(Lonelyplanet) – Operated by the Mohegan Tribe along 240 acres of reservation land situated along the banks of the Thames River in Uncasville, Connecticut, the Mohegan Sun casino and resort is widely thought of as the East Coast’s hot spot for both gambling and live music.
Beyond its spread-out 364,000-square-feet of gambling space, Mohegan Sun’s on-site amenities include the Mandara Spa, multiple pools, fitness centers, a shopping arcade, a Golf Club, and a variety of live entertainment spaces that are a must for music fans.
Providing panoramic views of the surrounding New England countryside from its 1,500+ guest rooms, Mohegan Sun – as opened in 1996 – is simultaneously close enough to the action and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city; it is very drivable from New York City, Hartford or Boston.
Unsurprisingly, it has been named “Best Casino Hotel” by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards on more than one occasion. Within the entertainment space, in recent years Mohegan Sun Arena has earned honors as “Casino Of The Year” twice by the Academy Of Country Music Awards, “Casino Of The Year” twice by the Country Music Awards, and “Arena Of The Year” at the G2E Global Gaming Conference in Las Vegas.
Here’s a look at some of the property features which help make Mohegan Sun ideal for day-trips, overnight stays and weekend getaways, without braving the bachelor/ette parties of Vegas and the crush of Atlantic City.
The golden-hewed lobby of the Arena at Mohgen Sun Casino is decorated with a flagstone column, contemporary stained glass light fixtures, curved warm wood, and abstract modernist forms in yellow adn brown hues. A large sign says Box Office in a rustic font. In the bottom right corner of the frame, a circular blue mosaic in the floor can be seen. In the distance, glowing signs from the Comix Roadhouse and arcades shine.
Filled with a variety event spaces on its properties, Mohegan Sun is known to present festivals and conferences of a variety of sizes year-round. This includes the Connecticut International Auto Show, the Sun Wine & Food Fest, and the New England Food Truck Festival.
Opened in 2001, the Mohegan Sun Arena is located just steps outside of a casino area. A multi-purpose live venue which holds up to 10,000 attendees, the Arena has hosted such diverse artists as Mariah Carey, Tool, Phish, Bob Dylan, Twenty One Pilots, Neil Diamond, Jennifer Lopez, as well as a full season of sports teams including from the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun to National Lacrosse League’s New England Black Wolves. The Arena has also hosted televised sporting attractions like the NCAA, UFC, Bellator, and WWE, and other large gatherings such as the inaugural Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.
A proper comedy club which brings both local favorites and national headliners alike, Comix Roadhouse is located just steps from the Mohegan Sun Arena. Presenting comedy acts each week from Wednesday through Sunday, the Texas country-themed venue also delivers bands (who play on a separate stage within the Roadhouse), karaoke nights and NFL Sundays. And for the extra intrepid, there is also a mechanical bull.
The Wolf Den
Situated in the middle of the Casino Of The Earth, the Wolf Den is an intimate concert venue that holds a few hundred concertgoers. Free for all visitors to Mohegan Sun, these performances are first-come-first-serve, whether seated or standing-room; the stage can also be seen from many parts of the Casino Of The Earth gaming space. Among the well-known performers who performed on The Wolf Den’s stage over the years are MC Hammer, Lupe Fiasco, They Might Be Giants, Eddie Money, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, The Pretenders, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Anthrax.
Another intimate entertainment option at Mohegan Sun is The Cabaret Theatre. The 400-seat space has hosted the likes of Tony Orlando, Port Chuck and Frank Sinatra Jr. For the hotel’s “Spooktacular Halloween” in October 2019, the Cabaret Theatre offered something different from its usual fare with a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” viewing, in which guests enjoyed the Halloween classic alongside a shadow cast of the film by the Teseracte Players of Boston. Cash bar aside, events within this space generally do not carry an admission fee.
The mall in Mohegan Sun Casino is made up of rows of storefronts, over which is a wrought-iron railing marking the second floor, where signs from more shops and an Irish pub gleam. Over the first-floor walkway are large stained glass awnings in colors of red, yellow, and blue in a blend of Craftsman and contemporary styles, supported by large wooden columns and rafters made of pine beams.
Its “Unofficial” Mall
Featuring 47 dining options and 34 shopping options, it is not far-fetched to say that Mohegan Sun has a mall on its property. When it comes to the food, among the dining options available are Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain and Bobby’s Burger Palace, Michael Jordan’s Steak House, Sol Toro, and Todd English’s Tuscany; TAO is reportedly coming soon. Those seeking faster fare, worry not, as Mohegan Sun is also home to Chick-fil-A, Jersey Mike’s, Carlo’s Bakery, Seasons Buffet and the Sunrise Square Food Court. The shopping offerings include Coach, Godiva, Kiehl’s, Sephora, Landau, Le Creuset and Robert Graham. Many of these shops and restaurants are located steps from the Mohegan Sun Arena, Comix Roadhouse and Casino Of The Earth, making it easy to catch some food, drinks and/or shopping opportunities right after you enjoy a little live entertainment.
The Kids Quest area at Mohegan Sun is full of colorful arcade games, crane machines, and carnival attractions set against light purple walls and an abstract patterned carpet in shades of purple and green
A curved wall at the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame is taken up with wooden plaques, on which sepia tone photographic portraits of great boxing champions are mounted. To the right are two glass display cases full of memorabilia.
Connecticut Boxing Hall Of Fame
The Connecticut Boxing Hall Of Fame was founded in 2004 to honor and celebrate the careers of outstanding individuals involved in the sport of boxing. In addition to holding the annual gala induction ceremony, Mohegan Sun is also home to a Connecticut Boxing Hall Of Fame exhibit, including rare memorabilia.
Back Of House
An award-winning digital television series, “Back Of House” premiered its third season in October 2019. The show gives viewers a look into what it really takes to operate Mohegan Sun, following around six Mohegan Sun staffers as they work on a variety of on-site functions and events. In turn, just by attending events at Mohegan Sun, you may find yourself rubbing shoulders with these “local celebrities” from the Mohegan Sun employment ranks.