This past weekend we filled up on the local Christmas events. The weather was warmer than usual, hitting 50, so it was perfect for the whole family to be outside for an extended time. A couple of the events came from my list of Holiday Events in New England, which you can check back to look for more ideas. Friday night we went to Light From Afar at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette. Sunday we went over to Oakholm Farm to indulge in festivities and go to Oakholm Brewing Company. Lastly, that evening we did our traditional visit to Old Sturbidge Village for Christmas by Candlelight.
Light from Afar at La Sallette in Attleboro, MA was an amazing sight. This was our first time going so we did not know what to expect, but it blew me away. This display of lights, which deserves a much bigger word because ‘display’ is an understatement, was stunning. Over 400,000 lights to observe and truly brighten your spirit. The experience was beautiful, peaceful, and amazing all at once. Among the lights you can find the nativity scene with a real donkey, the story of the birth of Jesus on large wooden plaques, and the tale of Saint Nicholas and his transformation to Santa Claus. Continuing on we found more amazing lights, a hot chocolate stand, and a merry go round. To each their own, but we didn’t feel comfortable taking part on the merry-go-round given the crowd and current health crisis. Luckily we were able to avoid a meltdown and made our way to some more dazzling lights by the pond.
The Christmas celebration of lights is FREE, no reservation required, and open every night 5:00-9:00pm. I recommend going during the week if you can. You could spend anywhere from 1 to 3 hours there, depending on how fast or slow you’d like to view it all. We were there for two hours and it was just right for our 4 year old and having a baby in tow. For the most part, it is stroller friendly but there is one area only accessible by stairs. I wore Theo in our LilleBaby carrier because its just so much easier to get around.
After a slow Sunday morning, enjoying “snowman pancakes”, we met our family over at Christmas at Oakholm Farm, located in Brookfield, MA. They had all sorts of holiday fun going on, including ‘pick your own’ Christmas tree, horse-drawn wagon rides, Christmas Carolers, various venders, a food truck, and good ol’ Mr. Santa Claus! This rustic farm sits on a quiet back road so it’s perfect for the whole family, with plenty of space to let the kids run around. We sat by the fire, roasted marshmallows, and made our way back and forth to the Oakholm Brewing Company, located just next to all the festivities.
Let me tell you, this was the perfect way to meet Santa! He was so interactive with the kids, took his time, and made it so fun. Don’t be fooled by the picture with Theo, he just didn’t want me to put him down. I don’t think he even saw Santa. Santa Claus on the other hand, was extremely jolly and enjoyable. He actually came over to the kids by the firepit and talked to them for a while. They practiced their “Ho, Ho, Ho” with him and talked about what his favorite kind of cookie is so we know what to leave for him on Christmas Eve night. It’s Chocolate Chip, if anyone needs that info.
You can occasionally find different vendors at the farm, a great place for other small businesses to gain some ground. This weekend they had Swift River Wood Shop, from Western Massachusetts. This man handcrafts each piece, from coasters to cheese boards, and even butcher blocks. Each piece unique in it’s own grain, from locally sourced wood…so you know its good. You can take a look at their website for past and present projects, and simply contact them for requests! It’s amazing to see the work that comes straight from a craftsman, no funny business there.
And onto our final event, closing our big weekend filled with Christmas, we went over to Old Sturbridge Village for Christmas by Candlelight. Tickets and Reservations required in advance. We’ve done this for the past few years, so I love that we can carry out this tradition. Understandably, the experience was limited due to the pandemic. A lot of their unique character interactions and building displays were unavailable due to obvious safety concerns. You can still walk around and observe live demonstrations from windows or enjoy a horse-drawn carryall ride. The Christmas Tree Trail and Christmas Wish Bridge were something we missed last year, so it was nice to peacefully stroll through this year. We enjoyed some time by a bonfire and listened to a musician in the shoe shop. We truly love going to the live museum, and wish for next year to be closer to normal!
Hope you are finding ways to fit some Christmas magic in during this weird time. We don’t have much of 2020 left, so make the most of it. Fill the rest of your year with all good things. Stay safe. Merry Christmas.