Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden are a wonderland any time of year. The variety of cacti boggles the mind as you stroll the lanes of the garden, and whether they are unlit, lit and decorated for Halloween, or lit like a fairyland for Christmas, this is truly a place for all seasons.
Outside, you have the natural beauty of the cactus garden, with its paths for strolling and shady lanes even on the hottest day. It’s a photographer’s dream, with the tiny blooms and huge cacti and trees.
Inside the building, you can visit the M&M store (and who doesn’t like M&M’s!). Here you can find every conceivable M&M product, chocolate and decorative, that you could imagine! My favorite place is the “mix your own” station, where you can make your own special blends in plastic bags – as much or as little as you like! Great for stocking stuffers!
When you walk out of the M&M store, you reach the history of Ethel M’s and the Mars Retail Group. You can revisit the time-line and then walk along the chocolate factory – seeing where the product is actually made on premises! Even though the head office has moved to New Jersey, chocolate is still produced daily at this factory. It’s not something you actually get to see everywhere!
Then you move on to the Gift Shop, where you can sample the goods – white or dark chocolate, bark or peanut brittle, depending when you visit. All samples make you want more! In the store, you can purchase pre-packaged boxes of chocolates of all sizes and types, create your own boxes at the counter, or buy other little gift items at one of the different displays. You can even purchase a cup of real hot chocolate, made with real melted chocolate. Chocolate bliss!
Afterward, you can take another stroll of the gardens with bags in hand, or you can head back to the parking lot, knowing that you will be back sooner rather than later!
Obviously, every day is special, but during the Christmas season, Ethel M’s cactus garden really comes into its own. Thousands of little lights adorn the different trees and cacti, and there are Christmas decorations galore. Best of all, it’s free!
November 16, 2010 – December 31, 2010
4:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Address: 2 Cactus Drive
The Holiday Season is quickly approaching. During this special time of year, visitors can stroll down Ethel M’s Cactus Garden’s illuminated cacti pathways, spread over 3 acres, featuring 600,000 holiday lights. This wonderful botanical light exhibit is open from 4:30 – 10:00p.m daily. Santa will be available from 6:00p.m. – 8:00p.m. every Friday, Saturday & Sunday until December 19th. The Ethel M gift shop, filled with sweet treats, will be open until 10 pm every evening (except Christmas Day), helping you to complete your hard to buy shopping items.