Vegas Weekender: The holidays are around the corner

Party on the dance floor with Lady Gaga, stroll through awe-inspiring holiday displays or celebrate the season with legendary singers— you can do it all this weekend in Vegas.

It’s also the first weekend that all of CityCenter is open to the public. Guests can spend time checking out the 67-acre complex featuring hotels, a casino and Crystals, a 500,000-square-foot, high-end retail and entertainment district.

Bellagio Conservatory's winter display

Bellagio Conservatory's winter display

With Christmas right around the corner you won’t want to miss the various holiday attractions on the Las Vegas Strip, including the Arctic-inspired winter wonderland display in the waterfall atrium at Palazzo, the spectacular holiday horticulture display at Bellagio’s Conservatory and the festivities on Fremont Street featuring a 50-foot tree and live entertainment.

Holiday headliners including Wynnona, Andy Williams and the Brian Setzer Orchestra are also on hand to help spread the sounds of the season.


Walk in these winter wonderlands

Palazzo adds to the holiday attractions on the Strip with an Arctic-inspired winter wonderland in their Waterfall Atrium, featuring a 16-foot tall polar bear mother and a six-foot tall polar bear baby made of 10,000 specially-developed “Polar Bear” white poinsettias. This winter wonderland is free and will be on display through the New Year.

Don’t miss the spectacular holiday display in Bellagio’s Conservatory where holiday fantasies come to life with eight flying reindeer each made from 110 whole pecans, a polar bear family with fur made of 34,000 white carnations, a 42-foot Shasta Fir ornamented with twinkling lights, four 15-foot tall toy soldiers and other dazzling features. This display is free and will be open through Jan. 2, 2010.

Watch the Conservatory transform at

Fremont Street is truly an experience

Head down to Fremont Street Experience to check out the city’s official Christmas tree located between the Fitzgeralds, Four Queens and Fremont casinos. The 50-foot tree is adorned with festive decorations and stands under the 12.5 million lights of the Viva Vision screen. Enjoy a free show by Candy & The Canes, a live song and dance show featuring holiday music, nightly throughout the month of December at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.


Nocturnal wonders abound at Mcfadden’s

McFadden’s Bar and Saloon at the Rio hosts Winter Wonderland Dec. 19 featuring open bar from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Ladies are $10 and guys are $20.


A first impressions that will last a lifetime

With Aria Resort & Casino’s grand opening on Dec. 16, it’s the first weekend that all of CityCenter is open to the public. Along with Aria the 67-acre complex features Vdara Hotel & Spa, Mandarin Oriental and Crystals, a high-end retail and entertainment district.

CityCenter was designed by eight internationally acclaimed architectural firms who collaborated to create one of the world’s largest green developments. CityCenter has six LEED gold ratings from the U.S. Green Building Council. Guests will also find a fine art collection with works by acclaimed artists. It is home to Cirque du Soleil’s newest production “Viva Elvis” at Aria.


Headliners take the stage in Vegas

Cher delights fans in her 7:30 p.m. show Tue. – Wed., Sat. – Sun., Dec. 19 – 20 at Caesars Palace.

Country music star Wynonna Judd helps fans celebrate the season with her 8 p.m. Christmas show Dec. 19 – 20 at Las Vegas Hilton.

Magician David Copperfield gives audiences an up-close look at his grand-scale illusions at 7:30 and 10 p.m. nightly; plus 4:30 p.m. Sat. in the MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theater.

Brothers Tony and Ferdinand Fercos have audiences spellbound in their show “Untamed Illusions” at Planet Hollywood with awe-inspiring illusions, exotic cats, dancers and specialty acts at 8 p.m. Tue. – Wed.; Fri. – Sun., Dec. 22 – Jan. 3.

Get into the swing of things this holiday season with The 7th Annual Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Andy Williams treats audiences to holiday classics in his 8 p.m. show Dec. 23 – 24 at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Diva Lady Gaga brings her string of mega-hits to the stage at her 7:30 p.m. show Dec. 17 – 18 at the Palms.


Fight Night packs a punch at the Palms

World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight title contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone battles Ed Ratcliff at 4 p.m. Dec. 19 at Palms. The co-main event features Anthony Njokuani battling Chris Horodecki.

Basketball tournament full of hot shots

Catch the Las Vegas Classic College Basketball Tournament Dec. 22-23, with Brigham Young University, Chicago State University, Eastern Washington University, Jackson State University, University of Nebraska, University of Nevada, University of Tulsa and Wagner College, each playing four games — the first two at campus sites and the final two at the Orleans Arena. Games start at noon.