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When you travel to Las Vegas, you can count on clear skies and relatively decent weather, though summers can be very hot. Nonetheless, Las Vegas is a thriving city year round.
People who visit Las Vegas during any holiday or convention should note that hotel rates are likely to increase and lines will be longer at restaurants and nightclubs. All conventions listed here draw at least 30,000 people (and sometimes upwards of 120,000 people). The public is usually not welcome to participate. Nonetheless, the influx of people during these special events should be accounted for in travel plans. Special notes about specific holidays, conventions and events have been noted below.
Looking for cooler weather in Las Vegas? Visit the city in early spring. From February through April, weather tends to be fairly mild and there are fewer crowds. Many hotel pools are closed in the spring, and some shows reduce their scheduled performances, but this is one of the most comfortable times of the year. Things begin to pick up again around Spring Break, so if you’re looking for a more subdued Strip experience, plan your trip prior to mid-March. Noteworthy spring conventions, events and holidays:
February: Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, World Archery Festival, ASD Las Vegas (a retail show)
March: St. Patrick’s Day, International Hospitality Week, NASCAR Nextel Cup, Monster Jame World Finals, Extreme Thing Festival, Pet-a-Palooza
April: Mardi Gras, Clark County Fair & Rodeo, Easter (make reservations for brunch in advance), Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference
If you like your weather hot, visit during the summer. May through July are hot and very dry (often more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit). Be sure to bring a hat or cap, bottled water, sunscreen and sunglasses if you plan on walking the Las Vegas Strip during the day. Be wary of the pools during peak hours as they are extremely crowded and you will definitely catch some sun! If you want a poolside chair, be ready to make a mad dash for one as soon as the pools open, or reserve a cabana in advance to ensure you have a spot in the shade.
Noteworthy summer conventions, events and holidays:
May: Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day (one of the busiest weekends of the year; book a hotel room early), Supercross competition, San Gennaro Feast, Cars Stars & Guitars Festival, National Hardware Show, The Global Retail Real Estate Convention (RECon)
June: World Series of Poker, International Esthetics Cosmetic and Spa Conference
July: Fourth of July (several hotels shoot off fireworks; check local listings for details), Red White & Boom, Boulder City Damboree Celebration, Associated Surplus Dealers
September and October are busy months for conventions, but general tourism tends to slow down again when school goes back into session for children. The convention center is nearest to what was once known as the Las Vegas Hilton, The Riviera, The Venetian, Harrah's and the Renaissance Hotel, so these hotels book up quickly and rates increase during major convention periods. July and August are considered the "monsoon" season in Las Vegas, and you might get light showers in the afternoons. Because Las Vegas gets very little rainfall, just a small amount of rain tends to bring up the oil on the streets, which makes driving treacherous. Temperatures generally tend to start to drop in October.
Noteworthy autumn conventions, holidays and events:
August: Harvest Festival; National Pocket Billiards competition
September: Labor Day (a popular holiday weekend; book a hotel room early), Greek Food Festival, Super Run, Las Vegas Bike Fest, Magic International Fall Show, International Baking Industry Expo, San Gennaro Feast
October: Halloween (parties at every nightclub; may not be appropriate to visit with children), Age of Chivalry Renaissance Faire, Grand Slam for Children
The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be a slow period in Las Vegas, and hotel rates are generally a bit lower. A number of shows and some of the free attractions may be shut down for a break or maintenance during this time, so visitors trade convenience and accessibility to all Las Vegas activities for a quieter, more affordable vacation.
Noteworthy winter conventions, holidays and events:
November: Thanksgiving, Strut Your Mutt, Vegas Valley Book Festival, Aviation Nation, Magical Forest at Opportunity Village, Computer Dealers’ Exhibition (COMDEX), Global Gaming Expo
December: Christmas, National Finals Rodeo, Las Vegas Marathon (particularly busy the morning of the race, but the Strip reopens by mid-morning), Las Vegas Great Santa Run, New Year’s Eve (Las Vegas Boulevard is closed; may not be appropriate for children)
January: International Consumer Electronics Show, Adult Entertainment Expo (fan passes available for the convention floor), World of Concrete, International Air Conditioning Heating Refrigeration Expo