It will soon be Christmas again… how time flies! Are you ready to exchange presents, eat another turkey and listen to some carols? Well, if you plan to do this in Las Vegas, you can add a spot of gambling to that and maybe give yourself a nice wad of cash for Christmas. I know some of you will spend Christmas and New Year’s eve in this fantastic city – well, let me tell you, you are in for some great fun.
Let's face it, Las Vegas is known for doing everything big. Christmas is no exception. The holiday season is actually a great time to visit Las Vegas. However, I am hoping you plan ahead and get your flight tickets early because things get pricey and sell out fast around that time of year. If you haven't, no worries, it’s not too late to find something if you search now. There are still some tricks you can use to get decent prices. Check out these tips for help on how to get flights to Las Vegas for a considerable discount.
The Vegas strip will be full of holiday spirit as the casinos try to out-do each other with decorations, lights and mega-Christmas trees. If you like shows, check out the list of our recommended Las Vegas Christmas shows. These shows sell out fast, so if plan to see one, get your tickets as early as possible.
Things you should know about Christmas in Las Vegas
Christmas day 2016 in Las Vegas is actually going to be very crowded on the Vegas strip.
On Christmas day all the buffets have special pricing which comes out to almost double their regular price. It might make sense to eat at a hotel cafe. They usually have the best prices on that day and are open 24/7.
If money is not an issue here is a list of highly recommended restaurants you might consider calling ahead of time to make a reservation.
This is one day you have to make dinner reservations. If you are going to any restaurant on Christmas day either book ahead of time or be prepared to wait in line for a very long time.
With that said, if Las Vegas is beckoning you this coming holiday season, here are a few things you might want to put on your to-do list. You'll also find lots of resources and some money saving tips on this site while planning your Christmas in Las Vegas.
Note: This year, Christmas day falls on Sunday, December 25, 2016. With Christmas falling on a Sunday, that means most people will start their Vegas Christmas festiviies the weekend before. Expect the Vegas strip to be very crowded on Christmas day. Dress warm and have a great time. Happy Holidays.
Below is a list of Las Vegas Christmas EventsBellagio Fountains
Get into the spirit at Las Vegas' most iconic attraction, the Bellagio Fountains. Is there a more romantic way to spend Christmas day than watching and taking in the seasonal sounds of the dancing fountains in front of the Bellagio? The free fountain water show feature special performances of classic holiday tunes such as Hallelujah Chorus, O Holy Night and Santa Baby throughout the season. Performances start at 3 p.m. Monday – Friday; noon on Saturdays and holidays; and 11 a.m. on Sundays.
While you are there, step inside the Bellagio to see the Atrium which is completely done up for Christmas.(click here for a video clip)
Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens welcomes winter with a holiday display rich in nostalgia. You will find yourself surrounded by thousands of twinkling lights, more than 28,000 poinsettias and a 42-foot White Fir holiday tree.
The majestic holiday tree is decorated with 7,000 warm white LED twinkling lights and 2,500 colorful ornaments. Standing guard at each corner of the garden are four animated toy soldiers robotically moving in unison. You will also find four 10-foot stockings stuffed with wrapped trinkets hang from the ceiling, and a 12-foot Jack-in-the–box, surrounded by gifts and golden ribbon, swaying back and forth.
Nearby, in the North Garden guests are transported to the arctic as a mother polar bear adorned with 12,000 white carnations keeps a watchful eye on her pair of twin cubs as they slip and slide across icebergs. Among them also is an inquisitive family of penguins poking out of their igloos.
In the South Bed, you will find two 12-foot snow globes, each showcasing a classic winter scene. In one globe, two ice skaters glide across a frozen pond with only the light of a lamppost and in the other, carolers rejoice and sing around a gleaming holiday tree while a gently rocking wooden horse rests at the center of the garden among two snow flocked trees and Poinsettias.
The holiday display is available for guests to enjoy for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week from December 1 - January 2. If you get there between 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., look out for " 2016 Mr. and Ms. Green Thumb" who will be on hand daily to answer guest questions about the displays.
Guests can enjoy live holiday performances, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. nightly, from the Victorian Gazebo in the South Garden.
Celebrate the 23rd Aniversary of the Cactus Garden Lighting at Ethel M, mid November - Jan 1st
If the idea of over half a million twinkling Christmas lights draped over three acres of cactus sounds exciting, then you must a visit the Chocolate Wonderland at Ethel M Chocolates Factory and Cactus Garden in Henderson, NV. This is one of the coolest holiday things you can do in Las Vegas. The huge Ethel M's cactus garden out front features a spectacular display of more than half a million holiday lights, chocolate houses and sculptures, and demonstrations of Ethel M Chocolate creations. Santa Claus visits the place at stipulated hours.
The display will be open from Tuesday, November 15th at 5pm - Jan 1, 2017.
Admission to Chocolate Wonderland is free and includes a factory tour. Special seasonal chocolate collections are also available for purchase.
Lights: On Nightly, 5pm to 10pm - November 15th - January 1st. FREE ADMISSION
Factory & Chocolate Shoppe: Open daily 8:30am to 10pm
Visits from Santa Claus: Friday - Sunday till Christmas 5pm to 9pm
Performance by local Choirs: Friday - Sunday 6pm to 8pm
2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson, NV 89014
The LINQ Promenade is transformed into Winter PARQ for the holiday season with decorations, carolers and holiday music. The holiday show will occur nightly every hour from 5 p.m. through 9 p.m. at the Fountain Stage.
Snow is scheduled fall across the Linq complex every half hour from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning Dec. 11,
Location: across the street from Caesars Palace Las Vegas.
Explore the new $550 million dining, retail and entertainment district, LINQ Las Vegas. Feast your eyes on the world's largest Ferris wheel or ride the Las Vegas High Roller, soaring 55 stories over Sin City.
Adorned with 1,500 LED lights and offering spectacular aerial views of Las Vegas during the half-hour rotation, each pod is designed to transport up to 40 people at a time. More info.
Location: across the street from Caesars Palace Las Vegas.
Las Vegas has some of the world's best malls and esplanades. One of the great things about Las Vegas shops and malls are their annual holiday displays. Each store puts together beautifully designed windows to celebrate the season (as well as entice you into their store).
Celebrate the season - the shopping season, that is. Not just one, but many glorious venues await with more than 1000 shops to fill every item on your holiday checklist.
Put on your walking shoes and take a trip to the Fashion Show Mall with it's nearly 250 stores and restaurants (closed Christmas day), the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, Boulevard Mall or Le Boulevard at Paris and the high-end Via Bellagio.
All will be open Christmas Eve and day except Fashion Show Mall, Town Square Shopping Center, and Boulevard Mall which will be closed Christmas day.
The Crystals shopping center at CityCenter, (on the Vegas strip) is a sight to see. At Christmas, this shopping center is decked out with thousands of fresh flowers for the holiday season. Don't miss the focal point of Crystals holiday designs which is the popular flower carpet, filled with a winter-themed scheme and a 50-foot Olympia Pine Tree covered in bright white LED lights.
Also feast your eyes on tons of white and pink poinsettias throughout the mall as well as red and silver candy-like twists hanging from the ceiling.
Even if you don't have the budget to shop at luxury retailers like Prada and Louis Vuitton, the mall is worth a visit just to see the elaborate holiday window displays.
In the spirit of the season, the mall also features live music from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Crystals is open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. The winter wonderland designs will be on display through January 15
Visit the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. The venue has become a major tourist attraction for downtown Las Vegas, and is also the location of the Neon Museum at the Fremont Street Experience and the city's annual New Year's Eve party, complete with fireworks on the display screen.
The concerts are usually free, and held on two sound stages.
This year, Town Square Las Vegas will spread holiday cheer throughout the center. Children and families are invited to marvel at the 45-foot Christmas tree and enjoy the center's Snow in the Square show.
Below are a few of the things planned this holiday season at Town Square.
Santa will kick-off the holiday season at Town Square during the annual community parade. Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.
Snow in the Square - November 13 through December 23
Town Square will spread holiday cheer throughout the center in the form of snowflakes during its Snow in the Square show at Town Square Park.
Shows are scheduled Monday – Thursday at 7 p.m. and Friday – Sunday at 7 and 8 p.m. Each show lasts 10 minutes and is choreographed to classic holiday tunes.
Holiday Nights & Lights Community Concerts - November 19 through December 17
Every Thursday night before the Snow in the Square show, local elementary through high school students will take center stage in Town Square Park to entertain crowds with exciting holiday performances.
Photos with Santa - Saturday, Nov. 14 – Thursday, Dec. 24 (reservations are required to visit Santa)
Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall
5111 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas
Mystic Falls indoor park is a holiday haven this time of the year with a 30-foot Christmas tree, decorated with thousands of lights and displays of polar bears fishing in the pond. Bring your camera and enjoy this winter wonderland that is set to holiday tunes.
Guests can also enjoy a free 15-minute laser light spectacular hourly during the holiday season, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. through January 1. And from December 1 to December 18, Santa will appear Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Mystic Falls is FREE and open 24 hours a day.
Time: Shows at 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm and 10:00pm daily.
Santa will be here to welcome kids of all ages on the following days and times:
December 1 - December 23, 2016
Thursday & Friday - 4:00pm;
Saturday & Sunday 12:00pm
Visitors can see Santa Claus dressed up in scuba gear and submerged in the Silverton's 117,000-gallon aquarium. Santa Claus will be swimming among the 4,000 sharks, stingrays and tropical fish this holiday season.
Time: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 1pm
December 3 and 4, 10 and 11, 17 - 19, 2016
The aquarium is free to the public. Bring the kids and take lots of pictures of the Underwater Santa and his elves. Santa is equipped with a microphone that allows him to listen to and speak with children. (702) 263-7777.
Bring the whole family to enjoy Santa's Wonderland Event at the Bass Pro Shops. Running now til Christmas Eve!, this is an event the kids will love as they enjoy tons of activites going on throughout the wonderland. While you are there, get your FREE 4X6 photo with Santa as well as a FREE craft!. It is recommended that you call ahead to make sure the photo line is open. 702-730-5200
Date: First weekend in December til December 24, 2016
This holiday season, The Cosmopolitan transforms the Boulevard Pool into The Ice Rink. Located high above the Strip, guests will enjoy skating on over 4,200 square feet of real ice, roasting s'mores by the fire pits, and warm cocktails. The Ice Rink also features light snow showers which occurs every 30 minutes.
When:November 25, 2016 through January 2, 2017
Snow Showers: Every 30 minutes, Wednesday through Sunday 6:00 PM to 10:00PM
$15 All Day Skating Access
$10 All Day Skating Access for Nevada Residents
$5 Skate Rental fee; $10 Skating Aid Rental fee
Admission to The Ice Rink area is free
*Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult that is 21 years or older.
Enjoy the spirit of the holidays at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino. Every year The Palazzo Waterfall Atrium and Gardens are transformed into an elaborate winter display fantasy display. Decked out with snow-covered trees measuring up to 20-feet tall, swirling holiday lights, giant pine cones, thousands of fresh poinsettias, The Palazzo Waterfall Atrium and Gardens is a must see during the holiday season.
The display is open to the public 24 hours a day and will through the first week of the new year.
Come and visit Santa Claus and Santa Jaws in the shipwreck exhibit at Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef Aquarium. Santa will be visiting Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef Aquarium every weekend from December 3 until Christmas Eve.
Admission: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.,
From 4 pm to 4:15 pm Santa will put on his SCUBA gear and plunge into the Shipwreck waters to bid everyone farewell alongside his underwater friends.
With each paid admission, kids 12 and under will get a treat and a complimentary picture with Santa and Santa Jaws. So come by and celebrate the holidays with your favorite undersea creatures (and some magical ones too!).
Location: Mandalay Bay
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 3 & Sunday, Dec. 4
Saturday, Dec. 10 & Sunday, Dec. 11
Saturday, Dec. 17 through Saturday, Dec. 24
SCUBA Santa from 4 pm to 4:15 pm
General Admission: Adult $20.00; Child (Age 4-12) $ 14.00; Children 3 and under Free
Nevada Resident Discount: Adult 17.00; Child (Age 4-12) $ 12.00; Children 3 and under $ Free
Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a drive-thru light show held annually and considered Nevada's largest Christmas Light Show by lighting up the speedway from November 11 2016 - January 1 2017. Featuring more than two million animated and sparkling displays along a 2.5-mile drive-through course. Enjoy many custom twinkling light displays, never-before-seen lights and some of your old favorites like the NASCAR scene and the Avenue of Trees which showcases more than 55 charities with custom dedicated signs and trees.
When: November 11 2016 - January 1 2017
Time: Sunday - Thursday 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday, Saturday and Holidays 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Cost: $20 per car
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
7000 Las Vegas Blvd. N, Las Vegas, NV 89115
Christmas is a time for giving. What better way to give this time of year than a visit to the Magical Forest which is celebrating another year of providing holiday joy to the Las Vegas community. Join the more than 150,000 people that visit the Forest every year. Feast your eyes at the more than three million lights on hundreds of decorated trees. Ride the Forest Express passenger train, take a spin on the Carousel or visit Santa. There is fun for the whole family and plenty of special events and offers throughout the Forest season.
The Magical Forest is open nightly November 21 2016 - January 1 2017 Park Opens 5:30 pm nightly! Free Parking
*** ALL Proceeds raised at the Magical Forest will benefit people with disabilities at Opportunity Village
Considered a Las Vegas holiday tradition, the Downtown Summerlin Holiday Parade holiday spectacle is scheduled take place for 20 nights throughout the holiday season, and includes floats, snowflake princesses and princes, dancers, toy soldiers, drummers and festive music to put the entire family into the holiday spirit. Also parading through the streets will be characters such as penguins, polar bears and reindeer entertaining the crowd.
The parade will last for 20 minutes and is scheduled for the evenings of Nov. 20-21, 27-28, Dec. 4-5 and every evening from Dec. 11-24 from 7:00-7:30 PM each night.
*** *Parade on Christmas Eve will begin at 6:00 PM.
Parade will take place on Park Centre Drive from Foot Locker to CREAM.
More Info: www.downtownsummerlin.com
If you plan to visit Las Vegas early in December, don't miss the longest running gift show of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, The Cowboy Christmas Gift Show.
Located at the Las Vegas Convention Center North Hall, The Cowboy Christmas Gift Show will occupy over 300,000 square feet of show floor and host 400 plus vendors from across the United States and Canada. These vendors will showcase their unique products which will include: customized jewelry, western wear, boots and spurs, furniture, original art, handmade crafts and pottery, as well as providing the best source for the Official Wrangler NFR and PRCA merchandise.
Cowboy Christmas Gift Show
Dates: December 1 - 10, 2016
Open 9:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. Daily
FREE Admission - Open to the Public (more information)
Las Vegas Convention Center South Halls
3150 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Note: Free shuttle service will be provided from the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show directly to the Thomas & Mack Center for each night's rodeo performance.
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The 2016 Fountains of Bellagio Christmas Music
Artist: Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Length 3:53
Carol of the Bells
Artist: Los Angeles Master Chorale. Length 1:29
O Holy Night
Artist: Placido Domingo. Length 3:57
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Artist: Johnny Mathis. Length 2:18
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Artist: Johnny Mathis. Length 2:45
We Need a Little Christmas
Artist: Johnny Mathis. Length 1:54
Artist: Johnny Mathis. Length 2:57
Artist: Madonna. Length 3:57
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