walk or run – join in the fun, support a great cause and take part in this Guinness World Record breaking event. For further information see the Las Vegas Santa Run website.

Stop by Town Square and bring the family. Visit Santa, get holiday gifts, enjoy lunch or dinner, catch a movie or visit the park. Make a fun-filled day of it this holiday season.

Also, keep an eye on the events calendar for future activities and fun for the whole family.

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