The Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas are featuring a Game of Thrones theme until April 13th, 2019. If you can’t make it to Las Vegas in time to see it we have the video for you to watch. We wish the Fountains at The Bellagio would do this more often. This theme is pretty amazing and you can hear the crowd loving it. Even if you are not a Game of Thrones fan you should appreciate the beauty of this Bellagio Fountains show.
This weeks Las Vegas Photo of the Week is a view from our room at The Bellagio last December. The fountain views and water views are much sought after in Las Vegas people often forget how pretty the mountain views are. Our Bellagio view looked out over the pool area but also had a great view of the mountains, The Rio and The Palms. This photo was taken just after sunset. What is your favorite view in Las Vegas? Mountains, The Strip or The Bellagio Fountains?
Video walkthrough of a Resort King Room at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. This is a basic room at The Bellagio that we recently stayed at. Our room number was 9031. This Resort King Room is located in the Main Tower with a pool and mountain view. This is a typical room that you would get at The Bellagio with no upgrades.
As we were not concerned with any upgrades or did not care about the view we used Mobile Check In process to avoid the long line at check in and get our room earlier than 3:00. We checked in before noon and our room was ready within the hour. The room is automatically assigned so again I would suggest using this only if you are not concerned about upgrades or view.
Resort King Walkthrough at The Bellagio in Las Vegas
The basic room at The Bellagio is very stylish. You get a nice roomy seating area near the window with two comfortable chairs. The bed is nice and soft. You get a separate soaking tub and stand up shower. Only one sink though which was the only let down. Look in the closet for your Bellagio bath robe.
Bellagio Las Vegas Pro Tips
The Main Tower is closest to the Front Lobby. The rear tower (Spa Tower) can be quite a hike from the main lobby.
The North Valet is close the elevator banks for the Main Tower and using this is arriving in ride share and taxi will save your a longer walk.
The Conservatory is less busy a night giving you a better opportunity to take photos unobstructed.
There are limited inexpensive food choices and even more so a night. If you are heading back to your room and looking for a late night snack you would want to grab something before heading back to the hotel.
At the rear of the hotel is a Free Tram that will take you down to the T-Mobile Arena.
A stay at The Bellagio is definitely an upscale experience. The room and amenities will make you feel pampered and spoiled from the moment you arrive. It is however quite busy with tourists from other hotels stopping by to see the fountains, conservatory or property in general. We found the casino a little hectic with the site seeing gawkers. Overall we enjoyed our stay and we hope you do as well.
We have been visiting Las Vegas during the Christmas season for the past four years. We have put together this guide to show you what type of weather to expect, attractions and Christmas displays to visit and what to expect in general from crowds.
Christmas Weather in Las Vegas
The average temperatures for Vegas in December is a high of 58° F (14° C) and a low of 34° F (1° C). We have found that the temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit from day to day. There have been days where we have been able to wear shorts and a t shirt by day and a long sleeve and pants at night. Probably more often than not you will require long pants by day and night, a short or long sleeve shirt by day and a light jacket at night. When the sun goes down and the winds pick up at night it can fairly chilly.
Las Vegas Crowd Levels at Christmas
There seems to be differing opinions about crowd levels in Las Vegas over the Christmas Holidays and December in general. By the first week of December Christmas decorations will appear in hotels and along the strip.
The first two weeks of December has The National Finals Rodeo in town for 10 days. This is the time period that we generally are in town for. It is considered by many to be a busy time in Vegas but it’s a bit relative. Any of the casinos like The Mirage, MGM or Orleans that host nightly concerts or events will be busier than others that don’t. The NFR Experience website has a list of after dark events.
The following week and right up to Christmas Eve or a couple days before is generally fairly dead or empty in terms of crowd. This is because Christmas itself leading to New Years can be quite busy.
Vegas Shows Go Dark
Before you plan your big Vegas Christmas Vacation you should know that some shows go dark in December. This is especially true leading up to Christmas itself. It’s always best to check schedules in case you get your hopes up about seeing a show. For example, we never get a chance to see Brad Garret at his comedy club as he takes a few weeks off before Christmas and New Years.
Christmas Decorations and Attractions
One thing we have noticed over the past 5 years is that Vegas seems to be getting into the Christmas spirit more each year. There are lots of amazing Christmas Tree Displays. The Christmas music is hit or miss but you will find it in the lobbies, shopping areas and around the buffets. Lets take a look at some of the main displays and attractions.
Holiday Menus and Buffet Lines
Vegas is open on Christmas like any other day. It would be impossible to list where to dine for Christmas dinner. Your best bet would be to search out where you want to dine and look at their website or call to see if there are any Christmas dinners planned. Buffet lines can be fairly busy especially during NFR in early December and closer to Christmas. Plan accordingly.
The Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display
You can expect crowds as The Bellagio Conservatory is the Cadillac of Christmas displays in Las Vegas. This is probably one of the most stunning Christmas displays you will ever see. There is moving train, moving polar bears and a small area where it snows.
Aria and Crystals Mall
Our next top spot is to a less degree Aria lobby and more importantly the Christmas Tree at Crystals Mall. This first photos is the display at Aria and then the tree at Crystals.
Last year was our first visit to The Wynn. We went to see the Christmas display and we were not disappointed. Not as grand as The Bellagio it was still a site to behold.
The Park and T-Mobile Arena
The Park area is relatively new but that doesn’t mean that they don’t celebrate Christmas. You will another large Christmas tree as well as decorations, lights and music. It is especially lively if there is a sports event or concert in the area. Visit at night to get the full effect of the lights. Last year in 2017 they had a skating rink but it was not real ice. It was plastic surface and it was very small.
This view is from the the open outdoor bar inside the t-mobile arena.
Fremont Street Experience
I wouldn’t say that Fremont St goes overboard with the Christmas spirit but they do have a tree. They also have a number of filthy Santa’s but they might have those on any other given day.
The Best of the Rest Christmas in Las Vegas
Many of the casinos will also decorate their main lobbies or their shopping malls with Christmas cheer. For example, The Mirage, Caesars Palace and Harrah’s put up miscellaneous decorations. The Venetian also does up the area where the waterfall is located (photo below).
Christmas Activities in Las Vegas
There are a few Christmas themed activities to visit which we have not taken part in but are recommended. This would be The Ethel M. Chocolates Cactus Garden holiday display which is free to visit. There is also The Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where you can drive the track or take a tram which is lite up Christmas lights and decorations. There are generally Groupon deals for both of these activities.
Ice Skating in Las Vegas at Christmas
Our first trip back in 2014 there was ice skating located at Caesars Palace and we have heard that there was also skating at The Venetian. For the past couple of years there is only ice skating at The Cosmo. They have a real ice surface on top of their pool and you can rent skates. You can also reserve a fire pit area and do the whole smores experience. There is also a Groupon for this event. We tried it one time and had a great time.
This is a stock photos as ours did not turn out well.
If you have never been to Las Vegas and have a vacation coming up you may be overwhelmed with all of the activities and attractions the city offers. We have read through dozens of fun and free things to do in Las Vegas lists but many of them are misleading in recommending things to do that are not on the main “Las Vegas strip”. This list is fun and free things to do on the Las Vegas strip. We will tackle Downtown and Fremont St later on. When we get things together we plan on adding a google map for the listings.
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign has been standing since 1959 and is a great tourist stop for photos. The sign is completely free to visit and take photos of. The photo above is from our 2014 trip and you can see Mandalay Bay in the background. This is the far south end of the Las Vegas Strip.
Location: 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Hours: Always open.
Getting there: It is about as far south as it gets for visiting the Las Vegas Strip. It is not close to the middle of the strip and takes some travelling to get there. You can either take the Bus and get dropped off close to the sign or you can make your to Mandalay Bay and then walk which will take you about 10 minutes. The walk is considered safe as you actually walk past a police station but using common sense we would not be walking there at night.
Tips: When we visited there was a person there offering to take your photo for a tip. They are not affiliated with the sign or the City of Las Vegas. They are just trying to make a buck. We did tip $5 to get a photo of my wife and I and the girl did take a good photo but don’t fee inclined to pay for a photo.
The Park is the name for the area between NYNY and The Monte Carlo and in front of the T Mobile Center. It is host to a few restaurants, art structures and a wall waterfall. There is lots of shade making it a nice place to visit, relax and take in the atmosphere.
Location: 3782 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109
Getting there: Located between NYNY and The Monte Carlo.
Tips: We have been there a number of times. When there is an event on like Vegas Knights hockey game the place is rocking and a lot of fun. We also stopped in when LVU was playing Duke and had a fantastic time. But we also ventured down there at night when there was nothing on and there wasn’t too many people around. It was great for taking photos like the one above but a little too quiet for Vegas.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
Hershey’s Chocolate World is a little closer and located at the New York New York Hotel & Casino. The store is 13,000 sq ft and home to over 800 Hershey’s chocolates and candies. The Statue of Liberty pictured above is made out of 800 lbs. of HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth you will be very satisfied with a visit to this chocolate store.
Location: 3790 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 at the New York New York Hotel & Casino.
Getting there: It is very easy to get to Hershey’s Chocolate World as it located right off the sidewalk in front of New York New York.
Tips: No tips required. The store has it’s busy times but we have visited a few times and have never had any problems. If you have a tip feel free to share.
The Bellagio Fountains
The Bellagio Fountains are probably the most recognized feature of the Las Vegas Strip. The lake itself is 8 acres in size and fed by a fresh water well. The fountains can be described as a symphony of lights, music and water. It is the one thing on the Strip you are not going to miss. The photo above was taken from the top of the Eiffel Tower across the street (which is not a free attraction but worth it).
Location:3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino
Saturday and Holidays
Every 30 minutes from 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Every 15 minutes from 8:00pm to 12:00am
Every 30 minutes from 11:00am to 7:00pm
Every 15 minutes from 7:00pm to 12:00am
Monday to Friday
Every 30 minutes from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Every 15 minutes from 8:00pm to 12:00am
Getting there: Located in front of the Bellagio Hotel and is considered mid strip so it easy to get to.
Tips: The Bellagio Fountains can be quite busy at night so you have to have some patience when trying to get a good spot. They are obviously less busy during the day. You can get a good show from the bridge/walkway which leads into the Bellagio but there is glass between you. We also like to watch them from atop the Eiffel Tower at The Paris across the road but it is not free.
The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are a real free hidden gem in Las Vegas. There are five seasonal themes that are celebrated with a floral display. The five themes are and dates are listed below. The display is 14,000 sq ft in size and is home to tens of thousands of flowers on display.
The photos above are from a December and May trip.
Location:3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino
Hours: Open 24 hours
Chinese New Year – January – March
Spring Celebration: March – June
Summer: June – September
Harvest: September – November
Winter: December- January
Getting there: Located just past the Main Entrance and Main Lobby.
Tips: The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens like other attractions can be very busy at peak hours and times. We have always had luck either going early in the morning or later at night. Just be aware that everyone is trying to get that perfect photo or selfie so it’s easy to get crossed up with others.
The Mirage Volcano
Another iconic attraction on the Las Vegas Strip, the Mirage Volcano will leave you feeling the heat. Literally if you are standing close enough. It is a great free show of music, lights and most importantly fire and explosions. The Mirage has scaled back the amount of times it goes off so expect some crowds but you will still be able to take it in.
There is also a large fish tank located behind the main check in so if you are exploring The Mirage make sure you have a look.
Location: 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 at The Mirage Hotel & Casino.
Hours: The times were a little off on our last visit but they did go off twice a night regardless. Sunday – Thursday 8:00 PM & 9:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 8:00 PM, 9:00 PM, 10:00 PM
Getting there: It is very easy to get to The Mirage Volcano as it is located right on The Strip in front of The Mirage.
Tips: The scaled back times means bigger crowds and this is the one place where it can be frustrating to get a good spot. Here is a pro tip, you can view the Volcano from the other side of the lake which is right outside the main entrance to The Mirage and get a great view with less crowds. I would just get there early as well.
Fall of Atlantis at Caesars Forum Shops
The Fall of Atlantis is told through an animatronic show filled with special effects and of course, a dragon. It’s sure to dazzle and is for all ages. A nice free touch inside a very upscale shopping plaza. There is also a large fish tank located at the base where the show is held.
Location: 3500 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 in Caesars Palace Forum Shops
Hours: Every hour/on the hour, Sun – Thr, 11 am – 10 pm; Fri – Sat, 11 am – 11 pm
Getting there: Located inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
Tips: Put your walking shoes on it is located at the back of the Forum Shops and if you come from the street or via the casino it is still a hike to get there.
If you are trekking the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace make sure you stop by Kalifano’s. They have unique metal sculptures like Darth Vader, Predator and Terminator. They are truly an amazing site to see.
Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
Not only will you find a flock of Chilean flamingos at The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat you will find ducks, swans and lost of koi fish. It’s a nice peaceful garden walk that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the Vegas strip. You will almost forget you are in sin city.
Location: 3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 at The Flamingo Hotel and Casino
Hours: Daily from dawn until dusk.
Getting there: Located inside The Flamingo Hotel and Casino
Tips: Try to make it for the Pelican feeding Pelican at 8:30 AM and 2 PM every day.
The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian
If you want to experience some decadence in Las Vegas then you will want to take a tour of The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. The canal winds it way through the shoppes and with the painted ceiling you will forget that you are indoors. You can opt for a paid gondola but you can just enjoy the water and people watch.
We took this photo in December of 2017 as we made our way to visit the Rolling Stones exhibit.
Location: 3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 at The Venetian Hotel
Getting there: Located inside The Venetian Hotel
Tips: The Venetian is a massive property. We have been there a number of times and never seen the entire thing. Put your walking shoes on and be prepared for a hike.
Big Elvis at Harrah’s
If you are looking for a free Elvis experience in Las Vegas you do not want to miss Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee. The man is a Vegas icon who puts on one heck of a show. Not only does Big Elvis belt the tunes out he also gives you a bit of a story or history about the songs and give you great insight into the King himself.
Location: 3475 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas, NV 89109 at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino
Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm and 5:00 pm
Getting there: Located at The Piano Bar inside Harrah’s. The entrance is right near Carnival Court in the open area between Harrah’s and The Linq
Tips: Get there early to get a good seat. Ideally you want the center or right side when entering the Piano Bar. Once the show starts and the seats are taken gawkers will come in the left side and stand there blocking the view for everyone until they get yelled at. You can also stand outside the bar by the entrance and watch from the outside if you don’t want to enter.
Pirates at Treasure Island
The free Pirate show at Treasure Island is long gone. The Pirate Ship is still there and worth a look. It’s too bad the show is gone but we couldn’t help stop and take some photos. Who knows if you might want to venture into Gilley’s and catch some bull riding.
Location: 3300 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
Getting there: Located at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.
Tips: It’s a short stop to add to your photo collection.
All of the activities and locations we have presented are located right on the The Las Vegas Strip. The Las Vegas Strip is amazingly large with countless activities and attractions. These are just a few of our favorite. Check back as we add more in the future and enjoy the Las Vegas Strip.