If you like the jingle of slot machines along with Santa’s “Ho, ho, ho,” Las Vegas offers a wealth of ways to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the holiday.
Here are eight ways to celebrate the season in Las Vegas:
—If you thought putting up your tree was a lot of work, consider this: It took 12 people three days to install the 65-foot-tall Christmas tree in the Doge’s Palace plaza at the Venetian. The tree has 50,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments, all placed on the branches by the team of decorators.
—The tree is a mere 42 feet tall at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Two 12-foot, animated snow globes sit beside the tree. Nearby, polar bears crafted from thousands of white carnations frolic on a winter pond while penguins build an igloo. There’s live holiday entertainment from 4:30 to 6 p.m. daily. The winter wonderland continues through Jan. 3.
—Christmas Eve will bring the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian celebration, at Giada at the Cromwell. Chef Giada De Laurentiis will honor her Italian roots with a tasting menu that includes such dishes as lemon Prosecco risotto with shrimp and grilled lobster with citrus herb butter. The dinner costs $150 a person. Reservations: (855) 442-3271.
—A traditional British holiday dinner is offered throughout the season at Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at the Mirage, where spiced Christmas goose forms the centerpiece of a $76 prix-fixe menu. The meal begins with a winter salad of roasted beets, apple and pomegranate and concludes with a hot chocolate soufflé served with candy cane ice cream. Reservations: (866) 339-4566.
—You can burn off some calories with a wander through the Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas. The outdoor display of vintage hotel and casino signs will be illuminated nightly in a festive palette of colors. Evening tours through Jan. 1 cost $25. Info: (702) 387-6366
—The weather is sure to be above freezing, but that hasn’t kept the folks at Caesars Palace from offering skating outdoors on real ice. The rink, part of “Caesars Chalet,” overlooks Las Vegas Boulevard and is open 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 11. Skating costs $20 a person. Funnel cakes and other food and beverages are available for purchase.
—Across the street at the Flamingo, the tribute artists of Legends in Concert present a show full of classic and contemporary holiday tunes throughout December. Jason Jarrett (as Michael Jackson) will sing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” while Bill Cherry (as Elvis Presley) will perform “Blue Christmas.” Local youth choirs will also take the stage in the Donny & Marie Showroom during certain performances. Tickets and showtimes are available online or by calling (702) 777-7776.
—Cap off the evening with a slice of Buche de Noel, a traditional French Yule log, at Aureole at Mandalay Bay. The dessert, made with milk chocolate and Cara Cara oranges, costs $16. Reservations: (702) 632-7401.
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