Yup, cheap airfares and hotel rates make Las Vegas a perennially attainable indulgence. Once on the ground, the city rolls out entertainment, food, and drink 24/7 any day of the year. But in December, the desert oasis may shine brighter than ever, with a merry mix of grown-up, kid-friendly, and downright quirky holiday traditions. Here, some of our favorites.
Las Vegas Great Santa Run. Vegas's answer to Pamplona's Running of the Bulls? The Great Santa Run, December 7, is a 5k that starts at the Third Street stage of Fremont Street Experience and features thousands of red-suited Santa wannabes. The ninth annual Great Santa Run will be marshaled by Shania Twain and will be competing with similar Santa runs in the U.K., Tasmania, and Japan for title of world's biggest "Santa challenge."
Fremont Street Experience. On December 11, downtown will play host to the lighting of a 50-foot Christmas tree, adding to the glow of the city's Viva Vision canopy. A live musical revue, Country Christmas, will follow the lighting.
Sunset Wonderland Holiday Festival. Sunset Park, southeast of the Strip, is home to a holiday festival through December 22, with ice skating, carriage rides around the lake, a Ferris wheel, and of course opportunities for kids to have their picture taken with Santa Claus.
Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall. This annual spectacle features more than a half-million Christmas lights, a laser show, and a snow shower in the desert!
The Bellagio.This glitzy icon throws a holiday party like no other, with its famous fountains dancing to Christmas carols all month and its botanical gardens boasting an immense Christmas tree topped with a star that's eight feet tall.