Sure, Sin City isn’t always the first destination that comes to mind when people think of the holidays-- as sunny temps, hordes of tourists, and neon lights are more likely to be found than snow, spruce, Santa Clause, or even traditional Christmas lights. That’s not to say though that Las Vegas isn’t a fabulous place to get away to come winter time though, because come those latter months, there’s definitely something for everyone to enjoy in the “Entertainment Capital of the World.”
Instead of classic carolers or holiday pageants, find each and every casino on the Strip vying to outdo each other with gigantic Christmas trees, blaring holiday music, and fully costumed employees that further lend to the all-around good cheer. From the world famous dancing fountains at the Bellagio to the two huge New Year’s celebrations around town, party lovers will be pleased by the plethora of options LV has to offer. Here are the seven best holiday events in Las Vegas.
Celebrate The Holidays In Vegas With These Fun Activities
1. Celine Dion Live!
What better way to celebrate the holidays than with the best-selling female music artist in history? She’s back on the Caesars Palace stage for another powerful set featuring all her greatest hits—a fine Colosseum show that’s always the talk of the town and what the Las Vegas Review-Journal calls “the show of shows.” Newsweek even dubbed Celine’s show as “Las Vegas’ biggest act since Elvis.”
Fill up with spirit and good cheer by jamming along with just Celine and a live orchestra/band of 31 musicians. With no back-up dancers or disturbing bright lights, you’ll be solely focused on that incredibly velvety voice, as well as her totally enviable wardrobe that includes several quick dress changes throughout the entire performance. Think flowing ball gowns and sassy fringed numbers. Glamorous.
2. America’s Party
So the Big Apple has Times Square, and LV has America's Party. Come New Year’s Eve, over 300,000 people gather in Sin City to celebrate the dawning of a new era by going wild amidst a massive block party that culminates in lavish firework displays that are set off the tops of various casinos up and down the Strip.
From north to south, there are seven properties that usually participate in the annual event, including The Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, the Stratosphere, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, ARIA and MGM Grand. Make sure to arrive early for the best vantage point when the fireworks go off.
3. Glittering Lights
Just a dozen miles north of the strip, there’s a whole other kind of light up celebration at Las Vegas Speedway, which celebrates the season with Nevada’s largest Christmas Light Show. NASCAR fans far and wide will enjoy the over 500 displays of animated Christmas lights that are neatly laid out over the 2.5-mile drive-through LED course. Glittering Lights even has its own radio station with a play list created just for the drive! Find wondrous new creations along with more traditional favorites like the Avenue of Trees that has over fifty custom signs and trees dedicated to various charities and organizations.
4. Magical Forest
This Opportunity Village favorite has been a holiday tradition in Las Vegas for years and years, as the grounds are transformed into a winter wonderland scene that allows for hundreds of trees to light up with of millions of bright LED lights and whimsical decorations. Wander around the forest while enjoying the sights and listening to holiday music. Take a long ride on the miniature train before warming up with a good old cup of hot chocolate. There’s even the chance to spin around on Cheyenne's Enchanted Carousel and to play a few rounds of golf on Rod's Mini-Golf course.
Be sure to take the kiddies for photos with Santa in his workshop, as well as to other can't-miss attractions including the Avalanche Slide and Boris the Elf's 3-D Experience. What’s more is that all proceeds from the benefit help out local adults with intellectual disabilities. Do some good this holiday season.
5. Ice Rink in the Desert
Sure the region may be nothing but hot sand and dry land, but that doesn’t stop the Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from putting up an annual ice skating rink at the end of each year. Skate across 4,200 square feet of real ice while overlooking the heart of The Strip and truly lose yourself in a magical, park-like atmosphere surrounded by bright lights and holiday sounds. You’ll also find plenty of fire pits to rest at, a menu of warm cocktails and comfort foods, as well as guaranteed snow showers to complete the wintery holiday atmosphere.
6. Bellagio Water Fountains
It’s a tradition that’s been around for all too long, and we still love it. Yes, we’re talking about the dancing streams at the Bellagio that are set in time to seasonal tunes such as “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” and “O Holy Night.” If that doesn’t make you feel all nice and Christmas-y inside, nothing else probably will.
So along with the already beautifully designed exhibits at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens-- one of Las Vegas' busiest places during the holiday season—delight yourself with winter decorations such as a show-stopping 40-foot-plus tall Christmas tree, a Garden filled with 28,000 poinsettias and twinkling lights, a polar bear family made of white carnations, and even snazzy Chinese New Year favorites that will go up early in the new year. Think traditional good luck symbols and tons of bamboo and bonsai.
7. Ethel M Chocolates Holiday Cactus Gardens
For a truly Southwestern take on the holidays, head on over to the festive cactus garden at Ethel M Chocolates Factory, where you’ll find over three acres of cacti dolled up with half a million lights. This charming light display has been one of Las Vegas' premier holiday attractions for two decades, charming families with 600,000 lights each year—not to mention endless amounts of chocolate courtesy of Ethel M. The annual event is always free to attend and on weekend evenings, there are local choir performances and mandatory Santa visits. Chocolate, cacti, and Christmas. Why not?!
This article was written by Pamela Chan.