Vegas is such a FUN place to visit… anytime of the year! But it’s truly magical during the Holiday Season – it’s a great place to escape for a long Winter Getaway Weekend or Family Christmas Vacation. It’s one of our favorite U.S. cities… and one of the world’s most popular destinations. Don’t worry if you’re not a gambler… there are plenty of things to keep you (and your kids) busy without ever having to gamble a penny. Many of the attractions in this 24/7 city are free – and everything is open on Christmas Day!
Be sure to book your trip and hotel well in advance – the Holiday Season is very popular with U.S. and international visitors. Here are a few FUN Things To Do when visiting Las Vegas during the winter months.
Get into the holiday spirit. The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is a perfect place to do all your holiday shopping. Part of the mall’s interior is a recreation of ancient Rome, so do as the Romans do… and shop! There should be some great pre-Christmas sales and bargains this year (not to mention the popular after-Christmas sales). For kids, there are free shows inside The Forum Shops – Fall of Atlantis and the Festival Fountain Laser Light Show. Don’t forget to make a “Holiday/New Year Wish” as you toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, located directly on the Strip, a short walk from the Forum Shops mall entrance (across from Harrah’s).
Two of our favorite Vegas attractions (both of which are appealing to kids and adults) can be found at the Bellagio – The Fountains of Bellagio Water Show is a “must-see” – it’s especially magnificent at night. The display spans more than 1,000 feet, with water soaring as high as 245 feet in the air. The fountains “dance” to music, ranging from opera, country and classical to pop and Broadway show tunes. Now matter how many times we visit Vegas, we never miss seeing this spectacular show. And during the Holiday Season, Bellagio’s Botanical Gardens and Conservatory is transformed into a festive winter wonderland – the trees, flowers, fragrances, and colors are amazing. And the best part… both of these Bellagio attractions are free!
Interested in famous mobsters, including Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel or Charles “Lucky” Luciano? What better place than Vegas for a Mob Museum! Check out the NEW recently-opened “Las Vegas Mob Experience” (a rival mob museum tied to the daughter of the famed Chicago mob boss Sam Giacana). Open daily from 10am-6pm. Admission is $15. Located at the Tropicana Las Vegas on the south end of the strip – it’s one of two new mafia-themed museums in Vegas.
The second museum, “The Mob Museum,” is scheduled to open on February 14th, 2012 – on the 83rd anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. We saw a preview of The Mob Museum on TV recently – it was featured on the October 12, 2011 episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” Did any of you see it? The museum is located at 300 Stewart Avenue in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, in the historic former federal courthouse (the site of the 1950 mob hearings led by Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee).
Looking for something a little more romantic? Head over to the Venetian and treat your honey to a Holiday Gondola Ride along the Grand Canal and piazzas, complete with a serenading gondolier. OK… so it’s not Venice, but it sure feels like it! And while we’re on the subject of romance and Europe, take the glass elevator up the Eiffel Tower, an authentic half-scale replica of the original in Paris, to the Observation Deck – at 50 stories above the ground, the panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip are stunning, especially at night. We celebrated a special anniversary atop the tower on a moon-filled night and it was very romantic.
If you’re traveling with kids, take them ice-skating at The Venetian’s new skating rink, located by the gondolas (opens Nov. 21; closes Jan. 8, 2012) or to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum – both activities will keep ’em busy for hours! After dark, head downtown to see the Fremont Street Experience – the world’s largest laser computer-driven light show is another fun attraction – and it’s free!
Treat yourself and your family to an exciting and FUN Las Vegas Night Strip Helicopter Tour – enjoy spectacular views of the dazzling Las Vegas Strip – it’s magnificent, especially during the Holiday Season.
Of course no trip to Vegas is complete without seeing a show – look for special holiday performances. Cirque du Soleil shows are always entertaining. A local comedy show is a good alternative if you’re on a budget. Our favorite shows are “O” Cirque du Soleil, The Beatles LOVE, Le Reve, Jersey Boys, Crazy Girls – ALL the Vegas shows are terrific!
No shortage of fun restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in Vegas. Expect to find special holiday meal deals during the Holiday Season. A few of our favorite restaurants include: Tao (Venetian), Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill (Caesars Palace), Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (Flamingo), P.F. Changs (locations on and off the strip), Laurent Tourondel’s BLT Burger and Carnegie Deli (The Mirage). And for healthy appetites, most of the casinos offer incredible all-you-can-eat buffets. Hey… what better time to splurge on food than during the Holiday Season!
What are some of your favorite things to do in Vegas during the Holiday Season?