Las Vegas, Las Vegas Tips

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

The halls have been decked and Vegas is officially open for the festive season! After a quiet 2020, the 2021 holiday season promises a celebratory return to Vegas’s renowned elaborate displays and over-the-top holiday spectacles (with some restrictions in place of course).

Every year, casinos and attractions on the Strip and across the city attempt to outdo their competition by creating their own unique, extravagant holiday displays and experiences. From opulent decorations and multitudinous lights to towering Christmas trees and appearances from the Big Man in Red, there’s no shortage of festive fun to be had in Sin City, whether you have two days or 12. And that’s just for Christmas—New Year’s Eve offers its own selection of sensational celebrations.

READ LAST YEAR’S NYE GUIDE

NOTE: Events and activities may change without notice as businesses respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Check with individual establishments to confirm event details before making plans.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 restrictions, including mask mandates, visit LasVegasNevada.gov. We recommend that you also confirm vaccination and mask requirements at all individual establishments before booking tickets or reservations.

Christmas in Las Vegas 2021

Las Vegas may not be the first place you think of for a yuletide family vacation, but there are tons of family-friendly things to see and do around the city during the Christmas season. Here are our favorites:

1. The Bellagio Fountains

The Bellagio fountains are a must-see any time of year, but they put on an extra-special show around the holidays, featuring performances set to classic holiday tunes. Best of all, the show is totally free!

Performances run daily:

Monday-FridayWeekends + Holidays
Every 30 minutes from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Every 15 minutes from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM

Every 30 minutes from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Every 15 minutes from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM

Based on previous years, you might hear these tunes during the 2021 Fountains of Bellagio Holiday Music shows:

  • Hallelujah Chorus – Mormon Tabernacle Choir Cast
  • Carol Of The Bells – Los Angeles Master Chorale
  • O Holy Night – Placido Domingo
  • It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Johnny Mathis
  • The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Johnny Mathis
  • We Need a Little Christmas – Johnny Mathis
  • Sleigh Ride – Johnny Mathis
  • Santa Baby – Madonna

While you’re there, step inside the Bellagio to see the Atrium and Conservatory. Both are completely done up for Christmas.

2. The Bellagio Conservatory

bellagio conservatory decorated for christmas

The annual Christmas display at the Bellagio Conservatory will transport you out of the desert into a festive winter wonderland. Every year, the Conservatory is decorated with thousands of twinkling lights, more than 28,000 poinsettias, and a spectacularly-decorated Christmas tree that’s over 40 feet tall. The tree alone is decorated with more than 7,000 LED lights and 2,500 ornaments!

This year’s theme is: “Holiday Time” and features “a beautifully snowcapped mountain range, a cozy Swiss chalet and Santa’s large sleigh filled with gifts”.

Admission is free and the Holiday display at the Conservatory is open 24 hours a day from November 20, 2021 till January 1, 2022.

HOLIDAY HISTORY: Watch a timelapse of every Bellagio Conservatory display since October 2011.

3. Merry Crimson at Red Rock Resort Casino

Starting November 26, 2021 until January 1, 2022, the Red Rock Resort Casino will transform its indoor/outdoor poolside lounge into Tinsel Town with the return of Merry Crimson. It will “be draped in sophisticated and glamorous holiday décor and the vibrant destination will welcome guests to jingle and mingle in a picturesque escape filled with the city’s most festive cocktails, live DJ-spun music, fire pits and photo moments galore.”

New for 2021: Cozy igloos located on the outdoor pool deck, a holiday punch bowl, and spiked hot cocoa beverage cart.

Visit Merry Crimson Friday & Saturday 5 PM-1 AM and Sundays 5 PM-12 AM

4. Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan

Every Christmas, the Cosmopolitan transforms its Boulevard Pool into an ice rink with more than 4,200 square feet of real ice to glide over. You can also roast s’mores by the fire pits, catch a holiday-themed double feature, or enjoy warm cocktails between light snow showers that fall every 30 minutes on select nights

The ice rink is open November 16, 2021-January 2, 2022.

DatesHours
November 16-December 17Monday-Friday: 4-11 PM
Weekends: Noon-11 PM
November 24Noon-11 PM
November 25 & 26Noon-Midnight
December 24 & 25Noon-Midnight

Admission is $30 for all-day skating access and includes skate rental. If you don’t plan to skate, entry to the ice rink area is free.

New for 2021: From November 22-December 28, you can enjoy a movie night under the stars at Date Skate every Monday and Tuesday. For more special event information, visit The Ice Rink.

5. Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

If you’re in town for the holidays, you can’t miss Nevada’s largest drive-thru light show. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 2.5 mile course is illuminated with 5 million LED lights that make up more than 600 animated displays. It opens at 5:30pm and runs from November 12, 2021 to January 9, 2022. Admission starts at $25 per vehicle.

If you don’t have a rental car, or for any reason you’d prefer to be a passenger rather than the DD, you can take the Santa Tram through Glittering Lights experience on select nights in December. Santa Tram tickets start at $20 per person.

6. Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory Holiday Cactus Garden

las vegas christmas holiday season ethel m cactus garden
Image Source: Zan Ready via Flickr.

Who needs Christmas trees when you have Christmas cacti? 2021 is the 28th anniversary of this Las Vegas holiday staple, featuring more than half a million lights draped over three acres of cacti, as well as chocolate houses and sculptures and live demonstrations of Ethel M chocolate creations. The lights are switched on each night between 5:00-10:00 PM from November 5, 2021-January 2, 2022.

A $5 non-refundable donation will be required per group of 6 people when making a garden reservation. The $5 fee will be donated to Three Square Food Bank and HELP of Southern Nevada.

Walk-ins are welcome but reservations are recommended to avoid lines or being turned away.

The factory is open until 4:00 PM on December 24 and 31, but closed December 25.

7. Santa in the Shipwreck

Santa sometimes makes a few surprise stops at Mandalay Bay’s famous shark reef and aquarium, but this isn’t your standard visit. Instead of waiting in line to snap a pic with Santa, watch him don his scuba gear and jump into the shipwreck waters!

Last year, Santa appeared at miscellaneous times between December 21 and Christmas Eve, so be sure to keep your eyes open as the big day approaches! Once Santa had been spotted, guests had “the opportunity to take home a special photo memory with “Diving Santa.” Upon entry, a photo in front of a green screen will be captured and after a little holiday magic, the final image can be picked up at the conclusion of the aquarium visit.”

8. Christmas Tree at the Venetian

las vegas christmas holiday season venetian tree

If the 40-foot tall Christmas tree at the Bellagio Conservatory doesn’t cut it for you, make sure you check out the 65-foot tree at the Venetian. It’s truly a spectacle to behold, with over 50,000 programmable lights and a nightly light show.

9. Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show

The Tournament of Kings arena is transformed into a medieval winter wonderland for “‘Twas the Knight”—a seasonal show featuring holiday costumes, lights, and a magically conjured snowfall courtesy of Merlin. And of course, there’s a holiday-inspired meal.

The Tournament of Kings holiday dinner show runs from November 24-December 27. Tickets start around $70.

10. Mystic Falls Winter Wonderland

Inside the Sam’s Town hotel, you can find the wooded, waterfall area of Mystic Falls Park. At any other time of year, you can catch the Sunset Stampede Laser Light and Water Show, which “chronicles the Western pioneer experience with music, dancing water and a state-of-the-art laser light show”. But every December, Mystic Falls transforms into a Winter Wonderland, complete with a seasonal update that includes Santa’s workshop and the addition of holiday classics to its laser light show music.

Free to enjoy and open 24/7, holiday laser light show performances run every two hours between 2:00pm and 10:00pm daily, from November 24, 2021-January 1, 2022.

11. Aria Resort & Casino Festive Lobby Display

This is a must-see for any candy-lover and kid, ARIA’s winter setup is composed entirely of chocolate, sugar and fondant handcrafted by a team of their pastry chefs. It features beautiful and tasty items like a life-size gingerbread man, donut tower, sugar-filled candy canes, an overflowing cup of hot cocoa, ice cream cones, snowflakes and more.

According to their press release, it took 200 working hours and is composed of:

  • An exquisite snow globe with a base made from 200 sugar panels; inside the globe, a hot cocoa cup is filled with tasty treats such as a large candy cane, colorful bears, a happy snowman, and other holiday confections
  • Tall trees handmade with 1000 French Macarons
  • Sugar cubes that each weigh 7-15 pounds
  • A 6 foot-tall gingerbread man made with 100 pounds of dark chocolate
  • Teal, dark blue, hot pink, light pink and yellow bears each handcrafted with 15 pounds of sugar
  • Entire display required over 150 pounds of fondant, 600 pounds of sugar and 550 pounds of chocolate

Make sure you pick up your own Christmas candies and confections at the ARIA Patisserie, which is currently offering holiday sugar cookies, gift boxes, and more.

12. Night Flight Over the Strip

Get a bird’s-eye—er, reindeer’s eye?—view of the Strip on a helicopter night flight over the dazzling lights of Vegas’s most iconic casinos and resorts, as well as historic Fremont Street. For some added holiday luxury, upgrade your night flight and travel to and from your chopper in a stretch limousine!

Guests must provide their own transportation to our Las Vegas Terminal located at 5060 Koval Lane, Las Vegas, NV.

See the glittering lights of fabulous Las Vegas in a luxury helicopter! Upgrade your tour and travel to McCarran International Airport in a limo bus. Airport fee is included in your price.

Las Vegas Night Flight Helicopter Tour

$94

Fly over the dazzling lights of the Las Vegas Strip at night!

$94 Per Person

Guests must provide their own transportation to our Las Vegas Terminal located at 5060 Koval Lane, Las Vegas, NV.

See the glittering lights of fabulous Las Vegas in a luxury helicopter! Upgrade your tour and travel to McCarran International Airport in a limo bus. Airport fee is included in your price.

Reserve Tour Now

Add to cart

NOTE: Want to spend your Christmas at the Grand Canyon? All our tours run on Christmas Day!

Check out last year’s detailed guide to spending NYE in Las Vegas. This year’s New Year’s Eve guide is coming soon!

Here are a couple of tips for celebrating New Year’s Eve on the Strip:

  • The upper floors of parking garages are great places to view the fireworks. For an ultra-luxe experience, take a ride on the High Roller Observation Wheel, or hit up the SkyFall Lounge on the 64th floor of Delano Las Vegas, or the Foundation Room atop Mandalay Bay.
  • Dress warm—it’ll be colder at night than you might expect.
  • Be prepared for crowds.
  • In an effort to ensure the crowds indoors stay within the occupancy limits set by county officials, some hotels only allow entrance if you can prove you are a guest.
  • Alcohol is allowed on the street, as long as it’s not in a metal or glass container.
  • The Las Vegas Monorail will be the only public transportation running on the Strip, with trains running till about 3:00AM.

New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas 2021

las vegas new years eve fireworks
Image Source: InSapphoWeTrust via Wikimedia Commons.

Check out 2020’s detailed guide to spending NYE in Las Vegas. This year’s New Year’s Eve guide is coming soon!

Here are a couple of tips for celebrating New Year’s Eve on the Strip:

  • The upper floors of parking garages are great places to view the fireworks. For an ultra-luxe experience, take a ride on the High Roller Observation Wheel, or hit up the SkyFall Lounge on the 64th floor of Delano Las Vegas, or the Foundation Room atop Mandalay Bay.
  • Dress warm—it’ll be colder at night than you might expect.
  • Be prepared for crowds.
  • In an effort to ensure the crowds indoors stay within the occupancy limits set by county officials, some hotels only allow entrance if you can prove you are a guest.
  • Alcohol is allowed on the street, as long as it’s not in a metal or glass container.
  • The Las Vegas Monorail will be the only public transportation running on the Strip, with trains running till about 3:00 AM.

TRAVEL TIP: “More than 400,000 people are projected to ring in 2022 on the Las Vegas Strip, which is closed to traffic from Russell Road to Sahara Avenue beginning at 6 PM.” – Lavish Vegas

Christmas Magic

Whether you’re planning a last minute holiday getaway or your Las Vegas Christmas vacation has been on the books for months, make sure you check out the spectacular holiday displays and attractions while you visit. Here’s where you can find them:

Get ready for your trip to Las Vegas with our travel tips:

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About Ria Borja

Ria is a Customer Experience Manager at Canyon Tours and an avid lover of the outdoors. When she isn't helping other travelers check destinations and dream vacations off their bucket lists, she's busy exploring the Southwest. Her favorite place to visit is (unsurprisingly!) the Grand Canyon.

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