There’s no time or place like the holidays in Las Vegas, where you can’t help but feel the magic of the season. Each December, the city is full of bustling seasonal celebrations, from downtown Las Vegas to the Strip and beyond.
And no matter what holidays you observe, you’ll find plenty of ways to celebrate. You can immerse yourself in twinkling light displays, go ice skating, dress up as Santa and run a 5K, catch a holiday show, or sip hot chocolate while meandering through a magical forest of lighted cactus.
Here are eight favorite holiday events, including festive light displays, family-friendly activities, and cherished traditions, to enjoy this holiday season in Las Vegas.
Experience the magic of the holidays in downtown Las Vegas. Dress up like Santa and join thousands of runners for the annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run at the Fremont Street Experience. The fun kicks off on Dec. 2.
Plus, don’t miss one of Las Vegas’ biggest and brightest holiday traditions – the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at the Fremont Street Experience on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 5:00 p.m., where you can see the holiday tree shining brightly with more than 49 million energy-efficient LED lights.
Visit a festive fantasyland filled with sparkling lights, icy trails, and holiday glee, at Santa’s Magic Timepiece by Enchant Christmas, a larger-than-life Christmas light maze, that returns to the Las Vegas Ballpark with an all–new theme this year. Skate your way through immersive light mazes as snow gently falls all around and stunning light sculptures transport you to a holiday wonderland. Be sure to make a stop at Santa’s station.
Over at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, more than three million lights, 170 lighted trees and a live nativity scene wow holiday visitors as they drive through the enormous Glittering Lights display, which runs from November 9 through January 7. The light show supports various charitable organizations through its ticket sales.
Nothing says the holidays in Las Vegas more than cactus covered in twinkling lights. Every inch of the three-acre Cactus Garden at the Ethel M ChocolateL is covered in more than half a million lights, animated reindeer, and holiday décor. But the best part is enjoying Ethel M’s famous hot chocolate.
Get your tickets now for the Nevada Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, a magical journey through a larger-than-life world filled with waltzing flowers, nimble fairies, moonlit snow, mischievous rodents, and toy soldiers.
While every Strip resort is decked out in holiday splendor, there are a few that make you want to sing out a chorus of “Jingle Bell Rock.” Stop by the Bellagio Conservatory’s 14,000-square-foot colossal holiday display then join in the holiday magic at the LINQ Promenade for holiday entertainment, carolers, hot chocolate, and family fun, or stop by Aria for a display made of edible sweets.
Las Vegas’ ice skating rinks magically appear each December. The 4,200-square-foot rooftop Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan is a winter wonderland overlooking the Strip where you can skate beneath a light snowfall and then snuggle up next to the fire pits with a warm cocktail and s’mores. Or, head over to the Rock Rink near the Pavilion at The Lawn in Summerlin for family-fun ice skating.
If you’re looking for something truly unique, don’t miss the annual Cowboy Christmas shopping experience, the official gift show of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Or, pick up original artwork for loved ones (and maybe something for yourself) at the December downtown Las Vegas Arts District’s First Friday.
Walk through the brightly lit forest featuring more than three million lights, hundreds of festive trees, and gingerbread houses at the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village. All proceeds go toward Opportunity Village’s programs and services, which benefit people with disabilities. Also, keep an eye out for the Giving Machine in Downtown Summerlin.
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