Getting into the holiday spirit in Southern California can be tough. I grew up on a magical Christmas Tree Farm in the Midwest and starting off the season usually includes a snow fall and visiting a winter wonderland exhibit. When I heard about a magical place called Santa’s Village in Lake Arrowhead, CA I knew I just had to gather the family and take the short 2 hour road trip up into the mountains. Knowing there was snow just 15 miles north of Arrowhead, I also packed all their snow gear so we could hit up a snow tubing park on our second day there.
We met another family in Arrowhead and stayed in their cabin. The girls camped out in sleeping bags on the floor and we enjoyed some adult company and wine during the evening. Our first morning their we packed up and headed to Santa’s Village. Santa’s Village is a winter-themed amusement park in the Skyforest section of Lake Arrowhead, California. Opened in 1955, it was the first franchised amusement park, one of three built by developer Glenn Holland. SkyPark at Santa’s Village is a North Pole themed outdoor adventure park where Santa lives year round. With my love of the holidays, I didn’t care how cold it was or that the wind gusts could possibly blow little Penna away, I was determined to be there on opening day.
We waited in line while the freezing wind gusts whipped around us. I started to realize why there isn’t a lot of winter themed amusement parks. The kids were freezing, but by the time we entered through the doors of the park and the girls saw the “elves” or staff, they were in a wonderland full of joy. They ran up and gave the staff hugs and then were greeted by a beautiful Mrs. Claus. There was ice skating and train rides. All the buildings looked like Gingerbread houses. There was even a house where you could buy and decorate cookies! The girls climbed through the Magic Tree Room. This was probably their favorite spot. There was of course Santa’s House that Mrs. Claus was outside entertaining the line! The list of activities was perfect for the park. We had hot chocolate in the Candy Shoppe and sent out letter to Santa through Santa’s personal post office. We ate lunch in a beautiful cabin themed restaurant. We may have been freezing most of the time but the North Pole is supposed to be cold right? We felt right at home with Santa!
That night we headed back to our friends cabin. We cooked dinner together and let the girls play. We stayed up until the late hours of 9pm drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity. That night I had a huge parenting fail. I decided to let Penna go without her GoodNites this trip and I didn’t put anything under while sleeping. I was also having too much fun to remember to make sure she went to the bathroom before falling asleep. She woke up at 2am having soaked through the bed!! Our friends bed. (Insert embarrassed face!) I was like a mom ninja. I sprung into action. Cleaning and trying to protect the mattress. I was actually able to save it before it soaked in. Ugh huge lesson learned there!
The next morning our friends headed back to LA and we headed further up the mountain to enjoy some snow! We visited the Snow Tubing Park just before Big Bear. Penna has been in snow before, but not that she remembers. It was so magical for her. (and cold!) They were bundled up and ready to go. I was shocked at how brave our two girls were on the tubes. I was a little sad that I couldn’t go down with them due to the masses that I have. However they had a blast going down the hill with their Dad and I really enjoyed watching them scream with joy! I found so much gratitude in this. They even went down the steepest hill together without their dad! We can’t wait to get them on skis.
We hope you enjoyed a look into our family weekend! Can’t wait to share with you the rest of our holiday adventures!