Things To Do in Las Vegas - December 2015
Visitors and locals have a lot of options to keep busy this month in Las Vegas. On top of the usual lineup of shows, we have some great holiday events to check out. You'll find beautiful Christmas Trees and Displays up and down the Strip. Check out the Conservatory at the Bellagio. The Linq had Britney Spears turning their Christmas lights on. For something with more of a neighborhood feel check out these Las Vegas holiday options.
Las Vegas' Lights Up For the Holidays
Las Vegas' Favorite Charity, Opportunity Village, offers one of our favorite holiday displays. Opportunity Village raises funds for local residents with intellectual and related disabilities. The Magical Forest is open until Jan. 3rd. Take the Forest Express Train to view hundreds of decorated trees. Play a round of mini golf on Rod's course. Stop for photos with Santa in his workshop. Pet lovers will want to go on Dec. 6th from 10 am to 2 pm. They can get Fido & Fifi's photos taken with Santa.
The Magical Forest is open 5:30-9:00 Sun-Thurs and 5:30-10:00 pm on Fri/Sat. It's located at 5300 W. Oakey Blvd., LV 89146 with free parking. For more info call (702) 225-9627.
Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway bills itself as the largest display in town. It includes over 3 million lights on a two and a half mile course. This year's charity partners include Goodwill of Southern Nevada and Speedway Children's Charities. Glittering Lights is not only the largest display it's the most affordable. It will cost $20 per car to drive through the course. On Mon-Thurs., you can get $5 off by bringing a bag of "gently used" items to donate to Goodwill. Fri. and Sat., receive $2 off. This event is in their 15th year. They started in Sunset Park before moving to the race track five years ago.
Ethyl M Chocolate's Cactus Garden in Henderson. This is a beautiful botanical garden to visit at any time of year. During the holidays, Ethyl M decorates the three acres of cacti with Christmas lights. You can view the display nightly from 5-10 pm thru Jan. 1. The address is 2 Cactus Garden Dr., in Henderson. Call (702) 435-2655 for details.
Music and Dance for December
Las Vegas has the usual shows at the Strip venues plus top entertainment scheduled for New Year's Eve. You'll notice a heavier Country Music influence as the Rodeo hits town. Country artists include Little Big Town, Trace Adkins, Merle Haggard and Alabama. A look at Ticketmaster or the Review Journal will give ideas of the options on and near the Strip.
The Smith Center is our go to spot for shows at any time of the year. In December, the Smith Center offers several treats for the holidays.
- Dec. 2-5 at Troesch Studio Theatre. See "My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm Home For the Holidays" by Steve Solomon.
- Dec 3-6 on Cabaret Jazz Stage. "Clint Holmes For the Holidays" features local's favorite Strip headliner doing holiday music.
- Dec. 5-6, In Reynold's Hall. The Las Vegas Philharmonic will perform their traditional holiday show.
- Dec. 7-8 on Cabaret Jazz stage. Jersey Boy Star Travis Cloer performs his new album "Christmas At My Place." Tickets include digital download of the album.
- Dec. 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20th. The Nutcracker Returns to Reynolds Hall.
- Dec. 19 on the Cabaret Jazz stage. Kristen Hertzenberg and Philip Fortenberry return with last year's hit, "Holidays From the Heart."
- New Year's Eve at The Smith Center. Five terrific performers - Erich Bergen, Norm Lewis, Capathia Jenkins, Clint Holmes and Patina Miller take the stage.
Winter Sports in and around Las Vegas
Lee Canyon Ski Slopes are now open. From downtown Las Vegas, it's just under an hour's drive to reach the slopes. Those who live in Centennial Hills and the Northwest part of the valley can make it there in half an hour. The early opening should make it a great season to buy one of the annual passes. Not up to skiing? Lee Canyon offers Las Vegas' only tube hill.
There are many indoor skating rinks in Las Vegas. On top of the indoor options, this month we have a couple of outdoor options that offer a holiday twist.
Cosmopoliton's Boulevard pool with it's Strip views is converted into an ice skating rink. The Cosmopoliton Ice Rink will be open Mon-Fri from 3 pm 'til midnight. Sat. and Sun., it opens from noon until midnight. Wed. thru Sun. skaters will enjoy snow showers from 6 pm to 10 pm. The Ice Rink is open until Jan. 3.
Visit the Cosmopolitan to get your skate on and roast s'mores while lounging by the fire pit. Several themed nights offer extra entertainment. Monday's Date Skate features movies. Wed is Industry night with Vegas most popular DJs. Throwback Thursdays takes us back to the sounds of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
On the West side, Downtown Summerlin shows they will not be outdone with the Rock Rink. It's open for Ice Skating M-Th from 4-9 pm. Fri. hours are from 4-10 pm. Sat. 10-10 pm and Sunday 11-8 pm. School holidays the Rock Rink is open from 10 am to 10 pm.
Special events include DJs on Fri and Sat evenings and skating with special characters on Sat from noon to 3 pm. The rink will be open until January 18th. Downtown Summerlin is a favorite neighbor for Summerlin homeowners. Call the Downtown Summerlin Concierge for Rock Rink details at (702) 832-1055.
Shopping in Las Vegas and Henderson
We have loads of shopping venues in Las Vegas. They include the Premium Outlets downtown and on the South Strip. The Palazzo, Wynn, Caesar's and Planet Hollywood have terrific shopping venues. We also have some great local's favorites.
Downtown Summerlin recently celebrated it's one year anniversary. You'll now find an Apple Store, Macy's, Dillards, Michael Kors, Chico's, Nordstrom Rack and more.
Shop all afternoon and enjoy the holiday parade that starts at 7 pm December 4th. The holiday parade continues 20 nights with the final parade on the 24th starting at 6 pm. Parade goers will find a variety of restaurants to enjoy afterwards. Downtown Summerlin is a great spot to go for your photo with Santa and pick up your tree.
Town Square is convenient from all parts of the valley. This year they're celebrating the season with "Snow in the Square". The nightly show is at 7 pm and for ten minutes, visitors will see snowflakes fall in the square. Friday and Saturday nights offer a second 8 pm show. Town Square's other holiday festivities include pictures with Santa. They offer pet photos with Santa on Wednesdays. On Thursdays before the Snow in the Square show, local students will take the stage at the Town Square Park.
The District at Green Valley has already held it's annual Christmas tree lighting. Henderson homeowners can enjoy the tree while shopping and dining. On December 8th, they will be holding The Grand Menorah Lighting. The District celebrates the festival of lights with entertainment, balloon creations, donuts and more.
Lake Las Vegas offers a cruise with Santa on Dec. 5th, 12th and 19th. The hour long cruise starts at 10 a.m. with a second 1 p.m. cruise on the 12th and 19th. Tickets are $12 for kids 12 and under, $18 for adults. Santa will be hanging out at the Gazebo in Montelago Village from 4:30-7:30 on Saturdays. On the cruise days, you can catch him from 11 am to 1 pm as well. Lake Las Vegas will have express train rides for the younger set as well.
Cowboy Christmas in Las Vegas. Last but not least, this is a must attend event for all cowboys. It's held in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo. This year it moved to the South Halls of the Convention Center. The Cowboy Christmas boasts over 400 vendors. You'll find Western wear, boots, shirts and official NFR Wrangler wear. Shop all day and take the free shuttle to the rodeo events at Thomas & Mack. Event runs from Dec 3-12 from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is free and it is open to the public.
December is a great month to be in Las Vegas. The weather is a bit cooler than most year round Las Vegans prefer. We still have sunny days with highs in the low 60s. The shopping is great and the town is gearing up for an awesome kick off to the New Year. It can be a good month for home buyers and sellers. Buyers will find less competition. Sellers will find snowbirds returning to town.
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