Must dos this weekend in Vegas: Dec. 19 – 21, 2014

It’s the last weekend before the holidays are officially upon us. If you’re like most people, you’re probably all stressed out and frantically trying to buy last minute gifts. We suggest you relax, come to Vegas and just have some holiday fun. We’ve got four suggestions to put you in the spirit of the season this weekend. If these don’t work, we’ll just call you Scrooge.

"The Nutcracker," photo by Alicia Lee

The Nutcracker at The Smith Center

A life-sized nutcracker doll. Giant mice fighting with gingerbread soldiers. Dancing sweets. Relax, it’s not some bizarre nightmare. It’s the classic Christmas ballet, “The Nutcracker,” which runs throughout this weekend at The Smith Center.

For more than a century, audiences have enjoyed the enchanting story of Clara, the Nutcracker and The Mouse King with music written by Tchaikovsky. The ballet, costumes and sets are visually stunning and James Canfield, artistic director for the Nevada Ballet Theatre, works magic — which includes transforming the theater into a wonderland of moonlit snow and waltzing flowers.

Audiences will enjoy familiar music like the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” performed by a live orchestra. If seeing “The Nutcracker” doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, nothing will.

Human Nature

Human Nature

Australian Motown singers doing Christmas songs? Might sound a little odd, but trust us, you want to go see Human Nature’s Christmas show at the Venetian. This talented group of singers is so good at singing Motown harmonies that Smokey Robinson backs their show.

During the holiday season, through Dec. 24, Human Nature will not only perform Motown hits, but they’ll sing 14 Christmas classics from their record “The Christmas Album,” which includes songs like “Sleigh Ride,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Silent Night – O Holy Night.” The group will be joined by an 11-piece band with a string section and Robin Meade, country music artist and host of HLN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade.”

Caesars Chalet

Caesars Chalet

Las Vegas is a desert and it’s also pretty warm, so we don’t have any frozen lakes or ponds to skate on. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like to get into the seasonal spirit and have some fun — we just have to create our own. The folks at Caesars Palace have captured the winter feeling perfectly at the Caesars Chalet ice rink.

You can strap some blades on your feet and glide over the iconic Caesars Palace fountain, the Strip-facing promenade that overlooks Las Vegas Boulevard, through Jan. 11.

The Chalet serves up warm seasonal food like funnel cakes in flavors such as caramel apple, red velvet and the traditional favorite dusted with powdered sugar. There are also cocktails from Moet and Patron. Signature drinks with fun seasonal names include Miracle on the Blvd., Inner Elf, Naughty & Nice, Ugly Red Sweater and Red Roller. This is Vegas, so even our ice rinks have bottle service. At Caesars Chalet it comes with Adirondack chair seating.

Winter PARQ, photo by Erik Kabik

Winter PARQ at The LINQ

The forecast is calling for snow at The LINQ Promenade. Okay, it doesn’t really snow in Las Vegas too often, but luckily we can ship in some of the white stuff and have some fun anyway. The LINQ has transformed into Winter PARQ, complete with a tubing hill where fun-seekers can slide down a 30-foot drop covered with real snow. Tickets are $5 per ride or $20 for an all-day pass. The hill is open Monday – Friday from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. The LINQ Promenade will also have snow falling every half hour, holiday decorations and carolers putting everyone in a holly jolly mood.


It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.