You’ll never guess what they use for the tinsel
Off The Strip is celebrating the holiday season with a 30-days of stories counting down to the big day Dec. 25! Our #WYD Holiday Guide features all the best places to go, experiences to have, festive displays, party destinations, holiday cocktails and dinners—plus where to shop local and cool ways to give back!
Check out the features »
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden transforms their seasonal autumn display into a winter wonderland with the help of 75 team members.
Running from November 20 until January 1, ‘Holiday Time’ switched out the warm tones of fall for a snowy fairytale-like winter scene.
The experience includes a snowcapped mountain range, a dreamy Swiss Chalet among other holiday treasures sprinkled throughout the exhibit.
Inspired by fashion runways, the jewel tones offer a dazzling color palette that is new to the Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Garden.
In previous years, they applied more of the traditional gold and red color schemes associated with Christmas, but this year they wanted to change things up a bit. And if I may say so, the pearly jewel colors add a refreshing modern feel to the vintage ‘Holiday Time’ decor.
The Designer of ‘Holiday Time,’ Ed Libby and Bellagio’s Horticulture team found inspiration for the theme through MGM Resorts International new brand campaign, “It’s Time,” which invites guests to return to Las Vegas.
While watching his vision come to life, Libby credits the team for the “up close magic and layers of detail.”
He expresses the joy that comes with his work and collaborating with the team. Libby says, “It’s really fantastic. It’s always an exciting and interesting challenge.”
Leslie Baeckeroot, manager of Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden describes the feeling as rewarding. “In fact, when we were opening, I had some newer employees [and] this was going to be their first change out. It’s always a lot of anticipation, there were tears. It’s very rewarding for both the guests and the employees.”
From their 42-foot Christmas tree to their iconic polar bear family, here are ten fun facts about this year’s heartwarming holiday experience.
- No two gifts in the sleigh are wrapped the same way. “Each one of those gifts are wrapped by a different member of the team all with their own personal stamp with a very elevated level of sophistication and design,” explains Libby.
- This is the first year that their tree is adorned with “tinsel.” To mimic the look of this classic decor, they decorated the tree with holographic hair extensions, which were able to meet the needed size to scale the colossal Christmas tree. “The tinsel on the tree is my favorite,” says Baeckeroot, “The tinsel is about 45-inches long and is actually hair extensions.”
- The exhibit features 13,250 white carnations. Some of these carnations can be spotted covering their “Mama Bear” and “Daughter bear,” the two polar bears that the team affectionately nicknamed.
- 8,700 ornaments dangle from the majestic tree that traveled all the way from Mt. Shasta in California. Sitting on top of their tree is a specially made Swarovski star that was crafted overseas just for this exhibit.
- Among the flowers in the garden, ‘Holiday Time’ has 7,500 Poinsettias throughout the winter wonderland.
- “The cool thing about this exhibit is that during the next six weeks every night or twice a week it will be worked on a little bit more. The exhibit constantly evolves and becomes more detailed,” says Libby. “So you could come once or six times and you’ll always see something different.”
- 7,000 LED lights illuminate ‘Holiday Time.’ And strolling the display during the day feels completely different than strolling it at night.
- There are 2,000 Senecio “Angel’s Wings” plants on display. They are a newer flower that have a succulent like texture and resemble a silvery Poinsettia.
- In the garden, there are 300 shrubs, including both cypress and juniper, plus there are 25 fresh-cut silver tip fir trees that are each 25 feet tall.
- Guests strolling through the exhibit will see 24 giant snowflakes, 8 arctic animals and 5 working clocks. Visitors can make a game out of it and see if they can count all of them.
Bonus: Switching out the former exhibit ‘Deeper Into the Woods,’ and replacing it with ‘Winter Time’ took them only 6 days to complete. When you look at all the fine details, it is an incredibly fast turnaround for such an elaborate design.
Local Tip Information
Local Tip: If you have a Nevada ID, you can get up to three hours of free parking. Scan your ID on the way out before the three hour mark to save some money for gifts.
‘Holiday Time’ is a free exhibit that is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. The display will be viewable from November 20 until January 1.
Read 10 Secrets of Bellagio and It’s Famous Fountains to learn more fun facts.