Bonnie Springs is a ranch resort only a short drive outside of Las Vegas heading towards Red Rock Canyon and offers a wide assortment of ways to stay entertained in the great outdoors! On this trip we did the petting zoo and Bonnie Screams, both of which we can highly recommend as we had a lot of fun but if you want to spend even more time at the ranch you can stay overnight in their motel and even take a horseback ride the following day if the stunning vistas bring out your inner cowperson. It's been ages since I've ridden a horse as it was typically the sort of thing I'd only get to do when visiting my family out in Ohio or Arizona back as a munchkin, but I'd love to check out their riding program sometime! Horses used to intimidate me when I was younger but now that I can literally look them in the eyes (being a taller version of myself these days) they're not so scary. Of course, there's a lot more available here to see and do than just the horses, like check out that great big ass up there! I've interacted with a lot more burros than horses and I'm quite fond of the critters.
Every animal I've ever interacted with has had it's own personality- from tiniest of squeakers to the biggest of moos- one burro I knew growing up had a peculiar habit of trying to trick humans into climbing atop her back only to gleefully buck them off once they'd been lulled into a false sense of security. She'd come rushing to the gate to greet you and nuzzle your hand, then gesture to her back by flicking her head towards her shoulders with a mischief-addled grin until you either climbed aboard or grew wise to her ways. Another girl was shy, prone towards standing to the back and tentatively watching you interact with the others before she might graciously allow you a few pats upon her nose. Food in the form of carrots, apples or hay were always greatly appreciated and their affection easily bribed for short periods with such gifts. There were a few years during my childhood where any approach to the house would be greeted with a chorus of breying burros from the back. It warms my heart. Maybe this is part of why I've always dreamed of having my own little cabin and animals someday, but who knows. The heart and what it dreams of are dictated by things beyond my ken.
Wandering the grounds you'll find deer, doves, goats, peacocks and many more beautiful beasts. It's a fairly small zoo and some of the exhibits might be on the smaller side, which is unfortunate... but if more visitors and volunteers offer their services or donations it might make it easier for the zoo to expand their space and provide better environments for those animals. Many of the animals roam freely throughout the zoo and will approach you at their discretion- please be respectful of the animals and don't go charging after them! A lot of the animals walking around are going to be herbivores, creatures who are preyed upon in the wild and will have the instincts to react to any perceived threat by fleeing. It's really not nice to stress the poor things out! Just as you wouldn't necessarily want someone coming in to your home and chasing your dog or cat around upsetting and terrorizing it, these animals are effectively in the same situation. Be kind and conscious of the fact you are a guest here and enjoy your stay! Antho and I had a blast interacting with the critters and the volunteers, who would tell us back stories or personality information on some of the animals. The affection with which they interact with and speak about the critters says a lot.
There are also live shows, gift shops and all sorts of things to idle away the hours! Like I said, we had a lot of fun while we were here and after partaking of the day-time entertainments we opted to stay and see what Bonnie Screams had to offer... the post on that will come soon! For now, photos below...