You’ll have to wait until next year for your favorite entertainers to return (with a few exceptions) but here are some ways to keep yourself busy while visiting Las Vegas during the festive season.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas welcomes skaters to The Ice Rink for the ninth straight year as the Boulevard Pool transforms into a holiday spectacle high above the Las Vegas Strip. Surrounded by glittering lights and neon, the rooftop is the setting for ice skating on more than 4200 square feet of real ice and roasting s’mores at socially distanced fire pits. You'll stay toasty warm with the Cosmo's spiked, seasonal cocktails.
ARIA Resort & Casino
ARIA Resort & Casino brightens up the holidays with a “Winter Wonderland” in the lobby. This year’s display is a 15-foot-tall Sugar Palace made from all edible ingredients. Seven types of sugar work techniques have been employed to create 1000 pressed sugar bricks, snowflakes coated in crystal sugar, blown-sugar swans, and blown and pulled flowers. Adding to the holiday spirit, oversized hand-carved ornaments including carousel horses, ballerinas, snowflakes, swans, and trains, hang from the ceiling.
Wynn Las Vegas
Wynn Las Vegas has transformed the hotel’s main atrium into a winter fantasy world as well with six mini winter villages inspired by the novel “Gulliver’s Travels.” Be sure to walk around the hotel as more than 8000 poinsettias, dozens of decorated holiday trees and myriad oversized wreaths adorn the hotel. Wynn Las Vegas is also one of the few hotels offering an outdoors, socially distanced show. Lake of Dreams is an immersive theatrical journey with 12 high-tech artistically diverse acts incorporating magic, lights, film, music, sculpture, and puppetry.
At Caesars Palace, Spiegelworld is back in action with their racy show, Absinthe. With reduced capacity and socially distanced seating, this one invites you to an adults-only evening that recalls the pre-Covid Strip scene.
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
Here’s the kookiest hotel happening of all. Before jumping on his sleigh, Santa Claus will bid everyone farewell (including his underwater friends) by plunging into the Shipwreck Waters from December 21-24 at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
Two unusual Vegas museums will also keep you entertained.
At the non-profit Pinball Hall of Fame – Pinball Museum, you’ll experience what is likely the world’s largest collection of pinball machines. All of the machines belong to one member of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club, Tim Arnold, and date from the 1960s to 1990s. There are a few arcade games thrown in as well. So get ready to play.
My favorite museum, however, is the truly unusual Mob Museum which bills itself as having “All thee Dirt. All in One Place.” And it definitely does. The Mob Museum provides a world-class, interactive journey through true stories of the underground. You'll learn about the Mob, you'll spend some time in jail and in court, and you'll hear from real storytellers who might well be characters from a movie like "Goodfellas" or "The Godfather." While you're downtown, check out the glittering lights along the Fremont Street Experience.
Fashion Show Las Vegas
Entertainment and shopping mix at Fashion Show Las Vegas. Book ahead for a free guided Holiday Stroll through Santa’s Workshop led by Mrs. Claus or a Winter Wonderland walkthrough ending at a giant snow globe. From Thursday through Sunday and on December 23 and 24, you’ll be treated to 20 festive golden bells ringing in sync with holiday music above the Great Hall as well as live music and performances from Nutcracker dancers and Sugar Plum ballerinas. The kids can get their photos taken with Santa, too, with socially distanced reservations through December 24.
Grand Canal Shoppes
At the Venetian, you might as well be at a theater, given all of their non-stop entertainment. Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort is a safe and socially distanced way to have fun while you shop and dine. Plus you’ll get a sense of being in Venice without needing your passport this year. You’ll likely want to spend a few hours here to experience all that’s offered like The Gondolier March, and float in a gondola down the Grand Canal with musical performances by the Streetmosphere cast in St. Mark’s Square.
Minus5 Ice Bar Experience
There’s something for both adults and children at the chilly Minus5 Ice Bar Experience. Everything there is made of ice from the walls to the seats including the glasses the beverages are served in. The ice sculptures are colorful and the fur-covered seats will keep your warm while you enjoy your refreshments. The Kids Cool Experience magically transports the family to a winter wonderland of interactive ice architecture and themed ice rooms complete with an LED light show and lively music. Fashionable parkas and gloves are available to rent.