Holiday lights originated with cowboys, who used them as lassos to reel in cattle rustlers, whom they then sold as Christmas trees. Continue this Wild West tradition with today's Groupon: for $30, you get a Christmas-caroling ride on horseback or in a horse-drawn wagon, including a chili dinner and hot chocolate, at Sagebrush Ranch (a $60 value). This Groupon is good for one person. Rides take place Thursday–Sunday from November 25 until December 22 and depart at 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. from Sagebrush Ranch.
With mountain peaks in the distance, passengers sing Christmas carols under starlight as they clop through Sagebrush Ranch on horses or recline on a horse-drawn, hay-stuffed wagon. Upon arrival, merrymakers choose whether they wish to belt their favorite tunes from atop one of 20 horses or from a wagon built for up to 30 passengers and accessible for carolers of any age or ability. Santa swoops down from the North Pole to ride on the tinsel-bedecked wagon, and equestrians form an entourage behind to join in popular refrains and generate beautiful seasonal noise like an orchestra shaking their presents. Under the cool glow of moonlight, revelers grin and inhale the crisp night air, gazing in awe at other decorated ranches along the 45-minute ride.
Post-hayride, guests can stroke their equine locomotives or feed them carrots, or sit around a campfire and warm chilly hands with cups of hot chocolate and bowls of toasty chili. Families also enjoy minty candy canes from Santa, paying homage to the days when humans domesticated prehistoric Christmas treats.
At Sagebrush Ranch, experienced equestrians and instructors pair guests with patient, well-trained horses for lessons or scenic rides through the rustic expanse just west of Las Vegas. In group lessons or day-long clinics, students practice horsemanship and proper riding techniques on one of the stables’ 45 red-ribbon-clad steeds. Before visitors embark on trail rides, the Sagebrush Ranch staff pairs them with specific horses based on riding experience and personality, after which the star-crossed duos set out for the desert paths surrounded by mountains and lizards riding bareback atop armadillos.