May is an excellent time to visit Las Vegas, provided you don’t mind paying extra for your accommodation and amenities. The summer has almost arrived and so have the crowds, hoping to take advantage of the great weather, party atmosphere, and — in some cases — early holidays.
Las Vegas in May offers several notable party days, including one celebrating Mexican heritage and one honoring Polynesian and Pacific ethnicities. Both delve deep into the beautiful and celebratory aspects of these cultures.
It’s also the month of Memorial Day Weekend, which is a huge holiday in America. For this reason, you are best advised to plan ahead and book any shows or events early. Aside from that, all the usual Sin City attractions are in full swing, including tons of top level shows featuring music, dance and theatrical entertainment. There are loads of things to do in Vegas that aren’t gambling.
No matter what time of day or night, there’ll be something to do, and if you plan well enough, you can fill your day with any interest. That said, here’s what to expect when you visit Las Vegas in May.
Weather in Las Vegas During May
Table of Contents
- Weather in Las Vegas During May
- What to Pack for Las Vegas in May
- 7 Top Things to Do in Las Vegas in May
- 1. Lei Day Parade — Downtown Summerlin
- 2. Cinco de Mayo 2022 Las Vegas
- 3. Las Vegas Days Parade & Rodeo
- 4. Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas
- 5. Memorial Day in Las Vegas
- 6. 54th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP)
- 7. Hiking & Horse Riding Day Trips
- Final Thoughts on Visiting Las Vegas in May
Welcome to the desert. It may get really hot in Las Vegas, with temperatures regularly reaching 30°C and higher. A day or two will likely hit the magical 37°C (or 100°F). Nights are cooler but still warm enough at an average of 16°C.
Humidity is low, reaching about 31% at most during the very early mornings. That’s generally warm enough to get away with a light jumper. There is little to no rain, and the city is fortunate to see even one short cloudburst.
The skies are clear and the days are long, averaging around 14 hours of sunshine. That makes a case for Las Vegas being one of the most attractive and most beautiful cities in United States.
Image by lindsayascott from Pixabay
What to Pack for Las Vegas in May
Keep in mind that it will be exceptionally warm on most days, so this is a summer vacation in terms of packing. Think light materials, short sleeves, and cargo shorts. You may also benefit from assuming you’ll spend time at the pool. That means wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen, and swimming costumes.
As a caveat, remember that most establishments, buildings, and hotels will have air conditioning. So if you tend to get chilly at cooler temperatures, bringing a long-sleeved shirt also can’t hurt.
- Light sweater — This is a just-in-case addition to your bag.
- Comfortable shoes — You will likely do a lot of walking, especially at night or if you plan to spend time in the casino. These rooms are huge, so stay comfy and get in those steps.
- Swimwear — In this heat, you’ll want to sip on a cocktail poolside and dip in the water occasionally.
- Cargo shorts — Sometimes, a good pair of utility khakis is just the right fit. Also good for day trips.
- Flip flops — Also great for the pool.
- Comfy jeans — When attending events and unsure what to expect, a pair of smart jeans are versatile and useful.
7 Top Things to Do in Las Vegas in May
The high season is all about major shows and touring artists. The number of top options for entertainment is way too numerous to mention here. But rest assured, you can find everything from Cirque du Soleil, cabaret, music, and even classic lounge acts to attend.
However, Vegas also hosts a few particular annual and once-off events that are great to participate in if you happen to be in town at that time. Here are a few major items to pencil in on your calendar.
Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay
1. Lei Day Parade — Downtown Summerlin
When it comes to Vegas, it’s not easy to say something is unique, but this festival celebrating Hawaiian culture isn’t something you see every day. The parade occurs in Summerlin, marking the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
You’ll be able to see groups of Polynesian and Pacific Island Americans dancing and singing. Many of the dances performed form part of ancient rituals. All in all, it proves to be a colorful and joyous day for all concerned, and attendance is free.
Date: 1 May 2023
2. Cinco de Mayo 2022 Las Vegas
The famous annual celebration takes place on the same day every year to commemorate a famous military victory by the Mexican Army over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla. The best idea is to find one of several Mexican restaurants in Vegas and join the festivities there.
Most venues will offer specials, live music, a DJ, and parties that will rival any that can be thrown legally in the continental US.
Date: 5 May 2023
3. Las Vegas Days Parade & Rodeo
Just like Vegas is celebrating Hawaiian and Mexican heritage this month, so too is it celebrating the Old West. Specifically, the cowboy culture that was once so prevalent in these parts of Nevada. Why not pull on up to the Las Vegas Days Parade?
This celebration sees a carnival and parade of cowboys, Wild West-themed floats, walkers, bands, and takes place downtown on Third Street. The main event may well be Helldorado, a rodeo event that sees the cowboys take on the horses and bulls in traditional style.
Dates: 13 – 14 May 2023
4. Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas
If you happen to love multi-day dance festivals, the good news is that the Electric Daisy Carnival happens at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this month. It’s a dance festival that runs for three straight days, featuring DJs, art, carnival-style attractions and nearly 300,000 people if previous numbers are anything to go by.
The entire speedway complex gets dressed up in neon and erects eight separate stages with dance areas. The whole idea is that the music and people create an electric atmosphere, so feel free to dress up in your brightest and best.
Ride the Ferris Wheels, try the food trucks, or get married! There were 72 wedding ceremonies at the festival last year. Afterall, this is Vegas.
Dates: 19 – 21 May 2023
5. Memorial Day in Las Vegas
On a slightly more serious note, Las Vegas takes time to honor the men and women who died serving their country. The entire nation observes Memorial Day, and Vegas is no exception.
One of the ways in which the city shows its love is by offering significant discounts to all members and ex-members of the armed forces. For them and everyone else, the weekend preceding the holiday Monday takes an air of celebration alongside its respect.
Most clubs and bars will have some sort of themed weekend. Everything will also be open on the actual Memorial Day Monday. Many will host parties and events in relation to this weekend.
On a more social level, Memorial Day offers another reason to celebrate: it is the official start of summer.
Dates: 29 May 2023 (celebrations start 26 May)
Image by Joachim Kirchner from Pixabay
6. 54th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP)
There can hardly be a better venue than Vegas for the World Series of Poker. In 2023, the event will take place at both Horseshoe Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, starting on 30 May. The event will run well into June, but it’s worth mentioning here, as the start of the tournament usually comes with a lot of buzz and celebration.
One of the side attractions of the entire event is a $10,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em World Championship, which sometimes seems to generate more gasps and shrieks from the crowd.
Date: 30 May 2023 – 18 July, 2023
7. Hiking & Horse Riding Day Trips
A quick note on hiking or day trips out into the countryside. As noted, summer is here, and there are several options for hiking or horse riding outside the city on a day trip. Try these:
Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Small Group Tour from Las Vegas — A walk through the wondrous Antelope Canyon with a small group led by a Navajo guide.
Red Rock Canyon Sunset Horseback Ride and Barbeque — An awesome horseback ride through the tranquil Red Rocks Canyon including lunch.
Hoover Dam Tour from Las Vegas — Head to The Black Canyon for a guided tour of one of the great engineering marvels of the 20th century.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Las Vegas in May
May sees the temperature rise in Sin City, both literally and figuratively. The summer is here, and the stakes are high as the high-rolling World Championship of poker rolls into town.
Staying away from the pool will be hard; there’s no reason you should. Partygoers, as normal, will have no trouble finding a dancefloor, while live show fans are advised to book their tickets well in advance.
Vegas also seems to take on a very diverse feel in May, with festivals celebrating Mexican and Hawaiian heritage prominent on the calendar.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of fun things to do in Sin City, though. Check out some of my other articles on Las Vegas:
Things to do in Vegas in December