Christmas & Chill: Top Ten Vegas Christmas Events

Destination Fabulous: Christmas & Chill

It ain’t even cold outside, not where I’m from
Feeling like it’s mid-July under the sun
My jacket don’t get no love, no hats and no gloves, not even a chance to rain
But my baby’s in town and we’re gonna do some winter things
“Winter Things” – Ariana Grande

It’s mid-December, and we’re pushing 70-degree-plus temperatures here in the Las Vegas Valley. It’s time to change our tune or in this case… time to change the tune.

I really must stay – Baby it’s warm outside
I don’t want to go away – Baby it’s warm outside
This evening has been – Been hoping that you’d drop in
So very nice – I’ll hold your hands, they’re not like ice… because those phalanges are on fire!

How hot is it? “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is now called “Sweating with the Kardashians!” It’s so hot today you could fry an egg on an ice cube. How hot is it? My change melted into a medallion in my purse. It was so hot today that I saw an elderly woman run through the dancing fountains of The Bellagio… you get the idea.

The title of this month’s penning comes from Ariana Grande’s second holiday album titled “Christmas & Chill.” “Chill” is not on the Christmas to-do list this time of the year as the hustle and bustle of the shopping season has me in a frenzy wild with excitement and department store derangement. Can you say Amazon?

Take me to the ice-skating rink downtown (No, no, no, downtown)
Even though it’s 100 degrees, gotta get out
Ain’t no ice or no chills, no snowmen to build, most of our friends at the beach
But my baby’s in town and we’re gonna do some winter things

So, what’s up with all the ice skating rinks popping up? Ice skating rinks here in Las Vegas are multiplying like Tribbles on the Starship Enterprise. They’re here, there, and everywhere. Never underestimate the power of the NHL’s Golden Knights, a Zamboni, or a Triple Salchow. Skating is on fire here in the desert (pardon the pun) as a sport and as a Las Vegas activity. Even Tonya Harding (everyone’s favorite pariah of the ice) is hot again with the new biopic “I Tonya.” All I can say is, “WATCH YOUR KNEES PEOPLE!”

While I’m on the topic, here’s a Top Ten List for family Christmas events and festive attractions to partake in here in Las Vegas. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday, and be prepared to be swept away by the spirit of Christmas!

10. Rock Rink
Now – Jan. 15 @ Various Hours
Downtown Summerlin, 1980 Festival Plaza Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89135

The Rock Rink in Downtown Summerlin offers the fun of ice skating around a 40-ft. New York Times Square-worthy holiday tree while listening to merry holiday music. Tickets are $15. O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, How steadfast are your branches!

9. The Fountains of Bellagio Las Vegas
Daily @ Various Times
Bellagio Las Vegas, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

The Bellagio Fountains dance to holiday music, including the “Hallelujah Chorus,” “O Holy Night,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Your family will be enchanted by this beautiful, free attraction. Octogenarians, running through the fountains are an added bonus during daylight hours!

8. Snow in the Square and Photos with Santa
Now – Dec. 23
Town Square Las Vegas, 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89119

The holiday season is festive at Town Square, where magical snow showers fall on the square to the sound of holiday music. Santa Claus will be at the square, but he’s a busy guy so call ahead and make reservations for photos. “Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.” – The Santa Clause

7. Ice Rink at Cosmopolitan
Now – Jan. 10 @ Various Hours
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

The Christmas tree at the Ice Rink at Cosmopolitan features host Olympic skating champion gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi. The rink is open throughout the holiday season for fun and entertainment. All-day skating at the rink is $20, including skate rentals. Admission to the winter atmosphere surrounding the rink is free. Kristi’s Dancing with the Stars routine featuring Mark Ballas is not included with admission.

6. Downtown Summerlin Holiday Parade
Now – Dec. 24 @ 4:30 p.m.
Downtown Summerlin, 1980 Festival Plaza Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89135

Celebrate the holiday season by going to one of the family-friendly parades in Summerlin. The holiday parades feature a visit from Santa Claus, holiday train rides, and the Rock Rink. Rumor has it that Matt Lauer is throwing his hat into the “rink” to do color commentary during the parade. Of course, that’s only a rumor. I could be wrong.

5. Believe in the Magic Fashion Show
Now – Dec. 24 @ Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m.
The Great Hall, 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Believe in the Magic is a New York-style fashion show at The Great Hall. Keep up with the latest fashions at this entertaining event, which features the style show, singers, and dancers. “Every day is a fashion show and the world is your runway. So always dress your best and walk with confidence.” – The NO.105 Rule of a Lady

4. Winter Village
Now – Jan. 8 @ Various Times
Green Valley Ranch, 2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy., Henderson, NV 89052

GVR will open their first Winter Village, featuring family-friendly fun for the holidays. Take the family to Winter Village for ice skating, holiday treats, and Santa Claus weekends. Movie Mondays feature holiday movies the whole family will enjoy. It takes a village to raise an elf!

3. Las Vegas Christmas Town hosted by Wet ‘n’ Wild
Now – Dec. 31
7055 South Fort Apache Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89148

Las Vegas Christmas Town offers several activities for family fun, including the Polar Express Train Ride, a sledding hill, skating rink, Blitzen’s Bounce House Bonanza, Santa Claus, and more. Admission is $20 and includes all activities. A picture of Santa in a Speedo… priceless.

2. Santa in the Shipwreck
Dec. @ Various Dates
Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Santa Claus and his friend Santa Jaws will be at Mandalay Bay before swimming to the North Pole every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas Eve. Your family gets a free photo with Santa with paid child admission. Santa will scuba dive at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef every afternoon at 4 p.m. Admission is $19-$25, free for children 3 and under. The Four Stages of Life: 1) You believe in Santa Claus 2) You don’t believe in Santa Claus 3) You are Santa Claus 4) You look like Santa Claus

1. Ethel M Chocolates 24th Annual Holiday Cactus Garden
Now – Jan. 1
2 Cactus Garden Dr., Henderson, NV 89104

An annual tradition not to be missed in the Las Vegas area is Ethel M Chocolates Holiday Cactus Garden! This year the 3-acre cactus garden will dazzle guests with more than one million colorful twinkling lights!

New to this year’s holiday attraction, Ethel M has transformed the back pavilion into their very own winter wonderland with an ice skating rink. The rink will be open through the new year. Hours of operation are daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Prices vary by time and date with tickets ranging from $10-$20 per person per hour. Each ticket comes with a complimentary cup of Ethel M’s gourmet hot chocolate. Children under the age of 13 need to be accompanied by an adult.

In addition to the ice skating rink, families will have the opportunity to take professional pictures with Santa for $10 each or take their own, enjoy chocolate samples, and purchase new delectable holiday treats for everyone on their list.

The Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden is open every night through Jan. 1 and is free to the public all holiday season. The garden shines bright every night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Open Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.

Good Tidings

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to break out your inner Tara Lipinski or Johnny Weir and mirror skate from a Lutz jump into a Death Spiral followed up by a Triple Axel. Better yet, drive up to Mt. Charleston and head into the lodge, throw a log on the fire, and grab a Hot Toddy. Brr its cold… Baby its cold outside!

Merry Christmas,

“Winter Things” – Writer(s): Peter Lee Johnson, Victoria Monet McCants, Thomas Lee Brown, Steven Franks, Travis J. Sayles, Ariana Grande
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Dean Martin lyrics

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