Should I Visit Las Vegas In December Before Christmas?

Hi Ted,

Long time fan and reader of your newsletter. Love it! I’m thinking of coming to Las Vegas in December the week before Christmas but I’m flexible. When would you suggest? I always stay at Palazzo. Look forward to hearing from you.

Gary Pisani

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bellagio las vegas conservatory christmas
Bellagio Las Vegas Christmas Gardens Display.

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your longtime support! Great question. If you are flexible, the week before Christmas in Las Vegas can be one of the best times of the year to visit. Once the National Finals Rodeo leaves town (Dec. 7-16, 2017) and Christmas Eve, Las Vegas is the slowest you’ll see it all year. Here are the rest of the pros and cons:


– You’ll find some of the lowest room rates for Las Vegas hotels of the year. You can stay at the place you usually enjoy generally at a bit of a discount. Of this is a good time to shop around and maybe up your level of accommodations simply because the price will often be right.

– Elbow room. Everything (except the Las Vegas shows, which will be in the cons section) is still open. Just without such long lines or long waits. I’m not suggesting you’ll have Las Vegas completely to yourself. However, if you are used to being here during peak times, you’ll notice the difference.

– No scorching heat. This is a great time of year to finally take that Hoover Dam Las Vegas tour, drive the Lake Mead loop (Lakeshore Road), get out to Red Rock Canyon, or even up to the Valley Of Fire. Plus, car rentals should be cheaper to reflect the lack of demand.


– Much of the Las Vegas entertainment will be on Christmas vacation. Very few (if any) big concerts or headliners. Many of the shows will be closed. If major maintenance needs to be done to things like the Bellagio Fountains, this is when they will do it.

– It gets cold and dark EARLY. The sun is gone by 4:30 PM and while the average high is in the 50’s, temps plummet once it gets dark. Overnight lows around (or even below) freezing aren’t uncommon. Even if you stay at one of the few hotels which keep one of their pools heated all year, you probably won’t want to be using it.

Hope this helps!

Ted Newkirk
Founder/Managing Editor
Access Vegas

Good Place To Go Horseback Riding In Las Vegas?

Can you recommend a place to go horseback riding in LV?



Ted Responds:

Bonnie Springs is the best over-all “western” experience:

The price is reasonable for the situation ($55 for an hour ride), and that scenery in the Red Rock area is incredible.

The employees I’ve encountered are passionate about the place and it is the real-deal old-west. It used to be a stop on the Spanish Trail. Plus they have an on-site restaurant and bar so you can grab some food or a drink after the ride. Yes, they have running water and electricity. It is “updated” old west.

As for transportation out there: It is 22 miles by car from center strip. However, return taxi might be a pretty big problem. I’d have them contact Bonnie Springs directly to ask about transportation suggestions.

Locals should check it out on a weekend (even if they don’t want to ride horses). It is a best-kept secret. You are 30 minutes from town, but feel like you are somewhere in wilds of Arizona at the ranch. Go in the middle of the day when the sun is highest for best experience (this time of the year). Have lunch and a couple of cocktails.

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Comments on this topic? We want your opinion! Leave it below. Comments, questions or Vegas suggestions on other topics? Email us at [email protected]

Want To Go See Pawn Stars Las Vegas Shop – What Should I Do?

Pawn Stars was going to be one of the must things for us to see. We were planning on stopping there Tues or Wed. After reading about how busy they were, we would surely appreciate if you could give me some tips ahead of time.

Jim in Michigan

Ted Responds:

Go in the morning, about 9:30 AM. This is best time to beat the crowds and also when the guys actually usually show up for work (unless they are traveling on promotional appearances). The stars of the show do not hang out meeting people, especially after the lines start. But they do tend to be around and visible when they show up. If you can do without trying see the cast members, go later in the evening when the lines are gone as the store is open 24/7.

The shop is not very big. But if you are a regular viewer of Pawn Stars, you’ll spot tons of stuff you’ve seen on the show. Also, scan the display cases carefully. Jammed with tons of stuff.

If taking a cab, give the cabbie the address:
713 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Some cab drivers pretend to not know where it is because the shop won’t pay kickbacks. Obviously with an address, they have to take you right there. The store now has a cab stand (usually one waiting during peak times).

The actual name of the store is Gold and Silver Pawn.

If taking the Duece north from The Strip, get off at Gass Ave. Once you pass The Stratosphere, ask the driver for for that stop.

If you like a good cigar, check out my friend Don Vicente’s cigar lounge just across the street and one block north. 100% rolled by Cuban rollers. If taking the Deuce, the stop is next to his shop for the trip back.

Also, you are only 1/2 mile from Fremont Street Experience downtown. So you may want to kill two birds with one stone.

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Comments on this topic? We want your opinion! Leave it below. Comments, questions or Vegas suggestions on other topics? Email us at [email protected]

Shuttle From Las Vegas To Primm Attractions And Outlet Mall?

I’m trying to find a company of coach who made travel between Las Vegas and Primm. Each one I found on web cancel their services. My question is: Do you know if some company make this trip again.

Sorry for the mistakes, I do my best in English.


Gilles From Montreal Canada

Ted Responds:

Great question! The outlet mall at Primm actually offers a regular shuttle. (The mall is connected to the hotel and casino, all the same company). Cost is $15 but includes $800 worth of coupons. Many departures and arrivals throughout the day. Website for the info is

Primm is a nice (and often overlooked) side trip for regular Las Vegas visitors. The outlet mall is big and has stores you won’t find in either of the Las Vegas area outlet malls (Tommy Bahama, etc). The casino is a bit more intimate and friendly, and the Desperado Roller Coaster is still regarded as one of the better in the U.S. When it was built, it set a world record for the height of the first drop and reaches speeds of up to 80 MPH!

Lance Burton Escapes The Desperado Roller Coaster At Primm, NV

An added benefit for many is the ride down and back through typical Southern Nevada desert scenery. Maybe boring for someone who lives here or has made the L.A. to Las Vegas trip a number of times, but those of you from colder climates or non-mountain regions will enjoy seeing what the rugged desert really looks like around here!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

What Are Free and Cheap Activities To See In Las Vegas?

Wanted to let you know we’re coming to Vegas – we do at least once a year. Would like to know of some cheap to free things to do!! Money is tight everywhere right now, as I’m sure you all know too,but regardless, we always find a means to come to Vegas (everyone at work is SSSOOOOO jealous!! HA HA!!) So, this year we just had to save a whole lot more than before, and now we’d like to know if there’s really anymore places to go that we won’t break the bank so to speak. We’re not into all the shows, unless comedies but like, does any of the casinos have freebies like they had years ago? I remember going to Sassy Sally’s and got a comp newspaper/article/picture of us (used to get coupon books too)!

Haven’t seen any of those in a WHILE, but the little things like that used to always keep us coming back to those places, and spending money in those casinos. That was way back when,and now I have a fiance’ who goes with me every year and for his birthday,we’re always there. That’s his gift from me, but then I have no money for an ACTUAL gift. Would Love some info also on tours. Yes, I KNOW they are not free, or cheap, but he LOVES Cadillac Escalades and will never afford one, or even know anyone to get a ride, but any info for even a short ride would give him the BIGGEST thrill!!!

Thanks guys, & sorry this was so long!! Keep up the good work! We love your online edition!!!

Kelly S.

Ted Responds:

Actually, there are so many free things to do and see that I’ll need to be brief. I STRONGLY suggest you call each hotel in question as to current times and information. I’m not listing those specifics because someone will read this four years from now and yell at me for “bad” information.
Bellagio Fountains – Every 30 minutes in the day, every 15 minutes in the evening. See it after dark for best show. Stay and watch two shows. They are all different and after a show, the crowd clears and you can move into a choice viewing spot with only a 10 minute wait for the next show.

Bellagio Botanical Gardens – Open 24/7 and always beautiful and spectacular. While you are back there, walk a little further and check out the Chocolate fountain (yes, real chocolate) at Jean-Philippe Chocolates and Pastries.

Las Vegas Sign – About a 7 minute walk south of Mandalay Bay, take your picture in front of the famous sign.

Painted Ceilings At Venetian – Go to the hallway between Venetian Check-in and and the casino and look up. Also when you first walk into the hotel from The Strip. Amazing and many people never look up to see them!

Circus Circus – Still has free Circus Acts every day. Call ahead for performance times.

Mirage Volcano – Recently upgraded and as spectacular as ever. I believe times are posted in front of it or call The Mirage.

Harrah’s Carnival Court – Free live music in the afternoon and evenings. Also just inside, their dueling piano bar. Best on nights that the Twin Keys (two female twins) are playing. I’ve seen lots of dueling piano shows. They are the best.

People Watching – Just walk The Strip or Downtown. You’ll not run short of things (and people) to look at!

Finally, Downtown Fremont Street Las Vegas is the best place to go without breaking the bank. After dark, it turns into one huge (but very safe) street party. Buy a beer at the ABC store (or a $2 Corona or Heineken at Fremont Hotel) and enjoy the light show and (often) free concerts and performances. Some YouTube video:

Downtown Las Vegas Light Show Fremont Street Experience

Las Vegas Free Entertainment: Dancing Bartenders, Fan Halen, Dream Team Sexy Divas Shows

I didn’t get to everything free but that should keep you plenty busy.

Per the Escalade, see if they have one for rent at the Hertz counter at The Flamingo. Rent one for the day and drive up and down the Las Vegas Strip, down to Hoover Dam, and then back over to Red Rock Canyon.

Best Comedy Show bang for your buck: Mac King Comedy Magic Show

We have an entire section of comedy shows (most reasonably priced) on our shows page: Las Vegas Shows. Gotta do your own homework as everyone has different tastes and budgets.

Hope this helps!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor