Why would anyone want to spend their Christmas in Las Vegas? Well, we’ve experienced many and have nothing but good memories to share.
There are many festive things to do in Las Vegas, and contrary to what one might think, you can really get into the Holiday Mood here. So, what to do in Vegas during Christmas time? Here are some of our favourites.
Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
For the ultimate holiday kick start experience, head to Bellagio and it’s exceptional and unique Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. The skilled botanists, horticultular experts and designers get their skills and minds together to create unbelivable displays. Polar bears, penguins, elves and toy soldiers. Thousands of twinkling lights, artificial snowflakes and ice-like details. Christmas trees in different sizes and superb decorations, 28, 000 poinsettias (!) along with other seasonal flowers. The display never lets you down, the details are fun, enchanting and beautiful.
The Display will be around 24/7 from December 2 ‘all January 6 and visiting is free of charge.
In addition to some Christmas shopping (almost 250 stores) and seeing some fantastic decorations of the Mall and the store windows, do make time to see the free Holiday show Believe in the Magic on the runaway in the Great Hall. There’s a lot of dancing and singing by Santa Claus and his helpers. Well known, festive tunes are combined with a New York-style show and you can’t help getting cheery.
In December it runs Dec 2-3, 9-10 and 16-24 at 12 noon, 2pm, 4pm and 6 pm each day.
For a romantic holiday moment the Bellagio Fountains are the perfect spot. Do it as many times as you like, daytime and night time: watch the dancing fountains and enjoy the seasonal sounds. This time of the year you’re likely to hear classic holiday tunes from Santa Baby to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Carol of the Bells. Try different observation areas. The view is different from the Strip side (and you get a great photo here), but you can find a place on the other side as well.
The free performances start at 3 pm Monday-Friday, 12 noon Saturdays and at 11am Sundays.
Off the Strip:
Sam’s Town Mystic Falls Park
You’d want to have a car to get here, Sam’s Town is located on Boulder Highway, about 15-20 minutes off the Strip. But trust us: if you have a car, this is a place to go to. We have not visited in some years and since our last visit the attraction has gotten a face lift. We recommend it with our earlier experience, but now it is said to be exeptional.
Find details here. And the laser show they give the audience, that is considered one of the best free shows in the Las Vegas Valley, the Sunset Stampede Laser Light Show is an experience you won’t soon forget! Shows at 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm and 10:00pm daily. Check it out here first.
Holiday Cactus Garden at Ethel M Chocolate Factory
This place is situated outside Las Vegas in Henderson and we must admit that we didn’t find it the first two times we looked for it but when we did, we were happy.
The cactus garden is filled with cacti species in different shapes and sizes. This time of the year they are decorated with thousands and thousands of lights. We arrived before it was dark, but the cacti were beautiful anyways. Visiting the factory and tasty chocolates was worth the visit as well.
See the details here, but as far as we know adission is free, lights will be lit nightly 5pm to 10pm from November t ’till January 1st. The factory is open daily 8.30am unit 10pm. (Closed Christmas Day).
Lake Las Vegas
This posh, but fun “neighbourhood” always has fun festive programme and things to do. This was the first ever place in the area where we saw an artificial skating rink. Now they have them on the Strip as well. They’ll update news here
Nutcracker Ballet at the Smith Center
This is a holiday classic that we saw in Paris Las Vegas before the Smith Center was built. Nevada Ballet Theatre brings this production out each December and this is fantastic show to tune into the Holiday Mood. For us, as Finns, this is not familiar from childhood, but the story is now part of our mental Holiday map.
Have a Christmas Tree photo walk or record flower arrangements
Explore the Strip casinos and hotels, shopping centers etc. and take a photo of every tree or flower arrangement you spot. They come in endless shapes, sizes, colors and decorations. Some are breathtakingly beautiful, some hilarious, some tell a special story or reflect the spirit of a place.
Ask for seasonal specialities at the bars
Almost any bar will be able to recommend you some specialities. Seasonal spices, warm drinks, unusual, wintery ingredients. Or surprising cocktails that reflect the season with color, ingredients, garnish, presentation.
Enjoy the Season’s special menus
Las Vegas is one of those places that offer exeptional foodie options for every budget. Christmas time means that seasonal menus are not difficult to find and we have always enjoyed trying both American and other cultures specialities here.
Just remember that especially Christmas Day is often super crowded everywhere and prices go up. We travel as a couple and enjoy dining at the bar and often visit buffet lunch time, not during dinner. We will mostly find a seating. But do book in advance for bigger parties and exact times.
Join in the Seasonal Gaming Specials
Enjoy gaming? You’ll likely find gaming specials for the weeks around Christmas. Or you can always ask theplayers/loyalty club.
What are your tips for a Christmas in Vegas?