Category Archives: Bellagio Conservatory

Bellagio’s Holiday Display Never Fails to Impress

As annual traditions go in Las Vegas, we hope Bellagio’s unveiling of its holiday display never will. Go. In case that wasn’t clear.

Bellagio Conservatory

Paging Dr. Freud.

The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at Bellagio are one of the few remaining free spectacles in Las Vegas and should not be missed.

Bellagio pulls out all the stops for its Christmas display. Vegas regulars will recognize some familiar elements (such as the polar bears), but there are always new things to see.

Bellagio Conservatory

Bellagio’s up to the challenge of giving your inner Grinch a beat-down.

The focal point of the holiday display is the big-ass Christmas tree, of course.

The White Fur tree, brought in from Mt. Shasta, stands 42-feet tall and has about 2,500 ornaments. Yes, we counted.

Bellagio Christmas

Bellagio’s Christmas tree is 18 feet in diameter, not unlike this blog after a buffet.

Naturally, the Conservatory is replete with flowers, including the seasonally-appropriate poinsettias (28,000 or so), famous for not being pronounced like they’re spelled.

Bellagio Christmas

The botanical name for the poinsettia is “euphorbia pulcherrima,” which sounds like what you’d call a poinsettia if you were bullying it in a locker room.

The Ice Princess is a new addition to Bellagio’s Christmas display, with a dress of white hydrangea and Phalaenopsis orchids. Yes, we copied and pasted those flower names. We are a busy person and don’t have time to “take notes” or “exert effort.”

Bellagio Conservatory

When your mom sees your browser history.

Bellagio’s horticulture staff of about 120 people have this whole Conservatory thing down pat.

The larger-than-life display draws throngs to the Strip casino, although the vast majority don’t stick around to eat or drink or gamble.

In recent years, casinos have cut back on free offerings to strengthen their bottom lines. Bellagio’s Conservatory has weathered those cost-cutting measures, and hasn’t yet suffered the fate of attractions like “Sirens of TI” at Treasure Island or “Masquerade Show in the Sky” at Rio.

Trust us, there have been meetings.

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas

Props on the elf diversity, Bellagio.

Here’s an insider tip for your Conservatory visit: Watch for the GoPro camera on the train at the base of the Christmas tree.

Bellagio Christmas

It’s only creepy if you get one for your ex.

Video from the camera is streamed live on a nearby video monitor.

Bellagio Christmas

Please keep it classy. There are lots of kids around.

Bellagio regulars will find it notable the horse statue in the hotel’s lobby has been swapped out. Not for a holiday-inspired horse and rider, but a samurai-themed one.

There’s currently a samurai exhibit in the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. Here’s more.

Bellagio lobby horse rider

Bellagio’s disco ball horse has been replaced with a samurai’s. The Japanese warriors were fairly kick-ass archers on horseback.

While we enjoy visiting the Bellagio Conservatory during the day to see all the details of the flowers and props, some prefer the glow of the lights at night.

The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at Bellagio are open 24 hours a day, so check out during the day and after dark.

Oh, and don’t forget to use the hashtag below to help homeless youth.

Bellagio Conservatory

At least that hashtag doesn’t have any unfortunate double meanings.

The Christmas display, called “Holiday Glamour” (because naming things is hard) runs through Jan. 1, 2018. Next up, Chinese New Year, from Jan. 8 through Mar. 3, 2018.

Enjoy more poorly-composed photos in the gallery, below. And if you’d like to see past Bellagio displays, we’ve grouped them all together on our site, so dive right in.

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas 2017

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Bellagio Conservatory Embraces Italian Roots With First-Time Capri-Inspired Display

Bellagio, the Las Vegas resort inspired by a town in Italy, has tapped into its Italian roots again with a new Conservatory & Botanical Gardens display transporting guests to the island of Capri.

Bellagio Conservatory Italy

The new Italian display at Bellagio Conservatory is like a vacation from your vacation.

Bellagio’s Conservatory rarely disappoints, but it’s great to see an all-new display.

As always, Bellagio’s Conservatory is a free attraction and remains one of the best free things to do in all of Las Vegas.

Bellagio Conservatory 2017

Bellagio’s horticulture teams has pulled out all the stops for this first-time display. Bellissima, as the kids say.

Bellagio’s new Italian display, which runs through Sep. 9, 2017, covers a lot of ground, with water features, colorful villas and a metric ass-ton of flowers, of course.
IMG

Guests enter the vibrant new exhibit through a 26-foot archway. Inside, there’s an eight-foot fountain.

Bellagio Conservatory Italian display

This is a wonderful place to freshen up, as well as to meet some helpful Bellagio security guards.

Nearby is a 22-foot moss-covered fountain that pays tribute to the Fontana dell’Ovato located in Villa d’Este, a 16th century residence in Tivoli.

In case there was any doubt, we knew all that off the top of our head and definitely did not copy and paste it from a news release.

Bellagio Conservatory

Villa d’Este is a 16th-century villa near Rome and Fontana dell’Ovato means “oval fountains.” Look at you, inadvertently learning things from a Las Vegas blog.

The eight-foot plate, showing an Italian village, is made of lentils, something we never would have known was a thing except for our enduring love of a 1980’s British sitcom, “The Young Ones.” You bet it’s random.

Bellagio Capri display

In Greece or Turkey, this would be broken by now.

In the north section of the Conservatory, there’s water streaming from lion and monkey sculptures, as well as four lemon topiaries, whatever those might be.

Bellagio Capri display

Bellagio’s horticulture department employs nearly 160 people, all of them with a greener thumb than we’ll ever have.

The lemon topiaries are made of about 1,400 flowers.

Bellagio topiary

“Topiary” comes from the Latin word for an ornamental landscape gardener, “topiarius,” a creator of topia. No, really.

The centerpiece of this seasonal display is a miniature village with 50 villas, each with a terrace.

Bellagio Capri display

You can’t spell “Bellagio” without “bella.”

There’s a bell tower, unbrellas, boats and other flourishes like a 50-foot lemon tree and “Lover’s Rock.”

Bellagio umbrellas

Umbrellas were once called “bumbershoots.” Yeah, we’re spending way too much time on Wikipedia.

Overhead, there’s a sun and moon, each 16 feet tall.

Bellagio Italian sun moon

Every guy in every bar in Las Vegas with sports on. Dude, priorities.

The entire Italian display uses an incredible 57,000 flowers and 560 shrubs. Shrubs never get any of the glory at Bellagio’s Conservatory. While they play a supporting role, without shrubs, the Conservatory would be like “Goodfellas” without Joe Pesci or “Jaws” with Robert Shaw.

Shrubs should really look into getting a better P.R. agency.

Bellagio boxing gloves

You can find this piece in the back of the Conservatory. We’d say this was a clever promotion for the Mayweather-McGregor fight, but it was in the works long before the fight was announced.

Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens are a must-do in Las Vegas, and the first-time Italian display makes it a must-do all over again.

Bellagio Conservatory Taste of Italy 2017

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Our Favorite Bellagio Conservatory Display Takes Us Back “Under the Sea”

You know how Las Vegas attractions too-often describe themselves as being “immersive”?

Well, in the case of the Bellagio Conservatory’s summer display, “Under the Sea,” it’s
true. Because it’s under the sea. Please, try and keep up.

Bellagio seahorses

Seahorses have no teeth and no stomach, which is why you’ll never see one at a Las Vegas buffet.

“Under the Sea” is far-and-away our favorite Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden display of the year (sorry, pandering Chinese New Year display), so let’s dive headlong into this free, family-friendly Las Vegas attraction.

Bellagio Conservatory Under the Sea

A whale’s tail is called a “fluke,” a term which also describes the time you actually won something playing keno.

While many of the elements of “Under the Sea” will be familiar to frequent Las Vegas
visitors, the centerpiece of the display is new.

“Under the Sea” features a walk-through fish tank designed by the team behind a Las
Vegas-based reality show, Animal Planet’s “Tanked.”

Bellagio Conservatory

The aquarium structure holds about 1,500 gallons of water and approximately 15 children screaming, “Look, Mommy, it’s Dory!”

Guests walk down a tunnel flanked by two 20-foot aquariums. Tip: As you’re strolling
through the aquarium structure, don’t forget to look down. The floor is illuminated and
animated.

Bellagio Conservatory Under the Sea

Told you it’s immersive.

The fish in the aquarium are on loan from Mandalay Bay and include five flame angelfish, six sailfin tang (Dory is a regal blue tang, but close enough), six Spanish hogfish and three lunar wrasses. Any of which would make a damned fine band name, by the way.

Once again, the Bellagio Conservatory has created an impressive display, including tens of
thousands of plants.

The “Under the Sea” exhibit boasts 80,000 blooming plants. No, we did not count them. We
have a life. The blooming plants include New Guinea impatiens, calandiva, hydrangea,
sunflower, salvia, pineapply lily, asalea, chrysanthemum, miniature rose and calla lily.
The exhibit gets 6,000 tulips each week, and it has about 2,000 ivy plants.

Bellagio calandiva

We’re guessing these are calandiva, but we know flowers like we know fact-checking and copy editing.

Shout-out the exhibit’s 600 shrubs, too. We were not entirely aware begonias and hibiscus
were shrubs, but who are we to argue with horticulturalists? Or people who write news
releases about their work, for that matter.

“Under the Sea” also has seahorses, dolphins, a clam and pearl, a sea turtle, starfish, scuba divers, a seal and a whale. There’s also a mermaid looking a little like she’s on her third night in Las Vegas, if you get our drift.

Bellagio mermaid

The mermaid’s realm comes complete with a matching set of bidets.

Let’s not get bogged down trying to figure out why there are flowers growing “Under the Sea.” This is whimsy, not a Jacques Cousteau documentary. (That sound you hear is Millennials collectively shrugging.)

There are also massive jellyfish. These gelatinous creatures are some of the most distinctive in our planet’s oceans. Jellyfish use their “bells” for locomotion and their stings provide us with an excuse to urinate on our friends.

Bellagio jellyfish

This is the first known jellyfish upskirt, ever. It’s a little thing we like to call “innovation.”

Happily, the Bellagio Conservatory’s seasonal exhibits remain free. Which is definitely
going to jinx it, sorry. Think we’re kidding? Attractions like this aren’t cheap. Bellagio
has 120 people on its horticulture staff.

For a long time, Las Vegas casinos used free attractions to draw customers to gamble. But Las Vegas visitors are gambling less, and we’d wager just a tiny fraction of people who
visit Bellagio to see the Conservatory end up at the slot machines or tables.

“Show in the Sky” at Rio went away, “Sirens of TI” had its plugged pulled at Treasure Island and the volcano at Mirage cut back on its number of shows. Not to be a buzzkill, but enjoy the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden while you can!

Bellagio Conservatory sea turtle

Sea turtles were around during the late Jurassic period. Turtles seem laid-back now, but they were a little freaked out about the late period thing.

Find out more about the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden.

Interestingly, the photo of the “Under the Sea” display on Bellagio’s Web site isn’t
actually the display. It depicts a previous incarnation. Don’t be so OCD, bro.

Bellagio scuba diver

“Please turn your head and cough.” ~Sea moss

Enjoy a metric ass-ton of photos from Bellagio Conservatory’s “Under the Sea” display, a reminder to appreciate and preserve sealife, especially the adorable kind. Because let’s face it, nobody’s making a blob fish out of carnations anytime soon.

Bellagio Conservatory Summer 2016

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Bellagio Conservatory Pitches Wu to Asian Customers With Chinese New Year Display

The Conservatory & Botanical Garden at Bellagio Las Vegas is once again beckoning Asian visitors (translation: gamblers) with its Chinese New Year’s display.

Bellagio Conservatory Chinese New Year

Let the cavalcade of pinnable photos begin!

The Conservatory’s elaborate display features a range of symbols of significance to Asian cultures, including monkeys since 2016 is the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese zodiac.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Monkeys are one of the five major animal styles used in Chinese martial arts. The others are Tiger, Crane, Leopard and Panda.

Much of this year’s Chinese New Year display will be familiar to Las Vegas regulars, but Bellagio always makes sure to add new elements to keep things interesting. And, of course, there are always thousands of fresh flowers.

Well, they couldn't very well call it a Botanical Garden without some botanicals, could they?

They couldn’t very well call it a Botanical Garden without some botanicals, could they?

We haven’t seen the annual Chinese New Year display news release this year, so we’re winging it on the Conservatory & Botanical Garden factoids.

The costumes of the children in the display are made up of about 1,800 flowers.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Worst. Goalkeeper. Ever.

It’s adorable that children appear in the Bellagio display, because the Chinese New Year actually began with a mystical creature called Nian that would devour villagers, especially children.

The legend says Nian was afraid of the color red, which explains why celebrants hang red lanterns, use red firecrackers and wear red clothing during Chinese New Year festivities. Red represents virtue, truth and sincerity.

Bellagio Chinese lanterns

Red is also the color Wesley Snipes advised not bet on in “Passenger 57.”

Chinese New Year goes by a number of names, including New Year Festival, Lunar New Year and Spring Festival.

The Chinese New Year display features lots of the aforementioned Chinese lanterns, Ding pots and a metric ass-ton of peaches. Peaches, it turns out, are a symbol of wealth, abundance and a long, healthy life.

There are also a lot of lucky coins, several hundred of which form a lucky coin tree.

Bellagio Conservatory Las Vegas

Round coins with a square hole were first introduced in China around 350 B.C., at approximately the same time as bad driving.

There’s even a koi pond. Koi are more sort of a Japanese thing than a Chinese thing, but let’s not get bogged down in details.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Koi played a major role in a recent kabuki production on the hotel’s Lake Bellagio. Check it out.

The Bellagio Conservatory remains one of the most stunning free attractions in Las Vegas. While most of the displays reflect a season (spring, summer, fall and winter), the Chinese New Year display is specifically intended to woo Asian visitors.

Chinese players have long been a lucrative source of revenue for Las Vegas casinos. They also have some of the most interesting gambling superstitions, including the belief one should never have sex before hitting the casino. See more fascinating Chinese superstitions.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

We are especially fond of the streams of water that leap from one part of the display to another. Yes, we are capable of whimsy, thank you.

The Chinese New Year display at Bellagio runs through March 12, 2016. The spring display runs from March 18 to May 14, 2016.

The actual Chinese New Year is celebrated Feb. 8, 2016.

Bellagio Conservatory Chinese bridge

Fortune cookie say: Fortune cookies are Japanese, not Chinese.

See more things to do in Las Vegas in our seemingly boundless archive of such things.

Bellagio Conservatory flowers

Imagine all the bees doing the walk of shame after pollinating the 140,000 flowers used in Bellagio’s Chinese New Year exhibit.

Enjoy more photos of the Chinese New year display at Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden, several of which are close to actually being in focus.

Bellagio Chinese New Year 2016

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Bellagio Conservatory Kicks the Holidays Into High Gear With Lavish Winter Display

If you’re feeling holiday spirit-challenged, we recommend a visit to the free Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.

The Conservatory has unveiled its winter display for 2015, featuring enough creativity and whimsy to warm the heart of even the most die-hard devotee of humbuggery.

Bellagio Conservatory winter 2015

The Bellagio’s Christmas display nearly stunned the snark out of us. “Nearly” being the operative term.

Fans of the Bellagio Conservatory will find a number of familiar elements, but there’s always something new to see at this beloved attraction.

The centerpiece of the Bellagio’s winter display is the 42-foot white fir tree. Don’t get all bent out of shape, it’s faux fir.

Bellagio Conservatory Las Vegas

We kid. The tree is real, shipped in from Mt. Lassen, California. The tree weighs 6,800 pounds, more or Lassen.

The gargantuan tree, easily the most stunning in Las Vegas, has about 2,500 ornaments and 7,000 lights.

Other tried-and-true elements of the holiday display are frolicking polar bears. We suspect the polar bears aren’t going anywhere given the sponsorship deal Bellagio has struck with Coca-Cola.

Bellagio Conservatory polar bear

See all the inappropriate jokes we’re not telling? It’s the Christmas spirit!

The Coca-Cola advertising is done with class, however, and nobody going to begrudge Bellagio for finding a partner to help offset the cost of the producing this winter wonderland in the middle of the desert.

The Coca-Cola partnership once again has a philanthropic component. When guests share a Conservatory photo using the hashtag #HollyJollyVegas, Coca-Cola will donate a buck to Toys for Tots (up to $25,000). It’s hard to hate on Capitalism too much when kids get toys during the holidays.

Bellagio Conservatory

Aren’t you feeling super guilty about global warming right about now?

Each of the polar bears is made with thousands of white carnations. The cubs use 5,000 carnations, and the mother has 12,000.

Conservatory veterans will also recognize the 14-foot toy soldiers.

Bellagio Conservatory toy soldier

Dude, lighten up, it’s not Buckingham Palace.

We also love the working toy train running in endless circles.

One of our favorite Easter eggs in the winter display is the pair video screens showing live video from a camera affixed to the toy train. The screens are located elsewhere in the exhibit, and guests are consistently delighted when they realize what the screens are showing.

Bellagio Conservatory

One of the train camera video displays. We probably should’ve said “spoiler alert.” Then again, this whole blog is sort of a spoiler. You’ll live.

A snow tunnel has made its return, perfect for a photo op. The tunnel is constructed so that “snowflakes” move within the tunnel walls.

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas 2015

Sorry, but “Die Hard 2” sort of wrecked icicles for everybody.

Also in the new winter display are a collection of crowd-pleasing penguins, several of which clearly have a better fashion sense than this Las Vegas blog. Then again, just about everyone does.

Bellagio Conservatory

We assume this, too, is faux. Don’t make us cry penguin tears, Bellagio.

Beyond the returning favorites, new surprises abound.

The house made of chocolate is out, but an animated rocking horse is in (see below).

There are also two 12-foot snow globes. Those are huge globes, even by Las Vegas exotic dancer standards. Yes, in fact, we have to ruin everything. Get used to it.

Bellagio Conservatory

National Finals Rodeo is in town, so you can bet some cowboys have been eyeballing that horse, bigtime.

Overhead bells used in previous displays have been replaced by colorful, 10-foot stockings.

There’s also a 12-foot, animated jack-in-the-box.

Bellagio Conservatory

Or, more accurately, a harlequin-in-the-box, because Las Vegas appreciates alternative lifestyles.

While many of the props used in the Bellagio Conservatory’s winter display don’t involve flowers (an intriguing departure from past displays, and one we suspect could be a cost-conserving measure, it’s a Conservatory after all), there are still a lot of flowers.

According to the Bellagio, there are 34,000 poinsettias (our favorite dog, too), azaleas (love her music), cyclamen (our favorite lady part) and Ottowa mums (who raise the most polite kids, ever).

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas 2015

Everyone’s a child again! So, yeah, sort of smelly and loud, but in a good way!

Unless we missed it, it appears the live music component of the display has been nixed this year. Again, the exhibit appears to be trimming more than just its 750 plants and shrubs.

The Bellagio’s holiday display runs through Jan. 3, 2016.

Bellagio Conservatory

Experts believe penguins survived the extinction of the dinosaurs 60 million years ago. Who’s the comic relief now, dinosaurs?

The winter display is one of five seasonal themes at Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens (here’s the official site), with the others being Chinese New Year, spring, summer and fall.

Bellagio Conservatory

On your way out, stop by the hotel lobby where there’s whimsy all year round.

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens continues to be one of the great free attractions in Las Vegas, and this year’s holiday display is already drawing huge crowds.

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas

Don’t be surprised if your heart grows three sizes during your visit. It’ll be uncomfortable, but totally worth it.

Walking through the Bellagio Conservatory at this time of year is a magical experience. It’s a chance to reconnect with our childhood, to feel the anticipation of Christmas morning, to be filled once again with the wonder and spirit of the holidays.

And we’re not even going to ruin it with a stupid joke. Because we’re sure as hell not going to risk ending up on anyone’s “naughty” list this late in the game. Sorry, heck. Sure as heck.

More cheer below!

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas 2015

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Bellagio Conservatory Whips Out Its Impressive Autumnal Regalia

It’s fall, and the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens are once again resplendent with all things seasonally-appropriate and whimsical, including pumpkins, mythical and woodland creatures, ample foliage and a big-ass watermill.

Bellagio Conservatory fall 2015

Before we get too far, we should say Autumnal Regalia would not be a bad band name.

The Bellagio Conservatory will sport its fall display through Nov. 27, 2015. The annual holiday display opens Dec. 3 and runs through Jan. 2, 2016.

Bellagio Conservatory fall 2015

The bridge is much like a covered bridge you’d find in Vermont, but with fewer people in Birkenstocks.

Some of the elements of this year’s fall display will be familiar to frequent visitors to the Conservatory, but it’s a must-see nonetheless. And not just because it’s free. But in case there were any question, it’s free.

Bellagio autumn 2015

It’s getting whimsical up in here.

At the center of Bellagio’s fall display is the aforementioned 33-foot-long bridge. We love aforementioning. Somebody has to do it.

Bellagio Conservatory bridge

It’s intesting to note the bridge is 33 feet long because that number is considered mystical in Chaldean and Pythagorean numerology, whatever those might actually be.

There’s also a talking tree, which is only creepy for a minute and the kids seem to love it.

Bellagio talking tree

Feeling guilty about your cutting board right about now, aren’t you?

New additions to the autumnal display are three larger-than-life dandelions. At least we think they’re new. We were fairly tanked during our last autumnal visit.

Bellagio Gardens fall 2015

The dandelions range in height between 14 and 18 feet. The scientific name for dandelions is “Taraxacum,” which sounds dirtier than it really is.

As with all the displays at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, there’s an incredible attention to detail and an enviable amount of creativity.

There’s a wagon overflowing with pumpkins, scarecrows, bales of hay and various water features. One of the pumpkins weighs 1,000 pounds, evidence even pumpkins can’t resist a delicious Las Vegas buffet.

Bellagio Conservatory 2015

Autumn is often marked by melancholic reflection. Which confirms this blog is a band name-generating machine.

And, of course, there are lots of flowers.

Over the course of the fall exhibit, about 45,000 flowers will be used (about 7,500 a week), and let’s not forget the shrubs. The shrubs never get any of the glory, but there are 1,950 of them. Shrubs should seriously think about unionizing. As the watermill would say, “What goes around comes around.”

Bellagio Conservatory

This watermill just got aforementioned, hard.

The mythical tree creatures, called Ents, are especially indignant about the shrubs being taken for granted. You tell them, Treebeard-looking dude.

Bellagio Gardens Ent creature

Ent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning “giant.” It’s annoying being forced to learn things, isn’t it?

Las Vegas visitors always look forward to seeing the latest display at the Bellagio Conservatory, and we rarely fail to miss one. While the there are signs Bellagio is starting to cut corners a bit (the polite term is “recycling”), the seasonal displays remain one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas.

Bellagio Conservatory  & Gardens

If it weren’t for the Bellagio Conservatory, residents of Las Vegas would honestly not know what season it is.

While we stopped by during the evening, it’s important to remember visits during the day and at night provide two very different experiences. So, do both. And gamble while you’re there. Autumnal regalia doesn’t come cheap, you know.

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