17 Festive Holiday Events in Las Vegas This Year

Viva Las Christmas!

Viva Las Christmas, baby! Spending the holidays in Sin City is an experience like no other, offering lots of booze, burlesque, a few boos, more booze, giant Christmas trees, fake igloos, some drag…and really, a lot of booze. There are also plenty of family-friendly holiday happenings in Las Vegas—Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden Lights, the Downtown Summerlin Holiday Parade, and the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village, just to name a few.

Even as we booster our way into year two of the pandemic, there’s still so much to be thankful for and celebrate this season—let’s start with the fact that the below list of holiday happenings are happening at all. So throw on your favorite ugly Christmas sweater and spread some cheer as you check out all the fun things to do in Vegas this holiday season.

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Ongoing through January 2
Downtown Summerlin
A brand-new event for 2021, Enchant Christmas at the Las Vegas Ballpark (home of the Las Vegas Aviators) is a fully immersive frozen fairytale with an ice skating trail, an 80-foot “Everwhite” tree (made entirely of white Christmas lights), a light maze, and a Christmas market filled with local shops and food vendors (like Benyeh, Secret Creamery, and Cured & Whey). There are special themed nights each week and, of course, visits with Santa. The whole experience is illuminated by millions of twinkling lights with photo ops at every turn. This is an Instagrammer’s winter wonderland!
Cost: Starts at $20 and goes up from there based on the date and time of day.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Free-$$$
Ongoing through January 2
The Cosmopolitan
One of the most beloved Las Vegas holiday traditions is ice skating on a covered pool on a rooftop overlooking the Strip in 70 degree weather while watching Christmas movies like Elf on a 65-foot marquee. Vegas, baby! Every year The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan gets better, with more recent additions including a robust menu of Christmas-themed cocktails and rink-side fire pits for toasting s’mores. New this year is the Chalet, a dining area styled after a cozy alpine retreat with its own communal fire pit and reserved seating. The rink is open daily; Christmas movies are shown on the marquee most Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 pm through December 27. There are also special event nights including, perhaps most importantly, the New Year’s Eve extravaganza, an open-air viewing party of the famed Las Vegas Strip fireworks that includes three hours of free-flowing open bar (specialty Christmas cocktails and a champagne toast at midnight included).
Cost: Entry is free; all-day skating starts at $20. Fire pit reservations start at $200; for large group fire pit reservations and Chalet reservations, email IceRink@cosmopolitanlasvegas.com. NYE tickets start at $200 plus tax and gratuity.

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Ongoing through December 25
AREA 15
If you love Nightmare Before Christmas—like, your Christmas tree is black and covered in Jack Skellington ornaments—this will probably be the highlight of your Vegas Christmas experience. If you don’t have strong feelings about the movie, you will likely not be impressed. But for those who love the movie, this immersive experience located inside The Portal at AREA 15 includes wall-to-wall digital projections and some added lighting effects throughout the screening of the film on a big screen with a legit killer sound system. The cost of admission for adults includes a cocktail from the themed cocktail menu, and you’ll get to enjoy music inspired by the movie beforehand, including famous covers of songs from the soundtrack and other tracks by Danny Elfman (like his own cover of “Oogie Boogie’s Song”). And if you’re not into being part of families’ night out, there are 21+ screenings.
Cost: $40 for adults (includes a themed cocktail).

Miracle On Spring Mountain
Miracle On Spring Mountain

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Ongoing through January 1
Chinatown
As far as Las Vegas is concerned, Miracle on Spring Mountain is the OG of Christmas pop-up bars. Now in its third year, Miracle kickstarted the trend that can now be found all over Las Vegas—the holiday-themed bar covered in kitschy holiday décor with a special holiday cocktail menu. And God bless them, because this is a trend worth replicating. The iconic Sand Dollar Lounge in Chinatown has once again transformed into your kooky Christmas-loving cat lady aunt’s living room with holiday cocktails in fun holiday mugs and barware (which you can buy), a special release fruited sour beer from Beer Zombies custom-made and exclusively available at the Sand Dollar, guest chef pizza pop-up charity fundraisers, theme nights, and lots of Christmas cheer.
Cost: Holiday cocktails start at $14; house pizzas (some of the best in town) start at $11.

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Ongoing through January 1
Red Rock Resort
Merry Crimson returns to Red Rock for the second year, this time with the theme “Tinsel Town.” This holiday pop-up overtakes the resort’s indoor and outdoor poolside lounges with ‘grammable moments galore, starting with the festive hallway-tunnel you’ll walk through to enter this winter wonderland (it’s the stuff TikTok dreams are made of). Enjoy sipping on holiday cocktails (including holiday punch bowls and a hot cocoa cart), roasting s’mores by the fire pits, grooving to DJ tunes, and (new this year) snuggling up inside cozy igloos covered in twinkling lights next to the pool. If you want to make a double-header out of it, there is also a free luxury shuttle decked out in holiday lights available from Enchant Christmas at the Las Vegas Ballpark to the resort.
Cost: Entry is free for first-come GA seating; holiday cocktails start at $16. Indoor couches and booths, cabanas, fire pits, and igloos are all available to reserve starting at $250. Call 702-797-7873 for reservations.

Nevada Ballet
Nevada Ballet

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Ongoing through December 26
Downtown Las Vegas
The Nevada Ballet Theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and there is no better way to kick it off than with the return of their flagship annual production of The Nutcracker. Even if you’ve seen The Nutcracker a dozen times before, if you haven’t seen NBT’s version at the Smith Center, you haven’t seen it. With a life-size four-story dollhouse as its centerpiece and other over-the-top moments that include Clara riding a flying rocking horse, this production is worth seeing again and again. (And if this is your first time back to the Smith Center in a while, just know that right now they are not allowing drinks inside the theatre; you have to finish them in the lobby before taking your seat.)
Cost: Tickets start at $30.95.

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Ongoing through December 29
Chinatown
The Nightmare Before Xmás Christmas Experience at Más Por Favor in Chinatown is everything your Halloween-loving heart craves at Christmastime. The entire back room is covered in Nightmare décor, from the black-and-orange-striped snake, black-and-white parasols, and screaming Christmas wreath hanging from the ceiling to Mr. Oogie Boogie in the corner. A special food & drink menu is available, with items like Frog’s Breath Pozole and Sandy Claws Tacos and clever cocktails served in festive Jack and Sally mugs. Make reservations for parties of four or more with a $50 food and beverage minimum per person on Thursdays through Sundays; the rest is first-come, first-served.
Cost: Xmás food menu items start at $4; cocktails start at $16.

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Ongoing through January 2
The Flamingo
The iconic Strip resort is celebrating its 75th anniversary through the end of the year, and part of the celebrations include transforming the resort into the Flamingo Holiday Festival. The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat’s halls are decked with pink and white lights, and the patio bar is now the Festive Flamingo Bar with holiday drinks and a fire pit. Fridays through Sundays there is also a holiday pop-up bar, and several of the bars and restaurants inside are also offering the holiday cocktail menu, including Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse. Try the Reindeer Kick or the Bad Santa.
Cost: Free admission; specialty holiday cocktails start at $12.

The Venetian Resort Las Vegas
The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

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Ongoing through December 26
The Venetian
“This is Christmas” at the Palazzo Theatre is a Christmas variety show as only Vegas can do, featuring stars from Broadway and American Idol as well as popular Vegas headliners performing Christmas carols, modern holiday classics, a little bit of Broadway, and even an original song called “Christmas in Las Vegas.” There’s singing, dancing, SO MANY sequins (the costumes are amazing) and a whole lot of holiday cheer as songs range from traditional to pop to country to full-on ballad belting. This is VEGAS Christmas!
Cost: Tickets start at $69.95.

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Ongoing through January 2
The Silverton
The Shady Grove Lounge at the Silverton Casino has been reborn for the holidays as the Bad Elf pop-up bar, taking its aesthetic inspiration from everyone’s favorite holiday menace, the Elf on the Shelf. The bar has been redecorated to look like the elves’ home in the North Pole, and in addition to the snow-covered Christmas trees and oversized ornaments, there are also 27 elves suspended from the ceiling. There’s also a selection of holiday cocktails (like the Dirty Snowman and Naughty Butter Beer) and theme nights like Ugly Sweater Thursdays.
Cost: Free admission; specialty holiday cocktails are $10.

legacy club
Legacy Club Vegas

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Ongoing through December 30
Fremont Street
If you’re looking to get Fremont-faced, the “Dashing Through the Bars” holiday bar crawl is for you. On this ticketed bar crawl, you’ll hit five bars on Fremont Street located in Circa, Golden Gate, and The D (for locals who know, yes, all Derek Stevens properties, aka the Mayor of Downtown), and receive a specialty holiday cocktail at each one. The stops include higher-end bars like Legacy Club and Vegas Vickie’s, making the price a steal! Just book a night at one of these spots or assign a designated driver because that’s a lot of Fremont drinking.
Cost: $100.

Free
Ongoing through January 1
Bellagio
There are certain Vegas holiday experiences that are must-dos, and the Bellagio Conservatory is one of them. This year they’ve ditched the ice princess that’s been prominently featured in several previous displays in favor of a new concept called “Holiday Time.” (Don’t worry, the derpy Coca Cola polar bears are still there.) The air is fragrant with the smell of fresh poinsettias and the 42-foot-tall fir tree is as impressive as ever, but the feeling is more ski chalet cozy than aggressively Christmasy. The Bellagio has ditched all attempts at crowd control inside the Conservatory—which is really too bad because the limited capacity and quasi-control of the traffic flow made for such a better viewing experience—so expect chaotic crowds elbowing for their “take a picture of me standing next to this thing” photo opps.
Cost: Free.

park on fremont
Park on Fremont

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Select dates through December 26
DTLV Arts District
The best gay bar in Vegas is celebrating the holigays with a dragstravaganza every Friday night (um…Saturday morning?) in December with showtimes at 12:30 am. The queens will obviously be performing Christmas classics suh as Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” and Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “Santa Baby.” Obviously. Gays and girls will also get to sip on holiday cocktails like “Deck the Balls” and “Gimme S’More.” Then on Sunday, December 26, the Garden will host Grinchmas, a charity event with live performances from local Cirque stars, artists, and comedians with plenty of fun photo opps, a costumed Grinch host, and Industry Night pricing on bottles and VIP tables. Have yourself a very merry Christmas!
Cost: The events themselves are free to attend but booze costs money, and don’t be a stingy Scrooge—tip your queens and service staff!

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Ongoing through January 9
Downtown Las Vegas
For the second year, DTLV’s Park on Fremont has transformed its space, including the popular backyard garden patio oasis, into the “Naughty Nutcracker” for the holidays. There’s Christmas cocktails, a Santa’s sleigh selfie spot, and even a DJ Santa. Bring three friends and order a “shotski” for the table, and donate a gently used clothing item for a free drink.
Cost: Holiday drinks start at $11.

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December 17
AREA 15
AREA 15 now has a sexy, sultry “burlesque-esque” party Friday nights inside The Portal called RATED RED, and for one night only on December 17 at 10 pm, they’re putting on the red light for old Saint Nick (maybe it’s coming from Rudolph’s nose?). Don your naughtiest Christmas costumes (Sexy Santa? Sexy elf? Sexy snowman?), and be there with jingle bells on.
Cost: $20.

ARIA Resort & Casino
ARIA Resort & Casino

Free
Ongoing through January 10
ARIA Resort & Casino
Are you as hooked on Netflix’s School of Chocolate as everyone else right now? (Fun fact: That school is located right here in Vegas in the DTLV Arts District.) Then you’ll want to see the display created by ARIA’s award-winning pastry team currently on display in ARIA’s lobby, which includes a life-size gingerbread man, a donut tower, sugar-filled candy canes, an overflowing cup of hot cocoa, ice cream cones, snowflakes, and more, all made entirely of chocolate, sugar, and fondant. The base of the snow globe is made from 200 sugar panels; the six-foot-tall gingerbread man is made with 100 pounds of dark chocolate; the trees are adorned with 1,000 French macarons; and each sugar cube weighs 7-15 pounds. In total, the display uses 150 pounds of fondant, 600 pounds of sugar, and 550 pounds of chocolate, and took the pastry chefs 200 hours to complete. No, you can’t eat any of it, but you can grab something you can eat at ARIA Patisserie afterwards.
Cost: Free.

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Ongoing through December 31
Boulder City
Vegas is really leaning into Nightmare Before Christmas themes this year. Here, Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum—a museum dedicated to the art and history of horror special makeup effects, filled with screen-used props, creature suits, and life-size figures (like a Creature from the Black Lagoon and zombie Captain America)—has transformed its adjacent space typically used for their Halloween Fright Zone into the Frightmare Before Christmas, a self-guided walk-through experience full of life-size characters and recreated scenes from this most splendid spooky cult Christmas movie. The attraction is open daily 10 am to 6 pm, but try to go during an “off” time to really take advantage of the ample photo opps inside.
Cost: $15 for adults; combine with entry to the Monster Museum for $30.

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Nicole Rupersburg is a freelance writer covering food, travel, arts, culture, and what-have-you. She winters in Las Vegas and summers in Detroit, as does anybody who's anybody. Her favorite activities include drinking beer and quoting Fight Club.