It's Santa, baby! Check out Vegas’ holiday happenings
When it comes to the holidays, Las Vegas goes all in, all month long. Looking for family-friendly fun like snow and ice skating? You'll find it. Las Vegas entertainers have a lot to give during this season, too. If it’s a holiday-themed show that you’re raring to see, it’s here! So, let’s gaze into our crystal snowball and see what we can find.
Polar Express 4-D Experience (The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Palazzo, 702.862.7800) Get ready for a ride to the North Pole at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. In this 15-minute version of the holiday classic, you’ll feel magic both onscreen and in the theater.
Winter’s Village (Green Valley Ranch, wintersvillage.com) At this off-Strip resort, you’ll find a 6,000-square-foot ice rink, decorated trees, a holiday lounge and thousands of lights. While you’re there, indulge in treats like polar bear pretzels and fire pit s’mores. Each Saturday through Dec. 23, visit with Santa from 2-6 p.m. Village admission is $20 (food and drink additional); hours vary.
Mystic Falls Park Light and Water Show (Sam’s Town, SamsTownLV.com) The atrium area at this Boulder Highway resort features snow- and light-covered trees, Santa’s workshop, and his sleigh. And Cowboy Santa visits Thurs.-Fri. from 4-8:30 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from noon-8:30 p.m. A nine-minute holiday-themed laser light show with songs like “Let It Snow” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” runs from 5-10 p.m. daily.
Vegas Indoor Skydiving (200 Convention Center Drive, 702.731.4768) Now this is a little unusual—while you are experiencing the sensation of free-fall, look to the side in the 22-foot-tall wind tunnel and it’s Santa, complete with boots, hat, belt—the whole get-up! Flights with Santa cost an extra $25 and include a photo of your flight.
Boyd Trees of Hope (multiple venues) If you’re in a Boyd Gaming property this season, check out the decorated Christmas trees. Multiple schools and charities each decorate a tree and the public votes for their faves, which are in the running for up to $2,000 at each property. Vote for trees at each Boyd property with your players club card.
Minus5 Ice Experience (The Grand Canal Shoppes, 702.293.3388) Vegas visitors may have seen this before, but we doubt it. Pretty much everything in the place is made of ice, and before 9 p.m., you can bring the children to check out Santa. And at Minus5's sister venue at The Shoppes at Mandalay PLace, you'll find all new ice, with
Believe in the Magic (Fashion Show) In the Great Hall, singers and dancers perform a special show, Believe in the Magic, complete with kick lines and colorful costumes on Dec. 3, 9-10 and 16-24 at noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. After the free show, the cast parades along with guests down to Santa’s Photo Experience to visit Santa himself (charge applies for photos; reservations required only for photos). The entire area is decked out with holiday finery.
Santa in the Shipwreck (Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay) Santa Claus and Santa Jaws are swimming into Las Vegas again this year. Children can get a free photo with the two Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 24. Plus, check out scuba-diving Santa each day at 4 p.m.
Snow in the Square (Town Square) Through Dec. 23, enjoy a 10-minute snowy show on Mon.-Thurs. at 7 p.m. and Fri.-Sun. at 7 and 8 p.m. with holiday music. Snow in the Square shows are Mon.-Thurs. at 7 p.m. and Fri.–Sun. at 7 and 8 p.m.
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Bellagio) The 14,000-square-foot, flower-filled space will take on a holiday bent as it gets decked out in Holiday Glamour.
Ethel M Chocolates Holiday Cactus Garden (2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson) A short ride from the Strip is the Ethel M Chocolate Factory, and the candy producer is wound with more than a million lights through Jan. 1. Visit Santa or take a skate on the “ice” rink ($10-$20; price varies depending on time and day). Closed Dec. 25.
The Nutcracker (The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, 702.749.2000) Nevada Ballet Theater’s gorgeous ballet pulls nearly 100 dancers into the production. Toy soldiers, Clara, of course, and all the treasured characters come to life onstage.
Holiday at The Park (The Park) Near New York-New York, enjoy a holiday market-inspired experience, where, through Jan. 7, you’ll find an ice rink, an enormous holiday tree, photos with Santa, food, drink and traditional chalets.
A Very Terry Christmas (The Mirage, 702.792.7777) Terry Fator and his puppets come together through Dec. 25 for a show that emulates holiday TV specials. Winston, the Impersonating Turtle, Emma Taylor, Duggie Scott Walker and Fator pull out “Winter Wonderland” and “White Christmas.” Fator might also explain a new holiday, “Juana.” Hey, in Vegas, that’s celebrated all year long.
Piffmas Piff-Tacular Piffmas at Piffany’s (Flamingo, 702.733.3333) From Dec. 4-30, comedy-magician Piff the Magic Dragon and his sidekick Mr. Piffles present a holiday-themed show that pits contestants against each other; Piff will also help raise funds for Feeding America with the Sale of a Sandwich.
Legends in Concert(Flamingo, 702.777.2782) The production decks the halls with celebrity impersonations and holiday classics. Local choirs and performing arts groups join the show each night through Dec. 30.
Human Nature (The Venetian, 702.414.9000) The Australian quartet that performs in Jukebox adds harmony to the season with a special show, Juke Joint. You’ll enjoy “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and “Winter Wonderland,” as well as Jukebox staples, Dec. 5-9 and 19-23.
The Bronx Wanderers (Bally’s, 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster) have caught the spirit, too. Vince Adinolfi and his sons transform their musical show with songs like “Jingle Bell Rock and” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”