If you live in or frequent Las Vegas, you’ve probably heard about AREA15 – and if you haven’t, you’re about to be very excited for what’s in store. No, it’s not another plan to storm the similarly-named military installation in the nearby desert. Located a short drive from the Strip (or a very long walk if you’re feeling ambitious), AREA15 is an experiential art, shopping, dining, entertainment and event space. The key word is experiential. From the restaurants to the art installations, everything about AREA15 is designed to be explored via the senses.
The 200,000 square-foot venue, which offers approximately 40,000 feet of indoor/outdoor event space, plus 800 free parking spaces (a selling point in a city where casinos are increasingly interested in capitalizing on parking fees), is set to open this spring. Add it to your Las Vegas agenda and get excited for the following:
Immersive Art from Meow Wolf
Arguably the biggest draw to AREA15, Meow Wolf is a Santa Fe art collective that specializes in wonderfully strange and incredibly immersive art experiences. If you’ve been to Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return installation in New Mexico – or you’ve suffered FOMO after seeing it depicted on a friend’s Instagram – you know that Meow Wolf at AREA15 is going to be really, really good.
A Barcade for Kids at Heart
After Downtown barcade Insert Coin(s) closed in 2015, Las Vegas was left with a devastating lack of arcades that serve cocktails. Enter Emporium at AREA15. This arcade/bar/event space is the brand’s sixth location. It promises craft beer and games in a hip, artsy space.
Channel your inner lumberjack at Dueling Axes, an axe-throwing lounge that’s headed to AREA15. Whether you’re looking for a unique bachelor party activity, a team-building night with your coworkers, or you’ve just always wanted to see how good you are at axe throwing, this is your chance to try your hand at the alpine-inspired sport.
A Giant LED Maple Tree
If your taste in art is more Burning Man than The Met, you’ll love all of the art exhibitions at AREA15. The growing roster of artists includes work from Ivan McLean, Davis McCarty, Tyler FuQua Creations and Elora Hardy of Ibuku. In addition to the art exhibits, the retail and dining options are detail-oriented and immersive. One of the highlights is a 23-foot tall Japanese maple tree with LED lights that’s home to a bar called Oddwood. Designed by Ryan Doherty of Comer Bar Management Group, it already looks like one of the trippiest places to grab a drink in Vegas.
After throwing axes, exploring art installations, browsing unique vendors, and grooving to live DJs, treat yourself to a scoop or two at Emack & Bolio’s. The Boston-based ice cream shop is known for its unusual flavors and vegan options. Look for over-the-top ice cream cones bedazzled with ingredients like Fruit Loops and Oreos. There’s also frozen yogurt and sorbets.