Suggestions for the Weekend of December 8-9

The weekend of December 8th is an exciting time for kids in Las Vegas.  Parents too! There are a ton of free Las Vegas events that tie in holiday cheer.  For example, Ethel M® Chocolates will be hosting its annual light festival at its Vegas based candy factory.

That’s right, over a half of a million lights will adorn the cactus garden that sits next to Ethel M® Chocolates’ candy making factory.  The factory is on the border of Las Vegas and Henderson and it is a must see for those who haven’t been. Normally, people are able to tour the candy making process at Ethel M® Chocolates’ factory. The free tour is informative and every man, woman and child receives a complimentary sample of chocolate at the end of the tour. But, on December 8th the factory is offering extra special accommodations for visitors. The tour is still free but so is the viewing of the holiday lights!


On December 8th and 9th, Santa and the lighted garden tour start at 5pm and goes until 9pm.  Even though the event is outdoors, pets are not allowed. So, if you love Christmas lights and chocolate…for FREE… then visiting Ethel M® Chocolates is a must! The address is 2 Cactus Garden Drive. Henderson, NV 89014.

Another free Las Vegas event on the weekend of December 8th and 9th is the Lake Festival of Lights. This event takes place on the west side of Las Vegas, just off of Sahara Avenue. The lake at Lake East Drive and Lake Sahara Drive is turned into an all-day holiday event / car show.  Santa Claus will be on hand and so will be a petting zoo, crafts for kids, food (this is the only cost associated item) and an electric boat parade. The event starts at noon and goes to ten at night.  Greg at 702-256-9998 is able to provide specific details, if needed.  Note, locals know this event is popular. There is a City bank nearby that allows the pubic to utilize its parking space.  There isn’t parking anywhere else, that is close to the actual event anyway. Most of the houses surrounding the lake are within a gated area with no access to the public for parking. Another suggestion is to park at the Smith’s Grocery store on the corner of Sahara Avenue and Durango. Once parked, the walk to the Lake Festival of Lights event is less than ten minutes.  Make sure you stick to the crosswalk if using this method, this intersection is known for speeding drivers.

Another cool event for Las Vegas kids, or those visiting, is provided by Music 4 Life® Wellness & Education Center. The center provides music therapy, music medicine and drum circles for kids of all ages.  The main program is managed by licensed music therapist Judith Pinkerton, MT-BC/L. However, Music 4 Life®  is hosting its KIDS RHYTHM CLUB at 9:30am on Saturday, December 8th. The event will take place at 2975 S. Rainbow Blvd. in the 89146 zip code.  The fee has yet to be announced, but parents and visitors are free to call 702-889-2881 for specific information.

Lastly, if you are looking for something over the top in Vegas for the kids then try out The Venetian’s Ice Skating Rink. Yep, even with temperatures still in the 70’s, The Venetian has outdone themselves again by bringing winter in Venice to the Vegas strip! The best part? Children 7-12 years of age are free with a paid adult admission ticket. The adult admission ticket is $14.95. The rink has 30-minute skating sessions on a synthetic ice rink adjacent to the resort’s outdoor gondola rides. The only negative side to this experience is that reservations must be made on the morning of the day you want to skate (which starts at 11 am), and competing with the hotel guests and other locals for a ticket can be tricky- so get in line early and plan to stay on property.  Also, skaters must be at least 7 years old and there is a limit of three children skating for free per each adult.

If you do plan on going to the ice rink at The Venetian, check out the Grand Lux Café. It is located on the main level of the hotel and casino and has over-sized entrees that cater to family budgets. Eighteen inch pizzas run about twelve dollars and the adult shrimp Fra diablo Pasta is under fifteen dollars.

Las Vegas is a wonderful place for children the weekend of December 8th and 9th of 2012. Even better, parents can survive the entire weekend’s events for under one hundred dollars, meals included, for a family of four.

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