After a full morning/afternoon of hiking and climbing rocks, you'd think we'd be ready to take it easy, right?! Nope! After a rest time in the mid to late afternoon, we grabbed a dinner of leftovers and headed out again to the Springs Preserve. I've heard great things about this place, but we hadn't ever been, so it was a good choice for our family as well as for our guests. I guess entrance fees are quite a bit higher during the rest of the year, so we took advantage of the lower rates to go and view their lights and be part of the festivities. The weather was great--cool enough for jackets, but not freezing cold.
Our activities inside the Preserve included meeting a water droplet (think giant M&M) and Elmo, then seeing Santa. I was a little surprised by how EXCITED Arden was to meet Santa! We don't "do" Santa at our house, though I did try to whisper to the kids to not make a big deal of it, since their cousins DO believe in Santa. But it didn't matter--when it was our turn to go see Santa, Arden ran full speed ahead yelling, "SANTA!!!" and threw his arms around the jolly old fellow. The man was a GREAT Santa, complete with twinkly eyes and a real beard, LOL. The kids also decorated Christmas ornaments from recycled CDs, and then we watched a "Dickens" presentation which was a pro-environmental sketch based on A Christmas Carol. We then walked around the garden area (which made me want to come back in the daytime so we can see more stuff!) and got some balloons made for the kids. Unfortunately, Tobin's balloon sword popped within moments of his receiving it when he swung back and hit it against an evergreen tree. Boy, was he sad about that. Kenna, however, didn't seem too phased when her balloon popped after she bit the head off the "puppy dog."
For more pictures, you can click here. There aren't nearly as many as in our Red Rock album, so it shouldn't take long to see them all!