Tribune Print Share Text

An angel's Vegas (sinless pleasures outside 2009 AARP Expo

Created date

September 15th, 2009

The Erickson Tribune Going to the 2009 AARP Vegas@50+ Expo October 24-27? I got the scoop from Vegas regulars on the best shows and the best deals and discovered a Vegas where ladybugs are made of flowers, fairies dance in the sky, and Blue Men bang on their drums. ' When you re not at the expo s concerts, interactive exhibits, educational forums, and celebrity speeches, check out these less sinful pleasures that won t break the bank. ' Bellagio gardens ' Just past the concierge, the Bellagio s lobby transforms into a magnificent conservatory of colorful flowers, water sculptures, and Zen gardens. Walk along the pathways and watch an arc of water gracefully hop across the garden. Step into the butterfly house and see them flirt and flutter and feed on exotic blossoms. Take a moment to pause and reflect at the Zen garden of perfectly placed rocks and stones. ' The free exhibit may be crowded, but you ll still feel a world away from the lights and sounds of the Vegas strip. ' When you re finished, make a right out of the garden s rear and pick up a freshly made crepe filled with fresh strawberries and smooth chocolate or whatever your heart desires. ' Cirque du Soleil: Myst re ' Of all the Cirque du Soleil shows every one of them awe-inspiring Myst re came out on top when I asked Vegas regulars for their recommendations. The colorful, feathery costumes; dream-like music; and breathtaking acrobatics will suspend you in amazement like the performer twirling above you! This is the classic Cirque du Soleil show, and one you won t want to miss. ' Myst re has its home at Treasure Island, with shows Saturday through Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Take note that the theater is small, so mid-priced seats will give you a comparable experience to the expensive ones. Still, I recommend avoiding the outer edges for the best view. For more information and tickets, which you can purchase up to four months ahead of time, visit and click on the Myst re icon, or call 1-800-392-1999. ' Blue Man Group ' Housed in the mammoth Venetian hotel and casino, this high-energy show will awaken your ears, eyes, and mind. It s like the Arc de Triumph of Vegas shows; you know it s big, but you don t realize how incomparably vast until you experience it in person. The beats, colors, and creativity will leave you spell-bound. ' Make reservations at one of the many Venetian restaurants before the show. The Caneletto, in the open square near the indoor canal, offers outdoor caf seating, where you can listen to a live string trio perform for diners and passersby. This lovely setting coupled with modest prices, excellent service, and delicious Italian fare make it a choice to consider. ' The Blue Man Group performs Wednesday through Sunday, with shows at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. You can purchase tickets online or by phone at 1-866-641-SHOW. For cheaper tickets, though, buy them the morning of the show at one of the ticket booths around town; visit the website for locations. Blue Man Group is consistently offered 30% 40% off box office price. They open at 10 a.m. every day so arrive early to get the best seating and show selection. ' Whatever you choose to do outside the AARP expo, do your homework first. Read restaurant and show reviews before you go and choose what suits your schedule and style. It s worth your time and money saved.