’s Halloween Countdown: Hometown Halloween

Like the candy you’re trying to make last, or the drinks you’re trying to remember swallowing, we’re counting down the days until Halloween with everything you can do in Las Vegas to celebrate. Today it’s hometown Halloween where we share spots to enjoy the Halloween season with families and friends.

With parties like the Fetish & Fantasy Ball , you might think that every Halloween activity  in Vegas comes with a sin and skin rating. While we may never be a Norman Rockwell painting, that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy pumpkin patches, train rides, ghost towns, Scary-oke and more.

Gilcrease Orchard. Photos courtesy of Gilcrease Orchard.

Gilcrease Orchard

Where: 7800 N. Tenaya Way, Las Vegas, NV 89131
When: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday – Sunday through October
Cost: No admission. Prices vary by produce.

It’s easy to mistake Las Vegas as just the manufactured fantasyland of Sin City or dry Nevada desert. But 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip is the Gilcrease Orchard – a bastion of agricultural bounty and a part of Vegas history.

Started in 1920, the Gilcrease Ranch once encompassed 900 acres and natural artisan springs. Today the 60-acre orchard is not just a reminder of the early ranches in Vegas that predate our mega hotels, it’s also the perfect spot to get fresh apples, pears, plums, figs, peaches and most important in October – pumpkins.

Throughout October you pick your own pumpkin in the patch at Gilcrease. This isn’t one of those cheesy corner lot pumpkin patches where the pumpkins are lined up on straw, but a real farm patch of pumpkins full of the growing fruit. Yep, pumpkin is a fruit. Google it. While you’re there, pick up Gilcrease’s own brand of nonalcoholic cider, made from apples grown at the orchard.

HallOVeen at Opportunity Village.


Where: 6300 W. Oakey Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146
When: Oct. 24 – 26 and 30 – 31 from 6 – 10 p.m.
Cost: Children (12 and younger): $9 for admission or $18 for admission and an unlimited rides and attractions pass. Adults: $11 admission or $20 for admission and an unlimited rides and attractions pass.

For 60 years local nonprofit Opportunity Village has helped serve people in Southern Nevada with intellectual disabilities. It’s iconic Magical Forest holiday celebration and fundraiser is a Las Vegas tradition.

Now with HallOVeen, the organization is helping families get in a spooky mood for Halloween with a Haunted Adventure by Santino and Rocco Panaro, the Forest Express Ghost Train, Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel, Rod’s Monstrous Mini Golf, “Scary-oke,” Halloween crafts and movies, the Candy Cabin with tons of tasty treats and much more.

Haunted Harvest (left and center) and Día De Los Muertos (right) celebrations at the Springs Preserve.

Haunted Harvest and Día De Los Muertos at Springs Preserve

Where: 333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107
When: Oct. 24 – 26, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Nov. 1-2, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: Haunted Harvest is $6 per person (adult or child), free for children under 4. Día De Los Muertos is $8 for adults and $5 for children if tickets are bought in advance. The day of the event tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children.

The 180-acre cultural and historic Springs Preserve (nicknamed Las Vegas’ Central Park) hosts two scary celebrations – first the Haunted Harvest, a family-fun Halloween attraction, and then a two-day Día De Los Muertos celebration.

At Haunted Harvest navigate a hay maze, play carnival games, see live entertainment from Mad Science and Halloween High’s Monster Bash, check out the trick or treat stations or just meander through the spooky decorations and gleaming Halloween lights. For an additional $5 ($3 for members), you can take the haunted train ride through the Springs Preserve trails.

Día De Los Muertos honors the 3,000-year-old Hispanic celebration of loved ones who have passed. There is live theater, dancers, mariachi bands, face painting, sugar skull decorating and an art exhibition featuring Día De Los Muertos altars.


Bonnie Screams at Bonnie Springs Ranch. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun.

Bonnie Screams

Where: 16395 Bonnie Springs Road, Las Vegas, NV 89124
When: 7 p.m. – midnight now through Nov. 1
Cost: $25 per person. Recommended for ages 13 and older.

Bonnie Springs Ranch has been a favorite local stop for kids and parents looking for some “Old West” fun since 1952. But throughout October, the Wild West transforms every evening to something far scarier than ghost stories around the campfire.

Bonnie Screams features four fright areas: a Psych Ward, Circus of Chaos, Backwoods Massacre and Haunted Forest. Bonnie Springs Ranch’s location, outdoors near Red Rock National Conservation Area, makes the Backwoods Massacre and Haunted Forest especially scary. There’s nothing like being outside in the high desert at night to amp up the creepy factor. Throw in some zombie cowboys and chainsaw-wielding backwoods maniacs and just listen to the teenagers scream.

Bonnie Screams also features a haunted train ride, ghost town and “live” entertainment. Bring a can of food and get $2 off your ticket. All the food donated benefits Three Square of Las Vegas.

Halloween train in Boulder City.


Halloween Train

Where: Nevada State Railroad Museum, 601 Yucca Street, Boulder City, Nevada 89005
When: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 – 26
Cost: Children wearing costumes can ride for free and without costumes is $5; parents (costumed or not) will pay $10.

Has your child been begging to be Thomas the Train for Halloween? Then the kid-friendly Nevada Southern Railway is your ticket for a fun Halloween. The railway runs every weekend in Boulder City, giving families the chance to experience a piece of Nevada’s railroad past.

For one weekend in October (25 and 26), the ride gets even more spooktacular with the Halloween Train. The interior of the train is also decorated for Halloween. In addition to the main train, the 7 ½-inch gauge trains will provide free rides and the model railroad car will be open. There will also be a train ride to the pumpkin patch where for an additional $5 kids can pick a pumpkin to take home.

Right after Halloween (Nov. 1 and 2), Nevada Southern Railway plays host to their sixth annual Great Train Robbery. Costumed characters, lawmen and vagabonds interact with guests four times a day when the Nevada Southern Railway gets “held up.” Tickets are $10 for adults $4 for children age 4 to 11. Children under 3 are free.

Great Train Robbery on the Nevada Southern Railway to be held Nov. 1 and 2, 2014.

Moapa Valley Corn Maze is open Oct. 24 -25 and Oct. 31.

Moapa Valley Corn Maze

Where: Lewis Ranch Road in Moapa, Nevada
When: Oct. 24 – 25 and 31 from 8 – 11 p.m.
Cost: Corn Cannon: $1 per shot, Corn maze: $5 per person, Haunted Corn maze: $10 per person, Hay rides: $2 per person. Additional options are available.

With the air starting to cool down and the sun setting earlier, this time of year has a magical, almost mystical pull to it. Driving out to the little community of Moapa Valley, located about 65 miles north of Las Vegas near Overton, feels like a voyage to another world. Instead of the bright lights of the Entertainment Capital of the World, you can actually see the stars.

Why travel all this distance? Two words — Corn Cannon. Yep, the Moapa Valley Corn Maze located on a family farm features an event that should be on the next Olympics, shooting corn cobs out of an air gun. Of course there’s way more here than just the Corn Cannon. Hay rides, a pumpkin patch, corn maze and more fill out the family-friendly offerings. Stick around into the evening and you can explore the haunted corn maze. Even better, the attractions are priced individually, so you only pay for what you do.



I'm one of a rare breed of folks, a native Las Vegan. That's Las Vegan, not Vegan. Being born in Las Vegas has endowed me with crazy Vegas skills - must be all the exposure to neon. I'm a human casino GPS, celebrity locator (You never know who you'll meet in a casino elevator, right Richard Branson?) and tip calculator. My mom taught me probability and statistics with decommissioned casino dice. When I walk through a hotel, tourists think I work there. Maybe it's my smile, my purposeful walk or my friendly answers. Maybe it's just the black suit. But whatever the reason, gives me the chance to exercise my Vegas super powers every day. Now if I could just predict when Megabucks would hit... You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.