There are so many events to enjoy the Christmas and Holiday season in Las Vegas, including family activities, date ideas, community tree lightings, and more. Mark you calendars so you don’t miss out. More details can be found through the links, or on the individual event websites. All 2018 holiday posts are currently being updated.
This list will be added to throughout the holiday season, so bookmark and check back regularly to see the many updates coming over the next few weeks. Please let me know what I’m missing in the comments or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to Vegas Living on the Cheap and you’ll receive just one email a day with the latest information on free and cheap events. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t miss our other holiday posts which will be updated soon-
Ethel M Chocolates– The 25th annual Holiday Cactus Garden features over 1 million holiday lights. This spectacular FREE attraction is lit up nightly starting Tuesday, November 6th– Sunday, January 6th at sundown until 10pm. This year, the tree lighting will feature Penn & Teller, Matt Goss, the Las Vegas Philharmonic and more! Ceremony and Entertainment are the 6th from 5pm-7pm. Admission with Toy, Food, or Monetary Donation. Santa will also be on location for photos, see the link for his schedule. Professional photos for purchase or take your own. They are closed on Christmas Day.
Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway– Drive your way through millions of Holiday Lights at the Speedway. Friday, November 9th– Sunday, January 6th. The park opens at dusk. This year, you will see many custom light displays and never-before-seen lights (as well as some of our old favorites). Named as one of the 7 Over-The-Top Holiday Light Displays You Gotta See by Huffington Post. Single car admission is $20, they also offer an open-air Santa Tram, a Fast Pass ticket and a Season Pass. See all options at the link.
Snow in the Square at Town Square– Come to Town Square every night beginning November 16th for Snow in the Square where magical snow flurries will fall set to your favorite Christmas music. This winter wonderland appears every night at 7pm, with a second show Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm.
Photos with Santa in Town Square– Santa’s big arrival will be Friday, November 17th at 7pm. There will be a parade, the tree lighting, and snow in the square. Photos with Santa begin November 18th and run through December 23rd. Online registration is required. Check here to register or for reservations.
Downtown Summerlin Holiday Parade and Santa Arrival– Join Downtown Summerlin this holiday season as we light up the streets with a BRAND NEW holiday parade! Featuring six magical floats inspired by your favorite classic holiday movies, festive dancers, joyful characters and even a little snow! This annual parade is free and open to the public and runs November 16th – December 22nd: Fridays & Saturdays at 6 p.m.
Santa Chalet Downtown Summerlin– Santa will make his home at the Winter Wonderland Chalet at the Macy’s Promenade at Downtown Summerlin. November 16th-December 24th. Check the link as hours vary day to day. They offer Paws & Claus every Tuesday through December 19th from 7pm-9pm for pet photos with Santa. Photo packages start at $24.99, and you can even skip the line with a Santa Fast Pass.
Rock Rink at Downtown Summerlin- The signature ice skating rink located near the Pavilion at The Lawn. November 16th– January 21st, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Skate Rental is $15. Check the link for hours and more info.
The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan– The Boulevard Pool transforms into a real ice rink, high above the Las Vegas Strip. Rink features a light snowfall every 30 minutes and runs from November 21st– January 6th. The Ice Rink was named one of USA Today‘s 10 Best Ice Skating Rinks in North America. They do offer a skate rental discount for hotel guests and locals. Click the link for prices, hours and more information. Every Monday night at the rink they show back to back holiday movies on the 65 foot digital marquee. Movies are at 6pm and 9pm and are listed at this calendar link as Movies Under the Stars.
Santa at the District at GVR– Come get your photo with Santa. He will be located in the courtyard off Main Street and will take breaks throughout the day. Hours are as follows:
- November 23-December 16th – Monday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 11am-8pm, and Sunday 11am-6pm.
- December 17th-23rd- Daily 11am-8pm
- December 24th- 9am-4pm
Tree Lighting Ceremony at the District at GVR- Come to the District November 24th from 6pm-8pm for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting & Laser Light Show featuring Live Entertainment, Stilt walking Elf & Toy Soldier, selfie station with Rudolph & Frosty.
Christmastown at Cowabunga Bay Water Park- Open everyday from November 23rd– December 31st, Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. $25 admission includes all activities except paintball.
Magical Forest at Opportunity Village– The Magical Forest is a winter wonderland with millions of sparkling lights, nightly entertainment, great food and much, much more. Running November 23rd-December 31st. Park hours: Sunday – Thursday 5:30pm – 9:00pm and Friday & Saturday, December 21-22 and 28-29 from 5:30pm – 10:00pm. They are closed on Christmas Day. Individual tickets ages 4 up range from $10-$22 for entry only. Rides and attractions will cost extra.
“Believe in the Magic” Holiday Show at Fashion Show Mall- Enjoy holiday festivities combined with modern-day technology in a light-hearted, FREE, family-friendly show. This show will premier November 23rd, and continue every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 23rd. Showtimes are 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm each day. A finale show will also take place on December 24 at 4pm.
Operation North Pole at Tivoli Village– Operation North Pole is an interactive holiday workshop. The experience will take you through Candy Cottage, Elf Workshop, Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, and ending in Santa’s Office. Opening November 24th, tickets range from $32-37 per person and the experience lasts approximately 65 minutes.
A Night with the Golden Knights Viewing Party– Tuesday, November 27th, game start is at 5pm, the Knights take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Viewing party is FREE, at the Rink at the Cosmopolitan.
Holiday at the Park– Tree lighting ceremony on November 29th begins at 5:00pm as they light the 80-foot Silver Fir tree. On opening night, following the tree lighting ceremony there will be a Golden Knights viewing party vs. the Vancouver Canucks. The event opens at 5:00 PM with the tree lighting at 6:00 PM, followed by the viewing party at 7:00 PM. Enjoy free Ice Skating, Photos with Santa, Hot Coco and Cookies and much more daily from 5pm-10pm (11pm on Golden Knights game nights).
Bellagio Conservatory Holiday Display– FREE and open to the public, Bellagio’s Holiday Glamour will run December 1st-January 6th.
The Las Vegas Great Santa Run– Saturday, December 1st in downtown Las Vegas. Entertainment start time 8:00am, 5K run begins at 10am, 1-mile walk at 10:30, Zappos Party Village 10:00am – 1:30pm. Visit the link to get all of the details, there is alot of extra stuff going on for this event. To register, visit www.LVSantaRun.com or Circle K locations. From now through December 1st, registration costs are $40 for adults, Children 3 and under are free. Participants will receive a five-piece Santa suit, participation medal and runner goodie bag.
Tree Lighting at the Cosmopolitan– In celebration of the holiday season and the return of one of Las Vegas’ most adored holiday destinations, Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland will host our second annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The lighting of the majestic 36-foot-tall tree will take place Wednesday, December 5th, at 6-8PM at The Ice Rink on Level 4 of the Boulevard Tower.
Holiday Havoc 2018- The holiday season is too massive to celebrate on just one night! This two night concert event is put on by X107.5 with ticket prices starting at $45. Night one, Wednesday, Decemeber 5th at 6pm, located at Park Theater at MGM Grand, and features 30 Seconds to Mars. Night two, December 6th at 6pm, located at the Pearl at the Palms, and features 311, with other guests including Young the Giant. Sponsored by Dollar Loan Center, Findlay Toyota. Click the link for more information and tickets.
Winterfest– at the Henderson Events Plaza. Our 2 day celebration of WinterFest, “North Pole Adventures,” includes a variety of family-friendly activities including the official tree-lighting ceremony with Mayor Debra March and Santa, gift and craft fair, food vendors, entertainment and an activity area where children can decorate cookies, mail a letter to Santa and build a toy in Santa’s workshop. Tree Lighting and Fireworks, Friday, December 7th, 6pm-9pm. Festival, Saturday, December 8th, Noon-5pm and the Evening Light Parade at 5pm.
The Nutcracker– The Nevada Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Smith Center for Performing Arts. Show times beginning Saturday, December 8th and run through Monday, December 24th. See link for show times and dates. The entire family to enjoy NBT’s bonus experience: The Nutcracker Wonderland. Located inside the Troesh Theatre space, adjacent to Reynolds Hall, this glittering holiday environment will be worthy of many family “selfies” as you wander through scene after scene of holiday joy. Highlighting The Nutcracker Wonderland experience is the arrival of a special guest to read the story of The Nutcracker to all of the children. Afterwards, everyone will venture onward to Reynolds Hall and get settled into their seats for the magical journey ahead with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince.
Ring in the Holidays at the Smith Center– Upcoming events during the Holiday season…
- The Lion King- November 7th-25th, including a Thanksgiving Day performance
- Las Vegas Philharmonic- Saturday, December 1st, 2:00pm and 7:30pm
- A Well-Strung Christmas- Singing, string quartet. December 6th-7th
- Nevada Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker- December 8th-24th
Christmas Train Rides
- The Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel offer the Polar Express Train Ride. Located in Williams, AZ, this is about a 3 hour drive from Las Vegas. You and your family can experience the wonder of this magical train ride, as you fill up on cookies and hot chocolate on your way to Santa’s Village. You need to book early for weekend dates, most of the weekends for 2018 are already sold out, and most of the weekends for 2019 are also booked up. There are many open dates during the week still in December, and you can book packages and stay at the hotel there. There is a 5:30 and a 7:30 departure daily, and the train ride lasts a little over an hour. Ticket prices start at $33 for children 2 and up and $43 for adults. For more information, schedule, open dates or to book reservations, click the link above.
- Nevada Southern Railway in Boulder City offers a Pajama Train ride for the holiday season. You can experience the magic of the holiday season at night on the train in her pajamas (optional). The train departs at 6pm and 8pm, December 6-7, 13-24, and 20-21 and tickets are $20, $25 and $30. Each pajama train includes visits from Santa, Storytelling and of course Hot Chocolate & Cookies.
- Nevada Southern Railway also has a Santa Train ride. This is a daytime train ride offered December 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23, with six departures during the day from 10am-3pm, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. All tickets are $10. Dress accordingly or arrive early, some cars are outside seating only. Click the link for tickets and dates.
- Springs Preserve Holiday Express-Dates for the train ride are Dec. 7-9, 14-16, and 21-23, 2018, 11am-6pm. $10-$12. The train departs 14 times per day on magical journey to Santa’s Village. You must make a reservation at the website. Spaces are limited for each departure time. They strongly encourage you to purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee admittance. Santa will be there but photos will not be provided, so have your phone or camera ready.
The following events from 2017 haven’t been updated yet, but stay tuned. Most will update in the next few weeks.
Light Up Your Night– The annual Lighting of the Menorah on Main Street, Thursday, December 14th at 6pm.
Also check out Groupon’s list for Cheap Gifts: 12 Ideas Under $25