Vegas Values: Holiday Festivities

Christmas is near, the holiday brings festive fun for the family and beautiful sights for all to enjoy. Gather loved ones and spread holiday cheer this joyous season. From dazzling lights to visits with Santa, there is plenty to experience and much of it won’t even cost a penny.

Welcome to Ethel M's Chocolate Wonderland
Photo by Kellee Kunovic

Winterfest 2010 starts tomorrow and it will run through December 11. The City of Henderson invites families to revel in the season with a tree lighting ceremony, the Henderson Symphony Orchestra’s “Sounds of the Season” concert, craft fair, ice skating, pony rides and more. Click here for list of scheduled events Admission is free. 200 S. Water Street, Henderson.

The 17th annual Ethel M’s Chocolate Wonderland welcomes guests to celebrate the season. More than half a million lights dress its three acres of botanical cactus gardens. The cactus garden display is free of charge and open to the public 5-10pm, daily, through Saturday, January 1. Local school choirs perform holiday favorites in the garden and kids can see Santa on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through December 23. 2 Cactus Drive, Henderson.

Skate on the floating ice-rink at Lake Las Vegas Monday through Friday 3-9pm. Saturday, Sunday and holidays noon to 9pm. Admission is $15 for adults, and $12 for children. 30 Strada di Villaggio, Henderson.

The 2010 Lakes Festival of Lights will be held on Saturday, December 11 from 12-6pm. The holiday festival provides family-fun and a grand finale with an Electric Light Boat Parade. This event is free and open to the public. Lake East Drive and Lake Sahara Drive, Las Vegas.

Town Square’s Norman Rockwell style celebration is already happening. Come see the 40 foot Christmas tree, the Rockwell vignettes, visit with Santa, daily, or enjoy musical entertainment on Wednesday evenings. Now until December 31st, Town Square also has nightly snowfall choreographed to holiday music. 6605 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas.

Mystic Falls Park inside Sam’s Town has been transformed into an animated winter wonderland. Watch water dance to holiday music and polar bears come to life nightly at 6, 8, and 10pm. Admission is free. 5111 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas.

Bellagio’s Conservatory is decked with a 42-foot-tall Shasta fir, seasonal flowers and plants including white and red poinsettias, white mums, white roses and holly, to name a few. Enjoy the splendor with additions such as pecan-encrusted reindeer, two-dozen penguins, oversized toy soldiers, a train, a 7-foot-tall rocking horse, and mother and baby polar bears. Comprised of 35,000 carnations, the bears’ fur is kept fresh by a specially designed water drip system. 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas.

Bellagio's festive display can be enjoyed 24/7
Photo by Kellee Kunovic

The Four Seasons’ Gingerbread Village is a feast for the eyes. Located in the lobby inside the Four Seasons hotel, you’ll find stunning gingerbread houses created by the hotel’s pastry chef Jean-Luc Daul. The Gingerbread Village is free and open to the public until Christmas Day. 3960 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas.

The Gift of Lights celebrates its 10th anniversary at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Witness over 400 animated and sparkling displays with millions of bright lights. Regular priced admission is $15 per car. Special pricing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is just $10 when donating gently used items to Goodwill of Southern Nevada. All other evenings receive $2 off with a donation. Sunday-Thursday: 5-9pm, Friday, Saturday and holidays 5-10pm. 7000 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas.

Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest returns for its 19th year. The Magical Forest is the largest fundraiser of the year for Opportunity Village, a nonprofit group that provides services for people with intellectual disabilities. The funds raised from admission, $9.75 for adults and $7.75 for children, go toward supporting the organization’s programs. The Magical Forest is open nightly Sunday-Thursday 5:30-9pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30-10pm. 6300 West Oakey Boulevard, Las Vegas.

Springs Preserve’s Holiday Spectacular returns with thousands of colorful, eco-friendly LED lights, arts and crafts for kids, photos with Santa, train and pony rides, live entertainment and even snow. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 5-12. Children 4 and younger are free. Event dates are Dec. 11-12 and 18-23, from 5-9pm. 333 South Valley View Boulevard, Las Vegas.

Happy Holidays!