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Win big in Las Vegas in May

SmarterTravel

Though it’s a city that embraces the new like no other, Las Vegas has decided to celebrate its past. This May, and throughout 2005, Sin City is commemorating its 100th year of existence with a series of Centennial events topped off by a (free) May 15 party featuring the largest birthday cake in the world. For your slice of the 130,000-pound cake, and to enjoy the city while the weather is still cooler, visit Vegas this month.

Jennifer Whitehair, Senior Online Editor at Vegas.com, is more than enthusiastic about the weather Vegas visitors can expect in May, suggesting that the city’s average daily highs of 88 degrees and typical lows of 60 or so make Nevada’s gaming mecca “paradise on earth.” Other research backs this up. Our favorite source for what’s in the skies, the Travel Planner’s Weather Guide, counts May as one of the four best months of the year for a Vegas trip (the other three are April, September, and October).

What to do

You’ll never hear people complain that there isn’t enough going on in Las Vegas. And now that this all-night city is turning 100, there’s even more happening.

To start planning your itinerary, search Vegas.com’s Centennial events page, where you’ll find listings for just about every show, art exhibition, party, concert, and activity associated with the hundredth anniversary. For a little drama, you can attend a reenactment of the 1905 land auction that put Las Vegas on the map. Frequent flyers may appreciate the Antique Air Show Parade on May 7, in which more than 100 vintage aircraft will fly over the Strip.

To make sure you don’t miss any special events, also check the Las Vegas Centennial website’s calendar. Unlike the Vegas.com website, the city’s Centennial site allows you to customize your search by date, event category, and venue. This tool may be especially useful for those feeling overwhelmed by all of the choices.

How to save

Though Vegas.com’s Whitehair wouldn’t single out May as a particularly cheap month to visit Las Vegas, her general advice for bargain hunters is sound. To those who find high rates for their desired travel dates, Whitehair says, “try a few days earlier or later and you can find dramatically different prices.” She also points travelers to a page of special offers and money-saving tips on her website. These include everything from directions to the best buffet deals in town to why you should avoid paying for valet parking.

If you’re looking to save money for the slot machines, but still want to attend Centennial events, you’re also in luck. Many of the events we found are free of charge. In addition to the birthday party, airplane parade, and land auction, you can also go to the Collage Dance Theatre, three Helldorado parades, and many more events without getting out your wallet.

More Las Vegas resources

Las Vegas air deals

Last-minute airfares to Las Vegas

Las Vegas hotel deals

Las Vegas hotel guide

Las Vegas vacation guide

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