Friday Fun – Bright Nights with Santa Claus
Last week we got to take a tour through Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield, MA courtesy of Spouse’s work.
Bright Nights is a terrific light display set throughout Forest Park. Typically you drive your car through the display (2.6 miles) and there is a stop about mid-point where you can get out, have a snack, and visit Santa in Santa’s Workshop. You can also tune in to a particular radio station and listen to music set to the display as you drive through.
We’ve driven a car through Bright Nights many, many years ago, and last year we opted for the horse-drawn wagon tour that is also offered.
This year we decided to take advantage of one of Spouse’s work perks and signed up for the family night. They provided coach buses (really fancy, according to the peanut gallery) that brought us at a leisurely pace throughout the park.
About 3/4 of the way through the park the buses stopped at the Carriage House for a buffet dinner. The Carriage House was part of the original estate owned by Everett Hosmer Barney who donated his land to create Forest Park.
The highlight of the night, at least for the kids, was the buffet dinner because it was also attended by Santa Claus! He had a seat of honor in the middle of the room where kids could sit on his lap and he walked around and talked to each table during dinner.
It was wonderful for the kids to be able to spend so much time with him rather than the usual quick mall trip. And spend time with him they did!
I was furtively leaning in trying to catch what they were saying and heard the usual wishes for Legos (like we need any more of those!), cars and weapons of destruction.
Then it was the girl’s turn.
At first Number 4 panicked and couldn’t remember a thing she wanted to tell Santa. I should have shuffled her away, but instead I kept encouraging her. If I had only known. After much dramatic sighing and thinking, she finally remembered the big gift she wanted to ask Santa for…..a pot-bellied pig, a real one.
Now Santa had a couple of options here. He could have said Santa can’t bring live animals in his sleigh, it isn’t safe for them. Or he could have said it is too cold at the North Pole for any animals other than reindeer, so I can’t give animals as presents. Or at least he could have Santa only brings toys he can make.
Did he choose any of these options? No way! Santa said, “Maybe.” I mean, c’mon, work with me here big guy. “Maybe” is so close to “yes” that Number 4 got a big grin on her face and could practically hear the piggy squeals. I heard groans, then realized they were coming from me.
Not to be outdone by his sister, Number 1 told me (he is too big and “in the know” to tell Santa) that he wants a rat for Christmas. Not a boy rat though. He finds a certain part of the anatomy on male rats disturbing and he “doesn’t want to look at them.” Gotta love pre-teen boys.
So here is the list as I heard it:
- More Legos to fight over and leave all over the house for mommy to step on in the middle of the night.
- Cars; orange ones and green ones and big ones
- Nerf guns (because their other ones have conveniently “disappeared”)
- A pot-bellied pig so Number 4 can play Charlotte’s Web. This would also require additional fencing be put up in the yard, some type of shelter away from the goats and parents willing to take on another animal. Not that I researched it, but the goats and pig probably can’t live together.
- A rat that does not have disturbingly large testicles
It should be an interesting Christmas….