LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Fall has arrived, and that means not only a change in weather but also a change in seasons at the Gilcrease Orchard.
The 60-acre orchard is an easy 30-minute drive from the center of town to northwest Las Vegas where you'll find it on Tenaya Way and Grand Teton Drive.
"The orchard is about 100 years old. The Gilcreases turned it into an orchard back in the 1970s. We have 30 different vegetables, and it's a great way to learn where your food comes from," said Gilcrease Orchard Director Mark Ruben.
The drive not only takes visitors away from the Las Vegas Strip, but the orchard takes you out of the typical desert landscape.
"We are very unique here and blessed with good soil. The area used to be a wash, and we are blessed to have this still be an orchard," Ruben said
Visitors can pick fresh produce themselves throughout the year, along with several more options during the fall.
"We have pumpkins, apple cider, apple cider doughnuts and apple pickings starting Saturday," Ruben said.
For the first time, the orchard is opening a corn maze this year. Management says the team was able to change out a previous straw maze just in time for autumn.
"We have a new acre corn maze. It should take about six minutes to get through for the average person, and we used to just have a straw maze," Ruden said.
And what's fall without a good pumpkin? The orchard is opening a community favorite on Sept. 25, and that's its pumpkin patch!
"You can pick your own pumpkins. From the regulars to white pumpkins to even pink and gray pumpkins that are great for baking," Ruben said.
Plus, fall fruit such as white pomegranates have been pre-pricked by crews and are available for purchase with more varieties on the way.
"We have white pomegranates available now with the red available in mid-October, and starting Saturday, guests can pick pumpkins, cucumbers, sunflowers, along with more at the checkout stand," Ruben said.
And even though the temperatures may drop, the sun is still shining, and sunflowers are in full bloom.
"We have a lot of sunflowers, thousands of sunflowers. They are $2 each, and it's good to bring your own bring own cutting device. They are very beautiful," Ruben said.
The orchard also makes its own apple cider from apples grown on-site. The cider is 100% juice and is available for purchase.
"Our apple cider is made from 100% Gala apples. So, it's on the sweeter side. And we normally run out of the cider towards the end of October," Ruben said.
And are you looking for something sweet to eat? Management says its famous apple cider doughnuts are back for the season.
"Our doughnuts are very popular. We make full-sized doughnuts now. They just taste better and start at $6 for a standard six-count of the cinnamon sugar," Ruben said.
The orchard starts its fall season hours at the end of September, which means 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
There are no entrance fees, and earlier the better is still recommended when it comes to visiting.
"If you want the best fall experience, come in the morning. If you want the summer experience, come in the afternoon. And if you arrive very early or very late, you'll do a bit better," Ruben said.
Keep the orchard in mind during your next grocery run, and even better, add it to the family schedule of places to visit in Las Vegas.