17 Top Things To Do In Las Vegas In December

By Elle
Published On:

If your typical idea of Las Vegas is hanging out by the pool, partying it up at the dayclubs, and cooling off with a Fat Tuesday in hand and have NO idea what to do during the colder months, we’re here to blow your mind.

Once you get over the fact that it’s cold and the pools are closed (I know, so sad), you can really appreciate December in Las Vegas for what it brings to the table.

The city goes crazy in December with holiday festivities and NYE parties on the horizon, so expect things like pools transformed into ice skating rinks, holiday pop-up bars, and enchanting light displays everywhere.

Another few reasons why we love visiting Vegas in December? The hotel prices are dirt cheap and the Strip isn’t as crowded as it usually is. Early to mid-December is pretty quiet and tame, but as you get closer to Christmas and NYE, it gets way busier and hotel rates can skyrocket.

To help you plan your itinerary in Vegas, we’ve put together a monthly guide of all the things you can do in December.

December Weather In Las Vegas

  • Average Temps in December: high of 60°F, low of 27°F
  • Average Rainfall: 1 day, 0.5 inches
  • Humidity: 46%

Contrary to what you’d think from watching all those movies that take place in the desert, the desert is not always blazing hot.

Vegas hovers around the mid-50s to 60s during the day. It can be windy. If you are coming from way colder places like Europe, New York, or Wisconsin for example, it will be nice for you. If you are coming from SoCal, Louisiana, Hawaii, or Florida, you will feel like you’re freezing.

It can actually get quite cold, especially at night after the sun goes down and in the early mornings! You’ll definitely want to pack a jacket, a beanie, and even a scarf with you for your trip.

Top 5 Things To Do In December

There are so many fun things to do in Las Vegas year-round, but here are our top 5 recommendations for December:

See the holiday display at Bellagio’s Conservatory

Bellagio Conservatory Winter Display

One of our favorite must-see attractions in December is the rotating display at the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. If you happen to be visiting during the month of December, you’ll get to witness their spectacular winter/holiday installation. It’s a must-see because they do it BIG at Bellagio.

In 2023, the story of The Nutcracker was brought to life by colorful plants and flower beds detailing different moments of the whimsical story.

During a previous winter season, the display didn’t just stop with the sights — it engaged all five senses as a custom gingerbread scent filled the air, while a soothing holiday soundtrack played throughout the massive room! It was so cool to experience!

The winter display for 2024 runs from November 16 to January 4.

Miracle Holiday-Themed Bar

Miracle Bar On Spring Mountain

Experience the holiday magic at Miracle on Spring Mountain, one of North America’s most beloved holiday pop-up bars, now back in Las Vegas for another festive season.

Indulge in their super cute and themed holiday cocktail menu, boasting a selection of 12 drink options, each brimming with seasonal flavors to ignite your holiday cheer. Savor the Snowball Old Fashioned, crafted with rye and gingerbread, or opt for one of the two shots: Naughty, featuring cinnamon spiced bourbon, and Nice, offering gingerbread spiced rye.

They also sell their cute little mugs and shot glasses, so if you fall in love with one of them (like I did), you can bring a little souvenir home with you for next year’s holiday drinks!

Open from November 20th to December 31st, Miracle on Spring Mountain welcomes guests from 3pm to 4am.

The pop up holiday bar operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservation required. They also strongly encourage you to arrive in your most festive, Christmas attire!

PRO TIP: After hitting up Miracle Bar, we recommend you head to the Golden Tiki for their 5 Days of Christmas, where the bar turns into a winter wonderland during the five days leading up to Christmas. Expect nothing less than ugly sweater contests, encounters with Santa (and the Grinch!), holiday music, and of course, Christmas-themed tiki drinks!

Enchant On The Strip

Enchant brings their iconic holiday magic right to the Las Vegas Strip! As the producers of the world’s largest Christmas light experience, Enchant has teamed up with Resorts World Las Vegas to create an unforgettable event featuring over four million outdoor lights.

Located along Las Vegas Boulevard, this special edition of America’s fastest-growing live-holiday event promises to dazzle you and fill you with the holiday spirit with its immersive walk-thru light maze, towering 100-foot-tall holiday tree, and interactive activities.

From November 19 to January 1, guests can explore the expansive ten-acre venue and its brand-new interactive story, where you go on a journey to help Santa find the missing pieces to his timepiece. Navigate through the enchanting light maze, glide across the ice skating rink, enjoy live entertainment, or pay a visit to Santa Claus himself!

There’s also a lovely little holiday marketplace that showcases the work of local artisans, offering unique gifts and treasures.

Go ice skating at The Cosmopolitan

Each holiday season, the Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan transforms into a winter wonderland high above The Las Vegas Strip.

At The Ice Rink, you can skate across 4,200 square feet of real ice, roast s’mores by the fire, indulge in seasonal food and beverage offerings, and just soak in the magical wintery atmosphere surrounded by the glittering lights of Las Vegas.

The Ice Rink is a yearly favorite on the Strip! In fact, it was named one of the 10 Best Ice Skating Rinks in North America by USA Today.

While ice skating, don’t be surprised if it suddenly starts snowing! Light snow showers happen every 30 minutes during select times throughout the season.

If you’re headed to Vegas with your significant other in December, this is hands-down one of the cutest date ideas in Las Vegas during this time!

Ice skating admission includes all-day skating access and skate rentals. Guests may also bring their own skates, though you won’t get any discount by doing that — the same rates apply.

For the most part, ice skating admission is $30. From Monday to Thursday, it’s $20 for locals, military, and first responders with valid ID.

Just want to watch? There is no cost to enter Boulevard Pool and enjoy the Ice Rink area.

Ethel M Chocolates Annual Holiday Cactus Garden Lights

Ethel M Chocolates Holiday Lights

When you start feeling a bit too cold, head inside Resorts World and explore everything there is to do inside the hotel!

Ethel M’s botanical cactus garden is a classic when it comes to holidays and lights. Their Annual Holiday Cactus Garden Lights is back again this year, with the outdoor garden decorated with over a million Christmas lights and holiday decor.

The Holiday Garden is open nightly from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm from November 3rd until December 30th and until 8pm on December 31st. No reservations are required for the Holiday Cactus Garden.

You can take pictures with Santa, enjoy their famous hot chocolate, and grab a quick bite from the food truck.

This year, a $2 entrance fee per person is required and will be donated to Help of Southern Nevada and Three Square Food Bank.

The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village

Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Courtesy of Opportunity Village

The Magical Forest is a winter wonderland with millions of sparkling lights, exciting rides, great food and endless holiday cheer. Will all the things to do at the Magical Forest, we’re sure kids (and adults) will love this one!

Take photos with Santa Claus and share your holiday wishes, feel the thrill as you race down the 50-foot-tall Avalanche Slide on a sack, play Midway Carnival Games, enjoy a magical ride on Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel, hop aboard the Forest Express Passenger Train to see all the lights with ease, or indulge in a variety of delicious treats from various food trucks, offering everything from Bigfoot dogs to pizza to funnel cakes. There’s also shopping and mini golf!

With every dollar spent at the Magical Forest, visitors are helping Opportunity Village fund programs and services for over 3,000 people with disabilities. So while you warm your hands on a cup of hot cocoa from Camelot Hall, you can also warm your heart knowing you are making a positive impact on someone’s life!

The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village is open Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Dec. 5-8, Dec. 12-15, and Dec. 19-31. From Sunday to Thursday, the forest is open from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM, while on Fridays and Saturdays, it extends its hours until 9:30 PM.

The attraction is closed on Christmas Day, December 25. On December 24 and December 31, the Magical Forest will close early at 8:30 PM.

On-site ticket sales are available, but we recommend purchasing tickets online in advance to avoid waiting in line. No reservations are required for entry.

Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Glittering Lights Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Courtesy of Glittering Lights

Experience the enchantment of the holiday season like never before with Glittering Lights, a drive-through lights show in Las Vegas. Journey along a 2.5-mile course adorned with millions of dazzling lights.

Hosted by the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Glittering Lights has been a beloved holiday tradition in Sin City for over 20 years, spreading Christmas cheer while supporting Speedway Children’s Charities.

Whether you prefer to drive at your own pace or hop aboard the Santa Tram for a guided tour, we think you’re sure to feel the winter magic regardless.

You can see Glittering Lights from November 9 to January 5. Tickets are per car, no reservations required.

Participate in The Great Santa Run

Great Santa Run Las Vegas
Courtesy of DLVEC

Get ready to dash through the streets of downtown Las Vegas in the most festive way possible at the iconic Las Vegas Great Santa Run on December 7, 2024! Hosted at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, this beloved event promises a jolly 5K or 1-mile jaunt filled with holiday cheer and goodwill.

Expect an unforgettable experience as you weave through the downtown course, passing by iconic Vegas landmarks and soaking in the lively atmosphere that only Las Vegas can offer.

As you lace up your running shoes and don your Santa suit, know that your participation supports a noble cause — helping adults with disabilities in the community.

Presented by Circle K and hosted by Opportunity Village, the festivities kick off at 8 am, with the races starting at 10 am.

Last year, the Great Santa Run welcomed entertainers like the Jabbawockeez and the Blue Man Group as grand marshals, making the whole experience super fun!

Winter at The Terrace at Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino

Green Valley Ranch Winter at The Terrace
Courtesy of Green Valley Ranch

Experience the magic of winter at Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino’s Winter at The Terrace, featuring cozy igloos, fire pits, twinkling lights, music, and plenty of winter-themed libations and bites.

You can choose from fun signature cocktails like “Tis the Season” featuring Tito’s, St. George Spiced Pear, Apple, Lemon, and Spiced Gold Sugar, or warm up with the comforting flavors of “Warm and Cozy” served hot with Bacardi 8, Sorel Hibiscus, Ginger Honey, Apple Cider, and Lemon.

For those looking for something sparkling, try “A Little Frost-tea” with Sipsmith Gin, Lillet Blanc, White Tea, Rosemary, and Sparkling Wine.

They also have a Hot Chocolate Cart Experience featuring elevated hot chocolates topped with crazy and colorful additions like marshmallow bombs and cotton candy. You can even enhance your hot chocolate with an assortment of Bailey’s Irish Cream flavors for an extra kick of flavor.

Pair your drinks with the Winter Nights Charcuterie, Tis The Season Cheese Board, Camp Fire S’mores, or Profiterole Wreath with Eggnog Bavarian cream and salted chocolate.

Walk the Strip and see the iconic sights

Bellagio Fountain Show

Cooler weather means you’ll last longer when walking the Strip. After all, you won’t have 100-degree sunlight beating down on you during December!

Assuming you bring some warm clothing with you, this is the perfect time to see and do all the iconic Las Vegas attractions you’ve had on your list, such as seeing the Bellagio Fountain show, cruising on a gondola ride at The Venetian, ziplining on Fly LINQ, and more.

If you’re daring enough, head to the north side of the Strip to try out the hair-raising SkyJump at The STRAT. This heart-pumping open-air bungee jump will see you hurtling at speeds of up to 40mph from a height of 855 feet!

Go to the National Finals Rodeo

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is the premier championship rodeo event in the United States, drawing top rodeo athletes from around the country to compete for coveted titles and substantial prize money.

Held annually in early December, the NFR features intense competition in traditional rodeo events such as bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, team roping, and more. The NFR brings together rodeo enthusiasts, industry professionals, and cowboy culture enthusiasts for a week of festivities, including autograph sessions, fan expos, and meet-and-greets with rodeo stars.

Beyond the arena, the excitement of the NFR extends to the rest of Las Vegas, where various hotels, resorts, and casinos host special events, viewing parties, and live entertainment in celebration of the rodeo.

If you want to experience the rodeo madness for yourself, get tickets to NFR or simply get into the rodeo spirit and take advantage of those viewing parties and rodeo-themed restaurant menus.

With the presence of the National Finals Rodeo looming large, the first half of December is overloaded with country shows in Vegas (like Garth Brooks’ residency)! You can also get into the cowboy spirit with kitschy burlesque shows like X Country.

Watch a comedy show

If you’re over the holiday-themed shenanigans, an affordable type of show you could enjoy in Las Vegas is a comedy show. Vegas has no shortage of amazing comedy clubs, from Comedy Cellar to Laugh Factory to Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club.

While they all have different nightly showtimes and rotating comics, you can expect all of them to be relatively affordable compared to other premier Las Vegas shows like Cirque du Soleil.

For an extra-late offering, check out L8NITE Comedy at Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club, a comedy presentation running midnight Saturdays at the LINQ Promenade.

Explore AREA15

Haleys Comet AREA15 Las Vegas
Courtesy of AREA15

When night falls, it’s time to get immersive at AREA15. AREA15 has got to be one of the coolest additions to Las Vegas, like ever!

This 200,000-square-foot immersive art collective is buzzing with all things creative and imaginative. Throw an ax or two, play games at an arcade bar, wander through a ‘supermarket’ that makes you question reality, take in high-tech / colorful art installations, or explore one of the many virtual reality experiences.

From retro to futuristic to totally trippy, there’s an experience for everyone at AREA15. Engage with the exhibits, dive into virtual reality experiences, or simply wander through and take in the eclectic environment. The AREA15 world is your oyster!

Learn more about the current exhibits here (many of them require separate tickets). If special events and concerts are what you’re after, check out their events calendar to see what’s happening during the dates of your trip to Vegas.

Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” immersive viewing experience will be shown on select dates and times through Dec. 30.

Experience the show at The Sphere

The Sphere Las Vegas
Courtesy of KSAT

If you’ve driven on the highways of Las Vegas, chances are you’ve seen The Sphere. The Sphere Experience is a two-part multi-sensory experience lasting approximately two hours. In all honesty, it’s two hours of immersive amazement.

Again, there are two parts to the experience. First, you’ll get to explore The Atrium. There’s a 360-degree avatar capture, a mesmerizing 50-foot holographic installation, and a few other cool tech features.

Then, brace yourself for an immersive cinematic experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen with Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Postcard from Earth.’ This specially commissioned film is a sci-fi portrait of our planet, leveraging Sphere’s cutting-edge technologies to transport you to new worlds without ever leaving your seat. 

See a Las Vegas show

Awakening Wynn Las Vegas
Courtesy of Awakening

Las Vegas has a world-class theater scene. From burlesque to magic, Cirque de Soleil to comedy, there is a show for every type of person and every sort of budget. And the best part is, there’s a show happening every single night in Vegas.

A few shows that we think are perfect for December include:

The Irish Tenors – The Irish Tenors will warm your soul with the beauty of Irish music this holiday season.

Awakening – The Wynn’s brand-new spectacular production featuring fantastical creatures, dazzling visuals, compelling narrative, and a touch of lighthearted comedy.

The Beatles LOVE: A captivating Cirque du Soleil production that celebrates love as well as the music of The Beatles.

“O” at Bellagio: Another mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil show, “O” combines water, acrobatics, and theatrical performances to create a unique and romantic experience.

Explore Red Rock Canyon

Red Rocks - GoVegas Guide
Papu and I hiking the Calico Basin area.

If you’re looking for the perfect winter adventure that’s not too hot and not too cold, Red Rock Canyon is where it’s at. Red Rock Canyon is locally famous for its unique rock formations painted in shades of red and orange against a backdrop of clear blue skies.

Plus, with temperatures that can warm up to the mid-60s during the day, you can explore to your heart’s content without worrying about overheating. During the month of December, Red Rock comes alive with both day hikers and rock climbers!

We like to go there for the hiking. There are both easy and challenging trails to choose from, making this a great option if you want to burn off all those Las Vegas buffet calories. Some of the most popular hikes here include the Calico Tanks Trail (2.2 miles roundtrip), Turtlehead Peak Trail (4.6 miles roundtrip), and Ice Box Canyon Trail (2.3 miles roundtrip).

Skiing and snowboarding at Mount Charleston

Would you be shocked if we told you there was snow in the Las Vegas area? Yes! Despite being a flat desert for the most part, you will still find mountains in the area, perfect for all your winter sports adventures.

Lucky for you, the Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort at Mount Charleston is only 50 miles from the Strip.

The best months to hit the slopes at Mt. Charleston typically range from December to March, but it largely depends on the weather conditions and snowfall during that particular year.

Tips For Visiting Las Vegas In December

  • Despite December being slower compared to warmer times of the year, almost everything is still open — with the exception of things like pools, pool parties, and dayclubs. You should be able to get the full Vegas experience, just without the swimming stuff!
  • While the rest of December can be super quiet, things actually pick up around Christmas and into New Year’s. This small timeframe can actually be a busier season in Vegas, so if you are looking for good hotel deals, try to avoid the last week of December.
  • The sun sets early in December (around 4:30-5 PM), so plan to start your days earlier if you want sunlight.
  • Some shows (not all shows) will be dark on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, meaning they are not showing.
  • During the holidays, expect increased holiday pricing for buffets and longer lines at fancy places for dinner on Christmas. Most places take reservations now though.
  • Keep in mind that when the sun goes down, it can get really cold! Having a thicker jacket, a beanie, and a scarf handy will save you from freezing.
  • If you plan on doing a lot of paid attractions, Go City can save you money on multiple attractions with their All-Inclusive Pass or Explorer Pass.
  • Las Vegas is a popular destination for New Year’s Eve and New Year. Book restaurants and shows WAY in advance if you plan to visi at the very beginning of the month. Many hotels and restaurants offer special packages and events for the New Year celebration.
  • Getting around by rideshare and taxi are equally as popular in Vegas. A taxi can even be cheaper than Uber/Lyft during peak hours, while an Uber/Lyft is cheaper during off-peak hours.

Is December a good time to visit Las Vegas?

WEATHER: December in Las Vegas offers mild and pleasant weather conditions, with daytime temperatures averaging in the 50s to low-60s Fahrenheit. While evenings can be really chilly, the lack of rain or extreme heat makes it an inviting time to explore the city and partake in outdoor activities.

HOTEL / FLIGHT PRICES: Hotel and flight prices in Las Vegas tend to be really affordable in December, particularly during the week leading up to Christmas. With fewer tourists compared to peak seasons, you can snag great deals on accommodations and airfare, making it an opportune time for budget-conscious travelers to hit up Sin City! However, it’s worth noting that prices can skyrocket dramatically for New Year’s Eve festivities, so plan accordingly if you’re considering visiting around that time.

THINGS TO DO: December kicks off with vibrant holiday festivities, including dazzling light displays, Christmas markets, and festive events throughout the city. Certain parts of the Strip into a winter wonderland, making it really fun to walk around without a plan in mind. Come the end of December, Las Vegas throws crazy New Year’s Eve celebrations, featuring spectacular fireworks shows, exclusive parties, and live entertainment everywhere.

If you’re going to be indoors for most of your trip, then a visit during any time of the year will be nice since the temperature won’t matter too much to you. For outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing, November to March is the sweet spot. Sadly, pool parties are not taking place until March.

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About The Author - Elle
About the author

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in Las Vegas (and around the world too)!