Holiday Activities in Las Vegas, NV
What goes together better than the holidays and football? During the college bowl season, the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas feature the champion or first selection from the Mountain West Conference against the fifth selection from the Pac-12 Conference near Christmas at Sam Boyd Stadium. The annual showcase has sold out for six consecutive years with attendance of more than 40,000. The MAACO Bowl is televised on ESPN and heard throughout the country and overseas on the Sports USA Radio Network. Look for pregame tailgate parties with the marching bands from both teams and pep squads that lead up to kickoff.
One of Las Vegas’ most charming traditions started in 1992. The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village is the largest fundraiser for the programs and services provided to men and women with intellectual disabilities to offer employment training, advocacy and social recreation. Take a leisurely stroll through the Magical Forest with its LED light-filled forest, ride the Forest Express passenger train through the two-acre forest for a different view or ride the Enchanted Carousel with its charming animals, lights and traditional carousel music. You can also find a gingerbread house and gift shop along with entertainment nightly from local performing groups.
The Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens welcomes winter with a spectacular display rich in nostalgia and filled with picture-perfect botanical creations on display through the end of the year. Visitors will discover a 42-foot-tall Shasta fir decorated with more than 13,500 lights and 1,800 ornaments, a charming polar bear trio created with 35,000 white carnations and a family of 34 penguins on an ice pond. Holiday revelers find themselves in a winter wonderland surrounded by over-sized jingle bells, igloos and families of penguins and polar bears. Be wary because right next door at Jean Philippe Pâtisserie, a six-foot-tall Mr. Grinch, made out of 50 pounds of chocolate and 112 pounds of fondant, could be looking for mischief.
Santa will make his list and check it twice at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium, the country’s only predator-based aquarium, finding naughty sharks, a rare Komodo Dragon and piranha in his sight. Children are invited to share last-minute holiday wishes at the annual “Santa in the Shipwreck.” With each paid admission, children under the age of 12 will receive a complimentary candy cane and photo with Jolly St. Nick. Santa will have a little help again this year from a rather large and toothy holiday helper – Santa Jaws. Throughout the day, Santa Jaws will happily “swim” by to join the kiddies for a photo.
The Bellagio Fountains pairs its mesmerizing aquatic and light performance to a variety of time-honored melodies this holiday season. With songs such as “Carol of the Bells,” “Santa Baby” and “Hallelujah Chorus,” this iconic water feature is sure to fill guests with a good dose of holiday cheer. The waters follow the beats of the holiday musical favorites while shooting as high as 460 feet above. Each show is different no matter what time you stop by. The Fountains at the Bellagio make their choreographed appearances every half hour from 3 to 8 p.m., and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight.