Las Vegas Transforms Into A Winter Wonderland To Bedazzle Visitors This Holiday Season

World-Class Destination Offers Scrumptious Culinary Creations, Festive Lights, Ice Skating, Holiday Cheer and So Much More

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ -The lights of Las Vegas come to life as the destination prepares to celebrate the holiday season with yuletide flare. This winter season, holiday decor and displays will capture the imagination of every visitor.

Holiday Lights
Downtown Las Vegas kicks off the holiday season with the annual Grand Menorah Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. The Grand Menorah will be lit by Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and on display through the holiday season at the Fremont Street Experience. Mayor Goodman will also help Santa Claus light Las Vegas' official Christmas tree on Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. The 50-foot tree will be decked out and shine brightly below the 12.5 million lights of the Viva Vision Canopy.

Bellagio Resort & Casino will unveil its winter display Dec. 6 at Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Guests can stroll the winter wonderland that's filled with more than 32,000 fresh poinsettias. The centerpiece is Las Vegas' largest indoor holiday tree standing at 45-feet tall and weighing 8,000 pounds. Also on display is an eight-foot reindeer crafted of chocolate and a life-size candy house.

For the first time, the Neon Museum will be illuminated with lights this holiday season, beginning Nov. 30, through Dec. 31.

The Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden is open for the season through Jan. 1. The garden is lit nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. and admission to this desert spectacle is free. Guests are also invited to peek in on the Ethel M Chocolate factory which is in full swing for the holiday season.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts Glittering Lights, Nov. 15 through Jan 5. And will feature more than 400 animated, LED lights along the 2.5-mile racetrack. The displays light up nightly at 5:30 p.m.

Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall flips the switch on its Mystic Falls Park Light and Water Show on Nov. 27 at 4:30 p.m. This winter wonderland experience also includes a 15-minute laser light show starting nightly at 5 p.m. Cowboy Santa also makes an appearance Thursday-Sunday from Nov. 29 to Dec. 23. Underwater Santa will also take a plunge in the resort's 117,000 gallon aquarium. He'll pose for pictures from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekend in December, leading up to Christmas.

Santa pulls out his naughty and nice lists when he stops by Fashion Show Mall on Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. Located on the main level near Macy's Men's store, Santa will take toy requests through Dec. 24. Proud pet owners and their furry, four-legged friends can pose with Santa on Monday nights through Christmas Eve.

Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef Aquarium also gets a special visit from jolly Old Saint Nicholas. Guests can share their last-minute holiday wishes with Santa in the aquarium's shipwreck exhibit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday from Dec. 7 to Dec. 15 and then Dec. 21 through Dec. 24.

Winter Wonderland Activities & Entertainment
Lace up your ice skates, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas transforms the iconic Boulevard Pool into an Ice Rink on Nov. 22. This year it features an expanded skating area along with new cocktail and culinary offerings. The Ice Rink opens at 3 p.m. during the week and noon on weekends and will entertain guests through Jan. 5.

Get into the holiday spirit while building your own Gingerbread house. Wynn Las Vegas' pastry chefs will help guests create their own gingerbread design adorned with delicious confections on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. Or toast to the season with The Twelve Cocktails of Christmas starting Dec. 9 through Dec. 24 (weekdays only). Wynn Las Vegas guests will also receive take-away recipe cards to recreate the cocktails at home.

The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas are home to the third-annual Winter in Venice celebration, running Nov. 18 through Jan. 5. The memorable Italian-inspired experience includes an enchanting parade, whimsical tree-lighting ceremony, 3-D light projection show and the return of the picturesque skating rink above The Venetian's romantic outdoor Grand Canal. Winter in Venice will also host Celtic Woman: Home for Christmas – The Symphony Tour, at 8 p.m. on Nov. 22-23 and Nov. 27-28. Other festivities include two culinary events featuring celebrity chefs. The La Cucina Italiana Food & Wine Festival takes place from Dec. 5-8 and showcases Chef Mario Batali and Wolfgang Puck. Attendees will enjoy intimate dinners, family-style feasts along with other food events. Culinary Clash Weekend, with Chef Emeril Lagasse takes place Dec. 13-14 as fans watch resort chefs compete to win the second Culinary Clash Master Chef Competition.

Have a very Terry Christmas this year with ventriloquist Terry Fator. This limited run holiday special is centered on finding the true spirit of Christmas for Winston the Turtle. A Very Terry Christmas plays at the Mirage until Dec. 24 with the curtain going up at 7:30 p.m.

A trip to Opportunity Village's Magical Forest will instill the holiday spirit. Wind through the holiday tree forest bedecked with whimsical decorations with nearly three million lights, or hop on the Forest Express passenger train and Enchanted Carousel. Attractions are open Nov. 22 through Jan. 6, 2014, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Country superstar Shania Twain will serve as the Grand Marshal of Opportunity Village's Las Vegas Great Santa Run on Dec. 7. Twain will join thousands of Kris Kringles in Downtown Las Vegas for the annual fundraiser. The Great Santa Run will entertain with live performances, food, costume contests and celebrity appearances. Festivities get started at 8 a.m. at the Fremont Street Experience.

The MonteLago Village Resort at Lake Las Vegas will flip the switch on its holiday tree on Nov. 30 in The Village. Guests can also catch Santa, strolling carolers along with horse and carriage tours from Dec. 7-21.

Snow in Las Vegas? Town Square brings holiday cheer in the form of snowflakes. The show takes place at Town Square Park from now until Dec. 23 with flakes falling at 7 p.m. nightly with an additional show at 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Town Square Park is also home to the Holiday Nights and Lights Community Concerts on Thursday nights at 6 p.m. until Dec. 19. Visitors can also get their picture taken with Santa through Christmas Eve.

While mom and dad shop 'til they drop on Black Friday, a big welcome is in store for old Saint Nick with a parade at Tivoli Village on Nov. 29.

Foodie Festivities
Indulge this Thanksgiving on a feast fit for a king. The signature restaurants at Wynn Las Vegas will offer classic dishes like turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, along with culinary creations from the resorts renowned resident chefs.

Tantalizing menus will also seduce guests at Gordon Ramsey Steak inside Paris Las Vegas while a mouthwatering three-course meal will leave tummies full at Kerry's Gourmet Burger at Harrah's Las Vegas. Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is offering visitors 25 delicious dishes including house-smoked turkey legs, pumpkin soup and turkey sliders.

Holiday cuisine is also available at Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak at The Mirage, Jean Georges Steakhouse at ARIA, miX at Mandalay Bay, The Buffet at Bellagio Resort & Casino and Tacos and Tequila at Luxor Hotel & Casino.

Silverton Casino Hotel is offering three-course Thanksgiving menus at Twin Creeks Steakhouse, Sundance Grill and a special holiday feast at Seasons Buffet. The D Las Vegas invites guests downtown to enjoy a traditional turkey dinner with desert at D Grill from Nov. 25 through Dec. 1. Golden Gate Hotel & Casino offers dine-in or take-out options this Thanksgiving from Du-Par's Restaurant.

JW Marriot Las Vegas Resort & Spa and Rampart Casino Restaurants will feature feasts of food for Thanksgiving. A variety of menu options are available at Ceres, Carmel Room, The Rampart Buffet and Promenade Cafe.

Hash House a Go Go offers a twisted take on traditional favorites this Thanksgiving. From pumpkin bisque to stuffed turkey meatloaf and pumpkin bread pudding, the options are endless at the Quad Resort & Casino, Plaza Hotel and Casino and M Resort Spa Casino locations.

A German Thanksgiving Feast will be available at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas, which includes all the traditional fixings with Bavarian beer. Honey Salt will celebrate Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with a special Thanksgivukkah menu, featuring potato latkes, red wine braised short ribs, butternut squash puree and a variety of dessert choices.

Special Christmas menus are available at Table 10 inside The Palazzo Las Vegas, Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian Las Vegas, Emeril's New Orleans Fish House located at MGM Grand Las Vegas, Dragon Noodle Co. & Sushi Bar and d.vino Italian Food & Wine Bar at Monte Carlo.

If sushi temps your pallet, TENDER Steak & Seafood inside the Luxor Hotel Las Vegas will offer several holiday inspired rolls throughout the month of December including the Candy Cane Roll, Santa's Roll and Roll in the New Year.

TREVI Italian Restaurant inside The Forum Shops at Caesars will also celebrate during the month of December by offering a Happy Hollytini along with Eggnog and Gingerbread Gelato.

Or cozy up this season with five autumn-inspired libations at Hyde Bellagio. Enjoy the magnificent view while sipping on the Chai Tini, The Royals, Honey Rosemary Gin Fizz, Blood Orange Margarita and the flaming Bloody Sand.

A trip to Las Vegas makes the best stocking stuffer. Book your holiday getaway at

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About the LVCVA
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center. With more than 151,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and 10.6 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA's mission centers on attracting ever?increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area. For more information, go to or


Tom Dietz, R&R Partners

T: 702.318.4344

Adrienne Prather-Marcos, R&R Partners

T: 702.318.4386

SOURCE: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)

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Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)

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