Those of you that follow my Instagram feed know how much I love spending time at Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. There are just so many quality stores, tons of dining options to eat and all kinds of unique entertainment options as well.
Recently, my hubby challenged me by asking if I could enjoy a low-cost day without any gambling or extravagant meals. I know that I can skip the gambling, and the shopping I can avoid usually (after all, there is always online shopping. lol).
I remember my 1st time coming to Las Vegas around 2003. Vegas was coming out of one of the many rebranding phases the city has seen over the years. The city was leaving behind the family–friendly attempt and The Venetian was one of several new mega resorts that was built during that time. As part of the hotel, Grand Canal Shoppes boasted an amazing 160 signature stores with dozens of luxury brands & more than a dozen world class and award–winning dining venues.
In 2008, the Palazzo was completed as well as an expansion of The Shoppes, which brought the luxury wing that houses brands like Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferragamo, Montblanc and the first Tory Burch in Las Vegas. Since then, The Shoppes has added exciting and unique experiences such as Atomic Saloon Show, KAMU Ultra Karaoke and The X Pot. The Shoppes gets better every year!
The Grand Canal itself spreads over a quarter mile through the center of The Shoppes with the amazing Gondola ride being a magnet draw for tourist in itself, with millions of locals and tourists from around the world enjoying the replica of the infamous boats from the Grand Canal of Venice in Italy which have been in operation a little longer than our Vegas version (Since 1674... lol).
One of the complimentary attractions found at The Shoppes that I enjoy is called Streetmosphere. Although there has been entertainment in the streets of The Shoppes since they opened, The Shoppes temporarily paused the atmosphere ambiance during the Coronavirus shut downs but now have brought back the complimentary ambient performances just in time for spring. Inspired by the Renaissance period, the Streetmosphere cast has been reimagined and now blends modern fashion designs with Renaissance inspired fashion. The music mixes contemporary rhythms with traditional Italian sounds. The talented cast of local musicians bring a Pop Opera style sound that reimagines pop favorites that allows the performers to tell an operatic style story. The blending of styles is really cool and a unique experience.
To be sure that guests get the best entertainment experience yet are still safe, some performance areas have designated seating which are designed for proper social distancing, and allow for a full immersive experience that is like no other. During our visit, we enjoyed a group that blended what sounded like Jazz style music as people walked by. With entertainment still limited in Las Vegas, it is nice to see professional performers back doing what they do so well. The best part is that it is free and part of the experience.
The Streetmosphere experience is available throughout the day every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The second phase of the Streetmosphere return will continue throughout the year, dependent on compliance with government restrictions, and will look to introduce a larger cast and additional performances. I can’t wait to experience a full performance in the near future with singers and dancers all around me while I enjoy a coffee, a gelato or maybe a bruschetta @Mercatovegas.
THE WISHING TREE
As we strolled through Grand Canal Shoppes, I was excited to share with the hubby the beauty that is The Wishing Tree. The Wishing Tree now offers an all new augmented reality experience that allows you to upload your wish to the Wishing Tree via your smartphone by scanning a QR code on the sign nearby. The tree is intended to inspire hope and good fortune for the entire year of 2021. I am sure you all will agree that we can use more of these good vibes now. The hubby and I made our own wishes. Now, maybe it is time for you to check them out and make your own wish.
If you are not into the AR aspect or making wishes, then you can just awe in the beautiful splendor that is the tree. The entire display is just impressive. The art exhibit was commissioned exclusively for The Shoppes and stands 20 feet tall. The tree is the centerpiece to the recently renovated 375,000 square foot retail space that resembles an Italian garden. The tree is modeled to resemble an olive tree which is commonly found in Venice, Italy.
The tree is adorned with more than 3,700 hand installed brass leaves that were individually computer designed and then 3D printed, and is complete with an array of colors and glass bird sculptures that nest in the tree. You can find this beautiful and inspiring exhibit in the Palazzo Tower next to the Palazzo Casino.
VESPA’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY
My last stop with my hubby to complete my complimentary and still Instagrammable day was an area that provided me with such a great photo, as it does daily for the literal line of people waiting to get their own shot. Located next to Jimmy Choo, you will find the wall filled with the iconic yellow sunflowers, which makes for an amazing IG moment. Of course, you know how much I love those.
In honor of Vespa’s 75th Anniversary, The Shoppes decided to celebrate in a special way, and on select weekends throughout the summer this display will come to life. On these special weekends, the already beautifully adorned Sunflower wall will come to life with the live appearance of the Authentic Red Vespa and the beloved “Vespa Love Couple” Vespacho and Vespalina who will offer guests their famed Italian-inspired “love advice” plus surprise and delight branded gifts.
These offers will be available from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the following dates:
- Memorial Day Weekend: May 27 – 31
- National Vespa Day: Wednesday, June 30
- Fourth of July Weekend: July 1 – 4
- Labor Day Weekend: September 3 – 6
So, are you wondering if I kept my word? Did I meet my hubby’s goal to enjoy luxury on a dime? I certainly think I did great. We enjoyed some music, a beautiful stroll through the cobblestone streets, and watched the gondolas float buy. We enjoyed a few zen moments contemplating our wishes at the Wishing Tree and had fun with the Sunflower wall for a cute IG pic.
We even spent a few minutes chilling and enjoying the beautiful view of the canals and Venice architecture while we enjoyed a drink and a macaroon or two. I am proud to say that this was the only time I spent any money on this complimentary day with my hubby.
I would encourage you to check out the amazing things you can find at Grand Canal Shoppes, and keep in mind that there is so much to do that won’t cost you a dime. You can really enjoy luxury time on a dime (or less!)
Comment below and tell me how you enjoy luxury without breaking the bank. You will find all the links to the details about these complimentary experiences in my IG bio. Be sure to check it out and see my IG stories about the fun time we had. You can even get details about how to find the secret spot in my Instagram stories.
See you online loves!