Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Las Vegas Holiday Happenings '16

The mercury is dropping, the cacti are changing color, Starbucks’ holiday cups are here and that shopping list is growing. Yep, it’s the holiday season in Las Vegas. We’ve put together a pretty-close-to-comprehensive list of all the holiday happenings in Las Vegas guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of your family.

Ethel M Chocolates Factory Light Display
The more than 300 species of cacti in the factory’s botanical garden will be blanketed by more than half a million holiday lights from Nov. 15 through Jan. 1. The Las Vegas holiday tradition, now in its 23rd year, is free to the public and open daily from sundown to 10 p.m.

Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan
The Cosmo’s Boulevard Pool, overlooking the heart of the Strip, is converted into an ice skating rink from November 25 through January 1. Rent a private fire pit with hot chocolate, all the fixings for s’mores and bottle service, and snuggle up with someone special.

The Nutcracker
The Nevada Ballet Theatre company is set to perform its always beautiful rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” this December at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The extravagant sets, accompanying orchestra and talented dancers will leave you breathless this holiday season.

Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village is a beloved Las Vegas charity that helps members of our community with intellectual disabilities better integrate into society through vocational training, and its annual Magical Forest celebration is an important fundraiser. From Nov. 19 through Jan. 1, the campus will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with train rides, an enchanted carousel, photo ops with Santa and the Magical Forest itself, which boasts hundreds of beautiful trees and displays decorated in the holiday fashion.

The world-renowned resort’s fountains and botanical garden will take on a holiday air following Thanksgiving. Stop by to stroll through the conservatory converted into a holiday garden befitting of the North Pole. Then, head out to Las Vegas Boulevard to watch Bellagio’s famous fountains dance to sounds of classic holiday songs. Not many locations on the Las Vegas Strip will have you feeling as festive as Bellagio.

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run
Another Opportunity Village event, The Great Santa Run is a 5k marathon through Downtown Las Vegas that, last year, hosted more than 9,000 runners dressed as Ol’ Kris Kringle. The Blitzen Bar Crawl, featuring some of Downtown’s most popular bars, is scheduled to take place immediately following the race.

Cowboy Christmas
If you’re in need of some last-minute gifts for the cowfolk in your life, be sure to stop by Cowboy Christmas, the massive Western-themed shopping experience at the Las Vegas Convention Center, between Dec. 1 and 10. As part of the National Finals Rodeo festivities, this annual event attracted more than 60,000 shoppers last year.

Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Billed as “Nevada’s largest holiday drive-thru light show,” Glittering Lights is a 2.5-mile drive through millions of holiday lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate and your favorite holiday playlist Nov. 11 through Jan. 7.

Winter PARQ at The LINQ
The Promenade at the LINQ gets gussied up for the holidays every year. With cool attractions like hourly snowfall, holiday street performers and a snowy tubing hill, the whole family will enjoy Winter PARQ. Ring in the holiday season under the bright lights of the world's tallest observation wheel, The High Roller. Across the street at parent property Caesars Palace, you can do some ice skating at Caesars Chalet.

Downtown Countdown on Fremont Street
If you’ve ever taken a walk under the canopy of Fremont Street Experience, you know it can get a little rowdy. The Downtown Countdown New Year’s Eve event is no different. This year’s iteration will feature live music on three separate stages, NYE-themed light shows and countdown on the world’s largest television screen, and some fancy pyrotechnics under the canopy.

If you'll be in Vegas for the holidays, share your experience with VegasDaze on Facebook. Happy holidays from your friends at VegasDaze!

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