Today I took the day off work and went with Jakob’s daycare to Santa’s Village.
Now, I’m a good little Jewish girl (well, as good as can be for one who cooks bacon at home and married a non-Jew), but I didn’t know Santa had a village! I mean, ok, there’s the North Pole and all…but a Summer vacation home? Here in Quebec? Who’da thunk?
A small, twisted part of me pictured arriving at a log cabin in the woods; Santa would be wearing cut-off jean shorts and flip-flops, with a Hawaiian shirt stretched over his belly. There’d be a beer in one hand, and a huge drumstick from a reindeer BBQ in the other…
But it was actually a lot of fun! We were basically told “meet back here at 11:30 for lunch, then at 1:45 to leave”, and I didn’t have any other kids to watch out for, so Jakob and I got to spend the whole day there together, alone, exploring. I took a ton of photos and I can’t believe how many I’m going to cram into this post. If you’re really only here for the knitting, scroll down to the last photo for a glimpse, otherwise try again next post!
Getting there was a fun bus ride with the other kids from the daycare, parents and teachers. Remarkably quiet for an actual “busload of kids”! Oh, and my hair is still brown, and still roughly chin-length, with full bangs. (I just got lazy and hairbanded it today).
I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff there was to do there! Jakob was enamored of these slides right away, but we were told many times that we should visit Santa first, then go play, because otherwise there would be lineups. Jakob’s “thing” is slides, and you have no idea how hard it was to make him walk past these without stopping. (They are weird, though- you don’t slide normally- you have to wear a potato sack to help you glide down. Jakob wasn’t a fan, and only did one trip down.)
We saw an igloo…
…and then the mane (heh) man himself! Jakob, as usual, wasn’t shy, and did not hesitate when giving in his Christmas order.
We played in a funhouse full of xylophones and wind chimes and giant xylophone-esqe contraptions built out of black PVC (I think).
We saw a nativity scene. (Jakob thought Baby Jesus was “cute” and had “stinky feet”- his misnomer for “bare feet”).
We played in the water park. The center of the “village” is made up of a kid-sized water park, half of which is a wading pool of various depths and the other half of which is a splash park. There are drains in the ground that randomly spray jets of water in long arcs…
…and a large spray pipe (?) with a continuous stream of “rain”. The large striped candy canes at the 4 corners of that part are also showers that turn on randomly as well- I learned quickly that it was safest to just stand anywhere that the ground was dry. (Ask me how I learned! LOL)
The wading pool goes from about an inch or two above my ankle at one side, to just above my knees on the other. The water was freezing cold, though, so we didn’t stay in there long.
We went into bunch of other funhouses; one with a hall-of-mirrors-style setup, but in glass, one with funny sound amplifiers and video magnifiers, and finally one that was really just a huge ball pit below a cool climbing/slide jungle-gym contraption.
And this was all before lunch!
After lunch we decided to visit everything that we’d missed in the morning. (Though a few activities, like the climbing castle near the tree house, and the zip lines, are more suited for older kids. The giant bird looked cool, but Jakob had no interest).
Instead he made a beeline straight for the bouncy house! There are actually 2- a castle-style open one on the left, and an enclosed big round one in the the back. On the right are some open blow up games, like a slide and tunnels.
After the bouncy house we played a bit with the giant “Lego”s before totally making Jakob’s day…
…with a few laps around the race track! This was his first time riding anything like a go-cart, and I wasn’t sure how he’d do ‘cus at home he sometimes veers his trike/etc off the sidewalk, but he did amazing!
We moved on to the duck pond…
…and the bird house, where some pigeons and chickens were cohabitating with an annoyed-sounding peacock.
The petting zoo was open, but empty when we went, and it was awesome! It wasn’t like the usual pens that you see, it was a large, fenced-in lot where the animals could run free. There was no guard or staff member, there were no other guests, it was just me and Jakob and the animals, and it rocked. There were sheep and goats, and no matter how slowly we walked up to them, they’d get up and just as slowly walk away. They never ran or hid, but we weren’t able to pet any. We probably could have pet the ones that stayed sleeping, but I didn’t want to take a chance on startling a sleeping “wild” animal.
There were 2 big llamas, and while Jakob wasn’t crazy about the idea of approaching an animal that was already taller than him while sitting down, he was really brave and later ended up “making nice” to the orange one.
We saw more chickens, and some bunnies…
…and until I bought him a souvenir later he told me that his favorite part of the day was standing at this fence and watching the ducks in this enclosure. This duck pond was about 3x as big as what this photo shows, and you could feed the ducks corn kernels, and we must have spent over 20 minutes just standing alone on this farm, watching and feeding the ducks. We felt alone and together, and it was my favorite part of the day.
There were also 2 pigs (the 2nd one is behind the post in front of Jakob)…
…and a cute horse. I honestly don’t know enough about horses to know if it was simply a calf, or a dwarf horse (I’m leaning towards dwarf) but it was really friendly and didn’t try to walk away or move at all when Jakob approached it. I think it was cooling off in the shade, ‘cus I never saw it walk away during the whole time we were in there.
This pic almost gives you a sense of what I was feeling…the duck pond is the whole left side, behind the fence. Up ahead are some pens with a black and a brown horse, and to the right is the whole open farm/zoo with free range goats, sheep, dwarf horse and llamas. There was literally NO ONE there besides us. (It was like the time Yannick took me to the Britney Spears movie Crossroads, and when we got there the theater was empty and we joked that he’d been so generous as to rent out the whole theater just so we could watch the movie alone…only this was actually cool).
Jakob learned how to pump his own water…
…which reminded him that there was one more water-related activity that he had yet to try. (If you can’t see him, he’s on the center boat.)
By the way, forgive the grainy pics, I only had my iPhone with me. Still, you can click on any to open it up bigger.
The thought of water was enough to make him thirsty, so we picked up a bottle of water and a juice box at the snack bar then headed over to the park to play a bit.
There was just enough time to squeeze in a giant Freezie before piling back onto the bus to go home.
My second favorite part of the day was when he fell asleep on the bus with his head in my lap. There is construction on the highways, and apparently everyone was heading into town from Up North, so the drive took longer to get home than it had to get up there. Still, I’d packed some Emergency Knitting in my bag and while Jakob slept, and the other kids either slept or told each other all about the day that they’d just shared together, I cast on for a 2nd sock. (Regia Brasil (sic) Colors, toe-up with some magic something-or-other cast on, short row heel, on 2.5mm Lace Addi Turbo).
See- I told you there’d be knitting at the end!