Seven Activities to Kick Your Holiday Spirit Fully Into Gear

Keep it cool and unwind with some winter festivities

The Ice Rink at the Winter’s Village Experience at Green Valley Ranch Resort

The resort’s outdoor amphitheater is transformed into a winter wonderland with its 6,000-square-foot outdoor ice rink. Guests are greeted by more than 60 decorated trees, beacons of kaleidoscopic lights and your favorite Christmas tunes humming throughout the space. There’s also an array of tasty delights, such as polar bear pretzels, snowy cake pops and fire-pit s’mores. In addition, attendees can cuddle up to films—think Frosty the Snowman or a Muppets Christmas special—on movie Mondays or sport their most atrocious long sleeves on Ugly Sweater Night, just two of the many themed nights. There is something for everyone, including a menorah lighting on December 12. Skate rentals are $20 per person. Mon.–Thurs., 4–9 p.m.; Fri., 4–10 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Extended hours start December 23 through January 7, daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m., 2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy., Henderson, wintersvillage.com

Polar Express 4-D Experience and Minus5 Ice Experience at Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian

In the Grand Canal Shoppes’ 4-D theater is a 15-minute adaptation of the animated Christmas film Polar Express, which explores a young boy’s adventure aboard a magical train as he discovers the power of believing and unfolds the magic of Christmas. The interactive effects on screen and in the theater let attendees experience the wonderment of the film. Tickets start at $21.95 for children and $31.95 for adults, Mon.–Thurs., 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.–8 p.m., 3377 Las Vegas Blvd. South, madametussauds.com/las-vegas

Don your parka, fur and gloves to escape the desert dryness into true winter bliss. The Minus5 Ice Experience includes 90 tons of picture-perfect ice sculptures to capture those peace signs, selfies and silly faces. Before 9 p.m. kids can visit Santa and enjoy the arctic environment. Tickets start at $15 for kids and $22 for adults, Sun.–Sat.,11 a.m.–1 a.m., 3377 Las Vegas Blvd. South, minus5experience.com

Glittering Lights | Photo by Gabe Ginsberg

Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway

With more than 500 displays and millions of multicolored lights throughout, this course is the perfect place for a late-night holiday excursion. Guests can take pleasure in a playlist of Christmas jingles created just for the trip, sit back, kick their feet up and enjoy the ride. Tickets are $20 per car, now through January 7, Fri., Sat. and holidays, dusk–10 p.m.; Sun.–Thurs., dusk–9 p.m., glitteringlightslasvegas.com

The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village

The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village

Grab the kids and head over to the enchanted park for a host of holiday attractions, such as Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel, Rod’s Mini-Golf, the Avalanche Slide and Boris the Elf’s 3-D Experience. Attendees can also marvel at the millions of LED lights and festive features throughout the park on the itsy-bitsy train ride, take pictures with Santa or get warm and cozy with some hot chocolate. Tickets start at $10 for kids and $12 for adults, now through December 31, Sun.–Sat., 5:30–9 p.m., 6300 W. Oakey Blvd., opportunityvillage.org/pages/magical-forest

Holiday at The Park Tree Lighting Event

Celebrate the beginning of the season when the outdoor dining and entertainment district brings in the holidays with its annual tree-lighting event at the Park. There will be performances by Matt Goss, the latest headliner at The Mirage, and the Las Vegas Academy Choir leading up to the illumination of the 80-foot silver fir tree. A Santa hat giveaway to the first 500 children and complimentary ice skating are from 4–10 p.m. for one night only. Thurs., November 30, 5:30 p.m. 3780 South Las Vegas Blvd., theparkvegas.com

Las Vegas Christmas Town at Wet’n’Wild

Wet’n’Wild is no longer just a summer destination. This year, the water park takes on a holiday twist with Christmas Town featuring a 40-foot Christmas tree, skating rink, free photos with Santa and a 40-passenger train ride. For those who like to live on the wild side, there’s a paintball zone, a 100-foot snow slide and a ball pit for guests to pummel one another with “snowballs.” Tickets are $20, children under 2 are free, now through December 31, Fri.–Sat., 5:30–10:30 p.m.; Sun.–Thurs., 5:30–9 p.m., 7055 S. Fort Apache Rd., lasvegaschristmastown.com  

The Cosmopolitan has some nice ice. | Photo by Erik Kabik.

The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan

If you travel up to Boulevard Pool between now and January 10, brace yourself, because you’ll get hit with a cool breeze and maybe some snow. The pool will be glazed over with real ice, and you might hear people singing loudly to “All I Want for Christmas Is You” as they glide or even fall upon the spotlight-stricken pool. Groups will gather around the fire pits browning marshmallows and sipping hot cocoa, and others will overlook the movement of the Strip for a night to remember. Every Monday night you can snuggle up for Date Skate Mondays, when a host of films such as Home Alone 1 and 2, The Santa Clause and Frozen will be displayed on the 65-foot digital marquee for back-to-back screenings from 6–9 p.m. Skates are $10 with local ID or hotel registration or $20 without. Now through December 21, Mon.–Fri., 3 p.m.–midnight; Sat.–Sun., 12 p.m.–12 a.m.; December 22–January 10; noon–midnight, 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd., cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/ice-rink

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