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Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Gardens

Visiting Vegas and love chocolate? Visit Ethel M Chocolate Factory!

Whether it’s Snickers, Dove, Twix, or M&M’s, we’ve all had Mars chocolate before. But did you know that after Forrest E. Mars, Sr opened a boutique chocolate shop with gourmet premium chocolate after he retired? Ethel M Chocolates opened in 1980 in Henderson as a project to cure his boredom. 


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Last Updated: June 1, 2024

Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Gardens

Ethel M Chocolate Factory is named after his mother and has a free self-guided tour where you can learn more about chocolate making and the traditions of Mars Inc. Until this tour, we had no idea how Mars Inc. was affiliated with Ethel M Chocolates. I learned something new!

Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tours

The Las Vegas chocolate tour is along one hallway where you can see chocolate making in action! There are also videos you can watch to learn the history of Mars and Ethel M.

As a bonus, they give out free samples after the tour so you can try some of the best chocolate in Las Vegas. We decided to also pick up a couple of extra chocolate bars at the store for gifts.

What kind of chocolate do you prefer? We’re both dark chocolate people, but we’ll take milk chocolate (or any chocolate) if it’s free.

See More: 25 Free Things to Do in Las Vegas

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Ethel M Chocolate Tasting Experiences

They also do a Chocolate Tasting Experience! They teach you more about the process, let you taste chocolates, and there’s even a Chocolate and Wine Tasting experience for those over 21. Each tasting runs 30-45 minutes daily 3-5 times a day at assigned times.

Chocolate Tastings are $25 for adults and $15 for children under 10. Chocolate and Wine Pairing is $35. After the tasting, you get 15% off your in-store purchase that day.

They also have special events and menus throughout the year. In February, they run a special Valentine’s Day tasting for two weeks and they have specials during the holidays.


Botanical Cactus Gardens

Outside the building, there is a four-acre botanical cactus garden, which features over 300 species of desert plants. It’s one of the world’s largest collections of its kind.

Below are some of my favorites, mainly because they were the most photogenic. They even have a space to have weddings if you’re looking for unique wedding experiences in Las Vegas.

See More: 101 Things to do in Las Vegas Bucket List

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Ethel M Christmas lights 2023

Note: We will update this with 2024 info as soon as its out.

The cactus garden is extra magical during Christmas (and for the two weeks before Valentine’s Day, called Lights of Love, which you can read more about below). Visit at night to see all the cacti lit up with lights. This year’s dates for the Christmas Lights are:

There will be free hot chocolate, free Christmas light glasses for kids, photos with Santa, and prize raffles opening weekend (Nov 3-5, 2023)

It used to be one of our favorite free things to do in Las Vegas during Christmas, but it’s still very affordable, and it all goes to a local non-profit.

Photo Tip: If you want to take photos of yourself with the lights, visit around sunset.

See More: 5 Ways to Have the Perfect Christmas in Las Vegas


Ethel m Lights of Love 2024

In February, the Ethel M Cactus Garden lights up again for Lights of Love, celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s a great date night or family-friendly activity. This year’s dates are:

During this time, the garden is filled with one million lights. Hot chocolate and sweet treats are available at the Cactus Cafe, or to make it extra special, check out the Valentine’s Tastings for Two, where you get to experience special flavors paired with wine. Tastings start at $30 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and under.


Address & General Information

Ethel M Factory Las Vegas
2 Cactus Garden Drive
Henderson Nevada 89014 (map)

Although there aren’t any chocolate factory Las Vegas strip locations, you can do a chocolate tasting on the High Roller. They also have gift shops at the Harry Reid International Airport at gates C, D, and E.

Tips for Visiting the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Gardens

  • A small branch of M&M’s World is attached to the factory.
  • If you plan on buying chocolate to take home, be sure to check out the garden first so they don’t melt while you’re walking around. Ours did, so we ate them!
  • Avoid visiting early afternoon. That is when they change shifts so you might miss all the action of running the line.

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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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