december family-friendly activities in las vegas

December Family-Friendly Activities in Las Vegas Area

Looking for December family-friendly activities in Las Vegas and surrounding areas? Look no further.

December is here, winter is here, and the holiday season is in full swing for the final month of the year. There are so many events happening this month to celebrate all of the holiday festivities.

Plus, there is still time to check off items on your Christmas Bucket List.

While the events we share are specific to the month of December in Las Vegas, Henderson, and surrounding areas, there are always things to do in our wonderful city.

If you’re a mom, dad, or caregiver and you’re looking for the ultimate guide to Las Vegas and the surrounding areas, Nevada Moms is the spot.

We are the #1 family guide to Nevada experiences and activities. From upcoming events, kid-friendly activities, local businesses to check out, and more – you don’t want to miss it.

By local moms for local families.

Don’t forget to bookmark our website and follow along with us on Instagram @southernevadamoms and Facebook @southernnevadamoms. As always thank you for supporting our locally owned and operated small business.

Ongoing Activities in Our Area

las vegas pogo pass

The kids can have a blast with the Las Vegas Pogo Pass. Enjoy over $400 worth of activities for less than $40 with promo code NVMOMS.

You can also check out any of these family-friendly activities on those days you aren’t looking for a specific event to attend:

Looking for local discounts for Nevada Moms readers to enjoy? Check all of our active offers and promo codes over here.

Where to Take Photos With Santa (CLICK HERE!)

For a complete list of spots to take photos with Santa, please visit the link above. Our team at Nevada Moms has been keeping an eye out for photos with Santa all around town, and we’re sharing all of the details.

Holiday Menorah and Tree Lightings (CLICK HERE!)

When it comes to the tree lightings, we are including not only Christmas tree lighting celebrations but also Menorah lighting celebrations that we find around town.

Kid-Friendly Things To Do During the Holidays In Las Vegas (CLICK HERE!)

Being born and raised in this beautiful city means knowing some of the best kid-friendly things to do during the holidays in Las Vegas without the unnecessary crowds unless they are worth it.

Boulder City

Boulder City Santa Express

Date: Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 21, 22 at 5:15pm, 6:45pm, and 8:25pm

Location: Nevada Southern Railway Museum, 601 Yucca St Boulder City, NV 89005

Enjoy a train ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus, all through December. Each event is a 90-minute experience with a train ride in a vintage, restored railcar with storytime on the train, including time at our event center to visit Santa and enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie, by Chilly Jilly’z.

Doodlebug Bazaar

Date: Dec. 4 at 9am

Location: Boulder City Recreation Center; 900 Arizona St, Boulder City, NV

Get all of your holiday goodies and gifts at the Doodlebug Bazaar.

Santa’s Electric Night Parade

Date: Dec. 4 at 4:30pm

Location: Boulder City – Historic District Streets; Boulder City, NV 89005

As the sun sets, downtown Boulder City will be glowing for the grand entrance of Santa Claus, leading an old-fashioned Holiday parade.

Boulder City Wine Walks

Date: Dec. 11 from 4pm – 8pm

Location: Historic Boulder City, Boulder City, NV 89005

Stroll the historic downtown Boulder City streets and shops while sampling a variety of wines. The theme for this wine walk is Ugly Sweater!

Storytime on the Train

Date: Dec . 18 and 21 at 10am & 12pm

Location: Nevada Southern Railway Museum, 601 Yucca St Boulder City, NV 89005

StoryTime on the train on the Nevada Southern Railway. The kids enjoy a coloring page, craft and an age-appropriate story read by one of our docents.

Everyone rides the train from the depot to Railroad Pass and returns while enjoying the activities along with their parents and family. StoryTime is on each of the regular departures for the day.

Henderson

Holiday Cactus Garden at Ethel M Chocolates

28th Annual Holiday Cactus Garden Lights

Date: Nov. 5, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022 from 5 – 10pm

Location: 2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson, NV 89014

Make a reservation for the Holiday Cactus Garden Lights at Ethel M Chocolates – grab a cup of one of the best hot chocolates, and stroll through the 3-acre cactus garden with over a million lights twinkling as you make your way through.

Stop by Santa to snap a photo with him and tell him all of your holiday wishes and then pop back into their store to grab some chocolate goodies to-go. Donations will go to Three Square Food Bank and HELP of Southern Nevada.

Festival of Lanterns

Date: Wednesday – Sunday starting Nov. 5, 2021 – Feb. 2022 from 5 – 9pm

Location: Cowabunga Bay; 900 Galleria Drive, Henderson, NV 89011

Come, immerse yourself in the beauty and glow of handcrafted Chinese Lanterns that light up the nights during the Festival of Lanterns at Cowabunga Bay in Henderson. November is Fall Harvest theme and December is the Holiday Celebrations theme.

Park Pals

Date: Every Monday and Wednesday from 3-5pm (Dec. 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29)

Location: Morrell Park, 500 Harris St.

A variety of sport activities and games will be set up each day for your enjoyment. From kickball to tag, each day will be a new activity.

Winterfest 2021

Date: Dec. 2 – Jan 1

Location: Water Street Plaza

​​Our special holiday presentation of WinterFest includes a variety of family-friendly activities, holiday entertainment, and festive illuminated holiday décor along Water Street. Tree lighting ceremony takes place on December 2 on Water Street Plaza. See full schedule of events above or listed below.

“Holiday Hop” Happy Hour

Date: Thursdays from 5-7pm (Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30)

Location: Water Street

Take a stroll down Water Street while enjoying specially priced festive food and beverage offerings that will put you in the holiday spirit! Check out participating vendors and menu items via the link above.

Kringle’s Kids Night Out

Date: Dec. 3 at 6pm

Location: Water Street Plaza

Ho ho ho! Get your lists, and check it twice. Children ages 5-13 can join us for a night of fun, crafts, cookies, pizza, stories, games, and more!

Merry Grinchmas

Date: Dec. 4 from 10am-12pm (noon)

Location: Valley View Recreation Center

Travel with us to Whoville and watch your heart grow three sizes, then help us decorate the Grinchmas tree. Dress in a costume if you like. Come in car, on foot, or on a bike, a special guest will be in sight! Brunch will be provided.

Claus’ Cookie Crawl

Date: Dec. 4 at 3pm

Location: Water Street Plaza

Parents and their children are invited to take a stroll down Water Street while enjoying five cookie stops along the way. Cookies will be baked to perfection and packaged with love by Chef Fleming’s Bakeshop.

Holiday on Broadway

Date: Dec. 4 at 7pm

Location: Water Street Plaza Amphitheater

Opera Las Vegas performs classic renditions of holiday favorites with flair during their “Holiday On Broadway” celebration.

This concert is free to attend, but registration is required.

“Arthur Christmas” Movie Night

Date: Dec. 9 at 5:30pm

Location: Water Street Plaza

Bring your own chairs, blankets, and movie treats to enjoy a family night out watching “Arthur Christmas” on the plaza’s 42-foot wide digital screen. The animated film tells the story of Santa’s youngest son, Arthur, as he embarks on a magical adventure to save Christmas. “Arthur Christmas” features the voices of James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy and other famous stars.

Paint & Pizza: Ugly Sweater Party

Date: Dec. 10 from 5:30-9pm

Location: Black Mountain Recreation Center

Start the holiday season off right with this Ugly Sweater Party! Kids, come in your best ugly sweater and enjoy an amazing night painting your favorite things about the holiday season. They will also get to play fun games. Dinner is included. Register at least one week in advance as space is limited.

Children’s Holiday Performance Showcase

Date: Dec. 10 at 6pm

Location: Water Street Plaza Amphitheater

Enjoy live performances by:

  • 6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Gym Cats
  • 6:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Dance Addiction
  • 7:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Dance Fusion
  • 8:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. Brenda’s Desert Dynamite Dance Studio

Free to attend—no registration required!

Holiday Ornament Walk

Date: Dec. 11 at 10am

Location: Water Street Plaza

Families can build their own holiday ornament as they stroll through the plaza to several decorating stations where families can build their own ornament and piece together parts of a story.

Kids ages 3-7 will be able to register for the 10 a.m. to noon time slot, and kids ages 8-14 will be able to register for the noon to 2 p.m. slot. Register today!

The Barefoot Movie (Winterfest Live!)

Date: Dec. 11 at 7pm

Location: Water Street Plaza

Nashville-based Barefoot Movement put their signature bluegrass twist on holiday classics. You’ll hear acoustic renditions of seasonal favorites such as Chuck Berry’s “Run Run Rudolph” and emotional takes on tender standards like “Oh Holy Night.” All ages are welcome. Get Tickets!

The Grinch Takes Over the Bark Park

Date: Dec. 12 from 10:30am-12pm (noon)

Location: Bark Park at Heritage Park

Bring your furry friends to the Bark Park for a Grinchy good time. Participants can meet the Grinch and take photos with their pups. We will also have pop-up agility courses and treats for your pets to enjoy. Pre-registration required.

Christmas Parade in the Village at Lake Las Vegas

Christmas Parade at The Village at Lake Las Vegas

Date: Dec. 12 from 5-8pm

Location: The Village at Lake Las Vegas

Jingle All the Way

Date: Dec. 15 from 4:30-6:00pm

Location: Heritage Park Senior Facility: 300 S. Racetrack Rd., Henderson, Nevada 89015

You are invited to attend our second annual drive-thru holiday social. Safely interact with our City leaders and staff while they spread holiday cheer and season’s greetings. We’ll have goodie bags, cookies, and hot chocolate for the first 250 vehicles. Participants must provide their own transportation. For ages 50+ and immediate household members.

“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” Movie Night

Date: Dec. 16 at 5:30pm

Location: Water Street Plaza

Bring your own chairs, blankets, and movie treats to enjoy a family night out watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on the plaza’s 42-foot wide digital screen. Based on Dr. Seuss’ 1957 book, the award-winning, live action adaption stars Jim Carrey as the Grinch along with a star-studded cast. Free to attend—no registration required.

Candy Cane Festival 

Date: Dec. 18 from 3-6pm

Location: Heritage Park Aquatic Complex

Celebrate the magic of winter with us. Festivities include games, bounce house, treats, and our famous underwater candy cane hunt. Kids can also get ready for the holiday season by writing and mailing a letter to Santa. Bring a new or gently used coat, toys, or non-perishable food item to donate to a local nonprofit and admission is free. Parents must be in the water with children under the age of 8.

Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand (Winterfest Live!)

Date: Dec. 18 at 7 pm

Location: Water Street Plaza Amphitheater

With the same dynamic and joyful energy that brightens their popular shows during the year, Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand tailor their rocking, acoustic sound to the most wonderful time of the year! From the calypso influenced “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” to the beatnik version of “Drummer Boy,” you will love these exciting and creative cover versions of Christmas classics. Get Tickets!

Escape Room Series: The Polar Express

Date: Dec. 18-23 from 9:30am-7:30pm

Location: Downtown Recreation Center

Looking for something fun to do with the family? Join us for The Polar Express-themed escape room. Families will have one hour to escape the room. Each reservation time slot holds a maximum of 10 participants from the same household. Cost is $15 per person. Registration ends December 12.

Winter Solstice at the Bird Viewing Preserve

Date: Dec. 19 from 10am-12pm

Location: Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve; 350 E. Galleria Dr., Henderson, Nevada 89011

The Bird Viewing Preserve is a wonderful place to celebrate the changing of the seasons and the beginning of winter. We welcome children and families to come create warmth, spirit, and light during this event celebrating the darkest and shortest day of the year. Families will enjoy refreshments and a stroll around the ponds. We will talk about the significance of the solstice and will make crafts such as bird feeders out of oranges, roll honeycomb beeswax candles, and decorate wintery lanterns perfect for the upcoming dark winter evenings.

Mount Charleston

Las Vegas

ToyTopia

Date: Sept. 18, 2021 – January 3, 2022 from 9am-4pm

Location: Springs Preserve

Enter a world of rediscovery, delight and wonder as you play, learn and experiment with toys created from the 1900s to today at Toytopia.

Whatever your favorite toy–then and now–you’re sure to find it in the exhibit that’s guaranteed to rekindle the wonder and delight of your favorite childhood moments.

Glittering Lights

Date: Nov. 11, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022

Location: 3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Glittering Lights is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit with this drive-thru attraction.

If you love holiday lights, drive through approximately 2.5 miles of lights, millions and millions of twinkling lights, making for a great holiday experience for family and friends.

Jupiter Express Holiday Train

Date: Nov. 12, 2021 – Jan. 20, 2022, operating times the same as the Rock Rink

Location: The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin

Take a ride on the Jupiter Express Holiday Train featuring real steam, lights and good old-fashioned fun as the train strolls around the 40-foot holiday tree for an unforgettable experience for the kids.

The Ice Rink

Date: Nov. 16, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022, hours vary

Location: 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV  89109

This holiday season, The Cosmopolitan transforms the Boulevard Pool, once again, into The Ice Rink. Located high above the Strip, guests of all ages can enjoy skating on over 4,200 square feet of real ice, roasting s’mores by the fire pits, and warm cocktails are available for 21+.

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden Holiday

Date: Nov. 20, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022

Location: 3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Each season, the enormously talented Horticulture and Engineering teams transform the 14,000-square-foot Botanical Garden into a showcase of inspiring sights, sounds, scents and colors.

If you are looking for something fun (and FREE) to do with the family, this is a sight you don’t want to miss! After you finish sightseeing, head outside to watch the world-famous Bellagio Fountains and dance along to your favorite Christmas classics.

Downtown Summerlin Holiday Parade

Date: Nov. 20 – Dec. 18, Fridays & Saturdays at 6pm

Location: Park Centre Drive, 1980 Festival Plaza Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89135

Enjoy floats, snowflake princesses and princes, dancers, toy soldiers, nutcrackers, drummers, dancers, characters through the streets of Downtown Summerlin and festive music to put the entire family into the holiday spirit.

  • Join them on Dec. 10 for a special parade appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales!

Santa’s Experience at Tivoli Village

Date: Nov. 26 – Dec. 23, Fridays & Saturdays at 6pm, Monday – Friday from 6-10pm, Saturday/Sunday from 12-10pm

Location: Tivoli Village, 400 South Rampart Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89145

Journey into Santa’s Workshop filled with over two dozen photo-ops in a professionally designed walkthrough experience that is 100% family-friendly but also meant for Christmas lovers of all ages! Plus, all guests get the chance to have their photos taken with Santa!

30th Annual Magical Forest

Date: Nov. 26, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022 starting at 5pm

Location: 6300 West Oakey Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

The Magical Forest is a winter wonderland with millions of sparkling lights, exciting rides, great food and endless holiday cheer.

They have a forest of gorgeously decorated trees to walk through, a train ride and lots of treats to indulge in.  The Magical Forest is a festive, all-ages theme park right here in Las Vegas. It is an outdoor event so be sure to dress warmly.

Enchant Christmas Village

Date: Nov. 26, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022

Location: 1650 South Pavilion Center Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89135

The Enchant adventure includes an Ice Skating Trail, a locally curated Christmas Market, an opportunity to meet Santa and a world of Christmas wonder awaits as you enter the custom-designed, 90,000 square foot light maze.

You will be transported to a living storybook of larger-than-life, stunning light sculptures and decadent delights as snow falls gently all around you.

Sip and Shop with Santa

Date: Every Friday and Saturday in December from 2-8pm (Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31)

Location: Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd. Las Vegas, Nevada 89145

Every Friday and Saturday, December 3-18 from 3-6pm, enjoy live music and grab a complimentary holiday themed cocktail while you shop specials at multiple retailers.

For the kids, Santa will be here to take photos, and there may be a surprise visit by Mrs. Claus!

YETI Junior World Finals – Qualifier

Date: Dec. 4 at 8am

Location: Las Vegas Convention Center

The Junior World Finals presented by @YETI will host more than 850 contestants within the Wrangler Rodeo Arena over the 10 days in December. Located in the heart of Las Vegas each contestant competes at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

These young athletes will compete for more than $1 million in combined cash and prize payout on their quest to claim a coveted Montana Silversmiths championship buckle. It’s the Junior World Finals – Rodeo’s Next Up!

Holiday Handi-Craft Sale

Date: Dec. 4 from 10am – 2pm

Location: East Las Vegas Community Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave.

Free entrance for shoppers. Come shopping for all handmade crafts including quilts, photo albums, crocheted and knitted items, and more.

6th Annual Margarita, Mojito, and Craft Beer Food Truck Festival

Date: Dec. 4 from 2-8pm

Location: Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd. Las Vegas, Nevada 89145

Come join us for our 6th annual Margarita, Mojito, and Craft Beer Food Truck Festival in Las Vegas *Holiday Edition*

Family Holiday Dance Off

Date: Dec. 4 from 5-7pm

Location: Greater Las Vegas Academy; 2170 E. Maule Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89119

Get your family’s free invitation for dancing, a snow machine, crafts, and a meeting with the Grinch. Get your invitation by sending an email to admin@greaterlasvegasacademy.org with the subject line “GRINCHMAS”.

Sensory Friendly Event with Santa 

Date: Dec. 5 & 12 from 9:30 – 10:30am

Location: Fashion Show Mall; 3200 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89109

In partnership with Autism Speaks, Sensory Friendly Santa Experience for the community at participating locations across the US.

Christmas Wagon Rides 

Date: Dec. 10-12, 17-19 from 4 – 8pm

Location: Gilcrease Orchard

Admission will be $4.00 per person (children two and under get in free), and Santa Claus will be present for family photo ops. Little ones will also have the opportunity to write letters to Santa that will be shipped straight to the North Pole!

Items available for purchase: apple cider donuts, hot chocolate, hot dogs with chili, as well as an assortment of delicious holiday treats.

Vintage & Craft Festival

Date: Dec. 19 from 10am – 4pm

Location: Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd. Las Vegas, Nevada 89145

Visit over 50 vintage and craft vendors – there is something for everyone!

Food & Beverage sold onsite & attendance is complimentary.

Pahrump

Check back for Pahrump event updates that are family-friendly.

Family-Friendly Events

We hope you have a wonderful December spending time with your loved ones. While there is so much to do and see, take some time for yourself and enjoy what matters most to you!

What events and activities are you looking forward to attending with your family this month?

Have travel plans to Reno or Tahoe areas? Check out upcoming events in Northern Nevada for the month of December.

Leanna Carson Headshot

Leanna Carson is an expecting mama via IVF and a serial entrepreneur.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, she loves sharing all things family-friendly as well as local spots most don’t even know about! She co-founded Nevada Moms in 2018 and it has become the #1 Family Guide to Nevada experiences, activities, happenings, and more.

Connect with her on social media or IRL @mrsleannacarson on Instagram.