Is Christmas a good time to visit Las Vegas?
Neither Ebenezer Scrooge nor The Grinch can escape Christmas by visiting Las Vegas – No matter how hard they try! As a Vegas local originally from Virginia, I can tell you that Las Vegas reimagines holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas with both festive charm and vibrant entertainment.
The city offers a plethora of concerts, shows, parties, and dining experiences that turn the traditional holiday into an event of extraordinary festivities and wonder. Christmas in Vegas is a good idea for anyone wanting to create fresh family traditions with a sparkling twist. Here, the holiday spirit dances hand in hand with the thrill of high-stakes games, dazzling holiday lights, and awe-inducing shows.
I invite you to visit my home city and see as Las Vegas transforms into a holiday enchantment of things to do each December. Our family tradition welcomes the holiday season each year with a worthy trip just a few miles from The Strip to the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden.
Things to do in Las Vegas in December
Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden
Picture this: Every inch of desert flora is illuminated with over a million Christmas lights! The guided path through the largest cactus garden in the West takes you past the cheerful decor of a retro hot chocolate truck to indulge in a specialty chocolate treat or a rich cup of signature hot cocoa.
Afterward, you commemorate the memories at the Hallmark-like festive photo and selfie displays. Then, the kiddos can take pictures with Santa before throwing the caution of perfectly pressed Christmas outfits to the wind to claim a decadent chocolate treat!
Of course, Vegas’ norm is Wonka style. I mean, cactus garden, red suit Santa, millions of illuminated lights, and everything – it is a chocolate factory!
Las Vegas Christmas events
- Bellagio Conservatory Winter Display
- The Las Vegas Great Santa Run
- The Ethel M Chocolate Factory 30th Annual Holiday Botanical Cactus Garden
- Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
- Merry Motown – Alexis Park Resort
- Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
- The Rock Rink at Downtown Summerlin
- Christmas Parade at Downtown Summerlin
- Rouge Wonderland at Red Rock Casino, Resort, & Spa Resort in Downtown Summerlin
- Enchant Christmas Light Maze & Village
- Mystic Falls Holiday Display at Sam’s Town Hotel
- The Nutcracker at The Smith Center
- Shaq’s Fantasy Lab – A Christmas Dream
- Tournament of Kings ‘Twas the Knight – Excalibur Hotel & Casino
Which Las Vegas casino has the best Christmas decorations?
Do the hotels in Vegas decorate for Christmas?
Indeed they do! And the term “decorate” just might be an understatement for what Vegas hotels fancy for Christmas!
Just as breathtaking right on The Strip are Bellagio’s unparalleled Christmas decorations and garden displays. In December, it’s a wonderland of Christmas magic and splendor decked from garden house ceiling to the floor with hundreds of poinsettias, thousands of red petals, snow-flocked landscapes, and, to top it all, bridges above coy fish waterways!
What casino in Vegas has an ice rink?
When you finish taking in Bellagio’s holiday landscapes, plan to finish the night as The Cosmopolitan has transformed its rooftop pool into The Ice Rink! Can you imagine a new winter wonderland above The Las Vegas Strip with ice skating, fire pits, warm cocktails, s’mores, and breathtaking views? It’s real! A magical atmosphere surrounded by the glittering lights, the way only Las Vegas can deliver.
Yes, even in Las Vegas, you’ll undoubtedly experience the season’s joy! In unmatched style and extravagance, of course! Don’t hesitate to immerse yourself in these experiences, for they epitomize the festivity, spirit of wonder, and delight that December in Vegas is all about.
December’s Must-See Vegas Shows
People ask me, “Does Las Vegas do anything special for Christmas?”
Do they! Get ready for Christmas in Las Vegas with an unparalleled experience of shows, concerts, residencies, and exclusive NYE packages with a party plus a show!
What better way to spend your holiday than in the neon city, am I right?
Amidst Vegas’s twinkling lights and festive cheer in December, a select array of spectacular shows take center stage. You’ll find entertainment beyond compare as the city’s premier performers present their finest acts to end the year with a bang!
Concerts and shows in Vegas in December
- Bruno Mars – Dolby Live at Park MGM Las Vegas
- Usher – Dolby Live at Park MGM (2023 last shows in December)
- U2 – at Sphere
- Kylie Minogue – The Venetian Las Vegas
- Luke Bryan – Resorts World Las Vegas
- Carrie Underwood – Resorts World Las Vegas
- Derek Hough – Palms Casino Resort
- Kelly Chen – Dolby Live at Park MGM Las Vegas
- Rodney Carrington – The Signature at MGM Grand
Comedy shows Las Vegas in December
- Eddie Griffin – Live And Unleashed!
- Marlon Wayans Live
- Jeff Dunham – Still Not Canceled
- Rich Little
- Jon Lovitz
- Jeff Foxworthy
- John Oliver & Seth Meyers
- Hip-Nosis Starring Justin Tranz
- Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club Las Vegas – various artists
- Impractical Jokers – The Drive Drive Drive Drive Drive Tour
- Carrot Top
- Mad Apple by Cirque du Soleil
- LA Comedy Club – various artists
- Menopause The Musical
- Laugh Factory
- Tape Face
- Atomic Saloon Show
- Las Vegas Live Comedy Club – various artists
- Penn & Teller
- Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club
- Vicki Barbolak
- Marriage Can BeMurder Dinner Show
- Rodney arrington
- Terry Fator: A Very Terry Christmas
- John Caparulo
- Max Jobrani
- Vegas Stand Up & Rock Comedy Club
Holidays in Las Vegas
What is the weather like in Las Vegas at Christmas?
Many travelers visit Las Vegas in December, trading snow for the desert sun. It’s a fact that our sub-tropical winters can make you quickly forget it’s December!
Las Vegas weather greets you with short, crisp days and chilly nights in December. The air is crisp in the morning, and the days are filled with the sun’s warm and bright beam.
The Strip’s neon lights are working their hardest this time of year, back to decorating the city by 4:30 pm when the West resumes night from its short stint as day.
Do you need a jacket in Las Vegas in December?
To adapt to this desert winter climate, you’ll want to bring along a warm, comfy jacket for when the nights dip below winter’s average daytime temps of high fifties to 60 degrees.
Christmas dinner in Las Vegas
Are restaurants open on Christmas day in Las Vegas?
Demand soars during the holidays, and Las Vegas’s culinary scene is no different. I advise making reservations early to ensure a spot at these world-famous restaurant havens.
Savor the joy of an exceptionally crafted meal and revel in a dining experience that truly encapsulates the spirit of a Vegas Christmas.
How to plan the perfect Vegas December getaway
Seize every moment in this vibrant city by planning ahead. With these tips, you’re set to enjoy the thrills and chills of Vegas in December without the stress.
- Packing essentials: Las Vegas winters are cool, so pack layers that can transition from day to night. Include a warm jacket, comfortable shoes for walking The Strip, and attire suitable for a fancy dinner or show.
- Stay hydrated: The desert air is dry, so carry a water bottle to avoid dehydration as you explore.
- Battery power: Keep a portable charger handy. With all the photos and navigation you’ll be using, your phone’s battery will drain faster than you think.
- Weekend getaways: Consider a day trip to Red Rock Canyon, the Hoover Dam, or the Seven Magic Mountains for a bit of history or impressive views. Each is only a short drive from the Vegas Strip.
- Online Resources: Use online guides and apps for up-to-date event schedules, showtimes, and restaurant bookings to maximize your time.
- Early Reservations: Book shows and restaurants in advance. December is a bustling time in Vegas, just before Christmas and then again right after to ring in The New Year. So, securing spots early can mean better seats and less waiting.
- Check Las Vegas flights and vacation packages HERE.
Christmas things to do in Las Vegas FAQs
Is Vegas expensive during Christmas?
With new attractions added to the city annually, Vegas’ 2023 NYE party theme is “More in ’24!”
With that said, Vegas *used to be* cheap in December (except for NYE), but with the NBA taking over the Las Vegas Strip for the In-Season Tournament, you’ll want to book your flights and accommodations early to try and snag those enticing early-bird and off-peak discounts, especially during the week of Christmas.
Are Vegas casinos closed on Christmas?
Las Vegas hotels and casinos never close. They don’t stop to take a break or go to sleep. Lucky for you, not even on Christmas Day!
Are casinos busy on Christmas?
Asked another way, “Is Las Vegas crowded during Christmas?”
The Vegas casinos are not as busy the week of Christmas or on Christmas Day. This gives the hotel and restaurant staff time to take a much-needed break. Because they already know – the hotel and casino traffic will insanely increase the next week for New Year’s Eve!
Is everything open in Vegas at Christmas?
Most casinos are open on Christmas, meaning hungry diners can head to any resort to find a meal.
What do you wear to Vegas at Christmas?
The dress code for Christmas in Sin City is similar to many modern churches. Come as you are! You can be as glam or as casual as you desire.
But, as a Vegas local who loves the outdoors, I’ve learned that layering is the secret to Vegas attire in December. Start with a breathable base for our bright and sunny winter days. Then, you can add a cozy sweater, fleece, or weather-resistant outer shell for nights exploring the city. This approach lets you peel off layers from the breezy Strip to enter the buzzing warmth of the casinos and shows.
Can you swim in Vegas in December?
People also ask, “Are pools open in Vegas in December?”
You might be wondering about pool options in Las Vegas during December’s cooler days. While many resorts in Las Vegas shut their pools in late October until spring, some keep their aquatic oases heated and inviting!
Las Vegas hotels with a pool open year-round
The list of hotels below keeps at least one pool on their property open and heated during the winter off-season.
- Mandalay Bay
- MGM Grand
- Park MGM
- The Venetian
- Resorts World
- The Cosmopolitan
- Stadium Swim at Circa Las Vegas – Downtown Las Vegas
- The Downtown Grand – Downtown Las Vegas
- Plaza – Downtown Las Vegas
Does Las Vegas have a Christmas market?
Yes, although they’re all within the residential suburbs of the city, an Uber, taxi, or Lyft can easily take you there if you’re visiting Las Vegas and want to partake in holiday market shopping the local way.
Here’s a list of the city’s best markets, some that only pop up during the holiday season!
- Tivoli Village Nutcracker Night Market
- Bruce Trent Park Farmer’s Market
- The District at Green Valley Ranch Market in the Alley
- Las Vegas Farmer’s Market at Downtown Summerlin (My personal fav!)
Christmas in Vegas is the ultimate holiday experience
Have I answered all your questions about what is there to do in Las Vegas at Christmas?
Are you ready to journey through the dazzling array of experiences Las Vegas offers during the magical month of December?
From the twinkling Parade of Lights to the spirited strides of the Downtown Summerlin Christmas Parade, an undeniable festive cheer envelops the city. Revelers heading to Vegas in the winter can anticipate an unforgettable New Year’s Eve, marked by sensational fireworks and glitzy parties.
Those seeking holiday entertainment are spoiled for choice with must-see December shows, adding a touch of Vegas glamour of the season’s joy.
Embarking on a Vegas adventure wouldn’t be complete without savoring the tastes of the season at the city’s finest restaurants, where holiday menus come alive.
Remember to embrace the cool desert climate and pack accordingly to enjoy each moment comfortably. And for those extended weekend getaways, the options are limitless, beckoning you to explore Vegas’ natural wonders beyond The Strip.
For more insights and the latest Vegas trends, join me on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest. Make sure to save this treasure trove of December delights — Pin it for easy access as you plan your Vegas winter wonderland escape.
The city awaits, ready to wrap you in its luminous holiday aura. Will you answer its call?
Did you enjoy this list of things to do for Christmas in Las Vegas?
Have you been?
Ready to go?
Comment below and let me know.