las vegas strip christmas lights events walking tour itinerary

Dashing Down the Strip: Walking Tour of the Best Las Vegas Christmas Light Displays, Events, & Attractions (map included)

Las Vegas is known for doing everything to the max, and Christmas is no exception. Every year, casinos and attractions throughout Sin City aim to outdo each other with elaborate holiday displays and celebrations, resulting in a festive explosion of twinkling lights, sky-high Christmas trees, and holiday activities.

It may not be at the top of your list of potential winter vacation spots, but there’s no place like Las Vegas for the holidays. Visiting Las Vegas at Christmas is a great option for every traveler, from families with children to those looking to put the “sin” in Sin City. Family-friendly displays take over resort lobbies and other Las Vegas attractions, and since everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, party-goers don’t have to worry about ending up on Santa’s naughty list or finding coal in their stockings on Christmas morning.

Just about everything stays open, including shops, casinos, bars, restaurants, and attractions, and while the Strip itself may not look especially festive, it’s a very different story if you step inside the casinos, where Christmas lights sparkle in abundance.

The best way to experience the magic of a Las Vegas Christmas is to put on your walking shoes and take a leisurely stroll. As our holiday gift to you, we’ve created a stop-by-stop walking tour itinerary of all the most extravagant displays and Christmas events on the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas Christmas lights & events walking tour itinerary

Our itinerary starts at the bottom of the Strip and works its way northwards, but you can start at either end of the Strip.

1. Santa in the Shipwreck at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium

Visit Santa Claus—and Santa Jaws—at the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium. From 4:00-4:15 PM daily, Santa puts on his scuba gear and jumps into the shipwreck waters.

Location
Mandalay Bay
Admission
Hours
General admission for adults: $25
Children ages 4-12: $19
Children 3 and under: freeDiscounts are available for Nevada residents.
Sunday-Thursday: 10:00 AM-8:00 PM
Friday-Saturday: 10:00 AM-10:00 PM


2. Tournament of Kings: ‘Twas the Knight

Distance: 0.5 miles
11 minute walk from Mandalay Bay

Every holiday season, the Tournament of Kings arena becomes a medieval winter wonderland complete with decor, music, costumes, and even snow. Along with a three course holiday feast (all eaten with your hands, in true medieval fashion), the holiday edition of this long-standing show features festive costumes, banners, and twinkling castle lights that sparkle when Merlin conjures snowfall on the kingdoms.

Location
Admission
Excalibur Tickets start at $41.87
Hours
November 21-December 27

Monday and Friday: 5:30 PM
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM
December 17, 25: 5:30 PM
December 21, 24: 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM


3. The Park dining and entertainment complex

Distance: 0.5 miles from Excalibur
9 minute walk

Visit Santa, explore the holiday market, enjoy the dulcet tones of carolers, and check out the amazing 80 foot holiday tree bedecked with icicle lights and spectacular decorations. You can also go skating on the ice rink at Toshiba Plaza outside the T-Mobile Arena.

Location
Admission
The Park Free
Hours
November 29-December 31

Santa is in the house from December 1-14.

5:00-10:00 PM, with extended hours on selected dates



4. The ice rink at the Cosmopolitan

Distance: 0.7 miles from the Park
16 minute walk

Every year, the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool is frozen over and transformed into an ice rink over 4,200 square feet large. Roast s’mores by the fire pits, sip seasonal cocktails in between laps, and enjoy a light snowfall every 30 minutes.

Location
Cosmopolitan
Admission
Hours
$20 daily, including all day skate rental

$10 for locals and military with valid ID (Monday-Thursday only)

$10 for hotel guests (Monday-Thursday only)

November 21-Dec 20

Monday-Friday: 3:00 PM till midnight
Saturday and Sunday: Noon till midnight

December 21-January 6

Noon till midnight daily

las vegas christmas holiday season bellagio conservatory

5. Bellagio fountains and conservatory

Distance: 0.3 miles from Cosmopolitan
9 minute walk

Las Vegas’s most iconic attraction puts on a special show for Christmas, featuring unique seasonal performances coordinated to classic holiday tunes.

After you watch the fountain show, step inside the Bellagio Conservatory. Every year, the South Garden is decorated with thousands of lights, more than 28,000 poinsettias, and a mega tree over 40 feet tall. The tree alone is adorned with more than 7,000 LED lights and 2,500 ornaments. There are also nightly performances under the Victorian Gazebo. The North Garden is home to a mother polar bear made out of more than 12,000 white carnations, as well as her twin cubs.

Location
Admission
Bellagio Free
Hours
December 1-January 6

Live performances under Victorian Gazebo from 4:30-6:30 PM nightly


6. LINQ Promenade

Distance: 0.5 miles from Bellagio
10 minute walk

The annual transformation of the LINQ Promenade into Winter PARQ can’t be missed, with abundant decorations—including a 35 foot tree—carolers, music, nightly holiday shows, and scheduled snowfalls from 6:00-9:00 PM. Look east and check out the Lights at the LINQ show, featuring the High Roller Observation wheel towering 550 feet above the strip, freshly covered in more than 2,000 LED lights. For something a little more exciting, check out the tubing hill.

Location
Admission
LINQ Promenade Free
Hours
Holiday shows at the Fountain Stage nightly from 6:00-10:00 PM till December 30

Lights at the LINQ shows nightly on the half hour from 6:30-10:30.

las vegas christmas holiday season venetian tree

7. Venetian holiday tree

Distance: 0.5 miles from LINQ Promenade
10 minute walk

You’ll need to turn on panorama mode to snap a pic of the Venetian’s 65 foot holiday tree, decorated with over 50,000 programmable lights. Don’t miss the nightly light show.

Location
The Venetian
Hours
Admission
Nightly light shows Free


8. Palazzo waterfall atrium and gardens

Distance: 0.3 miles from the Venetian
5 minute walk

The Palazzo does their own Christmas-themed winter display, featuring snow-covered trees up to 20 feet tall, holiday lights, and thousands of poinsettias.

Location
Palazzo
Admission
Hours
Free 24 hours


9. Winter wonderland at the Wynn

Distance: 0.4 miles from Palazzo
8 minute walk

Inspired by Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Wynn’s winter wonderland features six miniature wintery villages. You can find them in the Atrium adjacent to Main registration.Wynn also hosts a musical holiday show showcasing holiday hits, multi-genre dance performances, and comedy acts. Performances run from November 30-December 30.

Location
Wynn
Admission
Hours
Winter village is free.

Holiday show tickets start at $70.

Winter villages are on display through December, 24 hours a day.

Holiday show runs from November 30-December 30. 3 performances per day: 3:00 PM, 6:30 PM, 9:00 PM


10. Fashion Show Mall

Distance: 0.3 miles
7 minute walk

Cap off your walking tour and finish your holiday shopping at the Fashion Show Mall. The mall is decorated for the holidays, and you can also stop and take a photo with Santa. With 8 department stores, 250 shops, and numerous food options, there’s something for everyone and boutiques for every budget.

Location
Fashion Show Mall
Hours
Admission
Open daily. Visit their website for hours. Free


Holiday attractions off the Strip

The holiday celebrations don’t stop with the Strip. Other Vegas-area destinations and attractions put on their own elaborate Christmas light displays and events. If you have time and the flexibility to explore beyond the Strip, here are some that can’t be missed:

las vegas christmas holiday season ethel m cactus garden

Ethel M’s Holiday Cactus Garden

Who needs visions of sugarplums dancing in your head when you can have visions of chocolate right in front of you? Celebrate the 25th anniversary of this unique holiday display, complete with half a million lights draped over three acres of cacti—yes, cacti—as well as chocolate houses and sculptures and chocolate-making demonstrations.

Location
Ethel M Chocolate Factory
Admission
Hours
Free with toy or food donation November 6-January 1

Lights on nightly from 5:00-10:00 PM


Springs Preserve Holiday Express

Hop aboard and enjoy a leisurely train ride into Santa’s Village, where you’ll find activities including photos with Santa, crafts, cookie decorating, and a nutcracker display.

Location
Springs Preserve
Hours
Admission
December 7-9, 14-16, 21-23

11:00 AM-7:15 PM

$12 for non-members

$10 for members


Glittering lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Enjoy a drive-thru light show around the 2.5 mile speedway course, featuring more than 3 million Christmas lights and 400 animated displays.

Location
Admission
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Monday-Thursday: $20/vehicle
Friday-Sunday and holidays: $30/vehicle
Hours
November 9-January 6

November

Sunday-Thursday: 5:30-9:30 PM
Friday-Saturday and holidays: 5:30-10:00 PM

December-January

Sunday-Thursday: 5:00-9:00 PM
Friday-Saturday and holidays: 5:00-10:00 PM

Where to eat in Las Vegas at Christmas

Las Vegas is a foodie’s paradise any time of year, and Christmas is no exception. Over 90 restaurants offer special Christmas menus—find the right one for you here. Keep these tips in mind when restaurant-hunting:

  • Buffets have special Christmas pricing—usually about double the regular price.
  • Christmas day is the one day a year you’ll have to make a reservation. If you don’t book a table in advance, be prepared to wait a long time.

Conclusion

You might not expect it, but Las Vegas is one of the most festive places to celebrate the holidays—and you can’t beat the sunshine and warm temperatures. If you’ll be in Las Vegas this Christmas, follow our walking tour itinerary and check out the most extravagant displays on the Strip, starting with Santa in the Shipwreck at Mandalay Bay and ending at the Fashion Show Mall.

Get more tips for celebrating the holidays in Las Vegas:

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12 Days of a Vegas Christmas: Your Guide to Christmas and NYE in Las Vegas 

Read our 2017/2018 holiday guide for a recap of can’t miss Christmas displays, events, and attractions in and around Las Vegas.

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How to Celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas

Read our 2016/2017 guide for more tips on spending the holiday season in Las Vegas.

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