Seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child is so exhilarating – and to be able to see that ALL YEAR LONG – that’s so incredible! My daughter just turned 3 years old so when Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in Dundee, Illinois invited my family to come out to the park for the day I knew all of my kids would go CRAZY over it! Not only did my 3 year old love it because there are animals (OVER 200 in fact!) and she could of course see Santa and Mrs. Claus – but there are at least 22 rides including some pretty good sized coasters for my older boys, ages 8 & 10. It was a solid good day of fun for my family.
Being in the Midwest everyone knows that ALL outdoor theme parks shut down after Labor Day for the winter BUT Santa’s Village THIS YEAR is open for Magical Christmas Days!!! If you live nearby you absolutely need to take advantage of this outdoor theme park being OPEN NOW through December 23rd!!! It has been such a warm winter already – this is a fantastic outdoors option for your family! It is specifically geared for my kids ages – kind of a precursor to your really giant theme parks. (Pssst – Sign up for breakfast with Santa Dec 9-10!)
As you would imagine in a place called “Santa’s Village” everything is winter themed! How adorable is this “gingerbread house”?! The prices for food and drinks was reasonable and thankfully they had plenty of warm options. We shared a hot ear of corn which was FANTASTIC! They had a whole seasonings bar set up next to the food area.
So let’s talk rides a little bit- throughout the park there are height measuring areas so that you can measure your kids. Every ride has different height requirements but I found that from open to close there were plenty of rides to keep all 3 of my children busy. However, it made it a LOT easier to have my boys either stick together or stay with an adult so I could take my 3 year old on the “kiddie” rides. The park itself isn’t terribly huge and rides are close together so if you have older kids they can pretty much tend to themselves.
Santa’s Village Azoosment Park really knew what they were doing when they made their ride choices for the park! All 3 of my children (ages 3-10) were able to “drive” their own vehicles which is pretty big for independent kids. All 3 had “scary” rides to go on to make their stomachs drop and give them a rush. And there were plenty of rides that I could either go with them or they could go on their own. It’s a REALLY well-rounded park with a LOT of options which is really important to me because my children are very adventurous but span quite a few years between their ages.
Throughout the park hiding between rides and lining the walkways were animals of all kinds! We are a huge animal loving family and I was pretty impressed with the variety of animals Santa’s Village has! It’s not just your typical farm animals! And when we got a little too chilly we spent some time in the Aviary feeding the birds (all rides in the park are included with admission but feeding the animals is a few bucks extra) and in Old McDonald’s Barn. We pet baby water buffalo, plenty of deer, goats, sheep, rams, and saw a kookaburra, porcupines, tortoises, a capybara, wallabies (even white wallabies!), and plenty of other animals. The petting zoo was a pleasant surprise tucked in the corner of the park!
There was even a “death defying” tall treehouse with a (really safe actually!) looooong slide that my 3 year old just couldn’t stay off of.
The gift shop is decorated to the HILT with holiday decor and gifts – how gorgeous is this Christmas tree?!
My husband was supposed to come with us but ended up in bed extremely ill so I took grandpa along to help watch the munchkins and he even climbed up on the carousel horse! Honestly it was a fantastic day full of memories from little ones to older folks. There are enough rides to keep your youngest ones busy for the entire day and the park has PLENTY of room for strollers of any size.
UM – and I wish we had waited to put our Christmas tree up because they had tress you could buy there too!!! That would have seriously topped off an already magical day to bring home a Christmas tree from Santa’s Village!
OK – so this photo was just for fun that I snapped while on the carousel! You can find prices, accommodations, and hours of operation here on their Plan Your Visit page. You CAN rent wheelchairs and wagons in the park and of course there are lockers near the front if you need to store things. You CAN bring your lunch with you although check the restrictions before you go. But I highly recommend the hot apple cider donuts, funnel cakes, deep fried oreos, and hot corn if you want to splurge on something delicious!
Santa’s Village Azoosment Park has summer Critter Camps, offers birthday parties, and even a SWEET “Reader of the Pack” program for schools where kids can get a free admission ticket for completing reading assignments! I HIGHLY recommend Santa’s Village if you’re looking for an easy family FUN day to have a BLAST at and make memories together! If you’re going during Magical Christmas Days make sure to pack some gloves and a winter hat along with your jacket!