Local happenings, Travel Guide

8 Fun Things To Do in Las Vegas During the Holidays

8 Fun Things To Do in Las Vegas During the Holidays: Christmas is fast approaching. If you’re planning to go on a holiday getaway to Vegas, I’ve saved you the trouble of figuring out what to do. Las Vegas is not just for partying or boozing. There’s a lot of family-friendly activities that you can do.

1. Skii, snowboard or go tubing at Mount Charleston


  • Located just 35 miles northwest of the Las Vegas strip, this is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Although it’s not as big as the ski resorts in Park City, Utah, the short drive makes it perfect for a day trip. It allows you to enjoy winter activities in the morning and get back just in time to enjoy the nightlife. For tickets, rental and all other info, visit this link.
  • Address: 6725 Lee Canyon Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89124

2. Ice skate at The Ice Rink in Cosmopolitan hotel

cosmopolitan ice rink

Photo from CosmopolitanLasVegas.com

  • The Boulevard pool in the Cosmopolitan hotel is transformed into an ice rink that overlooks the famous Las Vegas strip. Enjoy the fire pits, roast s’mores and savor some of the holiday themed drinks, while skating on ice with your loved ones. Pricing: $15 All Day Skating Access,
    $10 All Day Skating Access for Nevada Residents (only available Mon-Fri), $5 Skate Rental fee, $10 Skating Aid Rental fee & Admission to The Ice Rink area is free. For hours and other info, visit this link.
  • Address: 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

3. Admire the display at Bellagio Gardens

IMG_9008 copy

  • The Bellagio Gardens is one of the top spots for tourists whenever they visit Las Vegas. Located inside the Bellagio hotel, the conservatory is transformed and elaborately decorated for Christmas. They’ve got polar bears, penguins, igloos, giant nutcracker figures, snow globes and a 42 feet White Fir tree donning 7,000 lights & 2,500 ornaments all surrounded by 34,000 flowers. Bellagio’s holiday display is definitely extraordinary! The best part, its FREE and open 24 hours, 7 days a week. The winter display lasts until January 2, 2016.
  • Address: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

4. Be mesmerized at the Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las vegas motor speedway lights 2

Photo from GlitteringLightsLasVegas.com

  • It is Nevada’s largest holiday drive-thru light show with over 3 million lights along a 2.5 mile course. With freezing temperatures as of late, this is a fun activity that you and your family can enjoy within the comforts and warmth of your car. A 17-minute drive from the Las Vegas strip, the new custom lights display will make the drive worth it. The tickets cost $20 per car load, 7 days a week including holidays. Save $2 when you purchase online! Just click this link.
  • Address: 7000 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas NV 89115

5. Stroll through the cactus gardens at Ethel M Chocolates


Photo from EthelM.com

  • Ethel M Chocolates’ breathtaking Botanical Cactus Garden is Nevada’s largest and one of the world’s largest collections of its kind. During the holidays, they transform the garden by adding more than half a million lights across the cactus garden. Lights are on nightly: 5 pm till 10 pm from November 11-January 1. After you’ve enjoyed strolling through the cactus gardens, make sure you stop by the factory and see the making of chocolate. Also, don’t forget to get some samples on your way out! Admission is FREE.
  • Address: 2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson, NV 89014

6. Watch The Nutracker at Smiths Center

the nutcracker

Photo from TheSmithCenter.com

  • As a kid, one of the things that reminded me of Christmas is The Nutcracker. If you’re a fan of the theater and the ballet then this is definitely for you. Featuring a full orchestra and larger-than-life landscapes, Nevada Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker has been called “the most visually beautiful production ever staged in Reynolds Hall” by the Las Vegas Sun. Artistic Director James Canfield transforms the theater into a wonderland of moonlit snow and waltzing flowers as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince dance along the borderline of imagination and reality. Return this winter and be part of the cherished holiday tradition that speaks to the child in all of us [Source]. For ticket prices and dates of performances click on this link.
  • Address: 361 Symphony Park Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89106

7. Magical Forest at the Opportunity Village


Photo from OpportunityVillage.org

  • Experience the Magic! Celebrate the holidays with a cherished southern Nevada tradition – the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village! The Magical Forest is a winter wonderland with millions of sparkling lights, nightly entertainment, great food and endless holiday cheer. This year you’ll enjoy all this and much, much more: A Forest Filled with Hundreds of Dazzling Trees, Forest Express Passenger Train, Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel, Boris the Elf’s 3D Experience, Avalanche Slide, Rudolph’s Raceway, Rod’s Mini-Golf, Nightly Entertainment For All Ages & Photos with Santa in his Workshop [Source]. Pricing: $11.99 Adult General Admission, $9.99 Child General Admission. Ride tickets are to be purchased separately inside the park. For more info on hours and discounts, click on this link.
  • Address: 6300 W. Oakey Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146

8. Las Vegas Springs Preserve

  • Embrace the holiday magic at the Springs Preserve by taking a train ride to Santa’s cottage! Take a special journey on the train to Santa’s cottage where he’ll read holiday stories and hand out candy canes. Rides run hourly five times each day at 11 a.m., noon, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Tickets can only be purchased on-site, day-of, and the train fills up fast [Source]. Admission: $4 for members, $6 for non members. Children age 2 and under are free.
  • Address: 333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107


  1. Michelle

    December 16, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Haha, there is always something fun going on in Las Vegas! Maybe I should come back next year 🙂

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      December 16, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Hello Michelle! Yes definitely a lot of fun things going on here in Vegas. You should def come back next year and maybe even spend NYE! 🙂

  2. Julia Rogers

    December 17, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Beautiful site! I’ve always wanted to go to Vegas – now I know there’s a whole new side to it I’m even more inspired.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      December 17, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Hey Julia! Thank you so much, I appreciate that. You should definitely check out Vegas sometime. There’s so much to do aside from gambling and partying hehe. 🙂

  3. Angela

    December 18, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Wow! I had no idea there are so many things to do in Vegas during the holidays! The lights at Speedway, ice rink at the Cosmo and the cactus gardens especially look great! We are always looking for different cities to visit during the holidays, we will add Vegas to the list!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Me too! I’ve been living here for two years now and I’ve only started doing some of things here on my list. 🙂

  4. Anda

    December 18, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    I’ve been in Las Vegas for the Holidays many years ago and I remember it was even brighter and more colorful than it usually is (if that’s possible at all in Vegas!) I have never visited Mount Charleston though and had no idea you could ski just 35 miles away from Las Vegas. Beautiful picture!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Hello Anda! I know right? I’ve only been to Mt Charleston once but I’m glad that we have that option so close by. Thank you for liking the pics! 🙂

  5. Stefan

    December 18, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    The speedway looks magical! How badly do you wanna sit in that Bellagio Gardens snowball and pretend to be a princess ha ha ha 🙂

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      It was! We checked it off our list this year. haha! I would love to do that! 😀

  6. Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers

    December 19, 2015 at 12:21 am

    It does look like such a fun city even for someone with no interest in gambling but had absolutely no idea that you could ski so close by.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      I actually have no interest in gambling Toni and so these are great options for people like me. 🙂

  7. sarah

    December 19, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I’ve never thought of Vegas as a Christmas destination but I guess there would be some pretty spectacular Christmas displays. Definitely had no idea you could ski there!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      Maybe next there Sarah, you can visit Vegas and check these off your list! 🙂

  8. Brenda Tolentino

    December 20, 2015 at 4:18 am

    I can imagine Christmas in Vegas must be all lights and glitter! Las Vegas is not the first place I think of for the holidays but I see that they try their best to make it special.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      I understand what you mean Brenda. But I’m glad that they are trying to make it family friendly. 🙂

  9. Claudia

    December 20, 2015 at 5:44 am

    I have never been interested in Las Vegas, for a million reasons that – the minute I read your post – I actually forgot. The glittering lights. The skiing. You showed me a side of the city that I didn’t know existed. Bravo 🙂

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Aww thanks for saying that Claudia. I know a lot of people that get turned off by the gambling and the partying so I try to show others that’s theres more to it than just those two. I’m glad you changed your mind about Vegas! 🙂

  10. Jackie | The Globetrotting Teacher

    December 20, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Las Vegas is not my favorite city because I really don’t like casinos or gambling. You showed a some alternate activities, though, that definitely caught me eye! I’d love to drive the Las Vegas motor speedway! The lights look spectacular. Skiing is also a great way to make the mood feel more Christmasy! Thanks for sharing such great ideas.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      Me too Jackie! I’m glad I was able to show that there are other things to do besides the partying or gambling. I actually experienced the motor speedway lights how this year and it was amazing! And no problem, I’m glad you liked the post! 😀

  11. Natalie Deduck

    December 20, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Skiing in Vegas? I would never relate Vegas to ski. I imagine that the Bellagio Gardens must be amazing at this time of the year!
    Tks for showing a different side of Vegas, I always thought about party and casinos 😉

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Haha I know right? I’m glad it’s so close to the strip. And no problem! I’m glad that people can enjoy other activities besides the partying and the gambling. 😀

  12. Alyssa | Adjust Your Focus™

    December 20, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    There is always something to do in Vegas. I never realized there was skiing and winter activities you could do nearby. Great list, it looks beautiful during the holidays!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      I know right? A lot of people said that too. It’s not too far from the strip so it’s a nice alternative to the partying and the gambling. 😀

  13. Joe Ankenbauer

    December 20, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Great list! I live about 3 hours away from Vegas, so it’s easy for me to take a trip! Thanks! Although, I haven’t done the Cactus Gardens yet

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks Joe! Oh how nice! Where exactly? It was too crowded when we went but it was still nice. Try to go before the holiday week! 🙂

  14. Trisha Velarmino

    December 20, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Vegas really looks lovely in any occasion! Thanks for sharing all these! Will definitely keep this in mind.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      I agree with you Trisha! And you’re welcome. Hope you can visit Vegas soon!

  15. antonette

    December 21, 2015 at 9:11 am

    My first choice would definitely be the skiing! I was in Vegas during summer and somehow it feels different to think of it as a winter and cold destination.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      Me too! I love me some cold weather. But yes, it does get really cold here.

  16. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels)

    December 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    I guess I never considered Las Vegas a holiday travel destination. But it makes sense… it would be a nice escape from the cold! Last time I was in Vegas, the Cosmopolitan wasn’t even built yet, so I’d definitely check that out as well as the ice rink! Also, the Bellagio displays are always stunning, no matter the season.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      It actually gets really cold here too Francesca. This year we experienced a lot of 30 degree weather. But I know that doesnt compare to the East Coast. 🙂

  17. Paul

    January 3, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Wow, what a great guide, so many things I didn’t know about. Thanks!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Paul! 😀 Glad you liked it!

  18. Kristin

    January 3, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I loved Las Vegas during the summer but after reading your blog I need to plan a holiday trip there! So much fun!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Aww thanks for saying that. Yes, you should definitely go during the holidays. So fun! 😀

  19. Victoria

    January 3, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    I’ve never been, but would like to go! These are great ideas.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks Victoria! You should definitely visit Vegas. So much fun stuff to do.

  20. Mardene Carr

    January 5, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I love travel blogs. Since I cannot go everywhere, I live vicariously through them…LOL

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      haha I hear you Mardene. I love reading other travel blogs as well. 🙂

  21. Lara Dunning

    December 7, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I would so enjoy the cactus garden. What a cool idea! And, of course, ice skating. I live in Washington State, but we have no nearby ice rink and the lakes don’t freeze over where I live. In Alaska, I’d ice skate every weekend.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      December 10, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      isn’t that cool? I’ve only been to the cactus garden once. it was simple but still fun to visit. the ice skating rink gets crowded at times since its located at the strip so visiting during the weekdays is a must. must’ve been fun to ice skate in Alaska every weekend! thanks for stopping by Lara! 🙂 happy holidays!

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