Ethel M’s Holiday Cactus Garden lights up for the holidays


HENDERSON (KTNV) – The holiday season is upon us, and nothing says it more locally than the Cactus Garden lights at the Ethel M.

This year marks the 28th Holiday Cactus Garden at the Chocolate Factory, which is still on our holiday list.

“This is our 28th annual Holiday Cactus Garden, and we’re excited to be able to open to the public again this year,” said Lisa Vannerson, director of marketing and public relations at Ethel M. Chocolate Factory. are sitting on a three acre botanical cactus garden decorated with over a million Christmas lights that turn the garden into a magical experience. “

Visitors can stroll through the 3-acre Cactus Garden which features cacti, flower arrangements, and trees that can all thrive in Nevada’s desert climate.

“Some of the trees we have are mesquites, and they’ve been here for several years as we celebrate our 40th anniversary right now. And if you’re not from the Southwest, it’s just a fun experience of learn more about the different cacti, ”said Vannerson.

And during the holiday season, over a million lights are added to the garden to bring it to life.

“There is always something fun to find in the garden: there are lights, reindeer, elves, llamas, and it’s just fun to walk around and see something new this year” , said Vannerson.

Skilled gardeners start their holiday feast in August to prepare for the holiday cactus garden.

“The guys who light the garden start their work in August, and it takes several months to decorate everything, and they put on gloves, but in the end it’s a magical experience. And you can take your family out and create some new memories, ”Vannerson said.

This year, visitors will need to make a reservation to help crowds amid the pandemic while donating $ 5 for groups of six.

“There are a few changes this year, and we think they are for the best. First of all, you need to make a reservation. This will make it easier for crowds and traffic to flow. We are also open until January 2nd. 2022, and we’re asking for a donation of $ 5 that goes to Help of Southern Nevada and Three Square Food Bank, ”Vannerson said.

Another novelty this year is a lawn in the garden. Visitors can get hot chocolate and, of course, chocolate candy straight from the factory.

“New this year, we’ve added turf where there’s a food truck where you can grab a snack and take a break with Santa visiting. And hot chocolate is flowing with items dipped in chocolate. We dip all your favorite snacks into dark or milk chocolate, and sell them inside the store or food truck, ”said Vannerson.

And with all the beauty on the outside, be sure to take a peek inside when you visit.

You can get a taste of how the Ethel M Chocolate Factory works while also getting a free treat and taking home some sweet treats.

“When you walk in you’re always greeted with a sample. So be sure to stop by and get a free sample, check out our self-guided tour where you can see where the chocolates are made,” Vannerson said. “And then at the end, you can get all of our Holiday Chocolate Boxes with Peppermint Rind and even options to build your box of chocolates.”

The Chocolate Factory is an easy trip to take on Sunset Road, and it’s called Henderson home since 1981.

So be sure to make your reservation, and Vannerson says to keep your weekday nights open as a tour option as well.

“Weekday evenings would be the best time to visit as some days have already been booked, but we still have plenty of Fridays and Saturdays available with those weekday evenings. And with the good weather we have, pick a night and come visit us, ”Vannerson said.

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