One of the biggest and busiest cities in the world, Las Vegas always has something fun going on. Throughout the year, events and festivals welcome locals and visitors to celebrate various holidays and interests. Check out some of the annual events that take place and consider marking your calendar to get the family out for a fun experience. Here are five festivals and events worth a visit.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series
Image via Flickr by Mathieu Lebreton
Held annually in November, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon of Las Vegas is a great event to attend or participate in. Older children can sign up for the 5K race, typically held on the Saturday of the race weekend. Teenagers and adults might enjoy running the 10K, half marathon, or even the full marathon. If just one or a few family members or friends sign up for the race, the rest of the family will enjoy going to cheer them on and experience the excitement of the race. Kids can make fun and encouraging signs to hold up for runners as they pass by.
This is also a great opportunity to teach young kids about how athletes train and prepare for major races and competitions. Whether a casual runner or elite athlete, everyone has to build up their distance and training to run in a race. Kids can appreciate the payoff of hard work and determination as they see runners of all ages and abilities pass by.
If you or anyone in your family decides to participate in one of the races, you’ll get access to lots of exciting events and perks. The race weekend expo welcomes runners and their families to come and check out tons of running merchandise, fitness apparel, health and exercise technologies, and more.
Every October, Las Vegas hosts the United States version of the Rise Festival in the Mohave Desert on the Jean Dry Lake Bed, about 25 miles south of the city. People of all ages are welcome to attend this beautiful and exciting festival. Each year, thousands of lanterns with personal notes inside are released into the night sky. Anyone can write anything they want inside their lantern and then release it in unison with thousands of other attendees at two different scheduled release times.
Children ages 3 and under can attend for free but won’t receive a lantern. Ages 4 to 10 cost $69 per ticket, and adults are $84 for the Friday event and $99 for the Saturday event, with a rise in prices after Feb. 1. Slots fill up quickly, so if this is something you’re interested in attending, start making plans early. Each ticket holder will receive two lanterns to release and a parking pass. Once you arrive at the parking area, you’ll have a 10- to 15-minute walk to the lantern release area, so keep that in mind as you plan arrival time and footwear.
In addition to the lantern release, there are lots of other exciting things to experience at the Rise Festival. A fireworks show runs from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. each night. In the center of the ring where attendees gather, there’s a stage that hosts four musical performances starting at 3 p.m. There are also dozens of local food trucks on-site so you can enjoy snacks, dinner, and drinks from nearby restaurants and vendors.
Boulder City’s Art in the Park
Just about 27 miles southeast in Boulder City, Art in the Park is an annual art festival that benefits Boulder City Hospital and is one of the biggest outdoor arts festivals in this part of the country. Typically held on the first weekend of October, this festival makes for a great family outing. Bicentennial Park and its surrounding parks and streets in the heart of Boulder City set up tents for local artists and artisans to come and show and sell their work. The festival begins on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. the following day.
Kids and parents alike will enjoy shopping through the many unique creations available, hanging out in the park, and hearing the talents of some local musicians. Come hungry and enjoy festival foods like funnel cakes, ice cream, and french fries.
There are two major events to attend each year at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Spring NASCAR weekend takes place during the first weekend in March, and the fall NASCAR weekend takes place during the last weekend of September. In the spring, the speedway welcomes thousands of fans to the stadium as drivers compete for the Pennzoil 400 NASCAR Cup and in other exciting races throughout the weekend. The fall weekend of races includes the South Point 400 Cup, and kids ages 10 and under get in free for particular races and at drastically discounted rates for other events.
Holiday Displays at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino
The Bellagio is a famous hotel and casino well known for its fountains, but it is also home to a beautiful conservatory and botanical gardens. Bring the family by during the months of November, December, and January to celebrate the holiday season with breathtaking displays. In the center of the gardens, a 42-foot tall fir tree stands covered in lights and sparkling decorations. This is a sight young kids won’t be quick to forget.
Depending on when you visit, you may see displays focused on the traditional Christmas holiday or the Chinese New Year. All of the displays are worth touring with the family, especially because they are free. The garden is a beautiful sight throughout the year as the displays change with the season, but it’s particularly magical during the winter holidays.
There’s our list of annual festivals and events worth checking out in the area. Crème de la Crème of Las Vegas encourages our kids and families to engage in their local community and enjoy fun activities. Not all of these events are great for kids, so consider some as parents-only outings for a date or celebration. Let us know if we’ve missed any awesome annual festivals we should add to the list.