Want to get away from the snow? Want a different experience for the holidays? How about celebrating the holiday season in the desert? Travelers with or without children can start a holiday tradition in the infamous Sin City, Las Vegas. On The Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, visitors can view the gardens at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, the decorated Las Vegas High Roller Ferris wheel at the Linq Las Vegas, or viewing the light show at the Fremont Experience. There are more to celebrating in Las Vegas than those two locations. If being around or in a casino doesn’t interest you, consider visiting the many attractions that Las Vegas residents participate in. There are many activities and sites that cater to everyone’s interest in the holiday season.
- Visiting Residential Neighborhoods
There are many Las Vegas residents that decorate their home with holiday light shows for visitors. The neighborhoods are spread out all over Las Vegas. Be prepared to spend hours exploring the craftsmanship of each homeowner’s decorations. An example, the Doody Family has been putting on a light show for years. They have become a staple in Las Vegas as one of the must-see homes for the holidays. To get information on their home and a listing of other residents, visit their webpage, Christmasinvegas.weebly.com, or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChristmasinVegasLightShow.
- Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Glittering Lights allows the whole family to view hundreds of animated displays in the comfort of your vehicle. This attraction is a drive-thru activity that displays around 3-million holiday lights to view at a slow pace. Upon entrance to this 2.5 miles drive, visitors have an opportunity to purchase comforting goodies like a cup of hot chocolate or apple cider to enjoy during your festive journey. The admission starts at $20 per vehicle, with discounts and special activity information available through Glittering Lights’ website. The attraction is open through January 7, 2018. As a tip, it is better to visit during the first hour of operations. Volunteer Opportunities Available. For more information about the attraction, visit their website www.VegasGlitteringLights.com.
3.The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
The Magical Forest allows families to experience a holiday festival while donating to the Opportunity Village. It is a cherished organization that helps individuals with intellectual disabilities. There is a passenger train that takes you through the sparkling light displays of the magical forest. For a closer view, visitors may walk through the sparkling magical forest. The attractions include food vendors, small holiday-themed rides, a gift shop, and a photo opportunity with Santa Claus. Check Magical Forest’s website for the schedule of the nightly entertainment provided. Parking is free. Special discounts and activity information are available through their website. This attraction is open through December 31, 2017. Volunteer Opportunities Available. For more information about the attraction, visit their website www.magicalforest.com.
- Cactus Garden Holiday Lights at the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden is 3-acres desert landscape of sparkling holiday lights that visitors can stroll through at their leisure. Note, there is a skating rink on premise. Visitors are allowed to do a chocolate factory tour. As a bonus, each tour visitor may receive a free sample of the chocolate. The gift shop and the Ethel M chocolate store will be open during this holiday event. The admission and parking are free. This event can get crowded, be prepared to park on the street when the parking lot is full. A tip is to visit during the week or just before it gets dark. The attraction is open through January 1, 2018. For more information about the attraction, visit their website www.ethelm.com.
- Spring Mountains National Recreational Area aka Mount Charleston
Do you want a little snow while visiting Vegas? Try driving 45-minutes outside the Las Vegas’ Strip to the mountainous town called Mount Charleston. This town takes you out the desert landscaping of Las Vegas to a crisp air and greenery atmosphere. Unlike the decorative stucco homes in Las Vegas, you get the rustic log cabins that put you in the mind of warm fireplaces and hot chocolate drinks. Visit the historic Visitor Center to get information about the area, hiking trails, and current events. For the more adventurous, ski and snowboard at the Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort. For warm meal or drink by a fireplace, visit the Mount Charleston Resort and the Mount Charleston Lodge. The locations have indoor and outdoor seating. The Mount Charleston Lodge has the Christmas gift shop. Volunteer Opportunities Available. For more information about Mount Charleston, visit their website www.gocharleston.com
- Snow in the Square at Town Square Park
Don’t want to drive far to experience snow in Las Vegas? Located a 10-minute drive South of the Las Vegas Strip, Town Square Las Vegas snows in the Square at Town Square Park. The snowfall lasts for ten minutes and includes holiday music in the background. The shopping center is decorated throughout to bring a holiday ambiance to your shopping experience. Santa will be there for photo opportunities. This attraction is open through December 23, 2017. For more information about this and other attractions, visit their website www.townsquare.com.
- Howard Hughes Downtown Summerlin
Located a 25-minute drive west of the Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Summerlin provides many holiday activities for visitors. The shopping center is decorated throughout to bring holiday cheers including a 40-foot holiday tree overlooking the ice skating rink called the Rock Rink. The rink will be opened until January 15, 2017. There are holiday parades that include floats and characters choreographed by holiday music. For more information about this and other holiday events, visit their website www.downtownsummerlin.com.
- Springs Preserve
Approximately three miles west of downtown Las Vegas, resides the 180-acre historic Springs Preserve. It contains museums, galleries, events, and colorful botanical gardens that are appropriate for all ages. An opportunity to learn about Southern Nevada’s cultural and biological resources. For the holidays, the Preserve facilitates events and holiday craft activities. On the weekends, there will be either a Holiday Express that will be holiday-themed and provides snacks to visitors. As a tip, please purchase your tickets early before your time slot is sold out. For more information about all Spring Preserves holiday events, visit their website www.springspreserve.org.
- Christmas Wagon Rides- Gilcrease Orchard
Gilcrease Orchard is sixty acres agricultural lot that provides a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. Picking season is over with but the orchard will provide Christmas Wagon Rides. The wagon ride takes you through the property with holiday cheers. At an additional cost, Concessions will be providing snacks like hot chocolate, kettle corn, apple cider donuts, chili, and their famous apple cider. The attraction will be until December 23rd, 2017. For more information about the attraction, visit their website www.thegilcreaseorchard.org.