Las Vegas in December

If you’re thinking about going to Las Vegas in December, we’ve got you covered. We provide you with everything you need to know about

  • The weather in December
  • What to wear in December
  • Which events and activities are worth it
  • When it’s busy or crowded
  • The winter holiday displays you must see

Weather in December

December in Las Vegas brings more refreshing weather than the scorching summers, but it never gets cold or freezing. Most days are clear, dry, and warm. The nights in this entertainment capital, on the other hand, can get relatively cool.

Good to know: December feels like pleasant spring weather in Vegas to visitors from the northern states.

During December, the average high temperature in Las Vegas is 58-60°F (14-16°C) degrees. It’s about 15°F degrees colder in the morning and late evening. The climate is dry and typical of a desert area, with little chance of rain. Daylight lasts for 9 hours 45 minutes on average.

December and January are the coldest months of the year in Las Vegas. However, it doesn’t feel cool if you’re from a northern state.

As the month progresses, temperatures start to drop a bit. As a result, if you visit in early December, the temperatures are usually a little more pleasant.

  • Early December: 61°F (16°C) average high
  • Mid-December: 58°F (14°C) average high
  • Late December: 56°F (14) average high

Temperature progression on a typical day in December:

  • Morning (8 AM): 44°F
  • Afternoon (3 PM): 57°F
  • Evening (7 PM): 47°F

You usually experience mild sunny afternoons and chilly cool evenings during this month.

Does it snow in December? While you might see a few snow flurries, snowfall is very rare and uncommon in Las Vegas during December. This means you won’t have to worry about snowfall in December. However, there could be snow in the nearby mountains (about 45 minutes to drive).

Does it rain in December? While rain is rare in Vegas, December is one of the wetter months of the year, and you may catch a rainy day. Nevertheless, most days are rain-free, and you can enjoy exploring the Strip or going on a tour.

Compared to the summer months, when a heavy downpour is over after 10-20 minutes, in December, it’s typically more light rain which takes longer. However, no need to bring heavy rain gear; just head to a casino, Area15, or an afternoon show.

December Quick Facts and Tips

Attractions/Shows: Every attraction is open in December, and all the shows are running.
Pools: December is not the best pool weather. However, some hotels have their heated pools open, especially on the Strip. Make sure to check with your hotel first.
Accommodation: Hotel prices are moderate in early December, but they begin to rise before Christmas.
Clothing: Dress in layers, and carry a sweater, a light jacket, a medium jacket, and a pair of comfy long pants. Bring t-shirts for sunny afternoons.

What to Wear

Because of Las Vegas’s predictable weather during any month, a packing list for December is relatively easy to create.

In December, the majority of visitors to Las Vegas will want to dress warmly in the mornings and at night. On a warmer and sunny afternoon during your vacation, you may feel more comfortable in a short-sleeved t-shirt. However, a long-sleeved shirt is in general the ideal option for a December trip.

Pack pants and jeans for both the day and night

  • A light sweater or jacket
  • A medium jacket
  • Jeans or khakis
  • Swimsuit (for hotels with heated pools)
  • Shorts or skirts
  • T-shirts and tank tops
  • Long-sleeved t-shirt
  • A collared shirt or a dressy blouse

Just remember, that layering is important as temperatures vary during the day. Think sweaters, light jackets, medium jackets, maybe cardigans; you get the idea. Everything you can put on when it gets cooler or take off when it’s getting warm.

Visiting casinos and shows: While there is no official dress code, we always recommend dressing smartly when visiting casinos or shows. For women, this is an eye-catching dress with complimenting jewelry and accessories. For men visiting casinos or shows, you should wear smart pants and a blazer or fitted jacket over a button-up shirt.

Christmas and New Year’s: Take note of the strict dress codes for restaurants and clubs if you’re traveling for Christmas and New Year’s. Many special events will have dress standards, so be prepared for this ahead of time.

Pools & Swimming

December is outside the pool season in Las Vegas. For most visitors, the weather is not comfortable enough to go swimming, even in a heated pool. However, many hotels on the Strip have at least one open heated pool.

On which days do the year-round heated pools close in December? When the weather is bad, too cold, and especially when it’s too windy.

Even on the warmest days, it’s not ideal summer-like pool weather pools for most visitors. Mainly, it gets cold when you come out of the water after swimming in a heated pool. You might not shiver before going in or while in the pool, but on most days, you will be shivering as soon as you come out.

However, some enjoy time at the pool, even in December:

  • Pro Pools: On most days, it’s too cold for the pool in December. However, on some days, it’s warm enough for us, and we swim in the Mirage pool. Caesar’s Venus pool is nice and warm, but the Paris pool is always sort of frigid. When the weather permits, we enjoy lounging at the pool in the sun. Sometimes, we even see someone else in the pool when it’s definitely too cold for us.
  • Con Pools: Getting in and staying in the heated pool during December is not a problem. Getting out, drying off, throwing on clothes, and running back into the before turning into an ice cube is the difficult part. The water is heated, but the air isn’t. And forget about it if it is a little cloudy and windy.

Hotels on Las Vegas Strip that have open pools in December and year-round (subject to change):

  • MGM Grand: One heated pool is open during December. However, the majority of the Grand Pool Complex is closed. Unfortunately, their famous Lazy River Pool is closed as well.
  • Bellagio: The pool deck is open in December, and the two bigger pools are heated to 84°F.
  • Park MGM: Usually, their South Pool is open in December. They heat it to 80 degrees during the winter months.
  • Aria: The Sky Pool is open to all Aria and Vdara guests in December. It’s heated to 80°F.
  • Mandalay Bay: Moorea Beach Club pool will stay open throughout December.
  • Wynn/Encore: A pool remains open in the winter, which you can use in December (heated to 82°F)
  • Resorts World: This is a fantastic pool complex in Vegas. It’s open in December and throughout the other winter months. They have seven great pools, and from one, you can even overlook the Strip.

Other ‘Strip-Pools’ that remain open in December:

  • Cosmopolitan
  • Luxor (open on weekends only)
  • Palazzo
  • Sahara
  • Trump International

Vegas Downtown Hotels, which have pools open in December:

  • Plaza Hotel & Casino
  • Circa Las Vegas
  • Downtown Grand

Shows and Events 

Find a list of selected shows, concerts, stand-up comedy, and other special events at the most popular hotels and casinos for December below (subject to change):

MGM Grand
The Mirage
Cirque Du Soleil:
  • Michael Jackson: ONE
  • O By Cirque Du Soleil
  • Mystere
  • The Beatles LOVE
Mandala Bay:
The Venetian
Planet Hollywood:

Crowds and Rates

The famous Flamingo Hotel & Casino. Its location is perfect on The Strip. Check details and visitor reviews here: Flamingo via booking.com (low price deals)

There are no big conventions or large events in December that attract a huge number of visitors and the relatively cold temperatures put some people off. All this makes it a relatively quiet month until mid-December.

However, the total number of visitors remains quite steady compared to other months. Over 3.5 million people visit Vegas each December.

Busy times in December:

  • Sometimes very early in December, as some use it as a getaway after thanksgiving
  • Around Christmas, often the week before Christmas
  • Before and on New Year’s Eve

Tip: If possible, book your Christmas and New Year’s Eve getaway to Las Vegas months in advance. Try to find deals via this link: Las Vegas Hotel Deals (sort by start rating and price).

We suggest choosing your hotel based on its facilities (its restaurants, pool, entertainment, etc.) This can save you money and time.

12 Things to Do in December in Vegas

With many activities and things to do in Vegas, choosing which to pursue can be difficult. Here’s a list of the best things to do in Vegas in December, starting with the special events around Christmas or New Year’s Eve:

1. New Year’s Eve Fireworks at The Plaza

Every year, The Plaza Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas offers a splendid New Year’s Eve firework show. The fireworks begin at midnight and can be viewed free from the sidewalk/street area under the hotel.

Adults can purchase tickets to the entire New Year’s Eve event at The Plaza, which features dinner, champagne at midnight to accompany the fireworks, and entertainment. This event begins at 6:30 pm and is reserved for only those above 21 years old. Details are found here: Plaza Hotel New Year’s Eve.

2. Holiday Lights at the LINQ

The LINQ is a hotel in Vegas with a promenade (known as The LINQ Promenade) that offers rides, shops, and restaurants. During December, the whole promenade is lit up in celebration of the holidays. Some years The High Roller Observation Wheel (a giant Ferris wheel) is decorated with holiday-colored lights.

A large Christmas tree is erected every year, and The Lights At The LINQ Show plays holiday music with lights that correspond to the music. The light show occurs every thirty minutes from 5:30 pm until 11:30 pm during the holiday season. Check The LINQ’s website for additional activities to do at the promenade here: The LINQ Promenade.

3. Glittering Lights

This event is perfect for families and features a holiday-themed drive-thru holiday light show. You can choose to ride on the Santa Tram, which allows you to experience this event quicker than the drive-thru lanes.

Times:

  • The show opens at dusk and closes at 9 PM or 10 PM
  • From November 12 to January 10 (subject to change)

Tickets can be purchased for the whole season or a single night here: Glittering Lights Las Vegas.

 

4. Bellagio Conservatory Winter Display
Bellagio Conservatory, Las Vegas, Nevada (3) by Ken Lund, CC (BY-SA)

If you’re in Vegas in December, the 14,000-square-foot Bellagio Conservatory’s winter holiday exhibit is a must-see. It’s an absolutely spectacular festive winter sight.

Every year, the garden is decorated with thousands of sparkling lights, over 28,000 poinsettias, and a magnificently decorated 40-foot-tall Christmas tree.

The opening dates change slightly every season. The Winter exhibit is usually open from early December until early January. This year (2021), it was even available until January 9. Check details here: Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden

5. NFR Wrangler

This event is held each year for about 1.5 weeks at the beginning of December, changing dates every year. NFR Wrangler is one of the most famous rodeo events in the US and has been occurring each year since 1959. Due to the popularity of this event, hotel rates and crowds rise significantly at this time.

Tickets can be purchased directly through the NFR Wrangler website or Stubhub.

6. Ice Skating at the Cosmo or at The Park
Christmas @ THE PARK AVENUE by Thank You (21 Millions+) views, CC (BY)

In the winter, you can head to the infamous Cosmopolitan Hotel for a wintery ice-skating experience to get you in the holiday spirit. Their pool turns into a winter wonderland with an ice skating rink, curated drinks and food, a bonfire, and even smores. Stunning views are also part of this activity as the rink sits above The Las Vegas Strip.

Alternative Ice Rink: At The Park between Monte Carlo Resort and New York – New York.

7. Shin Lim Magic Show

Shin Lim won America’s Got Talent and now provides his up-close magic at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Shin Lim’s magic show is a family-friendly show full of fun magic tricks. Find more information and tickets here: Shin Lim Magic Show.

8. Hike at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

December is the perfect time to hike at this location as you’ll avoid the higher temperatures that Las Vegas is known for. If the weather is rainy, there is also a scenic drive available which requires reservations in December. For those who arrive on a day with pleasant weather, a picnic area is open, along with multiple hiking trails.

During December, you can attend multiple events at Red Rock Canyon. Educational talks, as well as guided hikes, are available. Most of the events listed are free and don’t require reservations. However, it’s best to check the website in case reservations or a fee is required. See more details and tickets: Red Rock Canyon.

9. Jabbawockeez at MGM Grand

This hip-hop dance group was also on America’s Got Talent and won America’s Best Dance Crew. When viewing this show, you’ll be able to see exciting, choreographed dances that will leave you and your family impressed. Jabbawockeez is the perfect activity when wondering what to do in Las Vegas in December.

Additional details and tickets: Jabbawockeez At MGM.

10. Grand Canyon/Hoover Dam Tour

For those seeking a break from the busyness of downtown Las Vegas, you can take a tour of the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam in December. This is a full-day tour (11-12 hours) featuring sights of the West Rim along. Your tour guide will drive you through Joshua Tree Forest and lead you on a hike to Guano Point, among other natural attractions. Purchase tickets here: Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam Tour.

11. Area15
Photo by jericl cat on flicker

Area15, an indoor attraction just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, provides larger-than-life art installations, virtual reality experiences, unusual and intriguing experiences, and events. It’s similar to a shopping mall, except instead of typical stores, you’ll find artists and unique things to interact with. This is a must-see in January if you appreciate interactive art.

12. Neon Museum

The Neon Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the vintage Las Vegas hotels and casinos. The iconic neon signs from prominent Las Vegas establishments such as the Sahara, Golden Nugget, and Stardust are skillfully and lovingly refurbished here. The attraction was built in the 1930s, and there are now over 200 neon signs on the spacious property.

The Neon Museum is ideal for a December visit because everything is outside and it often gets far too hot in the months from spring to fall.

Tip: Check out our complete guide with tips for the best time to visit Las Vegas.