Christmas in Las Vegas
Christmas is one of the few holidays that almost anywhere you go in the world you will see some form of celebration. Whether it’s the Christmas Markets in Germany, Rockefeller Center in New York or visiting the Nativity Scene at St. Peter’s Square each experience is unique in its celebration and offers its own sense of joy and wonder. Las Vegas is one of those places where the Christmas festivity is unlike anything else you can experience anywhere. Everything from a cactus garden to seeing a scuba diving Santa Claus each location of Christmas celebration is nothing short of sensational. Take a look below to see what you can discover not only on The Strip but around the Vegas valley.
Free things to Experience
Holiday Cactus Garden at Ethel M Chocolate Factory – This has been a local favorite for almost 25 years. Ethel M isn’t just known for free chocolate tours (and delicious samples) but for the biggest cactus garden in the Las Vegas area and every holiday season they decorate it with over 600,000 lights! Purchase a set of 3D glasses in the gift shop ($3 each) and you will be indulged with “meteor lights” that mimic falling snowflakes. The best part of it all is that it’s free for the entire family to enjoy. For times and dates click here Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden.
Mystical Falls Park at Sam’s Town Atrium Show – Drive about 45 minutes east of The Strip to Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino to discover an entirely new world. Stroll through an atrium of live trees, faux animals and a huge waterfall all in the middle of the casino. During the holidays this masterpiece transforms into a winter wonderland complete with a laser light and water show orchestrated to your favorite Christmas classics. For schedule click here Mystic Falls Park.
Santa’s Wonderland at the Bass Pro Shops – Bass Pro Shops is located at The Silverton Casino and every year they put on Santa’s Wonderland complete with a free photo with Santa, free activities and arts & crafts throughout the week. For a complete schedule and list of crafts click here Santa’s Wonderland BPS.
Town Square – Stop by Town Square on South Las Vegas Boulevard to marvel at winter decorations, get a picture with Santa and experience snowfall in the square. While you’re there the kids will love playing in the park and maze at the center of it all. For Santa photo reservations and a snow fall schedule click here Town Square Holiday Schedule.
The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan – How does ice skating on a rooftop with an epic view of the famous Las Vegas Strip sound? The Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan turns into a 4,200-square foot ice rink every holiday season but ice skating isn’t all you’ll find there! How about some fire pits, smores making, snow falling and movie night! Don’t forget about the seasonal food and drinks too. For hours and special events check here Cosmo Ice Rink.
Magical Forest Opportunity Village – The Magical Forest has been a long-standing tradition in the valley, you really can’t compare it to anything else out there. Three acres of magical fun for everyone including displays of gingerbread houses (and we aren’t talking your everyday average gingerbread homes), more than 3 million lights on display, hundreds of decorated trees, a train ride that takes you throughout the exhibition, nightly entertainment and food galore. The best part of all is that all of the proceeds collected will go to benefit people with disabilities in the local community. For more information click here Magical Forest.
Holiday at the Park – Located between New York New York and the Monte Carlo is an area known as The Park and during the month of December it can get pretty festive! You will be able to ice skate on a rink right off the famous Vegas Strip, have your picture taken with Santa and enjoy some live entertainment. With games, food & drink stands and a market to shop at you will find something to enjoy for everyone.
Winter’s Village at Green Valley Ranch – Winter’s Village holds a real ice rink, photo time with Santa, movies on Monday and so many more treats and holiday cheer! Throughout the week there will be crafts, live entertainment and holiday food & drink specials. For a movie and Santa schedule click here GVR Winter’s Village.
Las Vegas Springs Preserve’s Holiday Express – Take a train ride to Santa’s Magical Village where you can experience activities, joy and laughter. Make some holiday crafts, take a photo with Santa, listen to holiday story-telling, do some cookie decorating, make some crafts and enjoy a nutcracker display. For a complete list of activities and schedule click here Holiday Express.
Winter Wonderland at the LINQ Promenade – Swing by one of the newest additions on The Strip to experience a festive atmosphere of holidays shows, decorations, snow and music. For a performance schedule click here The LINQ.
Wet N Wild’s Christmas Town – Vegas’ famous Wet N Wild transforms from a water park into a Christmas Town unlike any other! Check out the 100-foot sledding hill, visit with Santa, play in the paintball zone and ice skate on the rink! With over 3 million lights and so much to experience how can you say no? Christmas Town.
The Silverton’s Winter Wonderland – This year, Silverton is just the gift that keeps on giving! In addition to Scuba diving Santa and Bass Pro Shop’s Wonderland they are hosting Winter Wonderland! With light displays, a trip to Santa’s house, holiday characters, food vendors, carnival rides and more it would be a shame to skip this festive presentation. For a complete list of everything you will find at this Winter Wonderland click here Winter Wonderland.
Santa Shipwreck at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef – The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is special anytime of year but it’s particularly special when Santa is there for a visit! Take a free photo with Santa and his special friend Santa Jaws before they head back to the North Pole and every afternoon at 4:00 p.m. you can see Santa dive in with the sharks. For schedule and pricing check here Santa in the Shipwreck.
Scuba Santa at the Silverton Aquarium – Ever dream of seeing a scuba diving Santa? Well, now’s your chance! Head over to the Silverton Hotel and Casino’s aquarium and watch as Santa dives in full scuba gear and swims with over 4,000 sharks, stingrays and various fish. For schedule and times click here Scuba Diving Santa.
Twas the Knight at Excalibur – The long running Tournament of the Kings show at the Excalibur turns festive for the holiday season complete with falling snow and holiday outfits. Watch as your cheer on your country’s knight as the battles rage on! For more info click here Tournament of the Kings.
Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas is You – A limited time engagement at Caesar’s Palace Colosseum. Mariah Carey performs Christmas songs off her album entitled “Merry Christmas”. Book your tickets fast because they are quickly being bought up – you can book here All I Want for Christmas is You Show.
The Nutcracker at the Smith Center – For those who love classic traditions or are keen on the art scene this is the place for you. Head over to the stunning Smith Center for a night of holiday theater. With beautiful backdrops and over 100 talented dancers you will walk away filled with the Christmas spirit. For schedule and ticket purchase click here The Nutcracker.
Resort Holiday Displays
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden – Another staple for us locals around Christmas time is heading down to the Bellagio where you feel transported into the ultimate winterscape. The horticulturalists and designers of the garden seem to blow us away every year. See oversize ornaments, playful polar bears made of flowers, the Ice Princess and a 42’ tall tree in the center of it all. You will never look at flowers the same way again after seeing the magnificent display at the Bellagio gardens.
Fountains of Bellagio – A famous free attraction right on The Strip, these fountains dance to music all year round but during the Christmas season there is a special score of holiday music. For times and a list of holiday music click here The Fountains Schedule
Wynn’s Winter Wonderland – Throughout the Wynn Encore you will find eccentric displays of beautiful village settings, sugary treats and elaborate exhibits.
The Palazzo – Check out the Palazzo’s 3 story high waterfall atrium. The atrium is transformed into a spirited winter scene every year complete with a “frozen” waterfall, Christmas décor and snow galore.
Glittering Lights Speedway Lights – About a half hour north of the Strip you will find the world-famous Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Every holiday season the entire property surrounding the racetrack is transformed into a drive through light display. Stay in the warm comfort of your car, grab some hot cocoa and popcorn from the vendors and drive under an exhibition of millions of lights. The entire drive takes about a half hour from start to finish and will leave you (and especially kids) in awe of the sights to see. For pricing and dates click here Glittering Lights.
The local Las Vegas Houses with Computerized Light Shows – Vegas is full of talented people and these people really know how to spread the Christmas cheer! Have you ever seen a house with dancing lights orchestrated to music from your AM dial? Follow this link http://christmasinvegas.weebly.com/info.html for the addresses of homes throughout the valley who put on amazing shows at no cost.
Las Vegas celebrates Christmas in ways no other city can, known for glitz and glamour it does not disappoint during the month of December. What unique Christmas celebrations have you discovered in Vegas?