How I planned an Epic Mom’s Weekend in Las Vegas

Last summer, I celebrated a milestone birthday with a great group of friends for a memorable weekend in Vegas. It was so much fun, and I will look back fondly on it in years to come. Here’s how it transpired:

It all started with an idea

Three words: MAGIC MIKE LIVE. In 2016, I heard a live Magic Mike show was coming to Vegas and I knew I had to see it. Yes, the movies are somewhat cheesy, but that’s part of what makes them so great. I brought my interest to see the show in conversations with friends. Turned out, almost everyone I spoke to wanted to see it but didn’t want to watch it alone. This gave me an idea. Why not invite EVERYONE interested and get a group rate? 2017 was a milestone birthday year for me, so why not turn it up with a bang! I contacted everyone interested and got a group e-mail thread going.

magicmikelivelasvegas.com

Better than a Bachelorette Party

The best part about planning this weekend was it was like a bachelorette party…but better. I made a lot of friends after I got married, and after I had a kid. It was a mix of old and new friends. And for that, I am grateful. There were 19 of us total. Friends flew out from Connecticut, Georgia, Seattle, Napa, San Diego, and Los Angeles. I rode out with a friend, who thankfully, shared the driving with me.

Planning Child Care

Since almost all of us were moms, we had to plan for child care accordingly. For some, it was the first time away from their child! I wanted to leave on a Friday, a work day for my husband, so I had to be creative. My plan “A” fell through, so luckily, two friends  and a child care service provider came through for me so I could still enjoy the trip I worked so hard to plan (thank you, Melissa and Bethany!). I left my daughter with my husband for overnight or quick weekend trips in the past, so thankfully I wasn’t a nervous wreck all weekend. One friend wasn’t ready to leave her kid yet so she brought him, along with her mom, who took care of him while we went out. I’m so glad everyone was able to make it out!

Hotel Reservations

View of the MGM Pool Lazy River from The Signature at MGM Las Vegas

Although I wish we could have all stayed at the same hotel, everyone had points or hotel preferences so they made their own reservations. What worked out nicely is my friend Elaine had a spacious timeshare at Polo Towers, which several of us shared. Another set of friends stayed at the Signature at the MGM Grand, which has the best pools and lazy river; and two friends shared a gorgeous suite (which we pre-partied at before Magic Mike) at The Hard Rock Hotel. I wouldn’t recommend The Linq Hotel, because it took my friends who stayed there almost two hours to check-in (they said it was all automated and didn’t work properly). I definitely recommend staying at The MGM Grand.

The Neon Museum

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Photo by Ruby Hunt

For those who arrived on Friday and wanted to join, I planned to visit The Neon Museum. We did the night tour, which was cool because most of the signs were lit. As a photographer and graphic designer, I truly appreciated it. Everyone enjoyed it, and we got some pretty cool pictures out of it. I would definitely visit again!

neonmuseum.org

Professional Hair and Make-up surprise

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It was such a treat to get #dolledup this past weekend, a birthday gift from all of my friends who met me in Vegas to celebrate and watch #magicmikelive As a mom, I rarely go out, much less have the energy to put on make-up. It felt great to not worry about anything and just have fun with my girlfriends. This weekend away was something we all needed. Friends joined from Seattle, Georgia, Connecticut, San Diego, and L.A. it was the best time ever. #glam Hair and makeup by @migueljuliobeauty who currently services Las Vegas and Los Angeles. They were amazing and very funny! I got the owner himself for my makeup! I barely recognized myself. #makeup #hairandmakeup #lasvegasmakeupartist #mobilemakeup #hairstyle #beautyservices #vegasbaby #girlstrip #badmoms #fakelashes #makeuptransformation #lipsense from @milliondollarlipstick #rocknroll

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Saturday, after a day at the pool, I was treated to a special surprise. My wonderful friends chipped in for a gift of in-room professional hair and makeup by owner Miguel Julio of Miguel Julio Beauty. Miguel and another beauty professional (I forgot her name!) worked on me together, which made me feel like such a VIP! He is really funny, so nice, and really knows his stuff. I felt so glam! I was really happy with the results, especially since my makeup didn’t smudge off at all and the fake eyelashes stayed on all night (despite my inebriation).

www.migueljuliobeauty.com

Group Dinner

One side of our long table at Lindo Michoacán for my birthday dinner.

I made a reservation for all 19 of us at what’s become one of my favorite spots to eat in Las Vegas – Lindo Michoacán Restaurant (Desert Inn). This Mexican Restaurant is off-strip, great for big groups (they took my reservation with no problem), delicious, and reasonably priced. Their margaritas are huge and strong. (My friend Toby, who couldn’t join the party, called ahead from L.A. and surprised me with two of those margaritas when I arrived!). I ordered the cilantro steak, which at $23 is a BARGAIN! Oh, and if it’s your birthday, they bring out a giant sombrero to wear.

Thank you to my friend Aya, for telling me about this place!

www.lindomichoacan.com

Travel in Style

Our party bus from Vegas All Nite took us from the restaurant to Magic Mike Live

Some of my friends traveled solo and only knew me, while others were friends from before. I thought what better way for everyone to bond than through shared transportation and libations? I booked a LIMO BUS, complete with mood lighting and two poles! We were allowed to bring our own drinks on the bus, and the driver’s tip was included in the cost. I went with Vegas All Nite because they had good reviews on Yelp, and the owner, Gregory, personally responded to my e-mail estimate request, instead of a form letter directing me to their website (which is how other companies responded). The driver was awesome and did a nice, slow drive from the restaurant to The Hard Rock Hotel, where Magic Mike Live was playing.

www.vegasallnite.com

Magic Mike Live

We had balcony seating which was A-OK. They gave everyone “play money” so we could “make it rain” during the show and played all the “classic” songs from the movie. All the performers were fantastic. One of the ladies from my group was chosen to receive a lap dance from one of the dancers! It was a pretty amazing show…from what I can remember. Let’s just say I want to see it again. I remember screaming a lot and being at total “woo girl”.

via GIPHY

magicmikelivelasvegas.com

Omnia Nightclub

After Magic Mike Live, most of us parted ways. One friend (who was a trooper for even coming) was pregnant, so she was ready to hit the hay after the show. Another group was making their way back early the next day, so they turned in early as well. A few other friends decided to gamble. The rest of us took a Lyft to Omnia Nightclub at Caesar’s Palace, where we met my friend Angela who got us all in. I hadn’t been to a nightclub in a LONG time, and Vegas super-clubs are just insane. We had a great time!

The Next Day

The next day was physically painful but wonderfully appreciated. It reminded me of old times – partying with friends, and remembering the freedom and flexibility I had before getting married or having a kid. It was fun, and so wonderful to re-live that feeling, but am very grateful for what I have now. I can’t believe I could party so much in my 20s! Now that I’m well beyond those years, it’s nice to enjoy myself every now and then with new and old friends, but appreciate my life in it’s current state. That epic weekend was definitely something I needed for myself, for my own well-being. It gave me a chance to connect and reconnect with friends and myself. I am thankful for everyone who came out to celebrate, everyone who helped make it happen, and everyone in my life right now. Getting older no longer feels like a terrible thing, but rather an appreciation for who I’ve become.


Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. I planned this trip on my own and no monetary compensation was exchanged for or through this post. This post may contain affiliate product links.