A few weeks back, we spent a very interesting and a very exhausting day at Santa's Village which has re-opened after 3-4 years in East Dundee, IL.
The kids had so much fun at the rides. The park was open till 7 pm. We reached there a little before 2 pm and for 5 whole hours, the kids were on the move with the exception of about 15 minutes for a snack break, during which a Magic Show started and they ran off to watch that. The best part was that it was pretty compact, which in my eyes as a mom of 2 young kids is really good because it lessens my worry of losing them from my sight. Plus we went there with 2 more families, a majority of which were wearing bright orange :) and so even if we did get a child out of sight, I would have to move a few steps on any side, spot a bright orange, move my eyes a little more and spot my child. They were moving around with their chosen best friend of the day too which helped as well :) Till the clock struck 7, each one of the 5 children were running around to get one last chance on their favorite ride(s) and the staff was sweet enough to operate it with even one child sitting. And the rides were the old kinds which get me sentimental about the diwali melas which used to be awaited with much anticipation while I was growing up, the ones with really bright orange and blue and such colors, the ones which make the creaking sound as they go round.
Apart from the rides, there were animals, even though very few but then they were the closest we have gotten to them in a long time. I think for the kids, it was a first to be among the animals and pet them as they moved about in the mud. There were sheep and their lambs moving around freely and seemed to be so happy amongst the kids being petted and fed. There were llamas, which the kids have found a new fascination with after a couple of episodes of Dora and Diego. And there was a pony ride which was a huge hit too and the kids returned to it several times. The only thing being we have started noticing more and more that when animals are tied or made to do something or even put inside those barriers at zoos, they seem so sad. Even though they are being fed and being taken good care of and kids get to see them, but they seem so totally out of their element. The ponies' faces seemed to be drooping which made me sad but the kids did have fun going on them. As opposed to them, the sheep who were moving about freely seemed to be so much happier and enjoying the kids who moved around them.
Do you see all the orange? Thats all our group :)
After a little hesitation, the kids got comfortable with petting the animals.
Vansh posed like the llama while being clicked with him.