Winter in Venice (closer to home than you think!)

Ahhhh… the Holiday Season is here!  What could be better than whisking your family off to Italy to enjoy winter in Venice???

If you are like me, this thought has run through your head a few times, but the actual planning, organizing, and financing a trip of these sorts is more than you can jump on board with.  This year, instead, my family indulged in a much closer Venice.  The Palazzo and The Venetian Hotels in Las Vegas, collectively the largest five-diamond resort in the world, have created a magical Venetian holiday package that will draw your family (as it did ours) into the wonder of a holiday in Europe, only much closer to home.


My family in front of one of the beautiful fountains in “Venice”

If you have never been to these resorts, or even to Las Vegas for that matter, let me explain that everything – from the architecture of the buildings to the painted ceilings, and even canals inside the mall made to look like streets in Venice – gives the very authentic representation of being in Venice, Italy.  The added holiday decorations, lights, strolling carolers, as well as the fun, whimsical walking entertainers give the finishing touches of Venice during Christmas.  The Venetian and The Palazzo are beautifully adorned in holiday cheer from their large interior atriums with beautiful glass snowflakes, to tiny touches in all the shops, to the amazing 65 foot LED Christmas tree, ice skating rink, and holiday lights outdoors.


Giant LED Christmas Tree


The Palazzo is offering a lovely Winter in Venice package that my family was thrilled to enjoy.  The Prestige level package includes a fantastic assortment of holiday cheer including your stay in a luxury or bella suite, two ice-skating rentals, two free hot chocolates for warming up (yes, it was actually quite chilly at night in Vegas, helping to aid the Venetian theme!), access to the Prestige lounge that offers daily continental breakfast, afternoon snacks and evening hors d’oeuvres and a hosted bar.  In this private, smoke-free, non-Vegas feeling lounge area, Santa & Mrs. Clause stop in nightly to meet with kids and read them Christmas stories; later at night, festive holiday movies are even shown!

Your stay also includes an elf tuck in, which was the highlight of my kid’s stay.  I was a bit intimidated by how this would play out, but was so pleasantly surprised.  An adorably festive and cute female elf arrived in our room as scheduled, with a decorated holiday cart full of goodies playing quiet Christmas music.  She brought each of our girls a Christmas plate full of beautifully decorated cookies and cute glasses full of milk – all that they got to keep.  She then read them the story of “Christopher Pop-In-Kins”, and presented them with their own Christopher elf (and book) that would come alive at our house and report back to Santa each night.  Our girls were truly caught up in the wonder of this activity and it was such a fun, magical experience for all of us.

Elf tuck in with cookies & milk


The whole resort is taking part in the Winter in Venice theme and your booking includes a free gift from the shops at the Palazzo and a shopping passport; restaurants are offering holiday prix-fix menus, and you will find special holiday concoctions at bars and eateries around the resort. The prestige package has more perks than I can list here; you can read my full review of The Palazzo (and see all of the benefits of booking a Prestige package.)  One of the coolest benefits of this package was the free access to the Canyon Ranch Spa, full of classes, a very cool Aquavana water treatment experience, and a full service salon and spa.  The resort treated me to one of their Winter in Venice body treatments, a holiday cocoon consisting of a deep exfoliation and then relaxing wrap.  No more last minute Christmas shopping for dad, hint to him how much you would love a relaxing spa day—your Winter in Venice package includes a $40 voucher toward any spa treatment!

Beautiful Angel “statue” coming to life as we took the picture

Every night, the outside of the Venetian rings in the season hourly (on the half) with a festive holiday light show highlighting the amazing focus the resort has placed on the Winter season.  Statue-like drummers come to life with epic “Blue Man Group” style entertainment, violinists rock out to some upbeat holiday tunes, and a magnificent angel lights the LED Christmas tree.  All of this, set outside with beautiful lights and decorations, lighted gondolas passing by, and outdoor ice skating under the lights and stars, makes for an incredibly themed holiday getaway that you won’t want to miss.

Watch this video following my family on our trip:

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary Prestige package at The Palazzo in order to write about my experiences.  All opinions are entirely my own.

Travel with kids to: CA |CO | DC | FL | HI | IL |MA | NC | NY | OR | PA | TN | TX | VA | WA

About the author

Katie Bodell is Trekaroo’s Blog Editor, a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. She loves the Bible, learning & research, musical theater, indy music, artsy films, languages, and diverse cultural encounters. Her husband is thankful that google can now answer all of her perpetual random questions.
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