City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in neon, glittering lights…Just because Las Vegas is smack dab in the middle of a desert doesn’t mean we don’t love the holidays! Las Vegas comes alive with plenty of attractions and activities for every age. Yes, it’s true, we might have to force it to snow, or create our own ice, but it is always impressive to see and experience all of what Vegas has to offer during the holidays. Here are some of my favorite spots around town:
Ethel M Chocolate Factory Holiday Cactus Garden located in Henderson at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory. This year, Ethel M Chocolates Factory is celebrating 20 years of lighting their famous cactus garden with thousands of beautifully colored lights. A walk down the path leads you through over 300 varieties of cacti found in Southern Nevada, along with a few friendly faces like the M&Ms, eco-friendly LED lighting and final stop at Santa. Before or after, stop into the retail shop and grab a cup of hot cocoa. A bit of an indulgence, but one of the best hot chocs in Vegas. My favorite is the Mexican Hot Chocolate.
The Glittering Lights out at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is another family fun adventure to get your crew in the Christmas spirit! Head out on the US-95, and stay in your vehicle! Tune into local radio station, Sunny 106.5 (or Sirius XM’s Holly), and listen to some of your favorite Christmas songs while you cruise through the 2.5 miles of scenic lights. The GoodWill Donation truck is located near the entrance, and is a great time to enjoy the festivities while giving back to the Las Vegas community.
Opportunity Village’s The Magical Forest will really knock your socks off, and is worth adding to your Holiday itinerary, especially if you have little ones. Even the big kids will love it! The Magical Forest itself is an enchanting Winter Wonderland of trees and houses decorated with themes and sponsored by many familiar businesses throughout the city. Don’t skip the Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D. The kids will love it! Couple of things to remember- all monies made from the Magical Forest goes directly to support the Opportunity Village and its programs, so employees work the Magical Forest strictly as non-paid volunteers. Consider purchasing the Passport- it will include entry fee and a wrist band which provides unlimited access to all the attractions (mini-golf, carousel, slide and train ride), without having to deal with purchasing the right amount of tickets. The Magical Forest is a beautiful spot and gratitude to those who give their time over the holidays to help an organization synonymous with Las Vegas non-profits.
The Nutcracker is an annual tradition in our family, and this year is not to be missed. Nevada Ballet Artistic Director, James Canfield, and the ballet return to The Smith Center for its second year. According to James Canfield, this version of The Nutcracker will appeal to all ages, and even to young boys who want to be apart of the fantasy as much as the girls. New set and costume designs that are sure to leave every age in awe. Kudos to the Nevada Ballet! For an even more Christmas-y experience, consider adding The Nutcracker Tea, a high tea at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.
Town Square is one of the only spots in Vegas where it snows on schedule! It is a most festive spot south of the Strip- decorated to the nines with a beautiful tree, falling snow, Holiday Nights & Lights Community Concerts, and of course, the famous classic rendition of Normal Rockwell’s Christmas in a sweet little house where Santa sits waiting to take a photo with your little ones. In Vegas, it is one of the most talked about Santa photo opportunities around. Town Square is always a great place to be during the holidays as there is plenty to see, shop and do for all ages. It’s a definite must-see for your Holidays Vegas Style!
The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan is a fun place day or night, with or without your kiddos. An ice rink over looking the Las Vegas Strip, with fire pits, holiday themed spirits, s’mores and sometimes live music. Located at the Boulevard Pool, which is just a cool place to hang out anyway, the Ice Rink really does cater to kids of all ages. Rentals are available, and if your little one is just learning the skill of gliding over the ice on blades, there are sweet plastic animal ice sleds they can ride on while you push them around the rink.
For even more holiday events and further details on the ones listed above in Las Vegas, visit my Events calendar on Facebook.