Christmas in Las Vegas may conjure up images of slot machines and showgirls, but the best holiday tradition in the city is actually quite...well...traditional. The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan is the closest thing you’ll find to a winter wonderland in the Mojave Desert, and it’s right on Las Vegas Boulevard

Each year, the Cosmo’s Boulevard Pool turns into an ice skating rink (yes, that’s actually real ice), with skate rentals, falling snow, holiday movies, fire pits and festive food and drinks. This year, the ice skating rink opened Nov. 20, and will remain open through December. Thinking about visiting the Ice Rink? Here are five reasons why you should:

Ice Skating
Don’t worry, you don’t have to pack ice skates in your carry-on if you’re flying to Las Vegas. The Ice Rink offers skate rentals for $25 a day. If you’re a hotel guest, a local or a military member, the cost is $15. And if you’ve totally forgotten how to skate, you can rent a skate aid for $10. You are also welcome to bring your own ice skates, but the same skate rental costs still apply.

Snow Showers
In February of 2019, higher elevation neighborhoods in Las Vegas were briefly blanketed with white. In December of 2008, there was an actual blizzard on the Strip. In other words, it doesn’t snow much in Las Vegas, but it does snow every 30 minutes at the Cosmopolitan. From 7-11 p.m. most nights, you can enjoy man-made flurries as you skate.

Holiday Films
Get into the Christmas spirit by watching your favorite holiday films on the big screen at the Ice Rink. 2019 holiday movies include Elf, The Grinch, The Polar Express and more. Other special events at the venue include a tree lighting ceremony and a VIP New Year’s party with a 1920s theme and an open-bar.

Festive Food
After you’ve gone around the rink a few times, unlace your skates and linger awhile. The Ice Rink offers fire pit rentals and a special food and drink menu inspired by the winter season. Sip bourbon-spiked eggnog, s’mores martinis with toasted marshmallows and pumpkin spice hot chocolate. Order beef short rib poutine, mac and cheese bites and grilled cheese with tomato soup that’ll warm you up on frosty desert evenings. Or bring your whole crew and grab a bucket of champagne splits and a thermos of hot chocolate.

Great Views
The pool deck-turned-skate-rink offers a uniquely Vegas kind of holiday magic: unparalleled views of the Strip. The Ice Rink is free to enter (skate rentals, food and drinks cost extra), so even if you don’t feel like perfecting your triple axel, you can still experience this special holiday pop-up. Dress in warm layers, make your way through the casino floor to the Boulevard Pool entrance, and take in the views of Las Vegas Blvd. – an unexpectedly perfect holiday destination that’s festive year-round.