Ah Christmas…all is calm, all is bright. You are surrounded by the purity and whiteness of the virgin snow….screeeeech… not so fast.
Your Christmas will be anything but pure if you spend it in Vegas. It may not exactly be white either.
Well, that’s not entirely true. Over the years, Vegas has been making efforts to make more family friendly fun and I have even taken trips there with my young ones. But it is still the city of sin. As such, expect gambling and bright lights everywhere you go.
And while Vegas may not the be the most peaceful place to go for the holidays, it sure is a lot of fun. Here are some of the things you can do during your stay there.
Before proceeding, I should tell you a thing or two about the climate in Vegas during the winter.
Yes, it is located in the middle of the desert. Nonetheless, I have seen plenty of lasses come there in just their sundresses during the winter and I felt terrible when I saw them shivering and shaking.
During the winter, Vegas temperatures can dip as low as 50 degrees. And while there might not be snow, it can still rain heavily. Make sure to pack appropriately.
Now let’s get to the fun part, the activities.
Things to Do in Vegas at Christmastime
The Bellagio Fountains
Many of the hotels on the Vegas Strip have live shows that take place, usually on the half hour or so, but schedules may vary. One show worth checking out is the Bellagio Fountains.
Stop by the front of the Bellagio to see their fountains dancing along to ሙዚቃ while lit up with colorful lights. During Christmas the lights and music will be holiday inspired providing an infectiously festive vibe.
All shows in front of the Vegas hotels are free. You just have to stop by at the right time.
The Bellagio Conservatory
After viewing the light show, take a stroll through the Bellagio Conservatory which transforms into a winter wonderland every holiday season.
The North Garden becomes the home of the ice queen who is dressed up in a gown of roses, silver palmetto leaves, orchids and hydrangeas. She is accompanied by her elves, soldiers and polar bear guardians.
Live performances take place at the Victorian Gazebo from 4:40 – 6:00 PM. Admission is totally free.
Winter Parq at Linq Promenade
The Linq Promenade is a great place to get shopping done year-round. Every holiday season it becomes the Winter Parq with decorations, carolers, light shows and live performances. While there, be sure to take a ride on the High Roller Observation Wheel. It towers 500 feet over the Strip and provides magnificent views.
Ice Rink at Cosmopolitan
Christmas is a great time for ice skating. During the holidays, the Cosmopolitan hotel turns its 4200 square foot Boulevard Pool into an ice rink. You can take a break to roast smores over fire pits, catch a holiday themed double feature or enjoy warm cocktails. Snowy light shows occur every 30 minutes.
If you plan to skate, admission is $20 and there is a $5 skate rental fee. If you don’t plan to skate, admission is free.
Palazzo Waterfall Atrium and Gardens
The Palazzo is another must see holiday attraction. Their display includes 20-foot snow covered trees, lights and thousands of poinsettias. The display is free and open to the public 24/7.
Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory Holiday Cactus Garden
There may not be a lot of evergreens in the desert, but there sure are a lot of cacti. The ones in front of Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory are worth seeing. In addition to the lit-up cacti, the garden features chocolate houses and sculptures and live demonstrations on how to make Ethel’s fabulous creations.
There is also an outdoor movie theater showing holiday classics, food trucks and photos with Santa on select dates
Springs Preserve Holiday Express
Springs Preserve is a great place for getting away from the hustle and bustle and enjoying nature. During the holidays, you can take a train ride to Santa’s magic መንደር where you can decorate cookies, make holiday crafts, listen to Christmas stories and more.
The train departs every half hour from 11 AM to 7:15 PM on weekends. Tickets are $12 and reservations are required.
Santa in the Shipwreck at Mandalay Bay
The Mandalay Bay hotel has an aquatic theme and is known for its large tanks full of marine life. Every day from Dec. 7 to Christmas Eve, Santa makes a stop at the shark reef and aquarium. But if you think this is a traditional, ‘sit on Santa’s lap’ occasion, you’re in for a shock.
Instead, Santa changes into scuba gear and dives into the shipwrecked waters.
Admission is $25 for adults and $19 for children. Children 3 and under get free admission. A complimentary treat and a picture with Santa are included.
Christmas Tree at the Venetian
The Christmas tree at the Venetian is a vision to behold. Towering at a whopping 60 feet, it features 50,000 programmable lights synchronized to create a light show.
Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show
The Tournament of Kings arena is located inside the medieval themed Excalibur hotel. It transforms into a winter wonderland for the holiday season featuring a Christmas themed show complete with costumes, lights and a snowfall conjured by Merlin itself. Guests can also enjoy a three-course meal.
Tickets start at $66.
Helicopter Tour of the City
Hoping to run into Santa in flight? A helicopter tour may just get you there. But even if you don’t see Santa, you are sure to take in views of spectacular lights and attractions.
Mystic Falls Park at Sam’s Town
Sam’s Town is the sight of the Mystic Falls Park, a wooded, waterfall area. It typically hosts a Sunset Stampede Laser Light and Water show which tells tales of the Old West though music, dancing water and a laser light show. In December, the show takes on a holiday theme with the addition of Santa’s workshop and holiday music.
The show is free to enjoy and runs every two hours between 2:00 and 10:00 PM daily from the weekend after Thanksgiving until New Years Day.
Vegas may not provide a typical Christmas experience, but there is sure to be plenty of excitement when you visit. Which of these attractions will you be going to see first?