Planning to spend Christmas in Las Vegas? Then, this fun, festive travel guide is for you!
You'll find tons of ideas for things to do during December in Las Vegas, tips for where to eat and stay, holiday attractions and shows, must see casino decorations, and so much more!
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Christmas in Las Vegas
When it comes to Christmas, do you think of Las Vegas? Ha ha ... me neither. But I was just there, and I have to say that Las Vegas at Christmastime is actually pretty darn festive!
My favorite part of any trip to Vegas in December, or at anytime of year, is walking around and taking it all in. And that's just what I did when I tagged along on my husband's business trip last week!
I didn't spend a dime in the casinos, but I had so much fun checking out all the holiday attractions and Christmas decorations in the different casinos on the strip. Whether you're a fan of gambling or not, Christmas in Las Vegas can be pretty magical. If you know where to go, that is!
Keep reading for all my fave things to do during Christmas in Vegas, from the best casino decorations to tips on where to stay and eat, what to wear, and more!
What You'll See this December in Las Vegas
I've been to Las Vegas a few times, and it's always a fun trip. There really is no place like it, and whether you're a gambler or not, there is so much to see and do.
That's especially true at Christmastime!
I spent a little over 24 hours in Vegas on my last trip. In that short amount of time, I checked out the Christmas decorations at as many Las Vegas casinos on the strip as possible. I didn't hit them all (and skipped downtown all together), but I managed to visit quite a few.
If you visit Las Vegas at Christmastime, you'll notice that most of the decorations are inside the casinos. There was nary of sign of Christmas on the strip from most viewpoints!
The best place to see Christmas decorations in Las Vegas is in the casino lobbies, scattered around the casino floors, and in the many shopping areas.
If there was any one decorating theme to be found, it was gold ... lots of gold. Not surprising, I guess! I also saw tons of poinsettias at pretty much every casino.
Since I took so many pictures, I'm going to share my favorite casino decorations below. Make sure to read all the way to the end of the post, because that's where I've rounded up all my tips on how to spend Christmas in Las Vegas ... everything from things to do to places to eat.
We are going to start at New York-New York casino and head north toward the Wynn. Here's a map of the Las Vegas strip casinos to help you get oriented. And keep in mind that decorations may change year to year ... this is just a taste!
New York-New York
New York-New York is one of the more distinctive casinos on the strip. With its replica of the Statue of Liberty, mini Brooklyn Bridge, and Big Apple Roller Coaster, it's hard to miss!
Make sure to get a photo by the Christmas tree on the Brooklyn Bridge. All the twinkling lights in this area will also put you in the holiday spirit.
And it's impossible to miss the giant wreath hanging over the casino floor!
The Park Las Vegas
In between New York-New York, T-Mobile Arena, and the Monte Carlo, you'll find The Park Las Vegas, a fun dining and entertainment district.
While you're in Las Vegas for Christmas, make sure to explore the winter wonderland at The Park! You'll find a beautiful tree, Instagram-worthy backdrops, live entertainment, delicious bites including mulled wine and waffles on a stick, and more.
When I was in Las Vegas last, the ARIA was still being built. I couldn't wait to check it out!
The ARIA is set back from the strip a little bit, in between the Monte Carlo and The Shops at Crystals.
Stop by the lobby to see the beautiful red and white decorations and take a photo in front of the Joy Love Peace sign.
After visiting ARIA's lobby, head to Jean Philippe Patisserie.
There's you'll find life-size polar bears and other fun decorations created from "chocolate, sugar, passion, and an immeasurable amount of love."
They were so cool, and I didn't see anything else like it on my trip!
The Shops at Crystals
Next door to ARIA, you'll find The Shops at Crystals.
This upscale mall is home to 50 luxury stores. It's fun to window shop here and imagine how you'd spend a gambling windfall. Fendi or Hermès? Hmm ...
Even if the only thing you can afford at The Shops at Crystals is Starbucks, stop in to see the pretty holiday decorations!
You'll find traditional red, white, and green decorations throughout the mall, as well as a few smaller, sparkling white Christmas trees with piles of luxe gift boxes beneath their branches.
The highlight is a towering tree festooned with Swarovski crystal ornaments. It's so sparkly!
And it had its own security guard, too ... ha!
After leaving The Shops at Crystals, we're going to cross the street and head into Paris Hotel & Casino.
I've always loved Paris ... they do a theme well here! It's very romantic and actually does have a pretty good Parisian vibe.
There weren't too many holiday decorations to be found at Paris, but the lobby was so pretty with it classic tree and chandeliers sparkling in the background.
Next, we are crossing back over Las Vegas Boulevard to the Bellagio.
The Christmas decorations at the Bellagio were gorgeous and some of my favorites!
In the lobby, you'll find a Samurai warrior statue surrounded by poinsettias. Don't forget to look up, or you'll miss the colorful Chihully ceiling (a permanent installation).
Just off the lobby, you'll see a balcony draped with classic holiday greenery.
The showstopper at the Bellagio is definitely the Conservatory and Botanical Garden though.
This area is beautiful all year, but especially so at the holidays.
Enter between the giant toy soldiers to experience a winter wonderland!
The main attraction is a 42’ white fur tree that weighs 9500 lbs!
Can you spot the elves scaling its sides below?
In the flowerbed below the tree, you'll see the “Queen Bellisima”.
She stands 18’ tall and her dress is adorned with 1800 stems of white hydrangea and 600 stems of Phalaenopsis orchids.
I spoke to a gardener while I was there, and she told me that they use real (preserved) flowers. You can see the buckets of flowers below.
They have to continually touch up the exhibit, because people pull out the flowers. Can you imagine?
The exhibit also features cheery elves, giant ornaments, stacks of presents, and more.
As you can probably picture, the Conservatory and Garden is thronged with people! Try to get there in the morning during the week if you can for smaller crowds.
Right off the conservatory, you'll find a garden shop filled with fun Christmas decorations.
Make sure to stop in before you leave for a holiday souvenir!
That polar bear theme was carried through to the Bellagio Shops.
And don't forget to check out the Bellagio's fountains before you leave. There's a show every half hour featuring holiday music!
After leaving the Bellagio, we're heading next door to Caesars Palace.
If you're looking for an over-the-top photo opp, you've found it!
The Christmas decorations at Caesars Palace are all about red and gold!
You'll find lots of decorations near the taxi stands, in the lobby, and surrounding the casino floors at Caesars.
It's all very fun and festive ... with a dash of Roman thrown in!
The Forum Shops at Caesars are decorated for the holidays, too, with impressive evergreen swags.
This is what Christmas in Las Vegas is all about!
Grand Canal Shoppes
The Grand Canal Shoppes are fun to walk around anytime of year, but especially at the holidays.
You'll need to cross the street from Caesars to the get the Venetian and the Grand Canal Shoppes.
The Christmas decorations at the Grand Canal Shoppes are simple, but elegant.
Most of the decor surrounds the canal, so the best way to see it would be on a gondola ride.
Wouldn't that be fun and festive?
Menorah at the Venetian
I didn't spot many Hanukah decorations in Las Vegas, but there is a large menorah outside of the Venetian in front of the canal.
It would be the perfect place to get a photo with a pretty backdrop!
The Palazzo is located right new door to the Venetian.
Make sure to stop by to check out the beautiful, soaring atrium in the lobby all decked out for the holidays!
Fashion Show Mall
After stopping by the Palazzo, you can either stay on the same side of the road and go to the Wynn, or cross over to Fashion Show Mall.
This mall had some of my favorite Christmas decorations in Las Vegas. And of course, it would be the perfect place to visit Santa!
He was looking pretty lonely while I was there.
Fashion Show Mall was decorated with huge Christmas manequins topping ornaments, in wreaths, and more.
They were pretty cool and definitely something different and unique!
If you haven't completed your Christmas shopping when you get to Vegas, then Fashion Show Mall would be the perfect place to finish that list.
You'll find 8 department stores here, 250 stores, and lots of places to catch a bite to eat.
There's a store for every budget here, too!
After leaving Fashion Show Mall, you'll need to cross back over Las Vegas Boulevard to get to the Wynn.
The Christmas decorations at the Wynn get the award for most magical!
You'll find these beautiful decorations just off the casino floor in The Atrium.
The Winter Wonderland-themed atrium is filled with six wintery villages inspired by Gulliver's Travels.
It's so pretty and sparkly!
There's also a colorful balloon overflowing with luxury gifts!
I wonder how I can hop a ride on that?
Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas in Las Vegas without popping into a classic spot or two!
So for my last spot, we are stopping at the Peppermill. It's located up the road from the Wynn.
The Peppermill is one of my husband's Las Vegas favorites, so we never leave without having a cocktail or two in the lounge (there's a restaurant, too). Grab a few cocktails and a seat around the fire pit, then make a toast to Santa!
Things to Do in Las Vegas in December
I hope you enjoyed seeing all the beautiful Christmas decorations in Las Vegas. It really is kind of magical!
There is so much to do in Las Vegas at Christmastime. Start by checking your hotel's website or ask your concierge about what's going on where you're staying. And make sure to check out all my tips for everything from things to do to where to stay in December in Las Vegas below:
- Shopping: Las Vegas is shopping central, and there is a store for any budget. You'll find shops in every hotel, ranging from cheesy to high end, depending on where you're staying. And then there are the malls! Stop by The Shops at Crystals, The Forum Shops at Caesars, or the Bellagio Shops if you don't have a budget. Stroll around the Grand Canal Shoppes and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere. Need to finish that shopping list? Fashion Show Mall has a store for everything you could need!
- Spas: Don't like gambling? Hit the spa instead! Pretty much every hotel has one, so find out what services are on offer at yours and make a reservation. Don't forget to check your hotel's website for special packages, too.
- Shows: You can't visit Las Vegas without seeing a show or two. From Cirque to Celine, there is literally something for everyone. Be sure to make reservations as far in advance for popular shows as possible, or you may miss out. Why not check out A Very Terry Christmas (with ventriloquist Terry Fator), featuring "special appearances" by Elvis, Michael Jackson, Elton John and more? You can also check sites like Best of Vegas or stop by Tix4Tonight booths for discount tickets.
- Events: There are tons of events going on in Las Vegas over the holidays. You'll find everything from the Nutcracker to ice skating and Christmas markets. One fun event this year is Santa in the Shipwreck at the Mandalay Bay Aquarium. Visit TimeOut for more ideas.
- Gambling: Of course, you can't mention Las Vegas without talking about its casinos. You probably won't earn any perks unless you spend a ton of money, but make sure to sign up for a rewards card before you start gambling anyway. Many of the hotels/casinos are connected to MGM Resorts or Caesars Entertainment, so even if you hop between them, you can continue earning points with your card.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas for Christmas
There are so many places to stay in Las Vegas that it can be hard to narrow it down. Of course, lots of options means lots of competition between hotels. You can often find great rates at even the nicest places, so shop around.
If you want something a little quieter, stay on the north or south end of the strip. It will take you a little longer to get around, but the peace and quiet may make up for it. If you're traveling with family and want to stay near (but off) the strip, check out Staybridge Suites ... it's affordable and perfect for families.
Where to Eat in Las Vegas at Christmastime
There are almost too many dining options to choose from in Las Vegas, and the holidays are no exception. Check with your hotel to see which of their restaurants have special holiday menus. Make reservations as far in advance as possible.
Want to enjoy a buffet with your family instead of a sit down restaurant? Again, it can be hard to choose with so many options. My favorite is the Wynn's buffet, and I also really like Planet Hollywood's.
Of course, some of the fun in traveling to Vegas is trying restaurants from other cities that you might not get to otherwise. On my recent trip, I discovered there was a Di Fara Pizza in Caesars. You'll wait for hours at the Brooklyn location, but you can walk right up to a counter and get a slice in Caesars! You'll also find lots of other NYC favorites, like Shake Shack, Milk Bar, Rao's, and even Halal Guys. If only they had a X'ian Famous Foods ... although then I might never leave!
What to Wear in December in Las Vegas
You can wear whatever you want in Las Vegas for the most part. In almost any casino you go to, you'll see someone dressed the nines standing next to someone in jeans and a grungy t-shirt.
If you're planning to eat out anywhere other than the hotel coffee shop or food court though, you may want to dress up a bit for dinner. Plus, it's Christmas ... don't you want to look a little festive?
Keep in mind too, that December is one of the coolest months in Las Vegas, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Although you'll probably be spending most of your time inside where it is warm. A light coat and perhaps a scarf will keep you warm enough as you dash between casinos.
Getting Around in Las Vegas
Unless you are planning to venture off the strip, you really don't need a car in Las Vegas. Get a taxi, Uber, or car service from the airport to your hotel.
It's easy to walk around the strip, although everything is much more spread out than it seems. You can take an Uber or taxi, if you're going a long way or don't want to walk. There's a taxi stand in front of most hotels, but Uber is more affordable.
There's also a free tram that runs between the Excalibur, the Luxor, and Mandalay Bay hotels, and also between Monte Carlo, Crystal, and Bellagio. Then, there's a monorail which has 7 stops in between MGM Grand and SLS Las Vegas. You'll find buses and even a bike share program, too.
Finally, check with your hotel to see if they offer a shuttle. Most do.
Best Christmas Decorations on the Las Vegas Strip
Most hotels and casinos do a little decorating, but there are a few places that can't be missed!
Make sure to stop by the Bellagio and the Wynn for the most magical Las Vegas Christmas decorations.
And I'm giving the award for most Vegas-y decorations to Caesars Palace!
Have you ever been to Las Vegas at Christmas? What was you favorite part?
P.S. Check out all of my travel guides for even more vacation inspiration!