8 Reasons to Visit Las Vegas at the Holidays
Plenty of glitz and glamour light up the Las Vegas Strip year-round. But the city also has fantastic family friendly holiday activities worth seeking out beyond the strip if you find yourself visiting Vegas between mid-November and New Year.
Here are some of my family’s favorite ways to celebrate the season.
The Rink at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is ice skating while overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas brings a slice of wintery fun to the desert by transforming its Boulevard Pool into a winter wonderland with 4,200 square feet of real ice for ice skating.
Reserve a fire pit for a bit of indulgence and gather round to enjoy hot cocoa and s’mores as well as homey savory food, like grilled cheese and tomato soup. If you would like something more adult, try tasty holiday-themed cocktails like the Ugly Christmas Sweater, Hot Mulled Wine or Hot Buttered Rum.
Details: An all day skate pass is $15, and you can bring your own skates, or rent for $5. For littles hitting the ice for the first time skating aides are available for $10. It’s free to check out the winter landscape surrounding the rink. Guests can be age 2 and up but skaters under 18 must be with an adult. The rink is open from November 25th until January 2nd.
New this season: A light snowfall will occur every 30 minutes in the evenings on Friday through Sunday from Nov. 25 to Dec. 18 and every Tuesday through Sunday from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2.
Santa Claus at Town Square
Even Vegas can indulge in some nice Americana at this time of year. The Town Square Las Vegas, an outdoor shopping mall south of Las Vegas Boulevard (past Mandalay Bay) presents a visit with Santa that’s worthy of Norman Rockwell. Find Santa inside a warmly lit home next to a beautifully lit 45-foot Christmas tree. Of course there are the traditional photos with Santa inside.
Tip: Make a reservation online for the exact time and date you want to visit Santa to avoid long lines and fidgety kids.
While you’re there enjoy Snow in the Square (we do a lot of fake snow dustings here in Vegas; it is Vegas after all!) Monday – Thursday at 7 p.m. and Friday – Sunday at 7 and 8 p.m. There are Holiday concerts by local performers on Thursday evenings, too. Traveling with your dog? Claws and Paws Pet Photos are available every Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Cool to know: If you’re in Vegas with the kiddos on New Year’s Eve, make your way to Town Square to ring in the New Year with Noon Year’s Eve: from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Festivities include an inflatable slide and rock wall, bounce houses, face painting and balloon artists. A DJ from 98.5 KLUC will provide a fun-filled count down and dance party music before toasting the Noon Year with juice boxes.
Details: Santa visits Town Square Las Vegas from November 11th to December 25th. Reservations for photos end on December 23rd, but you can still walk in on December 24th.
Other Holiday Happenings
For more holiday fun on the Strip check out Winter Parq at the Linq hotel, which features an actual snow tubing hill and Ghirardelli hot cocoa, and the holiday display in The Conservatory at the Bellagio. The annual holiday village in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel features 10 gingerbread houses handmade by Four Seasons pastry chef Jean-luc Daul.
If you can get off the Strip, some trip worthy stops include: Ethel M Chocolate Factory’s Holiday Cactus Garden and Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village opens the week before Thanksgiving.
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