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Our guide to spending Christmas 2015 in Las Vegas

Last updated: August 11, 2016 at 3:11 pm. Posted by in The LINQ, Things to Do in Las Vegas. Comments Off on Our guide to spending Christmas 2015 in Las Vegas.

There’s something magical about the holiday season in Las Vegas. Oh, sure, we don’t have snow (except when we do—see below), but we do have plenty of twinkling lights. Maybe you won’t hear sleigh bells ringing, but if you’re lucky, you may hear slot machines paying out. Whether you’re trying to escape the freeze (or your in-laws) in Minnesota or looking to get out of cooking Christmas dinner (as we locals do), there’s plenty of yuletide things to do, see and eat in Vegas on Christmas and the days surrounding it this year.

Winter Parq at The LINQ

Winter Parq at The LINQ Las Vegas

The LINQ Promenade sure looks pretty with all those lights. Photo by Chase Stevens / Kabik Photo Group.

There might be no place in Las Vegas merrier than The LINQ Promenade this holiday season. Throughout the month of December, the outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment destination at The LINQ Hotel & Casino transforms into “Winter Parq.” Not only is the entire district decked out in holiday décor—replete with a 30-foot Christmas tree—but beginning at 5 p.m. daily, holiday performers appear every hour, and snow falls across the promenade every 30 minutes. On Christmas Eve, carolers will stroll through “Winter Parq,” and on Christmas Day itself, Santa’s elves will be surprising visitors with gifts all day.

Festivus Gathering at Grand Bazaar Shops

The Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Las Vegas is a great spot to do some last-minute Christmas shopping while you’re on the Strip, but on Dec. 23, it will also be the perfect place to celebrate Festivus, the holiday alternative popularized on the hit 1990s sitcom “Seinfeld.” In keeping with the traditions established in the episode “The Strike,” the Grand Bazaar Shops will feature an unadorned Festivus pole, and guests can participate in “feats of strength”—specifically, lifting a 100-pound dumbbell. Participants will receive free Starbucks drink samples, photos and Grand Bazaar Shops coupon books. It’s a Festivus miracle!

Holiday Shows

Legends in Concert Holiday - Britney, Elvis, Barbra

Drink enough egg nog, and you won’t be able to tell whether you’re watching “Legends in Concert” or the real thing.

Melody Sweets, who performs as the Green Fairy in the wild and hilarious show “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, is hosting a party to celebrate the release of her new holiday song, “Santa Maybe,” at FIZZ, also inside Caesars Palace. The free party happens Friday, Dec. 19 at 11:30 p.m. (right after the 10 p.m. show of “Absinthe”) and will feature a special burlesque performance by Miss Exotic World Michelle L’Amour. Bonus: It’s also Melody Sweets’ birthday!

“America’s Got Talent” Season 10 breakout star Piff the Magic Dragon recently launched his solo residency at Flamingo Las Vegas, where he performs hilarious magic tricks with the help of Mr. Piffles, the World’s Only Magic Performing Chihuahua. From Dec. 21 to 30, audiences will be treated to a special holiday show, “Piff’s Piffmas Piff-Tacular,” appearing 8 p.m. nightly. Each show will also feature an auction of “Piff’s Magic Muffin,” with proceeds benefiting the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ dog shelter program.

Also appearing at Flamingo Las Vegas is the city’s longest-running tribute show, “Legends in Concert,” which will see its cast of celebrity impersonators—including Elizabeth Scarborough as Taylor Swift, Coty Alexander at Madonna and Brian Duprey as Frank Sinatra—performing seasonal songs through Dec. 24. The stars will be joined by local youth choirs and performing arts groups, and the finale includes the entire cast performing “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

On Christmas night, Iranian superstars Siavash Ghomayshi, Michael and Aref will perform for fans inside The Colosseum at Caesars Palace at 9 p.m. As well, most of Las Vegas’ biggest and most popular shows have performances on Christmas, including Penn & Teller at the Rio, Mat Franco at The LINQ, “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas, “Menopause the Musical” and “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s and “Jubilee” at Bally’s Las Vegas.

Holiday Dining & Drinking

Rao's Seafood Salad

This seafood salad is one of the “Feast of Seven Fishes” features at Rao’s inside Caesars Palace.

Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is offering special brunch and dinner menus for the entire holiday season (Dec. 19, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016) and throughout Christmas weekend (Dec. 24 to 27). In addition to the usual eclectic selection of international fare such as king crab legs, Hawker Market chicken and oak-grilled lamb chops, guests can enjoy such holiday-inspired flavors as pumpkin gnocci, egg nog shots, and of course, suckling pig.

Old Homestead Steakhouse at Caesars is offering a three-course, prix fixe holiday dinner menu featuring main course options of Atlantic salmon, 1-lb. prime rib, or Petaluma chicken. At the whimsical Serendipity 3, holiday specials abound. The Strip-side restaurant in front of Caesars Palace is offering a $29 Christmas prime rib dinner with all the fixings, a date shake for $12, and a homemade bread pudding sundae for $12, replete with Nutella drizzle. (Mmm, Nutella…)

Another Caesars Palace restaurant, Rao’s, is celebrating the traditional Italian holiday “Feast of the Seven Fishes” with a special menu that includes culinary treasures from the sea, including Dijon and horseradish panko-crusted salmon, lobster fra diavolo and baked clams oreganto. Rao’s is also offering a limited-time holiday dinner menu that captures the flavors of the season, from butternut squash bisque to Dr. Pepper-glazed ham.

GIADA at The Cromwell is putting its own spin on the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” with a special Christmas tasting menu. The four-course meal includes a family-style antipasti platter with baccala fritters, lobster arancini, fritto misto and insalata di rinforzo, choice of salad or risotto, and a main course of salt-crusted branzino or grilled lobster, all finished off with a delectable dessert.

Michelin two-star Restaurant Guy Savoy (also at Caesars Palace) will serve its Christmas Prestige menu Dec. 24 and 25. Available for $375 per person, the tasting menu includes a number of culinary delights, including line-caught sea bass, American prime beef tenderloin, and roasted Guinea hen, with a vegetarian version of the menu also available.

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A number of special holiday-inspired beverages await visitors to Hash House A Go Go inside The LINQ Hotel & Casino this season, including the Candy Cane Mocha (a double shot of espresso, hot chocolate, peppermint syrup, whipped cream and a mini candy cane) and the Peppermint Martini (vanilla vodka, peppermint Schnapps, half & half and a candy cane garnish).

Planet Hollywood’s Spice Market Buffet has a Christmas menu offered all day this year that features hand-carved specialties and holiday fare, including oven-roasted turkey breast, roasted pork belly and green bean casserole, as well as dozens of selections from around the globe.

Le Café Ile St. Louis at Paris Las Vegas is offering a $42 four-course Christmas menu, with main course options seared red snapper, turkey and stuffing or grilled lamb chop. Paris’ Le Village Buffet will be serving Christmas dinner all day for $35.99, including carved-to-order prime rib, leg of lamb and roasted turkey breast alongside its other French-inspired selections.

Le Burger Brasserie—located on the promenade connecting Paris and Bally’s—is serving a number of Christmas menu offerings, including smoked ham croquetas with butternut squash and cheese, deep-fried stuffing, and classic turkey pot pie. And BLT Steak at Bally’s is offering Christmas specials from Dec. 21, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016, including a complete three-course holiday meal for $80, which includes an entrée of either dry-aged prime rib or Loch Duart pan-seared salmon. All selections are also available a la carte.

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About The Author

Pj Perez is a longtime Las Vegas resident and UNLV graduate who has been writing about his adopted hometown for a variety of travel guides, websites and magazines since the 1990s, which isn't possible, because he's not that old. When not jockeying behind a keyboard, he can be found with a bass guitar in one hand and a gin cocktail in the other.

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