With an estimated 2 million residents living in Las Vegas, many who work in industries with busy schedules throughout the year including December, there are wonderful activities to celebrate the holidays in Southern Nevada. Families can come together to understand the meaning behind the traditions and engage children. To play in the snow is a 30-minute drive from downtown Las Vegas with accommodations available to spend the night and experience the mountains. Within the city and suburbs are light displays both indoors and outside. Below are some ideas for spending special time together and creating memories in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
7000 N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89115
A tradition for 13 years, it is estimated that over 1 million people have visited the Glittering Lights holiday drive-through spectacular held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Completely LED, the 2.5-mile course of Glittering Lights is environmentally sound with colors that shine more vibrant. Members from branches of the United Methodist Church are performing a living nativity scene during the event. The cost is $20 per car and season passes are available for $55. Speedway Children’s Charity also receives a portion from each purchased ticket.
6300 W. Oakey Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89146
Annually, the Magical Forest a winter wonderland created on the campus of Opportunity Village filled with hundreds of decorated trees and millions of brilliant holiday lights. There is nightly entertainment for all ages, the Forest Express passenger train, Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel, photos with Santa in his workshop, Avalanche Slide, Rudolph’s Raceway, Blastin’ Bear’s Shootin’ Shack, Rod’s Mini-Golf and Boris the Elf’s 3-D Experience. Proceeds benefit Opportunity Village, a not-for-profit organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities with support for their families.
Ethel M Chocolates
2 Cactus Garden Dr.
Henderson, NV 89014
Henderson chocolatier, Ethel M Chocolates, lights up the night with the annual Holiday Cactus Garden. The free family-friendly seasonal attraction features over 600,000 sparkling lights displayed throughout the three-acre Botanical Cactus Garden. In addition to twinkling lights, the holiday hot spot will offer choirs on Fridays and Saturdays and photos with Santa Friday to Sunday. Free tours of the chocolate factory are offered as well as chocolate and visit the gift shop to shop for that special present (including one for yourself).
Mystic Falls Park
Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall
5111 Boulder Highway
Las Vegas, NV 89122
Since 1994, the pioneer-themed Mystic Falls Park Light and Water Show at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall kicks off the holiday season. Garland streams, wreath-adorned lampposts and white light and snow-covered trees fill the atrium. The festive décor includes lighted sculpture polar bears, indoor snow and mountains of poinsettias. Sam’s Town hosts the 15-minute laser light spectacular hourly and Cowboy Santa will appear Thursday to Sunday. Accommodations, dining (including restaurants with seating in Mystic Falls Park) and entertainment are available to make it a real staycation.
Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort
6725 Lee Canyon Road
Las Vegas Nevada 89124
Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort features skiing, snowboarding and has added winter snow tubing. The designated tubing area will be separate from the ski/snowboard terrain, allowing guests to enjoy the snow in 90-minute sessions. Dining is offered at the resort with accommodations available at The Resort at Mt. Charleston located 20 minutes from the ski area.
Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.