The glimmering lights are plenty in out fair city, so I’m sure you’ve all had out of town friends ask “what is there to do in Las Vegas for Christmas?” PLENTY!

I’ve lived in Las Vegas for 30 years now. When I moved to Las Vegas there were a couple sparkly things to do here and there around the holidays, but the events and attractions have grown exponentially in the past several years. Las Vegas is indeed the city of lights, but during the holidays our city shines even more spectacularly than usual.

I thought I’d share with you some of the holiday attractions I’ve been to over the years, and many new ones I’m recently making my way to see. From light shows to all sorts of family-friendly fun, there is no shortage of attractions, events, and performances for the holiday season in our little hometown of Las Vegas.

Some places you know, some you don’t, and some you may say “no way!” But, yes – YES way! I don’t even ice skate – I know, I’m a loser – but I love to hold on to the little dolphin (so I don’t fall) and join the others in the rink at Downtown Summerlin.

Here are some to get you started – and most likely make a traditional yearly event, as I have done. Hope to see you out and about!

-Carle Rea

  • Magical Forest - Opportunity Village

    The Opportunity Village fundraiser is celebrating its 31st season with the Avalanche Slide, the Forest Express Passenger Train, Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel, SANTA, and more!. Located at 6300 W. Oakey Blvd. The Magical Forest is opens Dec. 1-4, 8-11 and daily Dec. 15-31 (closed Christmas). Tickets start at $22. Ages 3 and younger are free.


    Magical Forest Opportunity Village

  • Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden

    Ethel M Chocolates’ beautiful sparkling cactus garden attraction returns for its 29th season with over a million lights, and decorations. Open 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1 at 2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson.

    Cactus Garden

  • Glittering Lights

    A 2.5-mile course through Las Vegas Motor Speedway is decked out with more than 5 million LED lights! Glittering Lights opens at 4:45 p.m. daily through Jan. 8 at 7000 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Vehicles are $29-$39. A season pass is $129 and a fast pass – yes, a fast pass –  is $64 on select dates. The Santa Tram operates on select nights through Dec. 23, $20-$25.

    Glittering lights

    Photo: courtesy: Gabe Ginsburg



  • Enchant Las Vegas

    Enchant is quite phenomenal, and this year there are two Enchant attractions. 100-foot trees, light mazes, ice skating food, drink, crafts, ,and more through Jan. 1. Enchant is back at Las Vegas Ballpark with a “Mischievous Elf” theme Nov. 25 to Jan. 1. It opens at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays through Dec. 16, and at 4:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and daily Dec. 19-Jan. 1. Tickets start at $34 for adults and $20 for ages 2 to 12. Resorts World hosts Enchant on the Strip starting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays and daily Dec. 19-26; and at 4:30 p.m. daily Dec. 27-Jan. 1. Tickets start at $44 for adults and $23 for ages 2 to 17.


    Enchant at The Vegas Ball Park

    Enchant at The Vegas Ballpark, photo: Carla Rea via BMG Las Vegas

  • Tivoli Village Horse and Carriage rides

    Tivoli Village offers free, old fashioned horse-and-carriage rides, and carolers this holiday season. Dec. 2, Dec. 9-10, Dec. 16-17 and Dec. 23.


  • ‘The Immersive Nutcracker, A Winter Miracle’

    From the creators of the “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibition, this 30-minute retelling of “The Nutcracker” uses the latest in projection-mapping technology to tell the timeless holiday tale set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score. Open through Dec. 30 in the Lighthouse ArtSpace Las Vegas at The Shops at Crystals. Tickets start at $35 and family packs are also available. Times vary.



  • Bellagio Conservatory holiday display

    The Bellagio Conservatory is always beautiful, and this this years holiday display is highlighted by a giant gingerbread house tucked inside a massive replica Fabergé egg. The Bellagio holiday display will run through Jan. 1. For the first time, assorted gingerbread cookies, chocolates, popcorn and other confections from the Bellagio bakery can be purchased at the display, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

    Bellagio Conservatory holidays


  • Fremont Street Experience

    The annual Christmas tree lighting with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman will be at 5 p.m. Dec. 6. The 42-foot tree will be displayed below the 49.3 million energy-efficient LED lights of the Viva Vision canopy. On Dec. 18, a 20-foot grand menorah will be lit at a ceremony led by Rabbi Levi Harlig and Rabbi Shea Harlig from Chabad of Southern Nevada. The menorah will be up through the Hanukkah season. Admission is free to both events.

    Fremont Street experience

  • Downtown Summerlin Rock Rink/Holiday Parade

    The annual holiday parade and Rock Rink outdoor skating rink have returned to Downtown Summerlin. The parade starts at 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 17 on Park Centre Drive. The Rock Rink is on the Lawn at Downtown Summerlin, 1980 Festival Plaza Drive. Hours vary. Skate rentals start at $16. Holiday train rides are also available. Rides are $5, and well worth it! Santa Claus’ Chalet is back, and located in the Macy’s Promenade through Dec. 24. Photo packages start at $35. On Dec. 21, Jewish Nevada will host a Hanukkah celebration featuring a menorah lighting, children’s activities, entertainment and more.



  • Santa Express - Boulder City

    This is one of my favorites! Nevada Southern Railway’s fundraising evening Santa Express runs Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 17, and Dec. 20 and 21 from Nevada State Railroad Museum, 601 Yucca St., Boulder City. Tickets are $30 to $50 for the 45-minute ride with story time, Santa and Santa’s Railyard event center. Boarding times are 4, 6 and 8 p.m. In addition, the 30-minute daytime Santa Train returns Dec. 3-18, with departures hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $10.

    Santa Express

    Photo courtesy: Carla Rea via BMG Las Vegas

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