Best Things to Do in December in Las Vegas

December in Las Vegas means fabulously festive holiday decorations and events

Las Vegas never misses a chance to get dressed up, and in December the city pulls out all the stops. Throughout the city, you’ll find holiday lights and decorations everywhere you look. Las Vegas is well-known for its love of shiny and sparkly things, and no time of year is better for that than December.

On the Strip, visitors get to enjoy an abundance of seasonal decorations in December. Every year the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden transforms into a winter wonderland for the holidays. A team of talented horticulturists and design staff create amazing scenes, with plants and flowers turned into creations like polar bears. Few attractions are as photo-worthy as the Bellagio Conservatory.

If you’re missing cold weather fun like ice skating, look no further than The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Enjoy skating with a fantastic view of the Strip, snow showers and s’mores by the fire.

Off the Strip, you’ll find attractions like Enchant Christmas, a wonderland of lights, trees and artisanal shops. Downtown Summerlin offers plenty of shopping, photos with Santa and a train ride for the kids. Over at Opportunity Village, you can explore the Magical Forest, and your entrance fee helps support people with disabilities.

Still wondering what to do this holiday season? Scroll down to read more about what to do in December in Las Vegas.


One of Las Vegas' coolest places to shop and hang out, The Linq Promenade features unique retail, dining, nightlife and entertainment venues as well as the world's tallest observation wheel, the High Roller. The Promenade is also home to a zipline that will speed you over the mall at up to 35 m.p.h. The Promenade offers a selection of boutique-style stores--you won't find any big box operations here. When it's time to refuel, you'll find plenty of places to eat along the Promenade, like In-N-Out Burger, Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips and Virgil's' Real Barbecue. The open-air design invites you to wander and explore. During any holiday, the Linq Promenade embraces the spirit of the season with loads of decorations, entertainment and events.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The Linq Promenade gets all decked out in December with loads of decorations and holiday-themed entertainment.

Terrisa's expert tip: One of the best things about the Linq Promenade is its variety of restaurants. You'll find a wide range of places to eat, from fast food to sit-down eateries.

Read more about The LINQ Promenade →

Ethel M® Chocolate Factory

More than 2,000 visitors per day flock to this chocolate production facility where truffles, cremes, cherry cordials, peanut brittle, and other sweet treats are made. During the winter holidays, their 3-acre cactus garden is lit up to create a wonderful, one-of-a-kind holiday light display. Over a million lights adorn the cacti and Santa is available for photos. Inside the factory store, you may get to watch the confectionery delights being created, and you can pick up a free sample or a hand-dipped ice cream cone. Self-guided factory tours are free, although it might be tough to pass up a purchase after watching the sweets being made.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: Ethel M decorates its unique cactus garden with over a million lights for the holidays, creating a memorable, festive experience.

Terrisa's expert tip: Reservations are recommended for the holiday display in the cactus garden and a $5 donation for local charities is required for each group of up to six people.

Read more about Ethel M® Chocolate Factory →

In summer, Cowabunga Bay is a popular water park. In fall and winter, they change gears and host the Festival of Lanterns. Creators start the process of handcrafting the lanterns months before they're unveiled to the public. A 26-foot tall dancing lion greets visitors at the entrance, a preview of the sights that await. Inside, the intricate creations are more like sculptures than lanterns. Pandas, sea life, giant ladybugs, trees, flowers, and well-known landmarks come to life, wrapped in silk and brilliantly lit. During December, carolers treat visitors to holiday music, and Santa is on hand for photos. A 20-foot Christmas tree gives the festival an extra dose of holiday cheer. Food is available as well, along with holiday cocktails for the adults.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The Festival of Lanterns celebrates the holiday season with spectacular, handcrafted displays along with carolers, food and Santa.

Terrisa's expert tip: The Festival of Lanterns is open both before and after Christmas. The event begins in November with a Fall Harvest theme and continues after Christmas with its striking displays changing in January for the Lunar New Year.

Read more about Festival of Lanterns at Cowabunga Bay →


More unforgettable experiences in Las Vegas



Every year, the non-profit Opportunity Village creates the Magical Forest for the holidays. This 30-year tradition attracts a crowd with its bright lights and wonderful decorations. Children especially love the elaborate lights and displays, but grown-ups will also find the experience delightful. In addition to walking through the forest, guests can take a ride on the Forest Express Train, a small train that traverses the forest. Other fun attractions include the 50-foot Avalanche Slide, a carousel and an 8-hole mini-golf course. Santa visits and photo opportunities are offered as well. Food trucks are onsite for all your noshing needs. All proceeds go toward Opportunity Village's programs and services, which benefit people with disabilities.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village is filled with scintillating holiday lights and decorations, plus fun attractions like a train and a giant slide.

Terrisa's expert tip: Dress warmly! The Magical Forest is outside, and it can get quite chilly in the evenings--doubly so if you take a ride on the Forest Express Passenger Train.

Read more about Magical Forest at Opportunity Village →

Las Vegas may be in the desert, but that hasn't stopped the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from changing the Boulevard Pool into an ice-skating rink from late November thru early January. You'll find fire pits, plenty of places to sit, a menu of seasonal food, s'mores, and hot chocolate--not to mention a great view of the Las Vegas Strip. Snow showers happen every 30 minutes during select dates. Entry into the Ice Rink area is free, but costs for ice skating are $20-$30 per day and include skate rentals. Guests can bring their own skates, but the same rates apply. Children under 18 must have an adult with them.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has winter fun for everyone, like skating, snow showers, fire pits and movies.

Terrisa's expert tip: In 2021, Date Skate happens every Monday and Tuesday from November 22 through December 28. You and your sweetie can skate under the stars while holiday movies play on a big screen.

Read more about The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas →

At Glittering Lights, people can stay warm and cozy in the comfort of their vehicle while they drive through a spectacular holiday light show. With approximately 2.5 miles of lights, Glittering Lights pulls out all the stops to create a memorable holiday experience. Guests can even buy cocoa from the Boy Scouts, who provide the concessions and deliver goodies to your car. Located at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Glittering Lights is an annual event that benefits local charities while giving visitors a gigantic dose of holiday spirit. Admission is charged per vehicle at $25-$35, but enthusiastic visitors can also purchase season passes if they anticipate coming back.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: Millions of lights are used to create the displays at Glittering Lights, which people drive through to see.

Terrisa's expert tip: If you've got kids with you, be sure to check out the Santa Tram, an open-air ride that includes games, plenty of holiday cheer and a visit with the big guy himself.

Read more about Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway →

During the winter holidays, Mystic Falls Park at Sam's Town is fully outfitted for the season. For the rest of the year, this fun, free attraction is a family-friendly stop with live trees, a waterfall and a laser light show. When the holidays come around, Mystic Falls Park gets decked out for the season with plenty of decorations, a North Pole Mailbox and even snow showers in the evenings. A special laser light show is on for the holidays, and it happens every hour between 2 and 10 p.m. and comes complete with holiday music. Visitors walking through the park will get to enjoy animatronic characters, an 18-foot Christmas tree and thousands of lights.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The holiday spirit is alive and well at Mystic Falls Park, which becomes a winter wonderland for the season, complete with snow.

Terrisa's expert tip: On Friday and Saturday, the Ram's Head Bar inside Mystic Falls Park is open from 4 to 11 p.m. Adults can enjoy food and drinks.

Read more about Mystic Falls Winter Wonderland →

Enchant Christmas transforms the Las Vegas Ballpark into a winter wonderland. Visitors can stroll through shops in The Village, go ice skating, enjoy music and entertainment and meet Santa. An 80-foot tree overlooks the grounds at Enchant, which are filled with memorable decorations. Enchant offers a light maze and a mystery for guests to solve: Santa's reindeer have gone missing, and your help is needed to find them. Enchant's ice skating trail winds its way past thousands of lighted Christmas trees, offering a unique skating experience. For younger kids, a play area provides hands-on fun. The entire family will enjoy Enchant, which is filled with striking photo-worthy backdrops.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The spectacular Christmas experience at Enchant includes beautifully lighted displays, a maze, shops and an ice-skating trail.

Terrisa's expert tip: Enchant doesn't allow videotaping/recording of any kind. Photos for personal use are allowed, but cameras must be non-professional with lenses shorter than six inches.

Read more about Enchant Christmas Las Vegas →

Downtown Summerlin is known primarily as a shopping destination, but it offers more than just stores. During the winter holidays, the open-air shopping and dining area is filled with an abundance of festive decorations and attractions. Visitors can go skating at the Rock Rink, an outdoor ice-skating rink where the whole family can enjoy some time on the ice while they listen to holiday tunes. You can grab a hot chocolate or coffee from a nearby stand. A 40-foot Christmas tree adds extra cheer. A train circles the area, with rides at only $4. Santa is on hand for photos in his Winter Wonderland Chalet and also appears in the holiday parade that happens on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition to the wide selection of shops for all your gift-giving needs, Downtown Summerlin is also home to a variety of restaurants and a movie theater.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: Downtown Summerlin gets all dressed up for December, with loads of decorations, Santa, a train and an ice-skating rink.

Terrisa's expert tip: From November 3 through January 2, visitors to Downtown Summerlin can help those in need at The Giving Machine, a vending machine that lets people easily make donations for a variety of worthy causes.

Read more about Downtown Summerlin →

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International

When the Bellagio introduced a conservatory and botanical garden to Las Vegas, it was before the city had heard of such a thing. Years later, this unique attraction is a favorite of both tourists and locals--especially during the winter holidays, when the talented staff creates a wonderland scene made largely out of flowers and plants. Look for gigantic polar bears, spectacular Christmas trees, toy trains and a host of other creations. Throughout the year, the team at the conservatory swoops in as the seasons and holidays change to create eye-catching scenes filled with rich details. You'll find the conservatory just off of the front desk, with easy access to the parking garage so you don't have to trek through the casino, an added plus if you have children with you.

Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden offers one of Las Vegas' best-known holiday attractions with an elaborate display that captures the spirit of the season.

Terrisa's expert tip: When you visit, be sure to also check out the Chihuly sculpture on the ceiling in the Bellagio's lobby area near the front desk. It's just a short walk from the conservatory.

Read more about Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens →


Meet Terrisa Meeks

Terrisa Meeks is a native born, life-long resident of Las Vegas. She's watched Las Vegas grow and change over the years, especially the ever-evolving Las Vegas Strip. She still enjoys hanging...  More About Terrisa