Just because you’re away from home during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t get in the spirit. In fact, a little time in Sin City may even give your season the spice it lacks when you’re sitting around grandma’s kitchen table eating fruit cake. If you find yourself in Las Vegas this December, check out one of these events to add a little something to the end of your year.
For the twelfth straight year, The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is currently lit up in 2.5 miles of Christmas displays. Millions of lights make this drive a must-see, and the custom display was named one of Huffington Post’s “7 Over-The-Top Holiday Light Displays You Gotta See”. You can do the drive in your own car, or ride the “Santa Tram” – an open-air tram on which you’ll sing carols with elves, sip free cocoa, and take photos with Santa.
If you’re looking for something a little extra, the speedway also hosts events under the lights like the PJ 5K & 1 Mile Walk (Nov. 20) and a living nativity (weekends in December). Tickets are available starting at $30 and the lights are up until Jan. 7.
Location: Las Vegas Speedway, 7000 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas.
Every year, hundreds of exhibitors show up to the Sands Expo Center for the Stetson Country Christmas. If you stop by, be ready to shop, see live shows, and meet your favorite National Finals Rodeo superstar. Now in its 23rd year in Las Vegas, this year’s show will feature the long-awaited $250,000 All-In Barrel Race and over 350 vendor stands. Las Vegas will be turned into Cowboy Town.
Wares include leather works, boots, saddlery, skin care, Navajo Indian Jewelry, apparel, and more. Famous rodeo-ers will sign autographs for fans, and children will get a chance to try their hand at the World Championship Dummy Roping event. Admission is free.
Location: Sands Expo and Convention Center, 201 Sands Ave., Las Vegas.
As it turns out, the life of a Las Vegas high-roller isn’t really that far away. The fifth annual Suite Holidays Tour & Tasting will see major resorts open their most exclusive suites to give guests a sneak peek at rarely-seen luxury accommodations. Each resort will offer signature cocktails and bites from their nicest restaurants, giving participants a taste of a life most mere mortals can only dream of.
Raffle tickets and a silent auction will benefit the event’s organizer, Junior Achievement, a partner of the Clark County School District that works to ensure students receive curriculum-based financial literacy training in the classroom.
Single tickets are $200 and group tickets start at $1,500.
Location: Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Vdara, and Mandarin Oriental. So far.
After a trip of drinking, eating, and gambling, it probably wouldn’t hurt to get a little fresh air. If the idea of physical exercise makes you cringe, take solace that the Santa Run is for a good cause, benefiting Opportunity Village. The run kicks off Downtown on Dec. 3, and you can expect as many as 10,000 Santas to join you for a 5K run or one-mile walk.
Get back to your vices after the run ASAP with Blitzen’s Bar Crawl, a new event that begins immediately after the race. Bars will offer drink specials for those who have the official Opportunity Village cup, which can be purchased online in advance or at participating bars. Watering holes include Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whiskey, the Velveteen Rabbit, OneBar, and Longbar. Opportunity Village is a nonprofit serving kids and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Location: E Carson Ave. & S Las Vegas Blvd.
The Las Vegas Bowl enjoys crowds of more than 32,000 when it invites the champion from the Mountain West to square off with a Pac-12 squad at Sam Boyd Stadium. Every season since 1992, this post-season college football game has brought flocks of pigskin fans to Sin City for beer and sports. Last year’s game was between the Utah Utes and BYU Cougars, naming safety Tevin Carter MVP. Ticket prices begin at $50.
Location: Sam Boyd Stadium, 7000 E Russell Rd, Las Vegas.
Featured photo credit: Northern Running Guide.
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