Welcome to the time of year with its beauty and meaning where families come together to celebrate with activities that engage children and teenagers. Following, are some ideas for spending special time together and creating holiday memories.

Winter Season 2014 – 2015

Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort has added winter snow tubing for the 2014-15 season. This designated tubing area will be separate from the ski/snowboard terrain, allowing guests to enjoy the snow in 90-minute sessions. The snow tubing area will be open weekends and holiday periods throughout the winter season. Resort operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the winter season. Open to guests of all ages, advance purchase tickets for 90-minute sessions will be $20 or less and include inner tube rental with access to the area and tubing lift. For more information, visit skilasvegas.com.

Nov. 21, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas transforms the Boulevard Pool into a winter wonderland, The Ice Rink. It features falling snow, ice skating, fire pits and a collection of favorite winter cocktails and seasonal food offerings. The Ice Rink will feature a new experience on the Las Vegas Strip—snow showers. Under a light blanket of falling snow, visitors will experience showers throughout the evening while skating, roasting s’mores by the fire and taking in the sights and sounds of Las Vegas Boulevard occurring every 30 minutes Thursday to Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. throughout December. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight and Saturday to Sunday from noon to midnight. For more info, visit cosmopolitanlasvegas.com.

Nov. 26, 2014 – Jan. 1, 2015

Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall will light up the winter display at Mystic Falls Park on Nov. 26 at 5:45 p.m. Since 1994, the pioneer-themed Mystic Falls Park Light and Water Show kicks off the holiday season with decorations beginning in Sam’s Town’s porte-cochère. Festive lighting and decorative snowflakes lead guests through the property to Mystic Falls Park. Garland streams, wreath-adorned lampposts, and white light and snow-covered trees fill the atrium. The festive décor includes lighted sculpture polar bears, indoor snow and mountains of poinsettias. Sam’s Town will be hosting the 15-minute laser light spectacular hourly throughout the holiday season from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1, 2015. Cowboy Santa will appear Thursday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8:30 p.m. from Nov. 28 to Dec. 23. For further information, visit samstownlv.com.

Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20-24, 2014

Santa in the Shipwreck at Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay will once again have Santa Claus trading in his elves for sharks, turtles and the other 2,000 animals that live in the Shark Reef Aquarium. Photos with Santa and the underwater creatures are available for that special holiday memory. Visit sharkreef.com for more info.

Dec. 6, 2014 – Jan. 4 2015

The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at Bellagio will open its holiday display. The free and family-friendly attraction will once again become a winter wonderland full of delights and favorites featuring seasonal favorites such as the large polar bear family, thousands of fresh poinsettias and a tree decorated with more than 2,000 ornaments and 7,000 warm white LED lights. Guests can enjoy live musical performances on select days and times and the display is open 24 hours daily. For more information, visit bellagio.com.

Through Jan. 1, 2015

Henderson chocolatier, Ethel M Chocolates, will once again light up the night with the annual Holiday Cactus Garden. The free family-friendly seasonal attraction will feature more than 600,000 sparkling lights displayed throughout the three-acre Botanical Cactus Garden. In addition to twinkling lights, the holiday hot spot will offer choirs on Friday and Saturday and photos with Santa from Friday to Sunday. The attraction will be open 5 to 10 p.m. at Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Garden, 2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson. Returning holiday collections include handmade peppermint bark & pecan brittle, crème liqueurs and satin crèmes. New chocolates this year include three seasonally-inspired chocolate bars: white chocolate peppermint, milk chocolate buttered rum and dark chocolate pumpkin; also foil-wrapped creamy caramels presented in a clear acrylic gift box. For more information, visit ethelm.com.

Through Jan. 4, 2015
Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway holiday drive-through spectacular has entertained more than 1 million people in the past 13 years. Completely LED, the 2.5 mile course of Glittering Lights is environmentally sound with colors that shine more vibrant. Branches of the United Methodist Church are uniting to bring a living nativity scene. Glittering Lights will be open Sunday to Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. The cost is $20 per car and season passes are available for $55. Goodwill of Southern Nevada is offering a discount off a Glittering Lights ticket with a donation of gently used items. The coupon can be obtained at stores, drop off locations or at the entrance of Glittering Lights. Speedway Children’s Charity also receives a portion from each purchased ticket. For more information, visit

Through Jan. 4, 2015

The Magical Forest is a cherished Southern Nevada tradition: a winter wonderland filled with hundreds of decorated trees, millions of brilliant holiday lights, nightly entertainment for all ages, photos with Santa in his workshop, the Forest Express passenger train, Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel, Rod’s Mini-Golf, Avalanche Slide, Rudolph’s Raceway, Rod’s Mini-Golf, Blastin’ Bear’s Shootin’ Shack and Boris the Elf’s 3-D Experience. The Magical Forest is located at Opportunity Village, 6300 W. Oakey Blvd. There is free parking behind the Magical Forest in the CSN parking lot. For more information, call 702.259.3741 or visit opportunityvillage.org.