Even Santa stops by on Dec. 11, to see how the New Canaan Nature Center transforms itself for its Winter Wonderland Festival. What he and other visitors encounter is a blizzard of picture perfect holiday vignettes, complete with an elaborate electric train display featuring handmade scenes of Winter in New Canaan. Santa Claus, who arrives at 11:30 a.m., to help out as well as sightsee, also poses for photos with kids and pets for a $10 donation, benefitting the Center's animal care. Besides holiday tableaux, there are activities for kids, who can make holiday crafts from natural and recycled items. Interactive holiday storytelling and singing sessions as well as traditional chestnut roasting around a campfire also gather visitors for spirited fun. Take a horse-drawn hay ride circling the property and, after, stop by the Red & Green Café" for something fresh and colorful (possibly even red or green) to warm you up, such as homemade soup, cookies, cocoa & other holiday treats for purchase.
Buy presents at Santas Book Shop, sponsored by Booktopia with 20% of all purchases benefitting NCNC and be sure to pick up a 50th Anniversary commemorative Landmark Ornament, which is for sale and also benefits the Nature Center. In spite of more than 25 full-time, part-time and seasonal professional staff, there is lots to do to administer the Nature Center's 40 acres and its extensive educational programs. Luckily, 650 devoted volunteers contribute 25,000 hours annually to the Nature Center, to support programming, animal care, greenhouse, garden and trail care, administration and fundraising.
The Winter Wonderland Festival brings holiday cheer to the celebration of nature at this New Canaan gem. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $10. For more information, visit the Nature Center's website.
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