Las Vegas never misses a chance to increase its number of sparkly lights, and in December the city goes all in on lavish displays and holiday attractions. You don’t have to look far to discover a wealth of decorations and holiday cheer.
On the Strip, visitors can enjoy amazing seasonal displays and activities in December. The most well-known attraction is at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where a team of talented horticulturists and design staff create stunning scenes. Plants and flowers are transformed into all types of creation, like realistic-looking polar bears, and the Christmas tree is always show-stopping. It’s one of the most photographed attractions in the city.
If you’re missing cold weather fun like ice skating, look no further than The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Enjoy skating with a fantastic view of the Strip, snow showers and s’mores by the fire.
Off the Strip, you’ll find attractions like Downtown Summerlin, which offers plenty of shopping, photos with Santa and a train ride for the kids. Over at Opportunity Village, you can explore the Magical Forest, and your entrance fee helps support people with disabilities.
Still not sure about what to do during December in Las Vegas? Scroll down to read more of our suggestions.
One of Las Vegas’ coolest places to shop and hang out, The Linq Promenade features unique retail, dining, nightlife and entertainment venues as well as the world’s tallest observation wheel, the High Roller. During the winter holidays, the Linq Promenade embraces the spirit of the season with loads of decorations, entertainment and events. The Promenade offers a selection of boutique-style stores–you won’t find any big box operations here. When it’s time to refuel, you’ll find plenty of places to eat along the Promenade, like In-N-Out Burger, Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips and Virgil’s’ Real Barbecue. The open-air design invites you to wander and explore, and during the holidays you can expect to see a lovely Christmas tree as well as plenty of festive decorations.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: December at the Linq Promenade on the Las Vegas Strip means plenty of events, decorations and holiday cheer.
Terrisa’s expert tip: The Linq Promenade is also home to Fly Linq, a zipline that speeds riders along at up to 35 m.p.h., 12 stories above the ground. Height and weight restrictions apply.
More than 2,000 visitors per day flock to this chocolate production facility where truffles, cremes, cherry cordials, peanut brittle, and other sweet treats are made. Their 3-acre cactus garden is the largest cactus garden in the Southwest United States, and during the holidays it’s lit up to create a wonderful, one-of-a-kind light display. Over a million lights adorn the 300+ species of cacti and succulents, and Santa is available for photos. Inside the factory store, you may get to watch the confectionery delights being created, and you can pick up a free sample. Self-guided factory tours are free, although it might be tough to pass up a purchase after watching the sweets being made.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The Ethel M Chocolate Factory & Cactus Garden offers decadent chocolates and a unique holiday cactus garden display.
Terrisa’s expert tip: Ethel M’s Factory offers two tasting experiences: the Chocolate & Wine Tasting Experience that pairs their premium chocolates with four wines (21+ only), and a premium chocolate tasting that’s open t all ages.
The Snow Carnival Holiday Forest at M Resort in Henderson offers an indoors winter experience that comes complete with 350 tons of real snow. If you’re missing snowball fights and making snow angels, this is the winter holiday activity for you, but you won’t have to worry about frostbite. The temperature stays a comfortable 60F to 70F. Guests can go tubing or zip down slides, make a snowman or travel on the Holiday Express train through a forest. Costumed characters roam the grounds, and families will find photo-worthy features like a life-sized snow globe, a beautiful tree and Santa’s sleigh. A shopping area offers candies and small gifts.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The new Snow Carnival Holiday Forest at M Resort is a snow-filled experience that happens entirely inside.
Terrisa’s expert tip: For 21+ only, the Yeti Snow Bar offers a place to relax and enjoy an adult beverage. Keep your eyes open for the signage–the bar is inside an igloo.
Every year, the non-profit Opportunity Village creates the Magical Forest for the holidays. This 30+ year tradition attracts a crowd with its bright lights and wonderful decorations. Children especially love the elaborate lights and displays, but grown-ups will also find the experience delightful. In addition to walking through the forest, guests can take a ride on the Forest Express Train, a small train that traverses the grounds. Other fun attractions include the 50-foot Avalanche Slide, a carousel and an 8-hole mini golf course. Santa visits and photo opportunities are offered as well. Food trucks are onsite for all your noshing needs. All proceeds go toward Opportunity Village’s programs and services, which benefit people with disabilities.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The locally beloved Magical Forest at Opportunity Village offers a decoration-filled trail, a small train, food, drinks and a carnival-like atmosphere.
Terrisa’s expert tip: Be sure to bundle up, especially if you want to take a ride on the Forest Express Passenger Train. The night air gets extremely chilly when you’re coasting down the tracks in the open-air cars.
Las Vegas may be in the desert, but that hasn’t stopped the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from changing the Boulevard Pool into an ice-skating rink from late November thru early January. You’ll find fire pits, plenty of places to sit, a menu of seasonal food, s’mores, and hot chocolate–not to mention a great view of the Las Vegas Strip. Snow showers happen every 30 minutes during select dates. Entry into the Ice Rink area is free, but costs for ice skating are $20-$30 per day and include skate rentals. Guests can bring their own skates, but the same rates apply. Children under 18 must have an adult with them. Areas within the Ice Rink include the Overlook Chill, a rink-side café, and The Chalet, a mountain-inspired experience with a firepit and cocktails.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas offers fantastic views of the Las Vegas Strip, plus seasonally-inspired food, drinks and activities.
Terrisa’s expert tip: The Ice Rink hosts a series of events during December: Date Skate from November 15 through January 2, Benny the Ice Skating Dog on December 1, a tree lighting on December 7 and a New Year’s Eve Viewing party on December 31.
At Glittering Lights, people can stay warm and cozy in the comfort of their vehicle while they take a 40-minute drive through a spectacular holiday light show. With approximately 2.5 miles of lights, Glittering Lights pulls out all the stops to create a memorable holiday experience. Guests can even buy cocoa from the Boy Scouts, who provide the concessions and deliver goodies to your car. Located at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Glittering Lights is an annual event that benefits local charities while giving visitors a gigantic dose of holiday spirit. In addition to the drive-through display, there are also events on select dates, like a live nativity. Admission is charged per vehicle at $29-$39, but enthusiastic visitors can also purchase season passes if they anticipate coming back.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: At Glittering Lights, people drive through the experience, which uses millions of lights to create the designs and decorations.
Terrisa’s expert tip: If you don’t mind the cold, you can view the lights from the Santa Tram. Be sure to bundle up and be ready to take lots of photos.
Mystic Falls Park at Sam’s Town is always fully outfitted for the winter holiday season. During the rest of the year, this fun, free attraction is a family-friendly stop with live trees, a waterfall and a laser light show. When the holidays come around, Mystic Falls Park gets decked out for the season with plenty of decorations, a North Pole Mailbox and even snow every evening. A special laser light show is on for the holidays, and it happens Monday through Thursday at 6, 8 and 10 p.m., and Friday through Sunday an early show also happens at 4 p.m. All shows come complete with holiday music. Visitors walking through the park will get to enjoy animatronic characters, a huge Christmas tree and thousands of lights.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: Mystic Falls Park transforms its laser light show for the holidays, and the indoor area offers visits with Santa and regular snow storms.
Terrisa’s expert tip: Santa will be on hand from November 25 to December 23, 2022, on Thursday and Friday from 4 to 8 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Visits are free and guests can take their own pictures.
Enchant Christmas transforms the Las Vegas Ballpark into a winter wonderland. Visitors can stroll through shops in The Village, go ice skating, enjoy music, food, drinks and entertainment and meet Santa. An 80-foot tree overlooks the grounds at Enchant, which are filled with memorable decorations. Enchant offers a light maze and a mystery for guests to solve: some toys have gone missing from Santa’s workshop, and help is needed to find the toys so they can be delivered in time for Christmas Day. Enchant’s ice skating trail requires its own ticket and winds past thousands of lighted Christmas trees, offering a unique skating experience. Skates are provided, or visitors can bring their own. For younger kids, a play area provides story times and an ornament-making activity. The entire family will enjoy Enchant, which is filled with striking photo-worthy backdrops.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The spectacular Christmas experience at Enchant includes beautifully lighted displays, a maze, shops and an ice-skating trail.
Terrisa’s expert tip: A second location of Enchant Las Vegas opened in 2022 at Resorts World Las Vegas. Dates and admission prices differ slightly from the Enchant at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
Downtown Summerlin is known primarily as a shopping destination, but it offers more than just stores. During the winter holidays, the open-air shopping and dining area is filled with an abundance of festive decorations and attractions. Visitors can go skating at the Rock Rink, an outdoor ice-skating rink where the whole family can enjoy some time on the ice while they listen to holiday tunes. Skate rentals start at $16, and all ages are welcome. You can grab a hot chocolate or coffee from a nearby stand, and a 40-foot Christmas tree adds extra cheer. A train circles the area, with rides for only $5. Santa is on hand for photos in his Winter Wonderland Chalet and also appears in the holiday parade that happens on Fridays and Saturdays at 6 p.m. In addition to the wide selection of shops for all your gift-giving needs, Downtown Summerlin is also home to a variety of restaurants and a movie theater.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: With an ice rink, a weekend parade and Santa, Downtown Summerlin offers a full array of holiday activities as well as shopping.
Terrisa’s expert tip: From November 16, 2022, through January 1, 2023, visitors can make a charitable contribution at The Giving Machine, a special vending machine designed to take donations for all types of worthwhile causes. Getting in the spirit of the season has never been easier.
When the Bellagio introduced a conservatory and botanical garden to Las Vegas, it was before the city had heard of such a thing. Years later, this unique attraction is a favorite of both tourists and locals–especially during the winter holidays, when the talented staff creates a wonderland scene made largely out of flowers and plants. Look for gigantic polar bears, spectacular Christmas trees, toy trains and a host of other creations. Throughout the year, the team at the conservatory swoops in as the seasons and holidays change to create eye-catching scenes filled with rich details. You’ll find the conservatory just off of the front desk, with easy access to the parking garage so you don’t have to trek through the casino, an added plus if you have children with you.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The delightful winter holiday display at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden is an artfully crafted, whimsical attraction the whole family can appreciate.
Terrisa’s expert tip: The Conservatory’s winter holiday display usually runs from about mid-November to New Year’s Day. It’s followed by the Lunar New Year display in celebration of the Chinese New Year.