December is the coldest month in Las Vegas. During this time, Las Vegas has an average high of 58°F (14°C) and a typical low of 39°F (4°C). For this reason, most outdoor facilities like pools, beaches, or gardens are either heated or closed for the season altogether, so plan your Vegas visit accordingly.
There are a few things or tips you should consider to make your trip to Las Vegas more enjoyable during the cold months…
Pack appropriately for the cold weather
When you visit Las Vegas in December or other cold months, you must pack layering clothing. It is the best way to dress because desert temperatures can be chilly. Bring your warmest and most stylish scarves, hats, jackets, boots, and sweaters when temperatures dip below freezing. But don’t forget to pack your nightwear and swimsuits because you can still swim during the cold weather in Las Vegas.
Check the forecast ahead of time
While Las Vegas may be warmer during winter than other American cities, it can still become very cold. Vegas can be chilly, especially at night, so ensure to check the weather forecast ahead of time.
In December, temperatures in Las Vegas can swing from lows of around 27°F (-2.3°C) to highs of about 60°F (15°C).
Sometimes January weather can be colder than December but expect things to swing to the warmer side when February comes knocking.
Unlike other parts of the country, where snow is the order of the day during winter, Las Vegas can become quite rainy and drizzly during the colder months. That is why it is important to check the weather forecast before boarding the plane or bus so that you can bring an umbrella and waterproof shoes and clothing.
Research fun, indoor activities
While it might be chilly outside during December/January in Las Vegas, you will find many fun indoor activities to keep you entertained and warm during your visit. Most resorts, casinos, restaurants, bars, and other favorite Vegas spots are heated so that they will be warm and balmy throughout winter.
The most exciting indoor activities you should try in Las Vegas during winter include:
- Gene Woods Racing Experience: If you are a petrol-head, you should try go-kart racing at Gene Woods Racing Experience. This spot offers a full menu of competition, excitement, and high-octane racing experience. The 0.5-mile-long racetrack is surrounded by other attractions, too.
- Mob Museum: No trip to Vegas is ever complete without visiting the famous Mob Museum. The museum features artifacts and exhibits that bring to life stories of mobsters like Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello, Lucky Luciano, and Bugsy Siegel, all of whom played a critical role in building Las Vegas mob culture. No other place tells these awe-inspiring stories like the Mob Museum.
- Downtown Container Park: If you are into contemporary art concepts, you won’t be disappointed by a visit to the Downtown Container Park. The urban concept features plenty of restaurants and shops. It is home to various seasonal and regular weekly events, including art shows, jazz performances, a silent disco (great for kids, too), and a roster of entertainers every second Sunday of the month.
- Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens: Bellagio is the crown jewel of Sin City attractions along Las Vegas Boulevard. While most people know Bellagio for the famous dancing fountains right outside the hotel complex, Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a hidden gem that is worth checking out during the cold weather. This indoor botanical garden features fancy décor, glass floral exhibitions, and an array of botanical gardens created by a crew of many plant experts. Be sure to visit Bellagio at night when the fountains are lit up and gorgeous. The hotel also features walk-through Christmas decorations with thousands of flowers, lights, and amazing ornaments.
- Ice Skating at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: The Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is converted into a large ice skating rink that spans 4,200 square feet each winter. You can rent ice skates and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Strip from the rooftop rink.
- Walk Winter PARQ: When the holiday season arrives, the LINQ Hotel + Experience decorates like no other hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. It sports a Christmas tree rising 35 feet, live entertainment, and over 2000 synchronized lights. During winter, it is truly quite a sight and a must-visit place in Vegas. You can also ride the High Roller Observation Wheel.
- The Park at CityCenter: The pedestrian mall nestled between Park MGM and New York-New York Hotel & Casino at CityCenter is also a great place to visit during winter. The mall usually features a huge Christmas tree decorated with more than 13000 lights and over 3000 ornaments. You can also enjoy a walk under the 16-ft ornament tunnel or skate at the ice skating rink at The Park.
- Winter Wonderland at Wynn Las Vegas: During winter Wynn Las Vegas and its sister casino property Encore at Wynn transform into a whimsical winter wonderland that is based on Gulliver’s Travels novel. Wynn is known for its attention to detail and extravagance, from the grandeur casino to the lavish hotel rooms, and the winter village is no different. Free to enter, the Winter Wonderland Wynn Las Is a must-visit during your Vegas vacation in the winter.
- Winter Wonderland Display at ARIA Hotel & Casino: The holiday display features not only a 17-ft holiday tree but also a Sugar Palace. It is made up of gingerbread and delicious pastry. However, the theme may vary yearly, so do due diligence and research before you travel.
- Fremont Street Experience: Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas is popular and worthy of your time year-long. Be sure to check out the lighting ceremony for the street’s 50-ft holiday tree that happens during the early days of December. Street performances, music, and more make this spot an unforgettable experience.
Don’t forget to experience the great outdoors
During winter, the weather in Las Vegas is cooler, making it ideal for exploring outdoor attractions and activities that may be too sweltering to enjoy during the summer months. These include:
- A day trip to Mt Charleston
- Hiking the Red Rock Canyon trails
- Visiting Lake Mead
While favorite outdoor activities like pools might not look like a great idea in winter, Las Vegas has got you covered with heated pools. A typical example is Stadium Swim, with 6 large heated swimming pools that can dramatically improve your Vegas experience in winter. Private cabanas are also available to rent.
Consider museums and stage shows
No one does stage shows and exhibitions quite like Las Vegas. And the best time to see a show or visit a museum in Vegas is during the cooler weather. So, if you like to throw a little culture and art into your trip, museums, cool exhibitions, and shows are excellent spots to be indoors. There are many shows and performances by famous comedians, musicians, magicians, and groups like Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, Penn & Teller, etc.
Consider casino gambling
Casinos are great places to stay warm and toasty during winter in Las Vegas. Light, recreational gambling is a fun way to spend a night or day indoors. You will also receive free drinks and complimentary meals.
Explore Vegas culinary scene
Las Vegas is a melting pot of global eats and cuisines, including American, Asian, Italian, French, Spanish, and more. That makes Vegas restaurants and bars a superb way to pass the time and stay warm inside when it is chilly outside.
Las Vegas has it all, whether you’re looking for a seven-course dinner at a celebrity chef-driven restaurant or a satiable lunch at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The best month to visit Las Vegas is April or September, which is called the shoulder season.
The majority of visitors usually spend most of their time inside when they visit Vegas. So, the best time to go to Sin City is in fall from September to November, and in spring from March through May.
Yes, it is great to visit Vegas any month of the year, but the summer months can be pretty unbearable if you want to explore outdoor activities.
You can expect to find good travel deals all year long, but the fall and spring shoulder seasons provide the most pleasant weather. Besides, many visitors prefer to go to Vegas during the cooler winter months of December, January, and February, so Sin City is usually jam-packed with rowdy crowds, and hotel room prices are expensive during this period.
That said, September, November, March, April, and May are generally considered good months to go to Las Vegas.
The city has no crowds that you are likely to see in winter, and the weather is moderate, allowing people to enjoy some outdoor Vegas activities. However, some outdoor attractions in Vegas like beaches, outdoor gardens, and pools might be closed temporarily. You may also be required to make reservations in advance.
Las Vegas weather can be extreme and unbearable, particularly in the summer, because the city is nestled in the desert. Summer temperatures can hit highs of 103°F, making it nearly impossible to explore the outdoor spaces. Besides, the heat can stay well into fall and winters can result in freezing conditions, which can make walking unpleasant when you visit Las Vegas.
Here’s a breakdown of temperatures by month in Las Vegas
- January – Average temp 48°F
- February – Average temp 53°F
- March – Average temp 57°F
- April – Average temp 66°F
- May – Average temp 77°F
- June – Average temp 86°F
- July– Average temp 92°F
- August – Average temp 91°F
- September – Average temp 81°F
- October – Average temp 70°F
- November – Average temp 55°F
- December – Average temp 46°F
What is the highest temperature in Las Vegas? If you wonder how scorching it can be in Sin City, the average high temperature yearly in Las Vegas is 80°F. 117°F (47°C) is the highest temp ever recorded in Vegas.
The average low temperature for the year is 58.7°F in Las Vegas. And the coldest temperature ever recorded in the area is 8°F (-13°C), so don’t let the desert weather fool you. The average low temperature usually forces some outdoor pools to be closed for the winter months.
With this in mind, the best time to go to Vegas will depend on your budget, interests, and schedule.
If good weather is a priority for your visit to Las Vegas, plan your trip for late fall (around September) or early spring (around April). The temperatures are pleasant and hover about 60°F to 70°F.
While Las Vegas is busy year-round, it is usually very busy during:
- Labor Day weekend
- Memorial Day weekend
- July 4th
- December, around New Year’s Eve, National Finals Rodeo, and Christmas
- Major events – such as March Madness for sports fans, tournaments, expos, conventions, and business meetings
January is the best month to visit Sin City for a budget-friendly trip. Plan your trip immediately after the New Year’s celebrations are over. You’ll score cheap flights to McCarran Airport from the second week of January through February. Hotel prices are also cheap during this period. You can make cheap hotel reservations up to April.
New Year’s Eve is the worst time to visit Vegas. The hotel prices are sky-high, the streets are choked with crowds, and flights are pricey, not to mention flight and hotel reservations are usually unavailable during this period.