Nothing quite compares to the awe and wonder of twinkling lights, festive music and a ho-ho-ho from a jolly Santa to bring the magic of the season to life. Whether you are seeking a winter wonderland, dazzling light shows or a cozy train ride fit for a storybook tale, these holiday events in Nevada will have your spirit full of cheer.
Nov. 3 to Dec. 31: Ethel M’s Holiday Cactus Garden
Open nightly Nov. 3 to Dec 31, from 5 to 10 p.m., Ethel M’s Holiday Cactus Garden is a beloved holiday tradition for locals and tourists in Las Vegas. Enjoy signature hot chocolate while taking a stroll through the cactus garden which has over a million twinkling Christmas lights. Take photos with Santa and enjoy breathtaking holiday decor. For a decadent sweet treat, add on a holiday chocolate tasting and learn how Ethel M sources and produces its delightful chocolates.
Cost: Reservations are not required, and the $2 per person admission will be donated to Help of Southern Nevada and Three Square Food Bank.
For more information: www.ethelm.com/pages/holiday-cactus-garden.
Nov. 10 to Jan. 15: Holiday Events in Downtown Summerlin
With a packed events calendar, your holidays will never be short of fun things to do at Downtown Summerlin in Las Vegas. Every Friday and Saturday night, the annual holiday parade lights up the streets with festive floats inspired by holiday movies, dancers and characters. Kids of all ages can visit the Santa Chalet, open daily through Dec. 24, to drop a letter in Santa’s mailbox and take photos with him. Throughout the season, enjoy a refreshing skate on The Rock Rink and ride the festive holiday train.
Cost: Varies per event.
For more information: summerlin.com/events.
Nov. 17 to Dec. 23: The Polar Express
All aboard this fantastical train ride on V&T Railway in Carson City where the beloved Christmas classic story, The Polar Express, comes to life. Children and parents are encouraged to wear their favorite pajamas and will receive hot chocolate and a holiday treat before Santa and his helpers place the special silver sleigh bell in each child’s hand. This holiday event in Nevada is an hour long with memories to last a lifetime.
Cost: Coach tickets start at $60. Upgrade to the VIP parlor car to experience the wondrous journey in the luxury of a fully restored Ardelle Mae coach car built in 1907.
Nov. 17 to Dec. 31: Rockin’ Christmas
From Friday, Nov. 17, through Dec. 31, M Casino welcomes guests to Rockin’ Christmas, produced by World of Illumination. During a mile-long drive-through symphony of sight and sound, guests will see everything from life-sized musical notes to a retro Santa spinning it old-school-style and feel immersed in a mesmerizing event as millions of colorful LED holiday lights twinkle through the night.
Cost: Starting at $39.99.
Nov. 24 to Dec. 31: Enchant
The beloved holiday event Enchant is returning to Summerlin this year with Santa’s Magic Time Piece. The all-new light maze adventure invites guests to embark on a journey in search of the eight missing star fragments to save Christmas. Opening Nov. 24 and running through Dec. 31 at Las Vegas Ballpark, Enchant is an immersive experience with magic around every turn and corner of its larger-than-life custom-designed story-driven light sculptures.
Cost: Starting at $34 for adults and $25 for juniors.
For more information: enchantchristmas.com.
Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, Select Dates: Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Endless holiday cheer abounds at the Magical Forest at Las Vegas-based Opportunity Village, a festive family-friendly holiday event in Nevada. Magical Forest has been a cherished Southern Nevada tradition for over three decades. It’s a winter wonderland with over a million sparkling lights, exciting rides, tasty sweets, savory treats and endless moments of magic.
Cost: Individual tickets start at $25 and include unlimited rides and attractions. Free admission for children ages 3 and under.
For more information: www.opportunityvillage.org.
Dec. 1 to Dec. 31: Christmas on the Comstock
The history and warmth of the season come together at Christmas on the Comstock in the Victorian-style town of Virginia City during a full itinerary of holiday events throughout the season. On Dec. 1, ring in the season at the official tree lighting, followed by a Christmas concert at Piper’s Opera House. On Dec. 2, have some fun at The Grinch Made Me Do It Saloon Crawl and, on Dec. 8, take part in the Nightmare Before Christmas tea party at the Mackay Mansion. Throughout the season, enjoy rides on the V&T Candy Cane Express and the Train O’ Lights, holiday performances and so much more.
Cost: Varies per event.
Dec. 2 to Jan. 2: The Ice Rink at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
Immerse yourself in a magical atmosphere among the glittering lights of Las Vegas at the Ice Rink at Cosmopolitan. Enjoy ice skating, roasting s’more by the fire and warm hot toddies as a light snow shower sprinkles seasonal joy every 30 minutes. Step into the chalet, a reimagined mountaintop escape for comfortable seating featuring festive decor. Special events throughout the season include Date Skate every Monday and Tuesday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and A Night with the Golden Nights on Dec. 3.
Cost: $30; $20 for locals.
For more information: www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/ice-rink.
Dec. 9: Reno Santa Crawl
Oh, Santa baby, live your Tim Allen magical suit moment IRL at the Reno Santa Crawl. The 21st annual Santa Crawl takes place Dec. 9, kicking off at Rum Bullions at Silver Legacy Casino Resort. Join over 20,0000 Santas for a fun night out on the town in Reno. The agenda of this holiday event in Nevada is three parts: buy a cup, dress up and party.
Cost: The cup is available for $12 and gives access to over 200 different beer and drink specials, free cover at all participating clubs, discount hotel rooms and an official Crawl Reno photo booth.
Dec. 9: Cowboy Christmas Snowflake Festival
Giddyup, Rudolph, it’s a holiday event extravaganza at the Cowboy Christmas Snowflake Festival in Elko. The festival kicks off at noon on Dec. 9 with live performances, food trucks and downtown shopping. At 1 p.m., enjoy the cookie crawl serving up sweet treats from local businesses, followed by the Parade of Lights at 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free admission.
For more information: www.elkodowntown.org/snowflake-festival.