By Jennifer Minagil
Winter holidays come but once a year, and are just around the corner! If you're a fan of the beauty, joy and innocent fun that this time of year can offer, then grab a mug of hot cocoa and your favorite cozy outfit - we're heading out to enjoy some festive events this week. Come with us as we experience some of the most popular Holiday activities that Vegas has. Some are new to the valley, others are old favorites that never cease to amaze.
Ethel M Chocolate Factory's Holiday Cactus Garden
Returning for it's 29th year in a row, the team at Ethel M Chocolate Factory have the entire cactus garden fully decked out in festive trimmings. With over one million lights and Holiday decor, this family friendly attraction is sure to put a twinkle in the eye of everyone in attendance. Available during this very merry event are photos with Santa, with food & beverages available for sale on-site. For those with mobility concerns, the outdoor grounds have level, paved walkways that are easily traversed with assistive devices such as canes, wheelchairs or walkers. The indoor portion of the Factory (including the self-guided tour) hosts a tiled floor with a ramp, which is fully accessible. You'll get a free chocolate sample at the end of your tour, which concludes inside the chocolate shop - there, you'll have the chance to peruse all of the delicious goodies that this factory makes on a weekly basis, and make purchases if you so desire. The smell of fresh made chocolates is pretty intoxicating, we're not gonna lie. No reservations are required this year. The entrance fee to the Holiday Cactus Garden is just $1.00 per person, with proceeds benefitting HELP of Southern Nevada and Three Square Food Bank. As in years past, donations such as new, unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items are welcomed for the aforementioned charities. Hours for the event are 5pm to 10pm most nights through January 1st, 2023 (excluding Dec. 25, on which they are closed).
This event is quite popular, and parking can be scarce. Complimentary parking is available in the Ethel M Chocolates parking lots, at Roseman University Campus, or across the street at the Smith's parking lot. Ethel M's advises that you not park in the parking lots around the Green Valley Business Park, as you will be towed.
Mystic Falls Park Winter Wonderland
A decades-long holiday tradition for many locals and visitors alike, Mystic Falls Park has transformed into a glorious Winter Wonderland. These festive laser-light shows are accompanied by joyful seasonal tunes, and you'll even witness a bit of snow in the desert! Don't forget the animatronic forest creatures wearing Santa hats, because they're simply adorable, no matter what. There is no seating for this free seasonal attraction, and it's suggested you arrive at least 15 minutes early if you want to garner a good viewing location right in front of the falls. For those who are 21+, try to snag a seat at a table located at Ram's Head Bar, which is raised up off of the main walking platform, above the crowd. As long as you purchase a beverage, you can remain seated there for as long as you like. Winter Wonderland shows run hourly beginning at 4:00pm, on through 10pm daily through January 1st, 2023.
After the lightshow, stroll the curving pathways throughout the park for additional lighted trees and other displays, as well as some photo opportunities if you wish. Santa is on-site weekends through December 23, 2022. Visits with Santa are complimentary, and kids of all ages are welcome to take their own photos with Santa as time and space permits.
You're likely aware that the Horticulture & Pastry teams at Bellagio have their work cut out for them on a consistent basis. This Holiday display designed by Ed Libby took 80 staff members nearly a week to change over, and we feel it is their most detailed, by far. A glorious spectacle, titled "Gingerbread Dreams, A Holiday Confection", the 2022 display one-ups previous years. Surrounded by a 42 foot tall lighted tree, 4 giant Nutcracker soldiers, 5 Coca-Cola polar bears fashioned out of white carnations, and an enormous 25 foot tall Gingerbread house; this joyful scene will inspire even the Grinch himself. The Conservatory is free to the public, and may be visited 24 hours a day through January 1st, 2023.
Beginning January 2nd, 2023 to January 8th, 2023 the Conservatory will not be directly accessible as staff work to change over to the Lunar New Year display.
Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
For a solid decade this attraction was held in Sunset Park, but space and ongoing traffic concerns spiked conversations of relocation. Since 2012, the spectacle of the Glittering Lights happily takes place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway while Nascar is at rest. A good option for those on a budget, admission cost is per vehicle rather than per-person; so pack up the family and head north on I-15 to Speedway Boulevard! Upon entry to the lighted course, you'll be asked to turn off your headlights and tune your radio to the Ho Ho Ho Radio Station to hear those holiday classics, so you can sing along while staying cozy warm. Light snacks and beverages are available for purchase such as popcorn, hot cocoa and hot apple cider. Goodwill of Southern Nevada will be on-site, accepting donations of gently used items. You'll enjoy a leisurely drive along 2.5 miles of lighted displays which are sponsored by many local businesses. Admission online or in person is $39 per vehicle. Open at 4:45pm daily through as late as 10pm some evenings, the lights will remain lit through January 8, 2023.
On nights when the lines of cars are very long, this attraction prides itself on remaining open until the last car in line has the chance to drive through.
Still in its infancy, after receiving a fanfare of acclaimed reviews - Enchant has returned to the Las Vegas Ballpark for the second year in a row. The attraction is presented by the Hallmark Channel, you know it's got to be swoon-worthy. With a fabulous story-themed holiday light maze that starts your adventure, make your way through lighted tunnels and stand within the spiral of a 100 foot tall Christmas tree. Keep your eye out for little surprises along the way, such as a search for missing toys. With plenty of photo opportunity spots, this attraction inspires magic and special moments throughout. Ice Skating is available for a fee, and holiday snacks & beverages are also available for purchase. Don't forget to stop for a visit with Jolly old Saint Nick, if you feel so inclined. Given its soaring popularity, Enchant has opened a second attraction at Resorts World. The stripside attraction spans more than 10 acres, and features all of the holiday magic of its predecessor - with the added bonus of the vibrant scenic backdrop of the Las Vegas Strip!
Admission begins at $25 for adults and $23 for guests aged 3-17; those under 3 are admitted free. Both locations open between 4:30-5:30pm each evening, and will remain open through January 1, 2023. Closing times do vary per day, so please check the ticketing page for your desired location.
The House on Robindale
An easy locals favorite is the House on Robindale. Formerly owned by Comedy Hypnotist Marc Savard, the performer sold the home earlier this year which prompted us all to wonder, what's to become of the fantastic light show? Fear not, dear friends - this year, he teamed up with the home's new owner to bring the lightshow back for the 2022 holiday season! The lightshow is synced along to some favorite holiday music, and some unexpected music that you might not tie to the holidays; but is just plain fun! Tune your radio station to 101.3 FM once you're parked near the home. Located between Eastern & Paradise with complimentary streetside parking available, the local favorite is popular enough to where you may need to park and take a short stroll in order to enjoy the show. Running in succession from 5pm to 10pm nightly through New Year's Eve, each show lasts between 20-30 minutes. Hot tip: For you Star Wars fans? Stick around for the Main Title.
For those of you exiting your vehicle to watch the lightshow, please be mindful of traffic as this is a public street and traffic can get heavy.
Best Light Displays
If you've packed the family into the car and would like to head out to view more amazing outdoor lights displays - check out this page run by Vegas Family Guide
. The link takes you direct to a Google Map, so that you can tap to route to any location you wish. Red snowflakes indicate confirmed decorated homes, Yellow stars indicate light shows. While traversing these beautifully decorated neighborhoods, remember to be respectful to residents by following posted speed limits, and be alert to pedestrian foot traffic.
Happy Holidays from all of us at VegasNearMe. It's our pleasure to help you Discover Your Vegas.