Well, it's December and you know what that means. The same 3 Christmas songs on repeat in every single public location you visit! Yayyyyyyyyyyy. But I bring good news which is way better than frankincense and myrrh, whatever that crap was. Man, Jesus had a screwy childhood. But I digress...
This year, for the first time, Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas premiered Christmas Town! No, the slides aren't open you masochist weirdos, but the park is full of lights, food, and a bunch of activities and attractions for everyone! Yes, there's even warm alcoholic holiday beverages, something I'm sure we can all appreciate. My wife and I were treated to the event by TPR's own Shane (of Amusement Attic fame, among other things like being king of the castle at Cowabunga Bay) and boy, did we have a blast!
Upon parking the car we are greeted with an absolutely decked out entrance plaza with Christmas lights everywhere. It was gorgeous and really gives an idea of what to expect beyond the gates. Once inside you are face to face with a massive Christmas tree, Santa's sleigh, and reindeer. Will you go left, right, or straight? Doesn't matter since there are lights EVERYWHERE! Heading left will lead you to the tubing hill. Heading right will lead you to a peaceful walking area surrounded by lights, and heading straight will lead you to food, booze, and a bunch of family activities.
I'm going to let the photos do the talking for all of the lights. 3 million (plus?) in total and when I say they're everywhere, I mean it. There were a few LED video walls scattered around, as well, each playing their own cute 8-bit animation videos synced to select Christmas songs. Remember those 3 songs on repeat I mentioned earlier? Not here! There's way more than 3 and 99% of them are different than you're used to hearing. Such a welcome change! If I had to head "Last Christmas" one more time after shopping earlier I'd have bitten a man's ear off.
The attractions were all family friendly and clearly chosen to attract young families. Kids 12 and under will have the time of their lives at Christmas Town! There are so many bounce houses to choose from! There's also an inflatable Laser Tag arena, faux-ice skating, a rock climbing wall, two (yes, two) trains, an obstacle course, and the big tubing hill! And here's the best part, THEY'RE ALL FREE WITH ADMISSION! Whaaaaaaaaat? That's right, Las Vegas, the undisputed champion of highway robbery, is now home to a park that refuses to play ball and actually let families have fun without draining their bank account! I cannot stress enough how much of a difference this makes for families. There is one upcharge, and that is the Paintball gallery, but that's understandable since paintballs can't be reused. If you can figure out the technology, though, I'm sure someone at MIT would be interested.
Food. Let's talk about the food. Taking a cue from other food and wine events, Cowabunga Bay's Christmas Town offers a tasting menu from five countries. You can buy a wristband for 3, 4, or 5 tastings and can even go to a country more than once. Your choices are France (charcuterie), Canada (poutine and the winner of the night), Japan (teriyaki chicken), Germany (sauerkraut and brats), and Ireland (stew or potato and cheese soup). Did I mention each tasting includes a hot holiday beverage? Five different cider or hot chocolate flavors round out the menu and they're all delicious. Speaking of warm beverages, there are two bars in the tasting area selling full size spiked warm honey cider and warm mulled spice wine. We got one of each. I preferred the cider while my wife went for the wine. There are also cold adult options but since it was 43 degrees and breezy, we stuck to staying warm. We also ended up grabbing a souvenir mug full of hot chocolate because, I mean, duh.
Let's get to the pretty pretty pictures!
The surfboards were gift wrapped.
Blitzen's Bounce House Bonanza!
Laser tag area.
I love that they replaced all signage with Christmas-themed ones.
I wish Shane would make a comeback and give some more detail about the thinking and easter eggs. Clearly this project so done with love by one of our own. Or even better a podcast where tea is spilled.
I LOVE the food descriptions - so well written. Japan's KFC one is classic. And the poutine one is bang on. That is a delicious food that until 10 years ago so almost never seen outside of the French part of Canada.
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