Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 | 5:39 p.m.
Just because we're celebrating the holidays in the desert and there's little chance of a white Christmas, there's no reason not to get in the holiday spirit. With everything from menorah lightings to sleigh rides to photos with Santa, Las Vegas has something to fit everyone's holiday activity schedule.
Friday, December 11
The Vogues holiday show at Eastside Cannery: Pop icons The Vogues will perform holiday classics and their own memorable hits like "Turn Around And Look At Me," "My Special Angel," and "Magic Town" at Marilyn's Lounge in Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel.
Sara Evans Celebrates the Season at The Star of the Desert Arena: Sara Evans brings her Celebrates the Season show, featuring her own hits like "Born to Fly" and "Perfect" along with traditional holiday music.
Third annual Winter Lights Festival at Springs Preserve: Springs Preserve is keeping with the green theme as its display will feature half a million eco-friendly LED lights. Children can take a ride on a "reindeer" pony, a holiday sleigh or a kiddie train.
Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Henderson Events Plaza: Santa Claus will be arriving just in time for this event. Enjoy ice stating, wagon rides, live entertainment, pony rides, a petting zoo and a gingerbread house display.
The Magical Forest: Every year this favorite community event brings even finer decorations and enhancements and includes two train rides, an indoor dining spot, ample benches for relaxing in the glow and space for that special visit with Santa. The proceeds benefit the clients and programs of Opportunity Village.
Gift of Lights at Sunset Park: A drive-through celebration of many cultures, holidays and observances. Stay toasty warm while enjoying this from your car as you view a sparkling array of decorations and displays.
Ethel's Holiday Cactus Garden: See holiday lights as only Vegas could do them — on cacti. Local school choirs will perform during the evenings, and Santa Claus will make appearances each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 20 and on the Monday and Tuesday of Christmas week.
Christmas Walk on Main Street at The District: The District at Green Valley Ranch presents the Christmas Walk — A Joyful Holiday Celebration. Walk around festively decorated Main Street, stop for photos with Santa in The Courtyard, take complimentary horse and carriage rides, listen to live music and watch a Christmas tree light show. Performers from local schools, churches and performance groups will provide holiday music on Main Street through December 20, and the tree light show will run through December 24.
Saturday, December 12
Snow in the Square in Town Square Park: Snowflakes will be falling to the tune of holiday music at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
"Gifts of the Islands" at the Historic Fifth Street School: The holiday party is an evening of Hawaiian music, dance and culture with Gary Haleamau & Kawili, featuring Kumu Hula Sheldeen Haleamau and Halau Hula O Kaleimomi.
"Seasons Greetings" Family Holiday Open House at East Las Vegas Community Center: Along with making holiday cards for overseas troops, attendees can take part in a holiday sing-along with songs in both English and Spanish.
The Galleria at Sunset's Christmas Criers program: Participants in this contest can win a prize pack consisting of a $500 gift card to the Galleria at Sunset, free Ben & Jerry's ice cream for one year, a personalized Christmas Criers engraved photo frame and more. Each child who cries on Santa's lap can enter the contest and have their photo displayed where shoppers can vote for their favorite crier.
Dock of Lights 2009 at the Callville Bay Marina: Santa and Mrs. Claus will make their rounds at the Lake Mead Yacht Club as visitors sip hot chocolate and check out the elaborate light displays on boats. Visitor feeds will be waived after 2 p.m. for those attending the Dock of Lights.
Photos with Santa Claus in Town Square Park: Children and pets can have their pictures taken with Santa at his Norman-Rockwell-inspired house in Town Square Park. Mr. Claus will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Keep in mind Santa has a milk-and-cookies break Monday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:15 to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 2:30 to 3 p.m. Cats and dogs are invited to have photos with Santa on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.
WinterFest Parade at the Henderson Events Plaza: The parade will feature ice skating, wagon rides, live entertainment, pony rides, a petting zoo and a gingerbread house display.
Old-Fashioned Sleigh Rides at the Old Mill Campground: The campground in Lee Canyon gets into the holiday spirit with old-fashioned sleigh rides. The event is by reservation only, so please call 596-6715 for more information.
Sunday, December 13
Mannheim Steamroller at The Orleans: The Yuletide favorite will roll into The Orleans, putting its "18th century classical rock band" spin on holiday music and getting you in the mood for the season.
Christmas with the Musical Arts Society at CSN: The College of Southern Nevada's Musical Arts Chorus will perform music from the oratorio "Christus" by Mendelssohn, "Christmas Day" by Holst, "Panis Angelicus" by Cesar Franck and selections from "Messiah". The program will conclude with a holiday carol sing-along.
Monday, December 14
Chanukah in The District: Chabad of Green Valley will host a community menorah-lighting ceremony at The District at Green Valley Ranch. The menorah lighting will also include live entertainment, music and dancing plus treats of donuts and chocolate gelt.
Photos with Santa at Excalibur: Jolly Ol' St. Nick will be posing for pictures with children at Excalibur through Christmas Eve. Santa is just off the main lobby of the hotel.
Tuesday, December 15
Holiday Make It & Take It Workshop at the Robison Community School: The school wants to help you finish up your holiday crafts with by offering punch and cookies while you work on holiday arts and crafts. Advance registration is required; please call 229-2542.
A Twisted Christmas with Twisted Sister at The Hilton: Put a rock-'n'-roll spin on your holiday season with Dee Snider and the gang.
Wednesday, December 16
Holiday Nights & Lights at the Town Square Park: Every Wednesday evening through December 23, this community concert series will feature local choirs and music groups from Las Vegas schools and community organizations.
Friday, December 18
A Spectacular Phantom Holiday Concert at the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse: The Downtown Cultural Series presents "A Spectacular Phantom Holiday Concert" featuring cast members of Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular performing beloved seasonal songs.
A Very Scinta Christmas at the Suncoast Showroom: "Las Vegas' first family of entertainment," The Scintas, will be performing live at the Suncoast Showroom. The show will also run on the 19th and 20th.
Nevada Ballet Theatre's production of The Nutcracker: Get in the holiday spirit with your annual dose of sugar plum fairies, performed at Paris Las Vegas.
Ward 5 Holiday Tree Lighting and Movie in the Park: The Tree lighting ceremony at Lorenzi Park will take place at 5 p.m. and Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas will be shown at 5:45 p.m.
An Island Christmas at The South Point: This event will be highlighted by the vocal talents of Christine Copeland featuring the Island Dancers.
Saturday, December 19
Big Band Pops Christmas at the Charleston Heights Arts Center: Tony Scodwell — and guest Lisa Mayer — will perform peppy, upbeat versions of all your holiday favorites.
Tenors for U holiday concert at the Historic Fifth Street School: The Tenors for U holiday concert will feature holiday music from classic to pop.
Wynonna: A Classic Christmas at The Las Vegas Hilton: The country singer will perform hits such as "White Christmas" and "Ave Maria."
Sprinting into the Holidays 5K and Fun Walk: Both humans and dogs are invited to participate in the fun walk held at Majestic Park. The registration fee includes a Santa hat to wear during the race.
La Posada December Fiesta at the East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center: Join Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese to celebrate the holidays with the traditional Hispanic custom that involves friends, family and the entire community. Enjoy live entertainment, traditional Posada, food vendors, a raffle and a visit from Santa Claus.
Wednesday, December 23
Andy William Christmas Show at the Las Vegas Hilton: Just in time for the holidays! Look forward to hearing hits like "Can't Help Falling In Love", "Happy Heart", and "Where Do I Begin."
Holiday Caroling at the East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center: Join your friends as they get into the holiday spirit singing carols to residents of the center.
Brian Setzer Orchestra at The Joint: The Brian Setzer orchestra presents the 7th Annual Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza at The Joint. Setzer's 18-piece band will put a new spin on your holiday favorites.
Friday, December 25
Clint Holmes Christmas at The Suncoast: Holmes will perform the favorite songs and sounds of the season.
Sunday, December 27
Kwanzaa Celebration Kujichagulia: The West Las Vegas Library will host the Kwanzaa Celebration Kujichagulia: Rites of Passage Graduation Ceremony. For more information, please call 507-3989.