Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa's Play Land Open House 2010

The boys are actually sleeping in this morning--and do you think I can sleep in too? Not a chance. I'm too jazzed about all the fun we had last night, and wanted to write about it this morning.

For the last week or so, I'd been seeing this ad on tv for some sort of outdoor winter carnival-y thing that I thought would be fun to take the boys to. But I couldn't remember the company's name that was sponsoring the event, and my efforts to google it without that name proved futile. Then, on Thursday night, my frend Kira was over, we were in the middle of a conversation, the tv was on in the background, and lo and behold, there was the ad!

The local Quick Response Store has hosted a Santa's Play Land Open House for the last 10 years. They state on their website: To show our appreciation for all of your referrals, each Christmas season we host a Santa’s Play Land Open House. Thousands of community members join us for a spectacular light display with horse and wagon rides, reindeer, Christmas train rides, Santa and so much more.

The whole event is FREE, and Kira and I knew we would love it, so it didn't take much thinking to decide we should go.

The first great thing about the event was the big yellow school/shuttle buses that picked us up from the Corpus Christi Church parking lot. The boys had never ridden on a school bus before and it was so exciting for them. And then when we pulled into the event and saw the huge light displays, and immediately after getting out of the bus, saw Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and a Giant Teddy Bear walking around, and then got balloons, we knew it was going to be a good night.

We got there at about 6pm (they opened at 5:30pm), and the boys all wanted to ride in an adorable Christmas train pulled by a tractor but by then the line was really long (we later learned some people stood in that line for an hour) and it was really cold outside (about 30F). We didn't think our boys would do well in a line that long, so we separated from Kira and her family (because they knew theirs would) and we went to talk to Santa Claus instead. The line was much shorter. After that, we wandered around and found a little amusement park train ride for the boys and that line was short, too. Our next stop was the refreshment tent for popcorn and hot cocoa. After that the boys wanted to ride one last amusement park ride (little cars that went around in a circle).

When we put the boys inside, Tom expressed concern that there were no safety belts on the seats--which foreshadowed what happened exactly 10 seconds later when John leaned to the side/the centrifugal force drug John sideways out of his seat. He was hanging over the side of the car, about to fall out, and I yelled at him to "Sit down!" John sat in the floor of the little car, but on the next rotation, Tom noticed that his elbow was dragging the car's tire, soTom dodged the safety fence, ran to the ride, got John back in the seat, and then jogged holding John in place until they could shut the ride down. My hero! (Cause Mommy just stood there staring like an idiot...) Big excitement for the final minutes of the night, but John was fine. He was a little scared, but recovered quickly. And he perked up significantly when we got to ride the school bus back to the church parking lot.

"Mommy," he said on the way to the car, "the bus was fun!"

This is definetely another holiday tradition we'll be adding to our calendar. The boys had a great time, and the atmosphere was just unbelievably festive. Quick Response thought of everything! They had strolling characters: Rudolph, Frosty, The Cat in the Hat, Tigger, and a Teddy Bear. Live reindeer. Santa. Cocoa. Cookies. Popcorn. Horse drawn wagons. Christmas trains. Amusement park rides. Balloons. Live music. Thousands of lights. Bonfires.
It was truly a Winter Wonderland and totally put us all in the mood for Christmas. We'll definetely be back next year!

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