Christmas is a magical time of year, especially for children, and it would be hard to come up with a more Christmas-oriented place for you and your family to visit during the holiday season than Santa’s Village, located on Route 2 in Jefferson.
For almost 60 years, Santa’s Village has been a popular place for families to celebrate the fun and excitement of Christmas, with rides, live reindeer, entertainment, games, crafts, and other Christmas-themed activities, as well as, of course, visits with Santa. Originally only open during the summer vacation months, Santa’s Village began opening on weekends during the holiday season about 15 years ago, and now holiday visitors account for between 10% and 15% of their annual business, according to Marketing “Elf” Bruce Hicks.
“Thanksgiving weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) is typically the busiest weekend of the year, especially Friday and Saturday.” In fact, if you are looking for a more leisurely-paced visit, Sundays tend to have the lightest crowds.
Santa’s Village takes on a special kind of enchantment and excitement during the Christmas holidays, with tens of thousands of Christmas lights strung throughout the park creating a magical, festive atmosphere. This season, guests will also be able to enjoy a new computer-controlled light show, which, according to Bruce, will light up the entire Main Street area. “Guests will want to plan to stay until after dark to enjoy the full effect of this show and the thousands of lights strung throughout the park,” says Bruce.
This year, the park will be open from the weekend before Thanksgiving until the Saturday before Christmas, and a majority of the park will be open during the holiday season, weather permitting. The price of admission ($27.00 per person, with children ages 3 and under admitted for free) includes unlimited access to a dozen rides and numerous Christmas-themed activities.
One of the main attractions at Santa’s Village is, naturally, Santa and Mrs. Claus. At their home on Ho-Ho-Ho Boulevard, Santa and Mrs. Claus provide each child with an opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and confide their Christmas wishes. You can have your child’s picture taken with Santa, and refreshments, including warm spiced wassail, are available.
Sixteen of the rides are open this time of year (again, weather permitting), including the Antique Cars, Santa’s Express Train, Pixie Mix, the Christmas Carousel, Santa’s Chimney Drop, Loopin’ Louie’s Flying School, Santa’s Smackers (bumper cars), the L’il Drummer Boy, the Himalaya, the SS Peppermint Twist, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (a swing ride), the Great Humbug Adventure, Rudy’s Rapid Transit Coaster (if the temperature is over 32 degrees), the Fire Brigade, the Skyway Sleigh Monorail and the Merry Christmas Ferris Wheel.
The Skyway Sleigh Monorail and the Merry Christmas Ferris Wheel offer visitors wonderful views of the entire park. More complete information about each ride, including any minimum height and age restrictions, can be found by visiting www.santasvillage.com.
In addition to the rides and visits with Santa, there are many other activities for kids and adults to enjoy. You can pet and feed live reindeer in the Reindeer Rendezvous Barn, or attend a Christmas show at the Polar Theater, and kids can decorate their own gingerbread cookies at the Sugar ‘n Spice Bake Shop. Kids can also become an official “Santa’s Helper” at the North Pole Workshop, where activities include decorating your own ornaments and shirts, as well as creating candles and sand art.
In addition, you and your family can earn a “diploma” at “Elf University,” and enjoy playing a variety of Christmas-themed games, such as the “Elfabet Game,” the “Firehouse Game”, and “Reindeer Games.”
When you get hungry, there are plenty of options at Santa’s Village, ranging from light snacks as well as hot and cold beverages available at Donner’s Doe-nuts, the Sugar ‘n Spice Bake Shop, Fruit Loop’s Farm Stand, Dasher’s Delights, Frosty’s Freezer, Polar Expresso, and the Jolly Lolly, to more complete meals offered at Nick’s Pizza Emporium and the Burger Meister.
Park guests are reminded to dress warmly when visiting Santa’s Village during the Christmas holiday season, and Bruce notes that Nick’s Pizza Emporium and the Burger Meister food concessions already have heated seating areas. He adds, “We are working on creating a heated area near Dasher’s Delights as well.”
For those last minute Christmas ideas and gifts, stop by the Snowball Mall, the Stocking Stuffer Shop, Fezziwig’s Personalization Shop, or the North Pole Workshop. For an extra special gift, you can also arrange to have a personalized letter sent from Santa to your child during the first week of December by visiting Santa’s Village Online Emporium located on their website.
Santa’s Village will be open this holiday season in November on Saturday, November 17, from 11am until 7pm; Sunday, November 18, from 11am until 6pm; Friday and Saturday, November 23 and 24, from 11am until 7pm; and Sunday, November 25 from 11am until 6pm. During December, Santa’s Village is open Saturdays through December 22, from 11am until 7pm, and Sundays through December 16 from 11am until 6pm.
Admission is $27.00 per adult and children ages 4 and up; children three years old and under are admitted for free with a paid adult. For adults ages 62 and up, admission is $25.00. If you arrive within three hours of closing, you will be offered a pass good for a return visit. Santa’s Village is located on Route 2 in Jefferson. For more information, contact Santa’s Village at 586-4445 or log on to www.santasvillage.com.