These Valentine’s Day gifts don’t come in a box. It’s Vegas, baby


Your Valentine doesn’t want something from Amazon; he or she wants Las Vegas. Here are five Vegas gifts for Valentine’s Day that will make your date feel like you put some effort into it.

VIP food tour

Everybody thinks they know the best restaurants in Vegas, but Donald Contursi really does. Before starting his award-winning Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, Contursi worked as a waiter at some of the top restaurants in the city.


His three-hour guided walking tours take you to four of the top restaurants on the Strip. At each stop, you’ll be treated like VIPs, with immediate seating and served several signature dishes at each restaurant.

Along the way, you’ll meet the chefs, learn Vegas insider secrets and eat more good food than you could arrange on your own. The tours are the highest-rated Vegas tours on, with more than 1,400 five-star reviews. Other popular tours focus on downtown, weekend brunch and afternoon lunch

Tours start at $125 per person.


Night flight over the Strip

Anyone can hire a limo, but a helicopter? That’s special.

Take your Valentine on an after-dark whirl over the Las Vegas Strip, buzzing past the Bellagio fountains, the Eiffel Tower, the Venetian canals, the Stratosphere Tower and Luxor. The 15-minute helitours travel round-trip from the airport, but Maverick Helicopters and Sundance Helicopters will pick you up at your hotel then drop you off after the flight for an all-in-one price.

Extra love points if you book Maverick’s $299 “Savory Bites & Neon Lights,” which adds a Lip Smacking Foodie Tour to the pre-flight warm-up.

Info: (from $84), (from $104).


Cooking classes with a French chef

Even if the last time you baked a cake required a 100-watt light bulb and an Easy Bake Oven, chef Julien Asseo can teach you how to cook at least one swoon-worthy appetizer and a main course from scratch.

Asseo, the top chef at Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace, carves out time each week to teach ordinary people how to cook, though the setting — alongside chefs in a gleaming restaurant kitchen awarded two Michelin stars — is anything but ordinary.

Asseo keeps the classes small, one to six students, which means plenty of hands-on instruction. When the cooking is finished, everyone sits down to enjoy the meal with a glass of wine while someone else cleans up (just like home!)

Classes cost $265 per person and are offered 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Reservations are required.

Info: Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace, call (702) 731-7286 or email


Big-top shows with a twist

Your Valentine says it’s time for something new. To make sure new doesn’t mean you, distract him or her with tickets to “Celestia” and “Fuerza Bruta,” two new high-energy circus tent shows opening soon that share a Cirque du Soleil flair but without the silk-drapey things or the swimming pool.

“Celestia” opens Feb. 27 at the Stratosphere; tickets start at $29. “Fuerza Bruta” opens March 7 at Excalibur Resort & Casino; tickets from $72.50.

Info: “Celestia” and “Fuerza Bruta

Girl power

Grammy Award-winging singer Alanis Morisette at Summerfest in Milwaukee in 1996.
Grammy Award-winning singer Alanis Morisette will perform in Las Vegas in April.
(Rick Wood / Associated Press)

Surprise your date with a pair of bracelets with tickets to Alanis Morissette (April 26-27 at Palms Casino Resort), Christina Aguilera (beginning May 31, Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino) or any of the other female pop stars dominating the Strip right now.