The holidays are here, and many people will visit Las Vegas for the first time in a couple of years.
Visitation to Las Vegas has decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2019, but it’s on the rebound. According to the monthly Executive Report by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, October visitor volume was only down by 8% from the same month in 2019
The number of people revisiting Las Vegas is still rising but behind 2019.
Las Vegas can be a first for many people during the holidays, and while COVID-19 protocols are different around the country, the city has other mandates for various venues.
Nevada currently has the indoor face mask mandate as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Everyone inside a Nevada business must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. This mandate includes every business from casinos to local stores and McCarron Airport.
The COVID-19 protocols are relatively simple for casinos. A face covering may only be removed when eating, drinking, or smoking inside a casino. Face masks aren’t required outside.
Masks should be kept on and lowered to drink or smoke when inside a casino. However, that’s not always the case, as some casino guests remove the cover from their face entirely while drinking or smoking.
The best holiday experiences in Las Vegas take place inside and outside of the casinos, so it’s helpful to know both policies.
COVID-19 policies are different for entertainment venues. Check the specific event inside the venue for the current COVID-19 protocols.
Five Las Vegas casino holiday experiences
The holiday spirit is in the air all over Las Vegas. There are special holiday events all over town. Unfortunately, there isn’t time to see everything, so we’ll focus on holiday events taking place around the casinos.
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is a beautiful home to floral displays off the main casino floor. MGM Resorts, the operator of Bellagio, takes this arrangement to a whole other level for the holiday season.
In detail, this year’s holiday display at Bellagio is appropriately named “Holiday Time.” While this is a relatively small space, it takes time to navigate while taking selfies or recording videos.
Horticulture highlights of “Holiday Time” inside Bellagio include:
- 1: 42-foot fir tree with 8,700 ornaments and 7,000 LED lights
- 25: 25-foot fresh-cut silvertip fir trees
- 13,250: White carnations, 7,500 Poinsettias, 2,000: Senecio “Angel’s Wings” plants
- 24: Giant snowflakes
- 8: Arctic animals
Pictures and words can’t do justice to the beautiful display about 100 steps from the gaming floor.
Enjoy the Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan
The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan occupies the rooftop space with gorgeous views of the Vegas Strip where the Boulevard Pool sits. This seasonal event offers ice skating and more.
Furthermore, the 4,200 square-foot rooftop skating rink is made of natural ice. Guests can pay to skate or head outside for fresh air and a holiday atmosphere.
Non-skaters can enjoy seasonal snacks and cocktails with the general public or private firepit. The private booths with firepits not only keep guests warm, but The Cosmopolitan offers all the ingredients to toast s’mores.
This unique Las Vegas rooftop experience is unlike any other skating experience anywhere else. It would be difficult to overstate the outdoor rooftop view of the Vegas Strip.
Merry Crimson at Red Rock Casino
Red Rock Casino has reinvented its nightclub into a pop-up bar and lounge. The holiday season in this indoor and outdoor poolside lounge is now “Tinsel Town.”
Guests can enjoy holiday drinks and perfectly instagramable decorations inside of Tinsel Town. Visitors can also enjoy holiday cocktails outside in the igloos on the pool deck.
Red Rock has more than ten unique cocktails for Tinsel Town, including “Milk & Cookies for Santa” and “Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle.”
In addition, the experience is really about a great place for photos and drinks. If someone wants to make the holiday experience another level around Red Rock Casino, they can head across the street to Enchant Christmas.
“This Is Christmas” at The Venetian
“This Is Christmas” is a high-energy holiday spectacular with Santa, Scrooge, and other memorable Christmas characters. In other words, a holiday show fit for all ages.
Furthermore, the show weaves new holiday songs in with classics. “This Is Christmas” cast includes multiple “American Idol” alumni, including:
- Diana DeGarmo
- Lou Gazzara
- Jasmine Trias
- Ben Stone
- Ace Young
- Laura Suzanne Wright.
Equally important, the award-winning dance duo Alejandro Domingo and Sarah Le Clear, Broadway star Randal Keith and Las Vegas headliner Jaclyn McSpadden round out the cast.
“This Is Christmas” is a limited run show performing from Dec. 9 – 12 and Dec. 16, 19, 22, 25, and 26.
It might be surprising to some that this is the only major holiday production show on the Vegas Strip this holiday season.
Winter Wonderland display and Holiday Laser Light Show at Sam’s Town
Sam’s Town is a bit off the beaten path for most visitors in Las Vegas. This holiday event is for those looking for something different.
Sam’s Town is located about 20 minutes east of the Vegas Strip on Boulder Highway. This local casino is famous for having a 25,000-square-foot indoor park just off the gaming floor.
Above all, this unique amenity for guests turns into a winter wonderland for the holidays. The festive decor at Mystic Falls Park includes an 18-foot Christmas tree with 5,300 lights. Guests will see blankets of snow and animatronic characters wearing Santa hats while walking through the park.
The nine-minute holiday laser light show highlights the walk around Mystic Falls Park. The hourly laser light show features a variety of classic holiday songs, including “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Let It, Snow,” since this is Las Vegas and everyone has dreams.