Category Archives: Family Friendly

Neon Las Vegas Christmas Sign

A Las Vegas Christmas with Christmas Lights & Neon Lights

Las Vegas isn’t a vacation only saved for the summertime – Christmas in Vegas can be an amazing winter retreat that’ll have you talking about the memories you make every holiday season! Whether you come with your partner, a group of friends, or your whole family, you’ll find a sleighful of activities to keep you as busy as Santa’s elves during your entire Las Vegas Christmas 2018 trip.

Sin City may not be the first place you think to bring the kids to for Christmas, but there are plenty of festive and fun things to do in Las Vegas in December to keep things merry and bright!

Las Vegas Christmas Town at Cowabunga Bay

Leave the swimsuits at home because Cowabunga Bay Water Park transforms into a winter wonderland smack-dab in the middle of the desert. With over 2 million twinkling lights, a Polar Express Train ride, and a Mistletoe Ice Rink, Las Vegas Christmas Town feels like the North Pole. You and the family will also enjoy an 100ft snow hill, bounce houses, a 40-foot dancing tree, the opportunity to have a “snowball” fight in Frosty’s Ball Pit, help Rudolph save Christmas by defeating the Abominable Snowman and the Grinch in a paint shootout, and a visit to Santa and his reindeer in his cozy cottage.

Springs Preserve

Another great option to keep you and your family entertained during your Las Vegas Christmas vacation is the iconic Springs Preserve. You can climb aboard the Springs Preserve Holiday Express and be transported to Santa’s very own wintery village. There, you and your family will create crafts together, decorate cookies, listen to storytelling, and have a one-on-one visit with Santa Claus!

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden

For an entire day of holiday cheer, start your morning off by stopping by the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden for a truly festive treat for the eye. Each holiday season, a staff of 120 extremely talented horticulturists design and construct breathtaking scenery sculpted almost entirely from trees, plants, flowers, and seeds. The 14,000-square-foot floral fairyland is especially exceptional during the winter months with added bridges, gazebos, and water features.

 Cookie Factory at Magical Forest by Opportunity VillageAttribute: Blog.Vegas.com

Magical Forest at Opportunity Village

Ask any local what they like to do in Vegas during the holidays, and they’ll tell you that the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village is a must-see. The Magical Forest includes a stroll through an enchanted forest lit up with thousands of lights, a Forest Express Passenger Train, a magical carousel, an inflatable avalanche slide, mini-golf, a mini-coaster, and photos with Santa, of course! You’ll also find food, nightly entertainment, and dozens of photo opportunities to share with friends and family back home.

LINQ Promenade

In the afternoon, take a stroll down The LINQ Promenade and you’ll instantly be transported to a winter wonderland with carolers, festive decorations, and your favorite holiday music ringing through the boulevard. Grab some lunch and shop as you observe singers, dancers, and showgirls along with a spectacular light show consisting of more than 2,000 LED lights which are synchronized to the music.

The famous High Roller even gets in on the action as it changes colors and “dances” along with the light show. For those adventurous at heart, fly like Santa and his reindeer 1,080 feet above the Promenade on the Fly LINQ zipline as all the busy shoppers bustle around beneath you!

Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan

Cap the night off at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool where you can skate on an ice rink with more than 4,200 square feet of real ice to glide over. The cost of the ice rink admission includes all-day skating access and the cost of skate rentals, however entry into the area is completely free! You’ll find toasty fire pits with lots of seating, a menu with comfort food, hot chocolate, and a variety of warm cocktails to choose from. Catch a holiday-themed double feature and enjoy a peaceful snowfall scheduled every 30 minutes.

Nevada Ballet Theater Annual Nutcracker BalletAttribute: Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Nutcracker by the Nevada Ballet Theater

You simply can’t come to Las Vegas without seeing a live show, and the Las Vegas Christmas shows are no exception! The Nevada Ballet Theatre at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center will perform the classic story, The Nutcracker, featuring beautifully choreographed dancing to the familiar musical spectacle. If you’re hoping to catch this Christmas classic, be sure to schedule your vacation accordingly as The Nutcracker is performing from December 8th – 24th.

Wizards of Winter

Mixing classical music with progressive rock, the Wizards of Winter will also be coming to Las Vegas for Christmas! If your vacation lands around December 15th, be sure to book your tickets right away. Featuring former members of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Blue Oyster Cult, Alice Cooper band, and more, the Wizards of Winter is a true Christmas rock ‘n roll opera guaranteed to rock your jingle bells!

A Las Vegas Christmas is a vacation you and your family will never forget! Be sure to plan ahead when booking at the Golden Gate because our warm and cozy rooms will go quickly! Located just Downtown, close to all the things to do in Las Vegas in December, the Golden Gate is the perfect place to either continue the festive fun or rest and relax from all your holiday adventures!

Traditional Thanksgiving Feast with Fall Harvest

How to Plan a Las Vegas Thanksgiving Weekend

The wonderful thing about Thanksgiving is you don’t have to spend the holiday the exact way it’s glamorized on television shows and in movies. Thanksgiving is about celebrating the things you’re thankful for in life – and that doesn’t always need to include a cornucopian spread of multicolored gourds and fruit pies every year. Whether you have a large family, it’s just two of you, or you prefer a feast with your closest friends, Las Vegas is a great place to commemorate this wonderful “Fall-iday”!

Family Time

If you’ve chosen Vegas for your family Thanksgiving get-away, you can cross “cooking up a huge meal” off your list! Las Vegas might be the city of entertainment, but it takes a close second for great places to eat, and that doesn’t exclude Thanksgiving meals. Vegas hotels and casinos offer a plethora of buffets and gourmet restaurants that will leave you in a food coma and loosening your belt afterwards.

At Carmine’s, located at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, you can order a Las Vegas Thanksgiving feast for the whole family that includes an 18-pound roasted turkey, sausage and sage stuffing, cranberry sauce, a variety of vegetables, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and maple syrup, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a choice of pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie for dessert. This option is perfect for families of six to eight. The best part is, you can sightsee the Strip while burning off the Thanksgiving Day carbs!

Couple Taking Thanksgiving Hike on Mt. Charleston

Just the Two of Us

Just because you came to the desert for Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some beautiful fall scenery. Just 20 minutes north of Las Vegas, Mt. Charleston has colorful forests, plentiful wildlife, and cozy lodges to make your get-away holiday as charming as ever. What better way to embrace thankfulness for your loved one than to walk side by side on beautiful trails lined with scenic views and cascading waterfalls?

You can stop and enjoy a Thanksgiving picnic or even explore the terrain by horseback. Perhaps even spend your Thanksgiving evening warm and toasty in a cozy cabin. Once you visit Mt. Charleston, you’ll have one more item to add to your list of things you’re thankful for.

Friendsgiving

If you and a group of your closest pals opted for a “Friendsgiving” in Vegas this year, then why not go big? Big entertainment, big drinks, big city lights, big fun – you can find all this in classic Downtown Las Vegas! Book a room at Golden Gate and you’ll be close to all the action for your Friendsgiving celebration. Golden Gate’s penthouses are perfect for group get-togethers, equipped with a kitchen to snack on your Thanksgiving fixings and three giant flat-screen TV’s so there’s no arguing between watching the parade or the football game.

Golden Gate’s penthouses also include a large outdoor patio with lounge seating, a gas grill, a full wet bar, and a 50-inch flat-screen TV. When you’re not celebrating in your brag-worthy penthouse, you can take a zipline ride on Slotzilla or stroll under the massive Fremont St. LED canopy. A Friendsgiving like this would definitely be one-of-a-kind!

Friends Black Friday Shopping at Vegas Outlet Mall

Black Friday Shopping

Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without a little competitive shopping the next day, which is why Vegas is the perfect place to visit during this holiday. Once your food has digested and you’re well rested from all the excitement, Sin City offers several places to score some shopping deals. With one location near Downtown and another just south of the Strip, Las Vegas’ Premium Outlets are your one-stop-shops to fulfill all your gift ideas without emptying your wallet.

With stores like Michael Kors, Converse, Lucky, Perfumania, and Saks Fifth Avenue, you’ll be able to find something for everyone on your list at not only Black Friday prices, but outlet Black Friday prices. Make sure to bring an extra suitcase to take home all your goodies!

A traditional Thanksgiving is lovely, but it’s completely okay to deviate from the norm from time to time. Because of the endless entertainment, beautiful weather, and delectable restaurants, Las Vegas is a fantastic place to visit year-round. With a little creativity, you can make your Las Vegas Thanksgiving weekend an exciting, stress-free Thanksgiving tradition!

Kids playing in an indoor playground

Fun Things to Do in Las Vegas with Kids

To an outsider, Las Vegas might seem like an “adults only” playground. What we see from movies and TV doesn’t really give off a sense of family living. However, Vegas has no shortage of entertainment, and that goes for the kiddos too! The Valley is actually chock-full of activities for families with children.

With farm animals and mermaids and everything in between, this list of kid-friendly fun guarantees a good time without hurting your budget!

Play Inside

When temperatures are at their peak here in Vegas, it’s not much fun going to a park where playground surfaces are too hot to touch, let alone slide down or swing on. Fortunately, some desert geniuses developed indoor playgrounds and there are several to choose from! A local favorite is Adventure Indoor Playground because it has everything! Giant spinning octopus to climb on? Check! Interactive light-up floor games? Check! Slides, jungle gyms, swings, and face painters? Check, check, check, check! The staff is always friendly, they offer space for birthday parties, and it’s only $10 per child! You can even leave and come back later that same day. Just make sure you and your kids have socks and prepare yourself for hours of air-conditioned entertainment.

Young kids enjoying aquarium in Las Vegas

How about taking your kids somewhere that almost no other place in the nation offers? Imagine seeing their faces light up when they look in a huge tank full of beautiful fish and stingrays and see … a mermaid! As unbelievable as it sounds, it’s totally true and you can find it at The Silverton Hotel and Casino. Start your under-the-sea adventure by walking through the Bass Pro Shop that is attached to the casino. They have several water features and fish tanks to check out. When you reach the casino, you can’t miss the huge 117,000-gallon reef aquarium tank and all its glory. It houses more than 4,000 tropical fish and several different species of stingrays and sharks. To catch the mermaid show, head to the aquarium during these times:

Thursday: 12:00 – 1:15 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm; 5:00 pm – 8:15 pm
Friday: 12:00 – 1:15 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm; 5:00 pm – 8:15 pm
Saturday: 12:00 – 1:15 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm; 5:00 pm – 8:15 pm
Sunday: 10:30 am – 12:45 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm; 5:00 pm – 6:45 pm

Your kids will be in awe as they watch a beautiful, real-life mermaid wave at them, blow bubble kisses, and interact with their sea friends!

Explore Outside

The heat is still on right now but with fall right around the corner, there are some great outdoor options for you and your family to consider. What about a trip to a fruit-filled orchard without having to sit in the car for too long? Vegas has it! The Gilcrease Orchard is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday from 7:00 am until 12:00 pm. Grab some comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and get to pickin’! The available produce depends on the time of year, but there is always a good variety to choose from. You can’t beat the memories you’ll make with your kids as you lift them up to pick fresh apples from a tree or watch them giggle as they pull carrots right out of the ground. Be sure to visit Gilcrease during the Halloween season, too! You can bring your own wagon or use one of the wheelbarrows provided to try to fit as many pumpkins, in all sorts of fun shapes, sizes, and colors, as you can inside. Afterwards, grab a jug of their famous hot apple cider and homemade donuts. This is a tradition you’ll be taking your family to again and again, and it’s right in our backyard!

Little boy picking apples in an orchard

If you enjoy getting outdoors and discovering the surprises the Valley has to offer, you’ll be happy to know that you can also take your kids to a local ranch! The McKee Ranch Foundation has a little bit of everything, including two playgrounds, a teepee, hayrides, a hay pyramid for climbing, tons of antique decorations to look at and, of course, farm animals! You and your kiddos can walk along and pet the free-roaming goats, chickens and rabbits or bring a bag of carrots and leafy greens to feed the horses and Duncan the Donkey! If there isn’t a special event happening, it’s free to get in, but they do accept donations that go directly toward the care of the animals. The McKee Ranch is an amazing opportunity to be around animals and show your children how you can help your local community.

Don’t let the media fool you. Vegas may be known for its adult nightlife, but locals will tell you that our amazing city is perfect for families! A little creativity goes a long way for children, but remember that no matter what you’re doing as a family, your kids will appreciate the memories you make together for years to come.