(Pictured above is the Merry Crimson portal at Red Rock Casino)
Las Vegas shines as the ultimate destination for visitors looking to celebrate with holiday cheer. The destination welcomes winter and embraces the spirit of this season with an abundance of sparkling lights, outdoor events and activities to choose from.
ARIA Resort & Casino is lighting up the holidays with its “Winter Wonderland” lobby display. Created by the ARIA pastry team and on display through Tuesday, Jan. 5, this year’s centerpiece is a custom-designed 15-foot-tall Sugar Palace, made from all edible ingredients. The sweet stunner showcases seven types of sugar work techniques in the 1,000 pressed sugar bricks, snowflakes coated in crystal sugar, blown-sugar swans and blown and pulled flowers, among other sugary pieces. In addition to the palace, oversized hand-carved ornaments, including carousel horses, ballerinas, snowflakes, swans and trains, hang from the ceiling.
Envisioned by the Bellagio horticulture team, Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens celebrates all things merry and bright with thousands of plants and flowers with its glamorous winter holiday installation, “Hopefully Holidays.” Take in the beautiful Snow Queen and her majestic carriage pulled by four white horses, a fireplace setting with elves prepping for holidays, a family of polar bears and, of course, the 42-foot-tall, adorned Christmas tree on display early December. Also, a short walk away is the Bellagio Fountains, choreographed to holiday classics like Sleigh Ride and Carol of the Bells for the holidays.
For the ninth holiday season, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas welcomes the return of The Ice Rink as Boulevard Pool transforms into a holiday spectacle high above the Las Vegas Strip. Visitors can enjoy roof-top ice skating on more than 4,200 square feet of real ice, roasting s’mores at socially distanced fire pits, adult renditions of seasonal cocktails, classic holiday films and breathtaking views surrounded by vibrant city lights.
Holiday magic returns to The LINQ Promenade as it transforms into a modern winter wonderland with festive décor, family fun and a sparkling holiday light show on High Roller, one of the world’s tallest observation wheel. Guests are invited to enjoy an array of dining, socially distant activities and distinctive retailers throughout the open-air district. Complimentary parking and discounted tickets for High Roller Observation Wheel and FLY LINQ Zipline are also available for Nevada residents seeking a festive place to enjoy holiday-season ambience in an open-air environment.
Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa is celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with Merry Crimson, a festive indoor and outdoor poolside lounge and terrace with an extravagant display of over-the-top holiday décor, including a candy cane swing and fireplace. The pop-up holiday bar is perfect for those looking to jingle and mingle in a comfortable and spacious lounge seating inside, or outdoors at private cabanas or by fire pits perfect for making s’mores. The Merry Crimson pop-up bar will be taken down on Jan. 17—so go before it’s gone! Don’t miss the nearly five-foot-tall by nine feet long gingerbread replica of the resort in the middle of the casino floor.
Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall once again lights up its festive winter display at Mystic Falls Park, a time-honored tradition that does back to 1994. The seasonal décor in the indoor atrium features plush, animated teddy bears that can be seen playing, dancing and decorating the park. An 18-foot tree decorated in red and gold, garland-wrapped lampposts, streamers, wreaths fill the atrium, embellished with hundreds of lights, ornaments and red holiday bows. Families can drop off their letters for Santa in Santa’s mailbox located under the gazebo. The wintery experience will be available for visitors to enjoy through Friday, Jan. 1. Experience the park’s new holiday décor and more than 26,000 points of light from home by tuning into the attraction’s live webcam at www.samstownlv.com/webcam.
Tropicana Las Vegas is celebrating with a first-ever Holiday in Paradise outside in the Tropicana Plaza. Holiday in Paradise showcases a festival of lights now through Jan. 3 featuring more than 25,000 lights covering the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard. Guests will step foot through a lighted archway welcoming them to a 20-foot Christmas tree flanked by large lighted gift boxes and surrounded by a tropical forest of 25 lighted palm and Christmas trees. The free holiday experience also includes a 10-foot tall live poinsettia photo wall, holiday music playing throughout the plaza and on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 3 p.m., the iconic hotel will offer a holiday pop up bar inside the outdoor Tropicana kiosk serving winter-themed and traditional cocktails, beers, as well as hot cocoa.
Wynn Las Vegas is ringing in the season and celebrating the holidays with festive offerings throughout the resort. Transforming the main atrium into a winter wonderland, the showpiece of Wynn’s holiday décor is six mini winter villages inspired by the novel, Gulliver’s Travels. More than 8,000 seasonal poinsettias, dozens of bedecked holiday trees, and oversized wreaths are also on display around the resort. Guests can also sign up to indulge in the spirit of the season at popular events including the edible décor workshop for guests of all ages, decorate the ultimate gingerbread house with the pastry team Friday, Dec. 18 and the annual ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’ at Costa di Mare, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.
AREA15, the new immersive entertainment, event and art complex in Las Vegas, has transformed their outdoor event space, A-Lot into Wanderland, promising weird, wonderful surprises for the holidays. Step inside the illuminated tree-lined village filled with extraterrestrial surprises, including a festive path of igloos with Insta-worthy holiday vignettes, pop-up retailers the heart of Wanderland – Balanceville – a 30-foot intergalactic art sleigh illuminated by hundreds of twinkling lights. Add to the outdoor Wanderland experience and step inside the Portal, the 360-degree projection mapped room, to experience Holiday 360: The Dream Before, a 30-minute light and sound exhibition. The ticketed experience runs through Sunday, Jan. 3 and includes access to the igloo stroll, a printed and digital photo from the art car sleigh and a cup of hot chocolate.
Celebrate the holidays in Downtown Summerlin with the arrival of the Santa’s Chalet Mailbox and Rock Rink. Santa’s Chalet Mailbox is available for kids of all ages to drop their letter to Kris Kringle through Dec. 22. Take a spin around the Rock Rink set to the backdrop of joyful holiday music and a remarkable 40-foot holiday tree overlooking the rink through Monday, Jan. 18.
Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory dazzles locals and visitors with its annual three-acres of cacti covered in more than one million holiday lights. Guests can stroll through the garden and experience the holiday display through Sunday, Jan. 3. Due to limited capacity, there is a timed entry process.
Jingle all the way to Fashion Show Las Vegas and enjoy holiday-themed activities and complimentary entertainment. Reserve a spot for a guided Holiday Stroll through Santa’s Workshop – led by Mrs. Claus – or a Winter Wonderland ending at a giant snow globe, every weekend, as well as Wednesday, Dec. 23 and Thursday, Dec. 24. Enjoy sounds from 20 festive golden bells ringing along to holiday music above the Great Hall every Thursday through Sunday, and Dec. 23 and Dec. 24. Guests dining on The Plaza will be treated to live music from a talented violinist and guitar player, as well as charming performances from nutcracker dancers and sugar plum ballerinas, every weekend as well as Dec. 23 and Dec. 24. And don’t forget photos with the big man himself. Reserve a spot to get those socially distanced Holly Jolly Photos with Santa through Dec. 24.
The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is dressed up for the season with show-stopping décor adorned throughout the center. Anchored by the iconic 40-foot-feature tree shimmering in 42,000 gold and white LED lights and ornaments, the stunning new decorations also include four, eight-foot-tall Roman Centurion toy soldiers, Instagram-worthy holiday sets and photo backdrops. Strike a pose in front of the oversized laurel wreath and Roman pediment and column setting with decorative trimmed trees.
Fremont Street Experience kicked off the holidays during its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Downtown Las Vegas on Dec. 9. The majestic, 50-foot tree is wrapped in garland, decked with beautiful ornaments, and shines brightly below the 12.5 million energy-efficient LED lights of the Viva Vision canopy. The celebration continued on Dec. 10 during the first night of Hanukkah with the lighting of the 20-foot Grand Menorah that remained on display throughout the eight-day Festival of Lights.
Additionally, Glittering Lights at The Las Vegas Motor Speedway returns to celebrate its 20th season through Sunday, Jan. 10. The dazzling array of festive lights and sounds feature more than five million LED lights that intertwine a 2.5-mile course around the track. Named one of the “Best places to see Christmas lights in the U.S.” by CNN Travel, Glittering Lights is one of Vegas’ most festive holiday traditions.
Rail Explorers, the outdoor-adventure attraction featuring pedal-powered rail bikes in Boulder City, celebrates the season with festive, Holiday-themed tours. Guests booking evening tours through Thursday, Dec. 31 will be greeted by the Rail Explorer Elves and receive cookies, candy canes, hot chocolate and/or hot apple cider. Day and evening tour times are available and schedules vary by day; check the website for times.
Before jumping on his sleigh, Santa will plunge into the Shipwreck waters to bid everyone farewell alongside his underwater friends. Catch a glimpse of Diving Santa at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Dec. 21-24.
Town Square Las Vegas celebrates the holiday season and Santa’s arrival with “Snow in the Square” set to classic holiday tunes. The magical snow flurries and reservations to have a contactless or virtual visit with the jolly man himself take place through Dec. 23.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center. With nearly 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and more than 13 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA’s mission centers on attracting leisure and business visitors to the area. For more info, visit www.lvcva.com or www.visitlasvegas.com.