Get set to monkey around — multiple times — as various Strip casinos celebrate the impending arrival of Chinese New Year 2016, the Year of the Monkey.
Although the lunar new year doesn’t officially arrive until Feb. 8, Bellagio’s Conservatory, The Venetian and Palazzo and the Forum Shops at Caesars already have unveiled festive displays marking the holiday.
At Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, figures range from 12 Macaque monkeys atop at 14-foot mountain range to six Chinese children topiaries (each made of 5,000 flower stems) playing near a tranquil koi fish pond.
Other features at the free Bellagio display (in place through March 12) include waterfalls, lantern chandeliers and an 18-foot Chinese money tree made of 384 gold coins.
Meanwhile, The Venetian and Palazzo’s Waterfall Atrium and Gardens boasts a display (continuing through February) anchored by a 5-foot, 300-pound Monkey King seated at the base of a 38-foot wishing tree and sporting a chest plate adorned with more than 8,000 hand-sewn gold coins.
Playing among the wishing tree’s 8,000 branches of golden foliage: 28 mischievous monkeys, each with a hand-painted face. Additional monkeys frolic throughout The Venetian and Palazzo.
At The Forum Shops at Caesars, a 950-pound steel-framed dragon — glowing with 30,000 red and amber LED lights — stretches out, 22 feet long and 12 feet high, to welcome visitors.
And starting Feb. 4, Aria’s main lobby will feature a 229-foot dragon weaving its way through clusters of Chinese lanterns and around a money tree made up of 88 golden coins.
In addition, colorful dragon and lion dances will herald the Year of the Monkey at several Strip locations.
Among the scheduled festivities:
• Yau Kung Moon performing dragon and lion dances at 3 p.m. Feb. 8 at Aria’s main porte cochere, at 3 p.m. inside the MGM Grand’s main lobby and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at Bellagio’s main porte cochere
• Ceremonial lion dance and eye ceremony, 3 p.m. Feb. 8, beginning at The Venetian porte cochere and ending at The Palazzo’s porte cochere, with firecrackers and a parade of dancers and drummers
• Lion dances at 7 p.m. Feb.. 8-13 at the Linq Promenade, plus Feb. 12 (5 p.m. at Caesars Palace, 8 p.m. at the Linq and 9 p.m. at The Cromwell); Feb. 13 (noon at Planet Hollywood, 1 p.m. at Paris Las Vegas, 2 p.m. at Bally’s, 5 p.m. at Harrah’s and 6 p.m. at the Flamingo); 2:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Linq Promenade and 7 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Rio
• Cultural performances featuring various Asian entertainers, including the Hunan Provincial Song and Dance Troupe, at the Linq Promenade stage from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 8-12 and from 1-9 p.m. Feb. 13-14
• 20th annual Meadows School Parade at the Forum Shops at Caesars Feb. 8, featuring 120 Meadows kindergarteners and fifth-graders, plus Las Vegas Mayor (and Meadows School founder) Carolyn Goodman
Disclosure: The Review-Journal is owned by a limited liability company controlled by the Adelson family, majority owners of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates The Venetian and Palazzo.
Read more stories from Carol Cling at reviewjournal.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.