Great things to do with the kids in Vegas for the holidays. By Sarah Vernetti
Christmas at the Bellagio Conservatory (Flickr: Ken Lund)
When most people think of winter travel, they envision holiday fun near a fireplace, complete with a cup of hot cocoa. This year, why not try something different? Leave your snow boots at home, pack your sunglasses, and head to Las Vegas with the family to celebrate the holiday season. Consider these five reasons to take the kids to Las Vegas this winter.
Special Holiday Activities
Ice skating on the roof of the Cosmopolitan (Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas)
Despite its âadults onlyâ reputation, Las Vegas offers families the chance to enjoy special holiday activities. Take a stroll at Ethel M. Chocolate Factoryâs cactus garden, which is decorated with colorful lights for the holidays. Or, go ice skating on the roof of the Cosmopolitan. Plan ahead and reserve a fire pit where you can roast marshmallows and make sâmores. The rink opens for the season on November 21 and closes on January 4. Hours vary. Rental skates are available for an additional fee.
Extensive Dining Options
For many families, a big meal is part of the holiday fun. Visitors to Las Vegas will find plenty of holiday-themed dining options. Most buffets offer special meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and upscale restaurants often add a prix fixe option to help celebrate the holidays. Plus, Las Vegas is unique because many of its restaurants are open 365 days per year. On major holidays, expect lines at many popular buffets. Bring along a few toys or road trip games to keep the kids entertained while you wait for a table.
365 Days of Fun
Las Vegas provides visitors with constant entertainment, even on Christmas day. (Flickr: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas)
Las Vegas provides visitors with constant entertainment, even on Christmas day. Many restaurants, casinos, and attractions are open 365 days per year, meaning that the kids wonât get bored sitting in the hotel room. Attractions that are open on Christmas day include the Bellagio Conservatory, the Bellagio Fountains, Paris Hotel and Casinoâs Eiffel Tower, the Stratosphere Observation Deck, and many others. (However, itâs always a good idea to verify holiday hours, just in case.)
Red Rock Canyon (Flickr: Exothermic)
Believe it or not, Las Vegas does endure some downright cold temperatures during winter. However, average high temperatures in the 50âs and 60âs during November and December make Las Vegas warmer than other parts of the U.S. You might not be able to wear shorts and sandals, but you can leave the snow boots at home. It might even be warm enough for a hike at Red Rock Canyon orâif you feel like embarking on a day tripâDeath Valley National Park.
(MORE: Look for kid-friendly hotels to stay in Las Vegas.)
New Year in Vegas (Flickr: kennejima)
Hotel rates in Las Vegas tend to be slightly lower in the off-season. In fact, many Las Vegas residents indulge in the occasional staycation on the Strip during winter. Families are likely to find the best deals on weeknight stays rather than weekends. Another strategy for finding hotel deals is to focus your search on Downtown and off-Strip properties. Add the savings to your travel fund, or splurge and use the extra money to upgrade to a swanky suite. Keep in mind that Las Vegas is a popular destination for New Yearâs Eve, so a trip at that time will require a little extra planning, and hotel rates could be higher.
Sarah Vernetti contributed this to MiniTime.