Thank you to Children’s Fairyland for providing us with complimentary tickets to visit Winterland.
Fairy Winterland is the wintertime celebration that takes over Children’s Fairyland with twinkly lights and Santa Claus December 17-23 and 26-30 (yes, Santa will appear after Christmas this year so kids can thank him!). Just like a daytime visit to Fairyland, it is best for toddlers through kindergarteners and the adults that love to see them smile.
For these exciting days, Fairyland gets a special holiday makeover with thousands of twinkling lights, free cocoa, apple cider, candy canes, and a visit from Santa Claus (Black Santa since 1993!). Look out for a holiday-themed scavenger hunt that guides littler readers on a search for clues to win prizes.
I’m pretty sure we went on one of the coldest nights (it adds to the winter vibe) but we were dressed in thicker jackets, hats, gloves, and mittens. Free hot chocolate helps too. This brings me to my next point. If you arrive early get in line for hot chocolate right away- but don’t drink it right away it is scalding hot. My friend’s child burnt her mouth on the hot Apple cider. In previous years the beverage wasn’t as hot, so just be cautious. We aimed to see all the performances, so I keep one eye on the clock and the other eye on my very excited kids.
We ended up making it to all the performances! My kids absolutely loved the Brian Scott magic show- he’s a true performer and great with entertaining little kids. Get there 5 minutes early for a good seat at the front. And if you can’t, don’t fret, most adults stand in the back rows so littler kids can still see the stage. But the magic is easier to see with a front-row seat. The puppet show was also very sweet, as always.
Keeping track of kids can be challenging at night. So what I would do differently next time is give my kids some twinkly light necklaces or glow-stick necklaces so I can keep track of them running around after the sun sets.
If the train is a must-ride for your kids, go there first. I didn’t even bother with the line- there was at least 40 people in line by the time we reached that part of the park. The carousel on the other hand is a crowd-pleaser and fits a lot of kids. We rode it at least three times. All of the rides are cleaned in between groups, so it does require a bit of patience.
- Wearing pajamas adds to the holiday spirit!
- Some families brought dinner and had it at their picnic tables. Genius. I will definitely do this next time. Nothing better than a hot dinner outside on a cold night.
I asked my kids what was their favorite part and they both said the candy canes and the magic show.
Plan your visit to Fairy Winterland
Open from 4 pm to 7 pm, things get exciting just before closing time when Santa Claus leads a parade through Fairyland and hands out treats at 6:30 pm. All activities are weather permitting. Fairyland will be decked out with thousands of twinkly lights and culturally diverse holiday displays.
Covid safety note: All guests over age two are required to wear well-fitting face masks.
Admission prices: $15 for people over the age of one. $8 for members.
Fairy Winterland Schedule and Highlights
Santa Claus Santa Claus will be avoiding lap-sitting for 2021 to keep himself and all the children healthy for the holidays. There will be a letter deposit box in the Chapel of Peace. Write a letter with your wishes before coming, and grab a small candy cane on the way out.
Hot cocoa and apple cider for all.
6:30 pm parade time! Santa Claus leads a dance party on stage and a tot walk that is called the Festival of Lights Parade. Adorbs.
Reservations are encouraged to manage capacity. Buy tickets now >>
[Photos by Heather Flett and Julia Gidwani]