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August 22, 2014

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Events guide: Community holiday events 2012

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

People stroll through Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.

This holiday season, get in the spirit with a number of festive events for the whole family. Enjoy arts and crafts, concerts and of course photos with Santa, plus a variety of Hanukkah-related events. Don't forget to stock up on holiday treats at local chocolatiers Ethel M, Max Brenner Chocolate by the Bald Man and Sugar Factory, which will all have special holiday items for sale.

Photos with Santa:

Boulevard Mall:

• 3528 S. Maryland Parkway, 735-8268

• Nov. 17-Dec. 13:

Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (Break 2:30-3:30 p.m.)

Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (Break 3-4 p.m.)

Sunday: Noon-6 p.m. (Break 3-3:30 p.m.)

Dec. 14-23:

Daily: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (Break 1-1:30 p.m.; 5-6 p.m.)

Dec. 24:

9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Break 12:30-1 p.m.)

Galleria at Sunset:

• 1300 W. Sunset Road, 434-0202

• Nov. 10-Dec. 24:

Monday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Meadows Mall:

• 4300 Meadows Lane, 878-3331

• Nov. 10-Dec. 24:

Monday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Sunday: Noon-6 p.m.

• Pet photos with Santa: 6 p.m. until closing on Monday, Dec. 10, 17

Fashion Show:

• 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 369-8382

• Nov. 23-Dec. 14:

Monday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

Sunday: Noon-7 p.m.

Dec. 15, 21, 22: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

Dec. 16: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Dec. 17–20: 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

Dec. 23: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

Dec. 24: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.

• Pet photos with Santa: 6 p.m. until closing on Monday, Dec. 10, 17

Tivoli Village:

• 440 South Rampart, 570-7400

• Through Dec. 23:

Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 20 and Friday, Dec. 21: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 24: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Town Square:

• 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 269-5000

• Through Dec. 24:

Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

Dec. 22, 23: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.

Dec. 24: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Santa takes breaks from 1-1:30 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Sunday from 2-3 p.m.

• Pet photos with Santa:

Through Dec. 19: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

Ongoing events:

Santa is making his list and checking it twice and so far has found naughty sharks, a rare Komodo Dragon and piranhas. Throughout the month of December at Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, children can share their last-minute holiday wishes with Mr. Claus in the aquarium’s shipwreck exhibit. With each paid admission, children 12 and under will receive a complimentary candy cane and a photograph with Santa. Santa Jaws will make his rounds at the exhibit as well. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Dec. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22-24. Santa will be present those days from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Head out to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile track for a massive holiday lights extravaganza, Glittering Lights, featuring more than 450 animated displays. The event runs Sunday-Thursday from 5:30-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30- 10 p.m. The cost is $15-$20.

KISS By Monster Mini Golf will hold a toy drive through the end of the year, benefiting Toys for Tots. Guests who bring in a new unwrapped toy can play mini golf for just $5.

New York-New York decks the Broadway Theater’s halls for the family-friendly holiday show “Christmas in New York.” This limited-time holiday engagement features favorite seasonal songs.

Winter in Venice returns to the Venetian and the Palazzo. The second annual celebration of the winter holiday season on the Las Vegas Strip features 50 days of holiday festivities throughout both resorts through Jan. 6. Activities include an outdoor skating rink (open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.), a culinary clash between famous chefs on certain nights and a nightly holiday parade (at 6 and 8 p.m.) through the Venetian’s Doge’s Palace, featuring characters from the Winter in Venice celebration. Seasonal storylines will be projected in 3D as part of the “Light of Venice” display. Additionally, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas takes over the theater at Palazzo with its signature Christmas classics plus elaborate choreography and aerial displays. Performances are nightly at 7 p.m. though Dec. 30, plus additional shows at 9 p.m. on Dec. 25, 27 and 29. Concert tickets are $70-$146.

Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest celebrates its 21st anniversary. The holiday event features decorated trees, millions of lights, photos with Santa, an antique carousel and a gingerbread house display. The event runs nightly through Jan. 6 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $9-$17.50. This year, Opportunity Village will continue to provide special discounted nights. Monday nights (family nights) are perfect for the whole family, presenting a wonderful opportunity for a festive family get-together. Families purchasing one adult admission at the gate will receive a complimentary child’s admission. Thrifty Thursdays feature a $2 discount admission with the donation of a bag of new or gently used clothing/household items. College students receive $2 off general admission every Sunday night. Seniors, as well as men and women of the military, receive $2 off general admission daily.

Ethel M Chocolates hosts the 19th annual Holiday Cactus Garden. The beloved seasonal attraction features more than 600,000 sparkling lights decoratively displayed throughout a sprawling three-acre Botanical Cactus Garden. Enjoy live entertainment (Friday–Saturday), photos with Santa (Friday–Sunday) and other festive décor. The attraction is open nightly from 5–10 p.m. through Jan. 1.

The pioneer-themed Mystic Falls Park Light and Water Show has transformed into a winter wonderland experience at Sam’s Town’s porte-cochère, featuring festive lighting, decorative snowflakes, poinsettias, red garland, ice crystals and an ice sculpture in the main fountain. Cowboy Santa takes up residence in the Park’s gazebo. Sam’s Town will host the 15-minute laser light spectacular hourly during the holiday season, from 5-10 p.m. through Jan. 1. And from Nov. 25 to Dec. 23, Cowboy Santa will appear Thursdays and Fridays from 4-8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon-8 p.m.

The Springs Preserve will usher in the holiday season, complete with Santa Claus, “reindeer” rides and holiday arts and crafts, with its annual, family-friendly Holiday Spectacular. The event features live nightly entertainment by community troupes, snow flurries, cookie decorating, photos with Santa and reindeer (pony) rides for the little ones, all set against the backdrop of nearly a million LED lights throughout the property. The event will also feature “snow” in the Springs Amphitheater where a Christmas tree, menorah and Kwanzaa displays will help set the holiday spirit. The Springs Cafe by the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas will offer holiday goodies, and visitors can shop for “green” holiday presents at the gift shop. On Dec. 16, the Springs Preserve will present a Posada, a Mexican Christmas celebration with music, dance, piñatas, and unique decorations, as well as traditional food and hot drinks as part of the Holiday Spectacular festivities. The event runs Dec. 8-9 and 15-23 from 5-9 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children 5-12, and free for those 4 and under. Members receive half off the regular admission price. On Dec. 21, all public, private and charter school teachers, administrators and school staff will receive half-off admission with their school ID.

Underwater Santa visits the Silverton Aquarium along with his elves. He'll be floating around Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. through the Dec. 23.

Madame Tussauds Las Vegas invites visitors to spend the holidays with Selena Gomez as the attraction features her wax figure through Jan. 31. Gomez’s figure is dressed in a holiday-inspired outfit, perfect for photos with friends and family. Through Dec. 24, visitors can fill out letters addressed to Santa and drop them in the mailbox located by the wax figure. Those looking to speak with the big man directly can do so from 4:30–6:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15 and 20-23. Santa will pose for photos with guests in front of an image of the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

Enjoy the new Winter Wonderland at Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden. This year's display features a 45-foot-tall holiday tree with 13,500 white LED lights and more than 2,500 ornaments. The display features oversized toy soldiers, a floral holiday card and an ensemble of faux baby penguins frolicking around an ice pond. A playful family trio of topiary polar bears will be adorned with “fur” coats made of more than 35,000 hand-applied white carnations as the baby bear floats on a frozen pond. A chocolate village has been specially created by Bellagio’s renowned pastry team. The Conservatory display is open 24 hours a day through Jan. 5.

Ventriloquist Terry Fator mixes Christmas songs into his show for the holiday season. From “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” to “White Christmas,” “A Very Terry Christmas” captures the spirit of the holidays.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas transforms the Boulevard Pool into a winter wonderland with The Ice Rink, featuring skating on real ice, custom-designed fire pits, warm cocktails and s’mores. Special evening programming will offer a night for everyone including Date Skate Mondays, where visitors will experience a date night on ice as scenes from beloved holiday movies play on the resort’s 65-foot digital marquee. Every Wednesday, DJs will turn The Ice Rink into an outdoor club scene during Industry Skate on The Strip. Throwback Thursdays give guests the opportunity to dig out their leg warmers and disco gear as they skate to music from the '70s, '80s and '90s. A full bar will also be available, including The Ice Rink’s signature cocktail, the Campfire Delight.

The Ice Rink is open through Jan. 20. Hours of operation are Monday–Friday from 3-11 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Holiday hours from Dec. 24–Jan. 4 are 11 a.m.–11 p.m. daily. All day skating access is $10 for Nevada residents and $15 for non-residents. Visitors to The Ice Rink are allowed to bring their own skates, or rent a pair for $5. The Ice Rink is open to those who are at least 2 years old.

Friday, Dec. 7:

Enjoy holiday favorites from local favorite Clint Holmes as he puts a festive spin on his Cabaret Jazz residency show at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

December’s First Friday Las Vegas showcases 75-plus artists, 15 live bands and DJs on four stages, 25-plus food trucks and more. The Holiday Shopping Bazaar will give you a jump on gift buying with plenty of handcrafted gifts, and Yelp will be on hand to wrap all your purchases. This winter wonderland will feature carolers, sleigh rides and snow. Marines representing Toys for Tots will bring their Humvee to receive toy donations for Las Vegas Valley children who might not be getting toys this year. Please bring unwrapped toys to donate.

Saturday, Dec. 8:

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children presents its 6th annual Night of Lights at its ranch at 100 St. Jude’s Road in Boulder City. The family-friendly holiday celebration of the ranch and its mission of helping local children offers wristbands for $25 that include selections from a special Italian menu provided by Tom and Jack Campione, owners of the Campione D’Italia restaurant. Children 3 and under are admitted free. The night includes carolers, food, a silent auction, photos with Santa Claus, a s’mores station for dessert plus arts and crafts activities.

Experience a variety of displays and special programming at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, where guests can learn about diverse cultural traditions for the holidays. Activities are held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Sundays, through Christmas.

Las Vegas families are invited to celebrate the holidays at We Knead the Dough, a fundraiser at Faith Lutheran School featuring more than 40 gingerbread houses, 1,000 gingerbread people, entertainment, a pizza lunch by Cici’s, visits with Santa Claus, carnival-style games and children’s activities. Admission is $15 per person and includes a gingerbread cookie decorating kit, pizza buffet and carnival games. For $50, guests can decorate their own gingerbread house. All proceeds benefit the Rape Crisis Center Building Fund.

Sunday, Dec. 9:

JG Productions Theatre presents Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" at Lawry's The Prime Rib at 4043 Howard Hughes Pkwy. Enjoy a little holiday dinner theater. Call 893-2223 to make reservations.

The Nevada Chamber Symphony presents the "Home for the Holidays" concert featuring a program of traditional and well loved music including the "Skater's Waltz," "Jingle Bells Forever," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "The Christmas Song" and many more seasonal favorites. The Ronzone Elementary School Honor Choir will perform with the group and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to join in the fun. The event is free to the public, but reservations are suggested due to limited seating; call 433-9280.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts celebrates the season with a holiday concert with singer and famed Broadway actress Linda Eder in Symphony Park. Known for her starring role in Frank Wildhorn’s Broadway production of “Jekyll & Hyde,” Eder will be the first to perform at the Smith Center’s 1.7-acre Symphony Park, which will be adorned in festive holiday décor with its 35-foot-tall palm trees strung with holiday lights. A traditional 23-foot Christmas tree will feature 11,500 lights. General admission tickets are currently sold out but reserved tables alongside the park sidewalks with food & beverage service are available for purchase for $50 per attendee or $600 per table by reserving online or by calling 749-2000.

Monday, Dec. 10:

Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will help Santa light Las Vegas’ official Christmas tree. The 50-foot tree will be set up below the 12.5 million lights of the Viva Vision screen. Directly following the ceremony, the Candy & The Canes show will take place, a live song and dance show to holiday music hits. The tree will be on display at the Fremont Street Experience through the Christmas holiday.

It’s Holiday time at the Historic Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino, which means the Annual Gingerbread House Display will be out through Dec. 26. Chefs from Railroad Pass will design their own components of the display, which is available for viewing 24 hours a day in the casino lobby.

Wednesday, Dec. 12:

Chef Megan Romano of Chocolate & Spice Bakery hosts her first cooking class for children, inviting young chefs to participate in a cookie-decorating session. Chef Romano will lead the group through a hands-on class where children will design holiday sugar cookie cutouts and ginger bread ornaments to take home. The event costs $25 per child and will include treats and refreshments. Children must be 4 years or older, and parents must be present for the duration of the class. To sign up or for more information, email [email protected].

Thursday, Dec. 13:

Nannies & Housekeepers U.S.A. hosts its last story time of 2012 with a special reading of Chris Van Allsburg’s famous holiday classic "The Polar Express" at Brighton Collectibles inside Tivoli Village in Summerlin. The story will be read by Nannies & Housekeepers U.S.A.’s Mary Poppins story teller.

No need to rush your party dress to the cleaners. Stay home this December to benefit Easter Seals Nevada and its mission to serve more than 7,000 Nevadans living with disabilities. On Thursday, Dec. 13, Easter Seals hosts Nevada’s second “Stay at Home Gala,” a charitable event you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Embrace the spirit of giving by purchasing a $35 “un-ticket” and spend the evening at home with friends and family. Ticket holders are eligible to win a door prize.

Saturday, Dec. 15:

Get ready for Christmas at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, where children can create their own holiday wreath or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The events take place during normal museum hours: Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. from Dec. 15- 21.

Bring your family to the Old Mormon Fort for a hands-on day of making gingerbread houses and other holiday ornaments while enjoying hot cocoa and cookies. The Fort is also hosting its holiday Wreath Sale, with all of the proceeds going to the Friends of the Fort.

The Las Vegas Library hosts a holiday concert by Hot Club of Las Vegas, an all-acoustic Gypsy Jazz group. There will be a reception and meet and greet immediately following the concert.

The “RMS” before Titanic stands for Royal Mail Ship, and the Titanic was responsible for transporting over 7 million pieces of mail. This year, children can give their letters directly to Santa at "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," on Dec. 15. Children will also receive a complimentary photo with Santa on the Grand Staircase. If kids miss their chance to give their wish lists to Santa, they can take their letters to drop boxes at Yogurtland locations, Town Square and "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition." Anyone who provides an email address with their letter to Santa will receive a personal note from Old St. Nicholas himself.

Simon Restaurant and Lounge at Palms Place hosts Communities In Schools of Nevada’s annual Santa Tea, which promises an afternoon of delicious treats and holiday activities such as gingerbread cookie decorating, festive games and music. Children can have their photos taken with Santa Claus. Executive Chef Kerry Simon will prepare a feast including mac 'n cheese, tea sandwiches, fresh sushi and his signature holiday junk food platters as well as hot cocoa for children and cranberry mojitos for parents. Reservations are required; call 770-7611.

Nevada Ballet Theatre presents "The Nutcracker" at the Smith Center. This timeless holiday classic features a new format with live music.

The Venetian and Palazzo present the third annual Festivino, a celebration of Bordeaux during their Winter in Venice event. On Saturday, Dec. 15, from 7-9 p.m., the Palazzo kicks off Festivino with an event starting with a Bordeaux glass of sparkling Gerard Bertrand Cremant Rosé upon entry plus wines and appetizers throughout the night. Guests can learn about the wines from master sommeliers by the Waterfall Atrium of the Palazzo, decked out in winter décor. Tickets are $40 for general admission and $35 for Grazie members. Pinot Brasserie and Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro will offer $75 prix fixe menus with Bordeaux pairings throughout the month.

Sunday, Dec. 16:

The Hogs & Heifers Miracle on 3rd Street Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run is an afternoon of crafts, snacks, music and of course a motorcycle ride. Proceeds benefit Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation & Sunrise Children's Hospital. Continental breakfast and registration take place from 8-10 a.m. with the ride beginning at 10:30 a.m. The after party takes place back at Hogs at 2:30 p.m. with live music from Hot Rod Deville and food. Please bring donations of new unwrapped toys.

Sunday, Dec. 16:

Vegas Ballet Company presents Nutcracker Highlights 2012 at the Summerlin Library's Performing Arts Center, featuring Yoomi Lee and Kyudong Kwak.

Hanukkah events:

Saturday, Dec. 8:

Learn about the traditions of Hanukkah and why it is a special time in the Jewish community. Create holiday cards and finger paint the nine candles and flames onto a menorah at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum. The events take place during normal museum hours: Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from noon-5 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9:

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will light the Grand Menorah at the Fremont Street Experience. A ceremony will be led by Rabbi Shea Harlig, director of Chabad of Southern Nevada, to welcome the Festival of Lights. The Grand Menorah will be on display through the holiday season. The event takes place just west of the intersection at 4th Street and the Fremont Street Experience.

Join the Jewish Family Service Agency for a menorah lighting at Opportunity Village's Magical Forest. There will be a wine tasting and live entertainment as well. Entry to the Magical Forest is $9-$15.50 and the wine tasting tickets which include Magical Forest entry are $36 or $72 per couple.

Wednesday, Dec. 12:

Join the Henderson Jewish community in the lighting of Henderson's largest menorah at the District at Green Valley Ranch. Enjoy live music, gelt, free donuts and opportunities to meet with community leaders.

Thursday, Dec. 13:

Enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres, untainted vodka cocktails and wine at the Vodka Latka at Hyde Bellagio, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. The event is $65 per person and a minimum donation of $180 is required for the Jewish Federation Campaign.

Sunday, Dec. 16:

Mushugginah Klezmorim will perform their style of klezmer music, or "Jewish jazz," on the last night of Hanukkah, Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Winchester Cultural Center.

If you have information on any additional community holiday events, please contact Allison Duck at [email protected].

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  1. Lamb of God Lutheran Church (6220 Nth Jones Blvd) invites everyone to join us on Saturday 15th December at 6:00pm till 8:30pm for our free Live Nativity event featuring live animals, presentations by Mary, Joseph, the Three Kings and the Shepherds, and the Angels singing songs of Joy. Cookies and Hot Chocolate will be available.
    ALL WELCOME