A Heritage Park staple returns for another season

Heritage Park’s Once Upon A Christmas returned to the Historical Village in late November and will be open every weekend until Dec. 22.

Although the park is condensed from the regular sprawling park that’s open during the summer, a visit is relatively inexpensive at $8 per adult and $6 per child. Despite its more compact landscape, families can still spend an entire day exploring the park and engaging in Christmas wonder.

 Three of the historical houses are open to the public for viewing with things to do inside. The first house many visitors come across is the Prince House, decorated neatly with little green wreaths on every window. Inside the house the living and dining rooms are blocked off, but Edwardian-style Christmas decorations can be admired from behind a velvet rope. In the kitchen, a woman donning a period costume can be seen teaching children and adults alike the art of folding napkins.

The majority of the action takes place around the Wainwright Hotel in the core area of the Historical Village. On the second level of the Wainwright Hotel for $3.50 patrons can obtain a gingerbread cookie decorating kit and decorate their cookies accordingly.

There are also many Christmas themed shops open, The Christmas Shop has invaded the Vulcan Ice Cream Parlour, and a Light Up Your Christmas Store is inside the Gledhill’s Drugstore. There is also the Candy Store, Old-Fashioned Toys and Treasures, and the Heirloom Christmas Shoppe all filled with Christmas goodies for visitors’ purchase.

If spending money isn’t your thing, rest assured that there are many free activities to partake in as well at the park. Inside the Railway Roundhouse a children’s crafts area is set up with a free craft kit per child. Inside Barons Snooker Parlour is a stunning Christmas train display, with layered tracks, multiple trains running at once, lights and miniature people skating near Christmas trees, the spectacular display cannot be missed.

Butterfield Acres Farm also provides a petting zoo at Santa’s Christmas Critters, located just outside the Talisman Heritage Education Centre where children of all ages can visit the most important man of the season, Santa.

There is something for almost everyone with wagon rides, music class, a Christmas play, and Christmas service on Sundays. And if Christmas isn’t your thing there are also Chanukkah celebrations and story telling.

Once Upon A Christmas is a Heritage Park staple that any Christmas-lover should visit during the holiday season, however keep in mind that although the park is open until 4 p.m. most of the attractions close at 3 p.m., so it is best to go early as to not miss any of the exciting festivities.

alamb@cjournal.ca

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