Las Vegas in December: Top Activities to Embrace the Season
Las Vegas, a city renowned for its vibrant nightlife and bustling casinos, transforms into a winter wonderland in December. The city takes on a festive air, with cooler temperatures and an array of seasonal activities that cater to all ages and interests. Here’s a comprehensive guide to making the most of Las Vegas in the magical month of December.
1. Winter Kayaking with Blazin’ Paddles
Experience the serene nature of Las Vegas from the water with winter kayaking. Blazin’ Paddles offers an exceptional opportunity to kayak along the calm waters, offering a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle. The cooler weather brings a unique charm to kayaking as the crowds have dissipated, and with expert guidance from Blazin’ Paddles, it’s an experience not to be missed. Located near the iconic Hoover Dam, you can experience both of these treasures – the Dam’s engineering marvel and the waters’ natural beauty. Blazin’ Paddles expertly captures the essence of this unique winter experience, making it a must-try for both visitors and locals.
2. Exploring the Iconic Strip
December in Vegas means fewer crowds and more comfortable weather for exploring the famous Strip. It’s the perfect time to stroll through the exuberantly decorated casinos and hotels, each vying to outdo the other with festive lights and decorations. From the Bellagio’s magnificent conservatory to the Venetian’s winter-themed displays, the Strip becomes a spectacle of holiday cheer.
3. The Bellagio Fountains
A timeless classic, the Bellagio Fountains offer a mesmerizing show that combines water, music, and light. In December, the fountains dance to a range of holiday tunes, creating a magical atmosphere that resonates with the season’s spirit.
4. Winter-Themed Shows and Concerts
Las Vegas is home to various shows, and many adjust their themes to fit the holiday season. December brings special performances by renowned artists and holiday-themed shows that add festive magic to the city’s entertainment scene.
5. The LINQ Promenade and High Roller
The LINQ Promenade is decked out in holiday lights and decorations, making it a perfect spot for an evening stroll. The High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, offers breathtaking views of the city’s festive lights from 550 feet.
6. Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden
The Ethel M Chocolate Factory transforms its three-acre cactus garden into a dazzling holiday light display. After walking through the illuminated garden, visitors can indulge in gourmet chocolates and hot cocoa.
7. Ice Skating at The Cosmopolitan
The Cosmopolitan turns its Boulevard Pool into an ice rink. Glide across the ice while enjoying stunning views of the Strip, then warm up with some hot chocolate or an adult beverage.
8. Holiday Shopping
Las Vegas is a shopper’s paradise, and December is the perfect time for holiday shopping. From high-end boutiques at the Forum Shops at Caesars to unique finds at the Downtown Container Park, there’s something for everyone.
9. Visit the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
A beloved local tradition, the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village is a must-visit. This enchanting attraction features millions of sparkling lights, nightly entertainment, and festive rides, all supporting a great cause.
10. Take a Gondola Ride at the Venetian
Experience a bit of Venice in Vegas with a gondola ride through the Venetian’s Grand Canal. The gondoliers might even serenade you with a Christmas carol or two.
11. Hiking at Valley of Fire
For those looking to escape the city, December is a great time to explore the natural beauty surrounding Las Vegas. The cooler weather is ideal for hiking the Valley of Fire State Park.
12. New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Las Vegas is famous for its New Year’s Eve celebrations, and the entire city comes alive with parties, special dinners, and one of the most impressive fireworks displays in the country.
13. Enjoy Seasonal Cuisine
Many restaurants in Las Vegas offer special seasonal menus in December. It’s the perfect time to indulge in festive dishes and holiday-inspired cocktails.
14. Visit Santa Claus
For families, a visit to Santa Claus is a must. Many hotels and shopping centers in Las Vegas offer the chance to meet Santa and capture that perfect holiday photo.
15. Helicopter Tours
For a unique view of Las Vegas and its surrounding areas, consider a helicopter tour. Some tours even offer trips to the Grand Canyon, which is particularly stunning in the winter light.
16. Attend a Hockey Game
Catch the Vegas Golden Knights, the city’s NHL team, in action at the T-Mobile Arena. The energetic atmosphere of a live hockey game is something every sports fan should experience.
17. Explore the Arts District
For a change of pace, visit the Las Vegas Arts District. Here, you’ll find art galleries, unique boutiques, and cozy cafes, offering a more laid-back experience away from the Strip.
18. Enjoy Spa Treatments
With the holiday hustle, taking time to relax is important. Las Vegas offers world-class spa facilities where you can indulge in massages, facials, and other rejuvenating treatments.
19. Take a Day Trip to Mount Charleston
Just an hour away from Las Vegas, Mount Charleston offers a snowy escape. Enjoy activities like skiing, snowboarding, or just playing in the snow.
20. Participate in a Holiday Run
Las Vegas hosts several festive runs in December, such as the Las Vegas Great Santa Run. These events offer a fun way to stay active and enjoy the holiday spirit.
21. Watch the Las Vegas Bowl
For football fans, the Las Vegas Bowl is a December highlight. It’s an opportunity to catch some of the best college teams in action.
22. Experience the Neon Museum
The Neon Museum, with its collection of historic Las Vegas signs, offers guided tours that tell the fascinating story of the city. In December, the museum often features holiday-themed lighting, adding an extra layer of charm to the experience.
23. Attend the National Finals Rodeo
The National Finals Rodeo, one of the biggest events in the sport, comes to Las Vegas in December. It’s a thrilling spectacle, even for those new to rodeo.
24. Relax with a Hot Air Balloon Ride
For a serene experience, take a hot air balloon ride over the desert. Witness the beauty of the landscape and the tranquility of floating above it all.
In December, Las Vegas unfurls its multifaceted charm, presenting a city of contrasts where the stark beauty of desert landscapes meets the festive brilliance of holiday lights, and the exhilarating thrills of entertainment options coexist with peaceful natural escapes. This is when the city transcends its reputation for glitz and glamour, offering serene experiences like kayaking on tranquil waters with Blazin’ Paddles, capturing the unique essence of a Las Vegas winter.
Whether you’re drawn to the Strip’s dazzling lights, the river’s calming flow, or the joyous festive atmosphere that blankets every corner of the city, Las Vegas in December has many experiences, appealing to a diverse range of tastes and preferences. Pack your bags and prepare for an unforgettable holiday season in this desert oasis, where each moment celebrates the joy and wonder of the season, offering every visitor a distinct and memorable experience.