What to do in Las Vegas at Christmas and New Years
It’s not easy to create a winter wonderland in the middle of the Mojave Desert, but Las Vegas has found a way.
In Las Vegas fashion, the city’s party decorations and attractions are big and bold. There is the 42-foot-tall Christmas tree in the Bellagio’s veranda, surrounded by 7,500 poinsettias. A 50-foot LED globe transformed into an animated Resorts World Las Vegas snow globe. And to celebrate the New Year, an eight-minute fireworks display unfolded across the Strip.
All that’s missing is the snow.
“Each of the resorts and attractions really celebrates the vacation,” said Lori Nelson-Kraft, spokesperson for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “There is a whole range of eye treats. … (It’s) Vegas with a twist, integrating vacations into what (resorts) offer our visitors, which gives visitors a new reason to want to enjoy coming to Vegas during this time. period of the year.”
Christmas weekend can be a bit slower in Las Vegas – New Years Eve tends to be the busiest celebration in December – but there are still plenty of attractions to draw visitors in during the holiday season. holidays.
It remains to be seen how the spread of omicron will affect the destination during the rest of the year.
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What to do in Las Vegas on vacation
Gayla Smith, an Oklahoma-based travel consultant who has been planning trips to Las Vegas for 20 years, said she enjoys visiting Las Vegas any time of the year, including vacations.
“It’s just magic,” she said. “You can travel in a short time and you can capture Paris, you can capture Venice. … It’s like taking the whole world and seeing it the Las Vegas way.
Smith noted that Las Vegas’ warm climate can be a draw during the winter, with temperatures averaging high in the 1950s in December.
For travelers looking for vacation-themed activities, there are plenty of attractions. (Remember to mask yourself; Nevada still has an indoor mask policy for people who don’t actively eat or drink.)
► Watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas” – with a twist: Las Vegas Zone 15 offers an immersive view of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” through December 25, with a mapped 3D projection. Adult tickets are $ 40 and include a specialty cocktail inspired by a scene from the movie, while children 12 and under are charged $ 20.
► Ice skating with a view of the Strip: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas brought back its rooftop ice rink this year, which features over 4,200 square feet of ice, fire pits for roasting s’mores, seasonal cocktails and vacation movies.
► Discover the thematic conservatory of Bellagio: The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden’s seasonal exhibit titled “Holiday Time” was built with more than 13,000 white carnations, 7,500 poinsettias, 8,700 ornaments and a 42-foot fir tree imported from Mount Shasta in California . When they’re done exploring the veranda, visitors can head outside to watch the famous Bellagio fountains dance to holiday songs like “Santa Baby” and “O Holy Night”.
► Take a walk in a cactus garden: The Holiday Cactus Garden not only offers millions of lights draped over all manner of thorny plants, but also some of the best hot chocolates in Las Vegas from the Ethel M.
►See how the new Strip Resort is celebrating the holidays: Resorts World Las Vegas’ 50ft LED Video Globe is filled with vacation entertainment throughout the day for the season. Her hidden underground bar, Here Kitty Kitty, also got into the holiday spirit with seasonal lights and cocktails.
► Take advantage of a not-so-silent “knight”: Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings arena is offering a holiday-themed “Twas the Knight” dinner show until December 27, featuring holiday music and snowfall summoned by Merlin.
► Discover the artists of American Idol: The Venetian Complex’s Grand Canal Shoppes will have its Streetmosphere performers singing traditional Christmas carols in Italian, and its Palazzo Theater will present “This is Christmas,” a show featuring Broadway and American Idol stars singing songs from holidays accompanied by a live band.
► Discover one of the many residences in Las Vegas: At the end of December, many big names are headlining theaters on the Strip, including Usher, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars.
Affordable room rates over Christmas weekend
December through February tends to be the off-peak season in Las Vegas, and resorts adjust their rates accordingly.
Nelson-Kraft said hotel occupancy percentages on the weekend before Christmas tended to be between the 1970s and 1980s, below the Las Vegas average, which filled 90% of its rooms. weekend in October.
“You’ll see friendlier room rates during this time leading up to the New Year’s holidays. So that’s part of the appeal,” Nelson-Kraft said.
Paris Las Vegas of Caesars Entertainment Inc., for example, offered rooms starting at $ 109 on its website – excluding fees and taxes – for Christmas Eve earlier this month. Meanwhile, New Years’ room rates at the resort were eight times higher and started at $ 899, according to the company’s website.
The resort has since sold out rooms available for New Years Eve.
Nelson-Kraft suggests travelers wishing to participate in Las Vegas New Year’s celebrations book early.
“Book now, get your room,” Nelson-Kraft said. “It is an exciting and fun time and we will more than likely be fully occupied, as we have for decades here.”
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The New Years Eve fireworks display in Las Vegas returns
The annual Las Vegas fireworks display for New Years Eve will ring in 2022 after a hiatus last year due to a spike in coronavirus cases.
The eight-minute ‘America’s Party’ fireworks show spans the entire Strip, with fireworks fired from the rooftops of eight casinos lining Las Vegas Boulevard: the MGM Grand, the Aria, the Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian, The Strat and World of Beach Resorts. (It takes about five days in total to prepare the roofs for the show.)
The display will be choreographed to a soundtrack available on local radio stations that includes the traditional “Auld Lang Syne”, “Deuces are Wild” by Aerosmith, “22” by Taylor Swift and more.
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December 31 typically attracts over 300,000 visitors, according to LVCVA. The organization has not predicted how many people will flock to Las Vegas for the upcoming celebration, but Nelson-Kraft expects New Years Eve to be “big, bold and fun” since it falls on a weekend. -end this year.
There is no indication that the fireworks will be canceled due to the spread of omicron, which was discovered in Clark County Last week.
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Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas will also celebrate the New Year with an ’80s and’ 90s themed celebration, which will feature live performances from Bobby Brown, Vanilla Ice, Village People, Tone Loc, A Flock of Seagulls and more. The show is only available to ages 21 and older, who are encouraged to wear outfits that match the theme. Early bird tickets are available for $ 35 until December 23.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.