Winter Wonderland

by daniel goncalves
Do you have the winter blues? Are you still dreaming of a white Christmas? Bah, Humbug, stop being a grinch. Christmas is around the corner and Winter Wonderland is back again after a successful debut year at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The second annual Winter Wonderland festival returns to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre starting November 21st and running through January 4th.
For those of you who attended last year, you’re in for an even bigger treat. This year’s experience has thousands of additional lights, a giant 20′ Christmas tree, vintage themed holiday scenes, and decorations hand painted by local artists. An addition to the festival, Magic Ice USA Inc. is bringing you an Ice Slide! You can witness the first outdoor ice slide compatible with warm climates in the United States. Experience thrills and chills as you speed down 100 feet of ice and even race your friends on dueling slides! Also new to the experience this year is the addition of Reindeer Games, fun winter themed carnival games made just for Winter Wonderland.
Winter Wonderland brings back crowd favorites such as St. Augustine’s only outdoor ice skating rink, an interactive elf village, holiday shopping, theatre, sleigh rides, s’mores, and of course, visits from Santa!!
There’s something for everyone. Local artists and vendors will have merchandise and plenty of gift ideas. Buy a s’mores kit from the concession stand and warm up in the fire pit. Once you’re nice and toasty, you can enjoy some live theatre. The Veddy Theatre Group presents The Quilt Maker’s Gift, a heartwarming play tailor made for the holiday season.
Want to play in the snow and not have to worry about shoveling your car out of the frozen mess afterwards? We have the solution. How about a snow fall every night at 7:30 pm and 9 pm. You can watch the snow fall while skating in the outdoor ice rink. Show off your skating skills or try it for the first time. It doesn’t hurt as much as you might think. Need some help getting on the ice for the first time? Ice skating lessons are available for all ages. Space is limited, so sign up today.
Wanna roll like Santa does? How about taking a sleigh ride? That’s right; a horse named Rudolph (minus the red nose) will pull your sleigh as you ride through an enchanted winter forest. Who do you think will be coming looking for his sleigh? That’s right, Santa will visit every Wednesday through Saturday (6-8 pm). Kids of all ages can come and get a photo with Santa and they can write him a letter and drop it off in the oversized mailbox. Jolly Old St. Nick will visit through Christmas. After that he’s off to the beach for some R & R, catch him at Jax beach doing a little surfing.
Winter Wonderland truly has something for everyone including any scrooges out there. For more information, staugamphitheatre.com or call 904-471-1965.

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