Photos: The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Showcase a Winter Wonderland

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The magic of the holiday season has taken over Bellagio as the Las Vegas resort’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens unveils a glistening winter wonderland. Featuring The Strip’s largest indoor holiday tree, moss-embellished reindeers, a life-size chocolate house, live seasonal music and a family of topiary polar bears, the dazzling display transports guests through a holiday dream through January 5.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is Las Vegas’ largest indoor holiday tree, a 42-foot tall, 18-foot wide and 6,800-pound majestic White Fir handpicked from Mt. Shasta, Calif. Sparkling with 7,000 warm white LED lights and 2,500 richly colored ornaments, the extravagant tree presents a perfect photo opportunity to capture precious holiday memories.

New this year, a walk-through snow globe is guarded by four grand toy soldiers to ensure privacy for lovers stealing a kiss in this romantic garden. Also new, six life-size chocolate-colored reindeers embellished in live moss haul an antique sleigh bursting with gifts. Below, a full-scale chocolate house created by Bellagio’s pastry team is made of 1,600 pounds of chocolate.

In the South Garden, a family of topiary polar bears frolics on an icy pond. Crafted from 24,000 snow white carnations, the momma polar bear watches protectively as her two cubs play in front of onlookers. Nearby, vibraphone and marimba performers fill the Conservatory with the sounds of the season atop a snow-covered stage from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. nightly.
In an effort to build awareness about the cherished and endangered polar bear, Bellagio has partnered with Coca-Cola to promote the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) during this year’s exhibit. Coca-Cola is involved in the ongoing sustainability initiative to generate money for WWF with the goal of creating a safe haven for polar bears. With the help of generous donors, more than $3.1 million has been donated to WWF. To help continue these efforts, Coca-Cola will match up to $1 million for donations made to through February 15, 2014.
Located adjacent to the Conservatory, Jean Philippe Pâtisserie continues its sweet holiday tradition. An impressive chocolate Mr. Grinch stands five-foot-six-inches tall and is hand-carved from 112 pounds of sugar-rolling fondant and 50 pounds of chocolate, created over a three-month period.

A winter wonderland would not be complete without the seasonal sounds of Las Vegas’ most iconic feature. The Fountains of Bellagio, recently voted as the nation’s top landmark, adds special performances of classic holiday tunes such as Hallelujah Chorus, O Holy Night and Santa Baby.

The Conservatory is complimentary to the public and open 24 hours a day. The holiday exhibit will be on display through Jan. 5. The Fountains of Bellagio also are complimentary with performances beginning at 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon on Saturdays and holidays; and 11 a.m. on Sundays.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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