Have you seen Winter in Venice? If you want a new holiday experience, take a trip to the Venetian and/or Palazzo Las Vegas. The good folks at the Venetian public relations office would like to be able to take credit for having the first holiday celebration on the Strip, but the holiday decorations at the Bellagio and Caesars Palace, The M Resort and a few others have been wowing visitors for years. The marvelous tree at the Venetian reminds us of the one at Caesars Palace, although this one is certainly bigger. What is true is that on a crisp December evening in Las Vegas, Winter in Venice is great fun.
From Nov. 28th to Jan. 8th, the Venetian/Palazzo celebration includes an hourly light show from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in front of the Venetian’s Doge’s Palace. The light show is quite elaborate and is accompanied by a number of holiday songs, and they aren’t necessarily the Bing Crosby variety. Grand choruses and musicians produce great music. Even the blues and rock and roll are represented. Costumed characters, strolling in the audience and dancing on the balconies, are also part of the show. (Bring a camera.)
In the same area of the Venetian, constructed over the Grand Canal, is an outdoor synthetic skating rink made of recycled polymer, and featuring 2000 overhead lights. The ice rink is open from ll:00 a.m. to ll p.m. daily. Tickets are $19 per person per 30-minute session; but during my evening visit only one skater was seen…and seen only very briefly at that. (Visitors to Las Vegas may have left thoughts of ice skating at home.)
The centerpiece of all this activity is a 65-foot holiday tree made of transparent plastic balls that also participate in the “Nightly Holiday Spectacular” by changing colors. The accompanying video shows the color changes and just a hint of the full holiday show.
Visitors to the Venetian or Palazzo will also have plenty of holiday flavor inside the hotel/casinos in terms of hot apple cider, strolling carolers and gondoliers singing holiday songs. Guests can also order Christmas or Hanukah packages for their rooms featuring a Christmas tree or Menorah, other decorations and gift baskets. More photos from Las Vegas this holiday season here.