Winter is one of the best times of the year to visit Las Vegas. Snow is rare and while the weather is brisk, it’s not nearly as frigid as other parts of the country. But having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are a few inexpensive attractions that will help make the most of any Sin City vacation this season.
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Bellagio • Free admission
The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is a free attraction in the Bellagio lobby that changes with the season at least five times a year. The winter holiday exhibit is one of the most anticipated with elaborate floral displays of polar bears, snowflakes, nutcrackers and a holiday tree more than 40 feet tall. If you only pick one spot to snap a selfie this winter, make it this place.
The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas • Admission starting at $20
The Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas turns into a winter wonderland ice rink during the holidays. Skate across 4,200-square-feet of ice, roast s’mores at socially distant fire pits and drink hot cocoa (or a holiday-themed cocktail). Holiday movie favorites are screened Mondays and Tuesdays. The Ice Rink opens November 18.
West of the Strip • Free admission
AREA 15 is one of the most compelling new destinations in Las Vegas. Located just west of the Strip near Chinatown, the mixed-use entertainment space won’t break the bank. Tickets for Birdly — a flight simulator that sends users soaring over cityscapes — begin at $10.25 for kids and $13.50 for adults. Haley’s Comet is a hang-gliding-style motorized zipline ride that begins at $12 for kids and $18 for adults. Anyone 21 and over can also order a cocktail at Oddwood, a bar with a 24-foot LED tree at the center. Specialty cocktails are $12.
Aria Winter Wonderland
Aria • Free to view
The Aria is going all out this holiday season with festive winter lights and decor throughout the lobby. Stop by the Sugar Palace, a large-scale dessert on display by famous pastry chef Mathieu Lavallee, which could be the sweetest decoration of all. Tables are available to order winter themed drinks and bites.
Touring the Las Vegas Strip doesn’t have to result in sore feet! You can visit the Strip, Fremont Street, the Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas sign and the city’s very best museums back to back. With the hop on/hop off format of the Big Bus Tours, you can create your adventure and linger in your favorite parts of town without missing a thing. Pick the package that’s perfect for you, whether you want a daytime or nighttime tour.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway • Tickets starting at $25 per car
The best drive-in holiday attraction in Las Vegas is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Drive through more than a million lights over a 2.5-mile track at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s probably the best way to appreciate the holiday season while social distancing. Many of the exhibits have a Vegas theme, including a new one this year dedicated to local sports teams.
Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck Experience
For a high-rise escape from the hustle and bustle of the Strip, take a trip to Paris Las Vegas’ Eiffel Tower for an unforgettable romantic getaway. A half-scale replica of the real thing, the observation deck offers 360-degree views. You won’t want to miss the Bellagio Fountains from this angle! To add to the magic, make your reservations and dine in at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.
Eager to take your Vegas vacation to new heights? To take in an incredible 360-degree view of the entire city, you’ll want to check out the High Roller! Located at the back of The LINQ Promenade, this ride was made for those looking to gain a new perspective without sacrificing a social atmosphere. The world’s tallest observation wheel even provides an open bar for an extra fee, so you can sip on a cocktail while looking out your cabin’s windows. This illuminated 30-minute experience is bound to serve as a memorable addition to your itinerary.
If you’re looking for a slice of Italy during your time on the Strip, there’s nothing quite as mesmerizing and magical as a gondola ride. For just under $30, you can move along The Venetian’s water canals. Indoors, the Grand Canal Shoppes features a beautiful sky-painted ceiling in addition to magnificent architecture. Outdoors, you can let your eyes linger on the lights scattered across Las Vegas Boulevard. For an extra special couples’ retreat, book a private gondola for you and your beloved for $116. Don’t forget to kiss beneath the bridge for good luck!
The Big Apple Coaster
Thrill-seekers, rejoice! If you’ve been eager to learn more about the looping track cascading past New York New York, you’re in luck. For just $15, you can hop aboard The Big Apple Coaster, zip your way past hotel skyscrapers and take in unmatched views of the Strip. With speeds up to 67 mph, this taxi’s twists and dips are sure to have you screaming and coming back for round two. Upgrade to virtual reality googles, which add a touch of computer-generated animation to the ride. Looking for even more fun? Head back inside the property and spend some time at The Big Apple Arcade.
Ethel M Cactus Garden
Henderson • Free admission
The Ethel M Cactus Garden hosts a holiday light display every winter. Visit after sundown to explore more than 300 different species of desert plants on three acres underneath colorful decorations. It’s just outside the Ethel M chocolate factory, where you can take your own walking tour, sample hot chocolate and buy candy in the retail shop. It could be the perfect place to find a holiday gift.
For an intriguing educational experience like nothing you’ve ever seen, visit Bodies…The Exhibition. Featuring real, dissected human bodies, this exhibit allows you to get up close and personal with organs and other specimens. You can even compare damaged tissue to undamaged tissue and gain a better understanding of the human body’s different systems. In a topical twist, a new exhibit is dedicated to the science and health effects of the coronavirus.
Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
If you’re eager to have an exotic experience during your time on the Strip, be sure to stop by the Mirage. The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is home to big cats in addition to dolphins, giving you a one-of-a-kind look at some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. If you’re up for animal bonding, you can even paint or perform yoga alongside the dolphins. Those who want to splurge should consider the Trainer For A Day package. This unforgettable five-hour experience allows you to swim, play and train with the dolphins.