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Nevada - A Winter Wonderland!


Photo of Teri Laursen
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Perhaps Nevada isn't the first thing to come to mind when you think about where to spend the holidays, but maybe it's time to revisit all the choices found right here in the Silver State!

Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Henderson, Nevada has always offered visitors a free "factory tour" and a sweet treat to savor year-round. But, things really light up over the holidays at the Botanical Cactus Garden located on the grounds of this locals favorite! If you have not yet been to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden in December, you will want to make plans to do so. Wrap up in something warm and tour the gardens that come alive after dark with colorful lights and holiday décor! And of course, there is chocolate too!

Ethel M holiday cactus garden

For a unique shopping experience, try visiting the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show, which will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center December 5th - the 14th. This unique gift show is the perfect add-on while attending the National Finals Rodeo if you were one of the lucky ones to score tickets to this awesome event! But, if not, than you have even more time to visit the hundreds of vendors with specialty gifts for your holiday gift-giving! Show times are 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are also a must-see during the holidays. Each year the gardens are turned into something magical to surprise and delight visitors of all ages. Bring your camera because you will want to enjoy the view over and over again!

Bellagio Conservatory holiday tree

If your travel plans take you to the northern part of the state, you can truly enjoy a mix of traditional holiday festivities and appreciate the state's history! Visit the historic town of Virginia City and Christmas on the Comstock, December 7th when the town hosts an early evening Christmas parade to kick off the holiday season! It truly is an event rich with history and rich in holiday spirit!

Another holiday tradition is the Sparks Annual Hometown Christmas Celebration, December 6-7, 2013! It's just another way to get the holiday party started! Downtown will feature a traditional Christmas parade (December 7), entertainment, photos with Santa, arts and crafts and a tree lighting ceremony (December 6).

One thing you will surely not want to miss is the annual Polar Express! Starting on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the Nevada Northern Railway in Ely, Nevada begins the journey to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus. The train departs from the East Ely Railway Depot and travels approximately one hour to our own version of the North Pole!

And, of course, what holiday season would be complete without a heaping helping of Lake Tahoe! What could be better than a winter wonderland at the beautiful ski resorts of Lake Tahoe? Whether you enjoy the outdoor sports, or just like being nestled inside while looking out at the snowy mountains, you will enjoy this spectacular alpine setting. Visit the special ski packages section of

So add some lights and spirit to your holiday season, and enjoy what Nevada has to offer this winter!

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