Strip Tips: Plenty to do, including yoga with dolphins

It’s the night before the night before Christmas and there’s still a million things to do. Last-minute shopping, dancing, flirting shamelessly. Even yoga with dolphins.

Next week, we’ll have tips on how to navigate the Strip on New Year’s Eve.

SHOP TILL YA DROP

If you’re a last-minute shopper, like me, you’ll be happy to know that Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort are open until midnight Christmas Eve. And the mall is also open on Christmas Day, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. You know, in case you’re an extreme last-minute shopper, like Christmas Day last- minute. Your loved ones will thank you for not cobbling together your gifts from every 7-Eleven in the neighborhood. The Fashion Show mall and Forum Shops at Caesars both close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and reopen Dec. 26.

MIX AND MIGLE

Are you single? Jewish? Looking for a way to mix and mingle on Christmas Eve? The Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada is holding its 17th annual Bagel Ball at 8 p.m. Saturday at Beso Ultra Lounge in Crystals at CityCenter. Admission is $40, which includes a complimentary cocktail and hors d’oeuvres. Buy tickets online at jccsn.org or call 794-0090.

YOGA WITH DOLPHINS

Dolphins are so serene. Happy, calm creatures. That’s what makes them the perfect yoga buddies. Really, it’s surprising that it took the Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage this long to realize that. The public can now come out to the habitat and bend and twist into all those fun yoga poses with dolphins in the background. If you’re into yoga, how could you not be all over this?

The one-hour class costs $50 but includes the use of a yoga mat, a day pass for the fitness center and lockers. You can also enjoy a smoothie after class. Classes are at 8:30 a.m. Monday-Friday. Call 791-7472.

QUESTION

What is that altar outside of Caesars? It doesn’t match the ancient Roman theme. L.L. from Las Vegas

You’re right, L.L., that altar on the walkway between the fountains and the Roman Plaza does look out of place with the surrounding architecture. And it is. The altar was a gift in 1984 from a Thai businessman who liked playing at Caesars Palace.

It’s is a replica of a popular Buddhist shrine in Thailand. It stands 14 feet tall and features a bronze and gold-plated statue of Brahma, the Buddhist god of creation. The statue has four faces, hence the nickname "four face Buddha." Each face is thought to represent specific Buddhist concepts: kindness, compassion, sympathy and calmness. Over the years, the original shrine in Bangkok has become associated with good luck and fortune, so there’s your Vegas connection.

Of course, the man’s motivations for gifting the shrine are not officially clear. The urban myth version claims that he was winning so much in the casino that management asked him to stop playing before he cleaned them out. He agreed to stop but only if they would display this shrine.

Whether that’s true or not, the guy gave Caesars something that has become a tourist favorite since it was installed.

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@ reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @StripSonya on Twitter.

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