Las Vegas is known for it’s over-the-top live shows, casinos and adult-sized fun. But there’s plenty for kids and families to do, especially during the holidays. From multiple Santa sightings to light displays, Las Vegas is the holiday town that never sleeps in 2016.
Winter Wonderlands, Shipwrecks and Scuba Diving
A local and tourist favorite alike, the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens promises to combine horticultural prowess with spectacular design. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed with 34,000 flowers including poinsettias, Ottawa mums and azaleas. There’s also 25 different silver tip tees and a spectacular array of decorations, toy soldiers, ornaments and lights. Here’s a fun (and impressive) fact. The botanical gardens houses a horticulture staff of 120 to keep up the gardens and grounds of the Bellagio. This place takes their green space seriously. If you can’t wait to get a peek, watch the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens live cam! It promises to delight.
A holiday trip to Las Vegas wouldn’t be complete with a good old-fashioned Cactus Garden Lighting. Now until January 1, the Ethel M Chocolate shop presents “Sweet Sparkle of the Holidays” with a display of lights adorning Christmas trees now until January 1st. Holiday lights are shown nightly from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. and the factory and chocolate shoppe is open until 10 p.m. Call ahead on weekends and ask when Santa Claus will be stopping by to visit with the children and check-in on the chocolate making process. Local choirs also perform on Friday to Sunday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. to spread some holiday cheer. While you’re at Las Vegas’ legendary Ethel M’s factory, take a (delicious) self-guided tour and visit the shoppe to stock up on goodies and help Santa stuff some stockings.
Ever seen Santa in a Shipwreck? Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino feature 2,000 animals including sawfish, stingrays, a rare golden crocodile and Santa! Guests 12 and under an meet Santa and his sidekick Jaws, snag a photo and a complimentary treat. When it’s time for Santa to head back to his workshop, he dons his SCUBA gear and jumps into the waters of his Shipwreck and waves goodbye. And if you can’t get enough of scuba diving Christmas characters, there’s also the Scuba Elf at the Atlantis Aquarium at the Forum Shops.
Santa Inspired Train Rides and Outdoor Magic
Did you know you can take a train ride to see Santa right in Las Vegas? Now until December 23rd, the Springs Preserve Holiday Express whisks families away to Santa’s magical village for photos, holiday crafts, cookie decorating and storytime. Santa is everywhere in Las Vegas this year. Holiday at The Park welcomes Santa, a nightly lighting of a 60 ft tree, hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies. After meeting the big guy, hit the ice for a spin at the Ice Rink at The Park and grab a bite at the food tents. Call ahead for scheduled events up until January 15th (702-693-7275).
We’re not sure if any other place features Santa Claus, a waterfall and the call of a wolf’s howl than at Mystic Falls Park. This free show chronicles the Western Pioneer experience, a light show, and a rolling waterfall. Santa is there too, but he and the wolf never cross paths. Now until January 2nd, Mystic Falls transforms into a Winter Wonderland, making it a perfect spot to celebrate New Year’s where they promise to make it snow.
Indoor Gaming and Kid-Approved Live Entertainment
The Adventuredome at Circus-Circus is always a good bet where kids can play in America’s largest indoor theme park. But just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean you won’t see thrilling roller coasters and wet and wild rides. The Rim Runner boat ride sends guests down a 60-foot water plunge. Commemorate New Year’s Eve with the Canyon Blaster, the world’s only double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster. There’s also a pint-sized Carousel perfect for young children who delight in carnival rides and games. And of course, there’s always the daily live circus. It’s free, fun, and always a kid-pleaser.
This year’s new Holly-Dome at Adventuredome entertains families now through January 2nd. Perfect for the Christmas holidays or New Year’s; kids can meet Santa in person and take photos, enjoy hot chocolate and Christmas cookies and experience a giant snow globe. It makes sense. In Vegas, they go big or go home. How big is it? Well, you can. Climb right on inside for photos while dancers and carolers get ready to entertain.
Action-packed shows, drama, and holiday magic come to life now until December 26th at the Excalibur Hotel for ts Tournament of Kings dinner show. See knights and princesses take the arena among a medieval winter wonderland with music, faux snow and plenty of holiday costumes and cheers. After the 26th, come and experience the non-holiday themed dinner show as a lively alternative to the adult stage shows and club scene on New Year’s Eve. Families feast on meals fit for a king while Knights joust and perform below. Other family-favorites include Cirque du Soleil where a world of fantasy delights kids of all ages.
Chances are your kids think of casinos as dazzling, over-sized arcades for grown-ups. For a New Year’s Eve experience, they won’t forget, >New York, New York has kid-sized fun with over 10,000 square feet just for arcade fun. Your kids will have a chance to win their own prizes like candy and stuffed animals. Open until 2 a.m., the arcade is a good option for older kids who want to stay up and ring in the New Year.
Holiday in LV Tips from the Locals
Wherever you go in Las Vegas for the holidays, be a cautious parent and call ahead. Things move and change quickly in Las Vegas, and some kid-friendly attractions, like the Stratosphere, is 21 and up on New Year’s Eve. It’s also wise to ask your own hotel what events they recommend, and which to steer clear of. They’re staffed by locals with gems of insider knowledge you won’t find anywhere else.
Where are you headed this holiday season in Las Vegas? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.