Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 | 2 a.m.
With the holidays fast approaching, front yards across the valley are decked out with light-up Santas, fake reindeer and inflatable candy canes.
But some homeowners don’t wait until Christmas to decorate.
A handful of homes display colorful, quirky and unusual yards year-round.
One, for instance, features a baseball field. Another, replica dinosaurs. A third turns a hodgepodge of toys and other items into art.
Take a look:
A mishmash of items
3128 Silver Saddle St., Las Vegas
Minnie Mouse dolls hanging from a canopy. An American flag planted in an owl. Ancient Egyptian figurines sitting inches from a Santa hat and turtle.
Those are just a few of the many toys, collectibles, clothes and furniture that adorn the front of this house near the Las Vegas National Golf Club.
There is no underlying theme or style. The yard is a true hodgepodge of items.
A low wall in front is lined with replica frogs of different colors and sizes with varied facial expressions and poses. The wall also features a lion, a sorcerer and a squirrel.
Closer to the house, several items hang from a canopy, including a faded Hewlett-Packard hat, planter bowls and the Minnie dolls. Several gnomes stand on a ledge connected to the house, and a toy skeleton, spray bottles and a sports helmet hang from trees.
In front of the home are a computer chair, two barbecues, several bicycles and a swing set, not to mention a tire, a vacuum cleaner, exercise equipment and a washing machine or dryer.
Aaron and Susan Cimental live in the house. Susan said her husband decorates the yard to keep himself busy and gets many of the items for free from other people.
“Every day I’m putting something different,” Aaron Cimental said.
The Dinosaur House
733 Greenway Road, Henderson
Steve Springer’s house is a prehistoric paradise.
His front yard is covered with replica dinosaurs, sea monsters and other creatures, with a massive Tyrannosaurus rex that towers above them all. There’s a velociraptor, two triceratops and a blue brontosaurus, as well as dinosaur bones and baby dinosaurs in the process of being hatched from eggs. Three dinosaurs are perched on the roof.
Springer, a retired middle school English teacher, calls it the “Shang-Gri-La-Prehistoric Park.” Others know it simply as the Dinosaur House.
Springer came up with the concept in 2005. He has acquired dinosaurs from movie studios, museums and a lawn sculpture shop and has redesigned the yard several times to pack them all in.
Springer also had an easy explanation for how he affords his hobby.
“I’m single,” he said.
Field of Dreams
5990 W. Patrick Lane, Las Vegas
This 5-acre Spanish Mission-style estate might be every kid’s dream.
A baseball field with a dirt diamond and flood lights sits on the eastern edge of the gated property. There are no dugouts or bleachers, but the field is big enough to hold a full-fledged game.
The baseball field is surrounded on three sides by high mesh screens, and there appears to be a pitcher’s mound inside the diamond.
The estate off Jones Boulevard also has a putting green, backyard pool and, based on Google satellite images, what appears to be a large, winding water slide.
6175 W. Oquendo Road, Las Vegas
This house, just west of Jones Boulevard, features a unique piece of equipment in its front yard: a windmill that stands 30 to 40 feet tall.
The windmill is installed on what appears to be a thick concrete platform. Its fin reads, “The Golden Spike 1869,” a reference to a ceremony in Utah commemorating the completion of America’s first transcontinental railroad.
A large storage container and a piece of Caterpillar equipment also sit in the front yard, while the backyard holds two parked '80s cars, a large mound of dirt and stacks of lumber.
8085 Red Barn Lane, Las Vegas
Got a quarter?
This bright blue house near the corner of Windmill Lane and Eastern Avenue has a pay phone near its front door, though the phone doesn’t have a receiver or appear to be plugged in.
In front of the house facing passersby on Windmill Lane, a cluster of cacti and large rocks sit behind a short ledge composed of different-colored bricks, cinder blocks and stone. Two vases — different in shape, color and design — flank a wall behind the cacti and rock display.
On the south edge of the property, a wall facing Windmill Lane is painted the same bright blue as the home and features more different-colored tile and concrete. Two fake palm branches adorn a gate that leads into the property.