From the exciting jingle of winning spins to the soft chime of wedding bells, Las Vegas is the place for saints, sinners, and unique experience seekers. While the usual image of this city is peppered with daring and devilish things to do, this Nevada gem has an ace up its sleeve when it comes to December festivities.
Whether you’re planning a Christmas trip with the little ones or hoping to spend the festive season alone with Lady Luck, Las Vegas celebrates the holidays like no other. Unsure where to find these celebratory spots? We’ll guide you through the best things to do in Vegas in December.
21 Things to do in Vegas in December
Table of Contents
- 21 Things to do in Vegas in December
- 1. Skate Around Enchant Christmas
- 2. See the Decorations at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden
- 3. Get a Drink at the Blitzen Antler Attic
- 4. Take a Trip to the Magical Forest
- 5. Taste Sensational Nibbles at Ethel M. Chocolate Factory
- 6. Go to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- 7. Watch the Las Vegas Bowl
- 8. Go to a Concert or Show
- 9. Visit the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
- 10. Go Ice Skating at the Cosmopolitan
- 11. See (or Take Part) in the Great Santa Run
- 12. Wander Around the Festival of Lights
- 13. Do Some Christmas Shopping
- 14. Go to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
- 15. Attend the Magic of Christmas Show
- 16. Get Married
- 17. Walk Around LINQ Promenade
- 18. Go to the Palazzo Waterfall Atrium at the Bellagio
- 19. See the Festival of Lanterns at Cowabunga Bay
- 20. Visit the Neon Museum
- 21. Celebrate New Year
- Final Thoughts on December in Las Vegas
From holiday activities to quirky events, Las Vegas will have everything you’re looking for and more. Take a look at the top things to do in December in Las Vegas:
1. Skate Around Enchant Christmas
A festive fantasyland filled with sparkling lights, icy trails, and a sense of frosty glee in the air — Enchant Christmas takes the holidays to the next level. Located in the Las Vegas Ballpark, this jolly affair will provide a fun-filled time for your entire bundled-up clan.
From the twinkly lights of the ice skating trails to the baked holiday treats at the various eateries, this mosaic of magical Christmas marvels is an experience like no other. Take time to make a stop at Santa’s station to ensure you get the present you’ve wished for this year.
2. See the Decorations at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden
The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden shapeshifts each season to create an intricate tapestry of celebratory splendors. Whether you experience the Chinese New Year decor or see the Pumpkin-filled space during harvest time, this place will ensure you walk around in wonder on every visit.
This 14,000-square-foot space becomes filled to the brim with extraordinary installations. The sheer size of this place with its breathtaking decor is like stepping into another world.
Nothing will get you in the Christmas cheer faster than taking a trip to this cornucopia of extravagant decorations, from polar bears to a Christmas snow globe-inspired structure.
3. Get a Drink at the Blitzen Antler Attic
Located in Trivoli Village, this holiday-themed hole in the wall is the perfect Christmas escape from the stressful scene of festive preparations. Opening its jingle-laden doors in December, you’ll have a merry experience with an alcoholic twist.
From the ornament painting station to the arcade section, this festive haven will have you feeling like a kid again in the best way. The Blitzen Antler Attic also has a wide variety of themed drinks to try.
Whether you prefer the vodka-infused creation of a Drunk Dancer or like to brave the intoxicating embrace of a Dasher’s Demise shot, this bizarre holiday bar is a must.
4. Take a Trip to the Magical Forest
Filled with festive rides and fairy lights sparkling in the night sky, a trip to this theme park is the perfect opportunity to dive headfirst into the Christmas spirit. The Magical Forest is situated in Opportunity Village and has a fantastic arrangement of activities and attractions to try.
From a cherished sit with Santa to the adrenaline-fuelled swoosh of the Avalanche Slide, this picturesque place will have you feeling a mosaic of emotions this frosty season. Take a trip to the Candy Cabin, which is a gift shop with various light-up toys that will be sure to bring a smile if found under the Christmas tree.
5. Taste Sensational Nibbles at Ethel M. Chocolate Factory
Ever wanted to take a trip to the extravagant otherworldly space of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? This sweet escape is as close as you’ll get, where visitors can take a glimpse into the sugary world of chocolate making.
This is an excellent free activity to do in Las Vegas for all visitors, because who can resist the temptation of a finely-crafted work of edible art? From caramels to pecan brittle, these handmade treats will have you drooling.
The Cactus Garden Café usually embellishes its premises in the dazzling decor of light installation during the festive seasons. A colorful setting with a free chocolate sample in hand, this space is the place to be.
6. Go to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Ready, get set, go through the drive-thru light show! This regular hot spot for NASCAR racing becomes a yuletide play palace of light installation from mid-November to early January.
The Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway takes around 40 min to complete and can only be enjoyed if you’re entering by car. Not only is this a marvelous event, but the light show also supports various charitable organizations through its ticket sales.
With live nativity performances and a drive-by concession area run by Boy Scouts, you’ll have a blast drinking in this stellar spectacle while sipping some hot cocoa.
7. Watch the Las Vegas Bowl
Nothing brings the citizens of the United States together quite like American football. From the shared comradery to the devastating losses, this sport is a phenomenal experience when watching it in the stands among the fans.
The Las Vegas Bowl is a college football game played post-season on 30 December in the prestigious Allegiant Stadium. Televised by ESPN, this annual event has occurred in this Nevada city since 1992.
While it might not be your typical December activity, this sporting event is a different kind of celebration and must-do for any foreign travelers.
8. Go to a Concert or Show
It might be an obvious activity, but you’ll soon find this nightlife-driven city truly sparkles when it comes to their live entertainment. These performances will be a night to remember, from the steamy Magic Mike live show to the side-splitting stylings of a stand-up comedy event.
The shows of Las Vegas are always flowing, but in December, these events take on a festive twist. Various Christmas stories take center stage to make your childhood favorites come to life, such as the prancing styling of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
9. Visit the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
With 14 exhibits to explore with over 2,000 species within its premises, the Shark Reef Aquarium is an aquatic gem waiting to be discovered. Owned by the luxury Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, this aquarium has many things to see and do.
From the jellyfish tank to the mystic shipwreck within an exhibit, you’ll have plenty of time to dive into a world of the deep unknown trenches of the sea. So, why is this attraction a must during December? Santa often makes a visit during yuletide in the shipwreck tank to add a little Christmas cheer.
10. Go Ice Skating at the Cosmopolitan
What better way to glide into this icy season than by skating the day away? Come December, the Boulevard Pool at this luxe resort transforms into a frozen landscape perfect for practicing your twirls.
Once you had your fill of the ice, you can make your way to the chalet to continue the holiday festivities in style. Visitors can enjoy and make s’mores by the fire while sipping on seasonal cocktails; now that is what we call a ho-ho hoot of a time.
11. See (or Take Part) in the Great Santa Run
An event that features thousands of jogging Santas? Sign me up! This annual event takes place in downtown Las Vegas at the Fremont Street Experience and is 5 km long.
From cheerful mascots to dressed-up canines, this race is sure to be the most unique marathon of your life. By purchasing a ticket to compete, you’ll be able to support a charitable fundraiser while wearing a Santa suit to start the festive season with a bang. In the past, this race has also attracted various notable Las Vegas royalty, such as Olivia Newton and Shania Twain.
Note: This race has recently incorporated a virtual race option for people worldwide to join in on the fun. So, whether in person or online, this run with a cause is a worthwhile experience.
12. Wander Around the Festival of Lights
Las Vegas takes its lights very seriously, from the multicolor bulbs flashing when hitting the jackpot to the neon signs lining its streets. So, there is really no surprise when the city transformed this twinkling show into a festival.
The Las Vegas Festival of Lights brings together over one million lights to dance and create a stunning scene of illuminating performances. This event usually takes place in North Las Vegas and features an abundance of quintessential American amusement park food.
Whether you munch on a deep-fried twinkie or prefer the sugar-dusted treat of a funnel cake, this space is the perfect place to work on your Santa belly.
13. Do Some Christmas Shopping
We all know that familiar dread well — a few days before Christmas and no gifts under the tree. Luckily, Las Vegas has a wide array of shops and malls to choose from to turn your stressful situation into a fun-filled excursion.
During the festive season, these buyers’ havens pull out all the stops when decorating their storefronts into a merry paradise. Some of the top shopping places include the Fashion Show Mall on the famous strip, with over 250 stores to find the perfect gift.
14. Go to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
Ready for a rootin’-tootin’ time? On every 1-10 December since 1959, Las Vegas hosts the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. This is where a variety of barrel racers and cowboys take part in one of the most premier rodeos in North America.
These events are held at the Thomas & Mack Center and draw in an abundance of cowboy connoisseurs each year. Beyond the rodeo events, visitors can enjoy the Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas, which has an array of stalls where you can purchase various items.
This place is an excellent opportunity to partake in the wild, wild west, from cowboy hats to spinning spurs.
15. Attend the Magic of Christmas Show
While shows and performances have already been featured in this list, nothing holds a candle to the gleaming glory of the Magic of Christmas Show. This popular production is held at the Las Vegas Magic Theater and starts off the holidays with an essence of mystical whimsy.
This event is infused with the sensational stylings of magicians that perform their tricks and oddities to showcase a touching Christmas message. The Magic of Christmas show is a production that all ages can enjoy and will have you enthralled from start to finish.
16. Get Married
In the city known for its gambling, why not take a chance of love this merry December? During this time, Las Vegas has lights and joyous laughter floating in the air, which makes it the perfect time to have a magical ceremony.
From an Elvis-themed wedding to a drive-thru chapel ceremony, Las Vegas has some awesome sites to say ‘I do’. The best part is there is no need to spend more on a honeymoon as this city is a great place to begin your marriage in a unique setting.
17. Walk Around LINQ Promenade
The giant wonder of a Christmas tree, sugar-sweet carolers, and a gleaming display of decorations — the LINQ Promenade is a cherished holiday tradition. With open-air shopping and stellar dining options, this promenade is a great option to embark on a gleeful adventure.
The LINQ Promenade features a “Lights at the LINQ” event that displays a synchronized lights show at various times. Make sure you take a ride on the High Roller, which is one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world. Coming in at a whopping 168 m, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the striking city below.
18. Go to the Palazzo Waterfall Atrium at the Bellagio
Another iconic December activity at the Bellagio, the waterfall display outside of the hotel is a well-known aquatic feature in this city. A show fit for any stage, this intricate performance is high on any bucket list.
While this waterfall runs throughout the year and is free to watch, the Bellagio incorporates a Christmas song while the water dances. The water show prances and dazzles so fast that you’ll be sure to make the trip once or twice.
19. See the Festival of Lanterns at Cowabunga Bay
A unique spectacle with a dash of the vibrant world of Chinese culture, the Festival of Lanterns is a glimmering event. This festival will have you moonstruck by the delicate designs of Chinese silk lanterns lighting up the evening sky.
With a Candyland display and a visit from Santa, this wonderland is an experience made for creating some sensational Christmas memories. Be sure to embark on a delicious detour to the food stalls, which feature holiday-themed delights such as the peppermint brownie truffle.
20. Visit the Neon Museum
This quirky museum captures the essence of Las Vegas by displaying one of its historical and most famous features: its neon signs. Opening its doors in 1996, the Neon Boneyard exhibit has an abundance of old signs on display with relics dating back to the 1930s.
On 15 December, the museum usually hosts a community event called December to Remember. This is where children can decorate ornaments and create a magical keepsake while the Las Vegas Academy choir fills the halls with their melodic singing.
21. Celebrate New Year
While the festivities properly start at midnight, the 31st of December is a night created to kick off the year in a joyful fashion. The Strip is closed to traffic and becomes a massive celebratory zone for intoxicated (or excited) patrons of Sin City.
With various synchronized firework displays and a hip-swaying party at every corner, Las Vegas is the ultimate place to create your New Year’s resolutions after a night of partying.
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A maverick when it comes to providing enticing entertainment, Las Vegas also has a softer side when it comes to providing heart-warming holiday fun. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but the memories of this unforgettable city trip in December will last a lifetime.
And don’t forget this is all in addition to the many fantastic things you can do in Las Vegas every day of the year. For more info check out my post on the 35 Best Things to do in Vegas Besides Gamble.
I covered all of the costs involved in writing this post. However, this things to do in Vegas in December post includes affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.