What is the Weather like in Las Vegas in December? December sees Las Vegas plunged into the depths of winter. Images of Freezing temps, Icey rain, and even snow spring to mind, but winters in the Mojave are not at all like that, even though at times these can be the case! While the weather is far from hot most of the time It retains mild temperatures and a mostly dry and rain-free climate throughout December.
Don’t expect long days by the pool soaking in the sun, but the majority of December days are clear, dry, and warm. At night the clear skies mean temps can really plunge and add in a stiff breeze and the desert really can feel barren and harsh! However, Las Vegas is still a great option for a winter escape where you can expect a little sun and reasonable temps even in the darkest midst of winter. We take a detailed look at the weather, how it may affect a December trip to Las Vegas, as well as all the other elements that should consider when booking in December!
What is the Weather like in Las Vegas in December?
The Days are short in December and the nights are long and clear, this can lead to some pretty chilly overnight temps. Freezing temps right down to below 30°F (-1°C) can leave Vegas waking up to a frost. While most nights the needle does not drop quite so low most nighs see below 40°F (5°C) temperatures. When the Winter breezes blow with these chills you will certainly feel it!
The big difference from the Chill of other American winters is the huge recovery the temperatures make during the day, While in New York for instance it can be freezing cold even in the middle of the day in Vegas the icy nights can see huge swings to daytime temps of 60-70°F (18-21°C)
The Climate is still very much Desert based and days are dry and often clear so on warm days when the sun shines the strip can feel very pleasant indeed. It is a long way from the baking inferno of Summer but really that can be a good thing! Anyone heading to Vegas from colder climes will find a very mild and pleasant sunny getaway on far more days than not!
What is it Like Visiting Las Vegas in December?
The most notable factor of December’s weather is the variability. Temperatures range from frosty 30°F (-1°C) to toasty 70°F (21°C) days. This makes typical Vegas wardrobes quite inadequate. For most visits, we pack nothing but shorts tees, and light clothes, along with a few fancy, but still light, evening outfights. However, if you are coming in December prepare for temperatures a little more bracing! The key is layering. You cannot just pack for winter as during the day you could still be enjoying some excellent sunshine and pool weather but by the time the sun sets the chill will definitely be in the air.
So layers are definitely the way to go. Sweaters, light jackets, cardigans, etc anything you can put on as the temps drop, or take off as the needle rises! These temperature swings can be pretty severe.
So when Visiting the City in December it really is a tale of two Cities. Mild sunny days and chilly cool evenings. Prepare for this. However, a lot of Vegas is indoors where the climate is a perfect 70°F (21°C) year-round so the worst of the cold can be avoided.
While December does not bring the immense heat and endless sunshine of the summer months it is still pretty pleasant compared to a North American winter. The lack of searing heat is also a relief and allows you to explore and enjoy more of Las Vegas’s outdoors than you would in the height of summer as you hide indoors from the relentless heat outside.
The high amount of sunshine and decent daytime temps still make Vegas a very attractive getaway in December. And a lot of other stars align to make the trip even more enjoyable as we discuss below. The weather is not perfect but it is still reasonable on most and there is just SO much to do in this year-round city that cool nights and the odd shower should definitely not put you off visiting during December!
Will it Rain in Las Vegas in December?
December is one of the wetter months of the year and there is a strong possibility of catching the odd rainy day. Do not be too concerned though as the majority of days throughout the month are rain-free. It is very rare to see a completely dry month but over half of the last 20 years have produced 2 or fewer rainy days in the whole month of December!
Rain comes mainly in the form of large weather systems that affect the whole area, rather than the short but heavy summer downpours. These can create whole washout days that are filled with drizzle and miserable weather. Time to head indoors if this occurs on your trip!
Despite being in the desert there is a real possibility of snow. Again this is very rare but the snowcapped peaks of the Spring Mountains give a constant reminder of the possibility of the white stuff. If you do get a snow flurry consider yourself lucky and just marvel at the fact that you are witnessing Snowfall on some of Las Vegas’ most Iconic landmarks!
What are Crowds like in December?
For the most part, December is pretty quiet. There are no big Conventions or large events to draw in huge numbers and the suppressed temperatures put some people off. This makes December one of the quietest months of the year.
Vegas is a year-round destination and nearly 3.5 million still hit the strip in December so it’s not exactly quiet, but it has a far more relaxed vibe than other times of the year. The month starts strong as people get away after thanksgiving but as Christmas approaches the numbers to dwindle as people get into the holiday spirit. Christmas week is very quiet and then the place EXPLODES for New year as we will look at below.
Hotel Prices in December
Naturally, as the crowds are light in December and there is little competition from the Conventions, hotels offer some really good rates during quiet times. They seem to Bump the oricefor Christmas, almost for the sake of it as the hotels are empty, and again expect a big hike for New Year’s Eve, but outside of these times, prices are pretty much as good as they get!
If you are finding prices really high on your proposed dates chances are a conference is in town (see below). Consider shifting dates and you may find prices plummet!
Will the Pools be open in December?
Despite what you hear Pools are open year-round in Vegas. Not every hotel will have every pool and facility open during the winter but on the whole, if the weather warrants it the Hotels will open up a pool. After all, if you sit by a pool you will likely want a drink and the hotel will only be too happy to sell it to you!
Some days however the temps really are not conducive to sunbathing. When the temps struggle to get up past 55°F (14°C) then sitting next to a pool in your Bikini is pretty unpleasant. So if pool time is important to you December may be a bad choice. There is no guarantee the weather will be suitable. Even on the best days swimming is an act of bravery. It is certainly possible, but only for the hardy!
What is there to do in Las Vegas in December?
The winter period is a quiet one for Las Vegas and a few things do shut down. There are no pool parties and outdoor events are more limited. With nearly 3.5 million people visiting the city is anything but quiet, however, and there is still tons going on.
Clubbing is massive through the dark months as Big name DJs transition from their summer destination to play Las Vegas, peaking on the Big night (NYE ) when the clubs are completely rammed. Private parties with open bars are pretty much the norm for New Year’s Eve, with tickets costing $100’s.
Of Course, with Fireworks exploding all over the strip there is no need to be saddled with an expensive party ticket and simply wandering the strip and taking it all in is a great way to enjoy NYE.
Outside of the Party scene, Vegas has many indoor attractions where the outside weather is of little concern. An array of quirky Museums and Exhibits, Miles of indoor Shopping malls and restaurants, Opulent and extravagant casinos to explore, and of course, you can always just hit the casino floor.
The cooler air is also perfect for exploring the wilderness areas around Las Vegas. Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of fire and wonderful natural spectacles, but can be almost out of bounds in the scorching summer heat. The cool December air allows long hikes out into these incredible rock formations!
We often use Las Vegas as a base for exploring some of the wonders of America’s national parks. Zion National Park, the Garand Canyon National Park, Death Valley National Park, even some of Utah’s Big 5 (apart from Zion), and Yosemite Valley are all within striking distance of Las Vegas. However, as winter sets in these can become inaccessible. Snow up in the mountains can make routes impassable and long detours will be needed to access them. Large parts of the parks also shut down as they are simply inaccessible and dangerous. In the confines of the Las Vegas Valley, the weather is mild and serene but just a few miles out it’s a whole different world, one that is wild and dangerous!
Events in Las Vegas in December
Christmas – (December 25th) Christmas is actually a quiet time for Las Vegas. Like Thanksgiving, many people celebrate at home with their families. Vegas makes a good effort for Christmas in terms of decorations etc but they definitely have a Vegas edge and nothing is very traditional. Still, it’s nice to see in the weeks leading up to the big day.
New Year – (31st December) New Year is the Big Show for Vegas. New Year’s Eve for Reveling and Nowhere does Reveling better than VEGAS! Private Parties, Open Bars, Top-name DJ’s packed streets, and a giant midnight Fireworks show all make for a night you will never forget…actually, that’s not strictly true, it’s quite possible you will!
While at some busy times, we advise you to avoid the City, New Year is not one of them. This is a date to head to Vegas specifically for. We Love New Year in Las Vegas. Yes it’s expensive, yes it’s crowded and yes it can be damn cold in the evening. But it’s a real blast and well worth it! one of our favorite places in America to enjoy New Year’s Eve!
Conventions in Las Vegas in December
December is by far the quietest month in Las Vegas for Conventions. The whole industry seems to take December off and there are half the usual Convention attendees than a regular month. All in you can pretty much ignore convention footfall if you are planning on coming in December however this is about the only month that this can be said!
Have Your Say:
Have you visited Las Vegas in December? Did you get snow? Did you get Frost? Did you get any Rain days or was it just wall-to-wall sunshine? We know the weather is not as predictable in December as in other months and there are often some surprises, so let us know what you got on your December trips. And if you have any questions just fire away in the comments.