If for the holidays you can’t be home sweet home… then there’s no better place to be than Vegas. Decked out and dreamy, Sin City lets you escape the cold but still get in the holiday spirit. From ice skating to tree lightings to epic New Year’s Eve bashes, here are 8 reasons why a holiday in Vegas is one of the best travel decisions you’ll make this season. Plus, with more flights leaving from Canada to Las Vegas than any other airline, WestJet is ready to take you south for the winter.
1. Ice, ice baby.
There’s a new hockey team in town, inspiring tourists and locals alike to hit the ice. Whether you’re looking to cheer on your home team or strap on some skates, Vegas has plenty of options for you to enjoy your favourite winter sport. The Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Holiday Cactus Garden is decked out in lights and features a new skating rink. In Downtown Summerlin you’ll be treated to a nightly Christmas parade and skating at the Pavilion on the Lawn lasting all season long. Or, head to the Boulevard Pool for ice skating, fire pits for roasting marshmallows and holiday-themed movie nights.
2. Visit Christmastown.
Leave it to Vegas to go over the top. From November to January, visit Wet’n’Wild Water Park’s Christmastown. While the slides may be closed, the holiday cheer is going full throttle. Take in their 40-foot Christmas tree, strap on your skates, go sledding, or challenge your friends to a game of holiday paintball.
3. Lights at the Speedway.
Just what Vegas needs: more lights. But this event at the Las Vegas Speedway can’t be missed. Now through January 7th, Glittering Lights lets you drive through 2.5 miles of illuminated displays. Ask your hotel or look online for coupon specials that’ll give you a discount on admission as well as free cups of cocoa. When you’re there, roll the windows down, turn the carols up, and enjoy one of the city’s favourite traditions.
4. Get medieval.
If you like your eggnog with a side of jousting, then Excalibur Hotel & Casino’s Tournament of Kings is ready for you. Book a seat at the round table and be treated to a medieval feast with a holiday twist. Watch as knights battle in your name as you sup on Cornish game hen and dragon’s blood.
5. Venture outside the city.
We get it. All that neon can be overwhelming. However, one benefit of being in the desert — besides the weather — is close proximity to some of America’s natural wonders. Take a trip out to the Hoover Dam or to see the Grand Canyon. Hike the Red Rocks of Bryce Canyon or see Zion National Park on horseback. Depending on how far you’re willing to drive, some of the most stunning vistas in the US are easily accessible from Sin City.
6. Holiday cheer for free.
Not everything in Vegas has to cost something. Holiday displays at the Venetian Hotel and the Bellagio and Botanical Gardens are free and open to the public. A visit to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden’s holiday display is not only free but also comes with a sweet treat at the end. Window shop at The Crystals at the ARIA hotel and take in their massive holiday display, featuring fresh flowers, light displays and more. Or, if you’re looking for a new set of spurs, Cowboy Christmas — located at the Las Vegas Convention Centre — brings together over 300 vendors ready to outfit you in the spiffiest pair of chaps.
7. Let someone else cook.
One of the biggest benefits of going away for the holidays: letting someone else take care of the dishes. And the cooking, for that matter. The Strip boasts some of the top restaurants in the US. And you’ll be able to find specially-tailored menus for every celebration. Both La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway and MB Steak are serving special menus during Hanukkah. Rao’s, located in Caesar’s Palace, hosts a Feast of Seven Fishes meal every year on Christmas Eve. Or, if you’re looking for something away from the slot machines, head to Honey Salt in Summerlin — a local favourite with its own holiday menus.
8. Ring in 2018.
If you’re going to travel for New Year’s Eve, you can’t go bigger than Vegas. Try a family-friendly evening at GetAir Trampoline Park. For USD$18 per person, you can get 3 hours of jumping time and a free slice of pizza. For parents with toddlers, most of the city’s libraries hold “Noon” Year’s Eve where you can get your tot dressed up and sip juice to celebrate. However, if you’re in Vegas to party… expect to pay USD$100-$300 just to get into the club. Looking for a more affordable option? The Freemont Street Experience is a giant block party where you can catch local bands, take the Slotzilla zipline, watch incredible pyrotechnics and see the ball drop on the world’s largest outdoor screen — all for USD$35-$40. Then, if you’re a Toronto fan, take in the New Year’s Day game — WestJet will get you there with time to spare before the puck drops. Not a bad way to start 2018, if you ask us.
Get away to Vegas this season to kick your holiday into high gear. And to get you there, check out WestJet’s awesome airfare deals and vacation packages from Canada’s major flight hubs.
This post was sponsored by WestJet.