lights of love ethel m chocolates

Lights of Love and Chocolate Tasting at Ethel M Chocolates, a Mom’s Review

Love is in the air, which means the annual Lights of Love at Ethel M Chocolates is back and celebrating 10 years!

Las Vegas isn’t just about dazzling casinos and high-octane shows. Nestled amidst the desert glitz lies a hidden gem for lovebirds – Ethel M Chocolates’ Lights of Love. Every February, their 3-acre Cactus Garden transforms into a shimmering wonderland, celebrating Valentine’s Day with a million twinkling lights and a sprinkle of cocoa-dusted charm.

If you aren’t familiar with Ethel M Chocolates, you will find deliciously fresh chocolates produced by the passionate Mars associates (and family!).

Inspired by the kitchen of Ethel Mars (which dates back to 1910), Forrest Mars Sr. created Ethel M Chocolates in his mother’s honor. Using her timeless recipes, Forrest’s vision of sharing fresh-crafted, small-batch, premium chocolates was born.


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Located in the heat and the heart of the desert, Forrest went to extraordinary lengths to produce our unique chocolates and fillings right here at his factory so that the quality of the chocolates would never be compromised.

The craftsmanship and care required to create each batch of Ethel M Chocolates remain unchanged. Ethel M Chocolates are still made in small batches with no artificial preservatives, using only the freshest and finest ingredients.”

lights of love ethel m chocolates

Lights of Love at Ethel M Chocolates

Every February for about 2 weeks, Ethel M Chocolates host their annual Lights of Love & Valentines Chocolate Tasting (although they do offer chocolate tasting year-round!)

The best part?

Forget the bustling Vegas Strip – Lights of Love offers a serene escape for couples. Imagine strolling hand-in-hand beneath a canopy of fairy lights, the air delicately scented with blooming cacti and the promise of sweet chocolate.

lights of love ethel m chocolates

Location

2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson, NV 89014

Ethel M. Chocolates is located just outside of Las Vegas in the arid Nevada desert.

Once you arrive, parking is free and there is a lot of it. If there is anyone in your party that needs to be dropped off before you park, you can drop them off right at the entrance, which is great especially for the elders in our families.

Hours of Operation

  • Dates: Feb 2 – 18, 2024
  • Hours: 5pm – 10pm, Nightly

Lights of Love Cactus Garden is open nightly until 10pm Feb 2 through Feb 18 – no reservations needed. So many opportunities for selfies and Instagrammable moments.

Lights of Love is a limited-time event, so plan your visit within the February window. Don’t miss out on this unique Valentine’s Day experience!

Cost

If you are not interested in enjoying the Lights of Love Cactus Garden at Ethel M Chocolates, you can walk in to the store at no cost.

$2 per person.

This year, a $2 entrance fee per person is required and will be donated to Help of Southern Nevada and Three Square Food Bank. The entrance fee can be paid with either cash or credit card.

lights of love ethel m chocolates

Tips For Your Visit

Chocolate Tasting Experience

While the lights are the main attraction, there are no additional activities or entertainment offered. Some visitors might find the experience a bit passive, especially those seeking more interactive engagement.

If you are planning a visit, consider a chocolate tasting! Choose a Chocolate Tasting or a Chocolate and Wine Tasting! For those enjoying their Valentine’s Day tasting at 5:30pm or later, you will receive FREE admission to our Lights of Love as well as automatic front-of-line entrance!

Available daily at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, 4:00pm, 5:30pm, 7pm, or 8:30pm

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Tasting:

  • $25 for 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, or 4:00pm.
  • $30 for 5:30pm, 7pm, or 8:30pm. Includes FREE front-of-line entrance to our Lights of Love.

Cost:

  • $35 for 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, or 4:00pm.
  • $40 for 5:30pm, 7pm, or 8:30pm. Includes FREE front-of-line entrance to our Lights of Love.

Learn how chocolate is sourced, refined and produced, and understand how to identify subtle flavor notes in our chocolates. Earn your honorary chocolatier certificate, plus get 15% off your entire in-store purchase on the day of your Tasting!

lights of love ethel m chocolates

Buy Hot Chocolate On-Site

While they have the option to buy hot chocolate ahead of time, we prefer to get there a little early to walk in the shop, grab a sample of their chocolate and then order hot chocolate fresh. It gives us a chance to enjoy Ethel M before get too tired from walking and then we go buy chocolate afterward. You can also grab hot chocolate in the corral area (where the food truck is) and there are typically other treats on site you can buy from the truck outside.

Stroller and Wagon Friendly

The Cactus Garden paths are stroller and wagon-friendly. While the paths are paved, the garden is quite large. Wear comfortable shoes for a leisurely stroll – heels might not be the best choice!

P.S. here’s a quick link to our wagon pictured above.

Buy the Chocolate

Ethel M Chocolates are made fresh daily, in small batches with the highest quality ingredients and no artificial preservatives – which you know we LOVE since our families are pretty picky about what we put in our bodies.

We love grabbing a couple of boxes of chocolates to have on hand for the holidays for gift-giving and thank-you gifts.

Note that their seasonal Valentine’s chocolates do have food dye and natural flavors added, so I recommend avoiding if that gives you a headache.

lights of love ethel m chocolates

Take the Photos

There are so many instagrammable spots at Lights of Love – they even added some new lighted hearts and more this year!

Be sure to stop and enjoy and snap a few photos of your family to remember these moments and family traditions.

Have you been?

Have you been to Lights of Love at Ethel M Chocolates?

lights of love ethel m chocolates
Leanna Carson Headshot

Leanna Carson is an expecting mama via IVF and a serial entrepreneur.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, she loves sharing all things family-friendly as well as local spots most don’t even know about! She co-founded Nevada Moms in 2018 and it has become the #1 Family Guide to Nevada experiences, activities, happenings, and more.

Connect with her on social media or IRL @mrsleannacarson on Instagram.