Show & Tell: Santa & the Reindeer (Botanical Conservatory)
Dec08

Show & Tell: Santa & the Reindeer (Botanical Conservatory)

Every year when we break out the Christmas decorations, our house becomes adorned with pictures of screaming, crying kids sitting on Santa’s lap. It’s almost an annual tradition – Kennedy and Aylee would state their interests in seeing Santa; we would go Glenbrook Mall and stand in line for 30-45 minutes to see Santa; both Kennedy and Aylee would change their minds once it was their turn; Andy and I would be $40 poorer due to pictures of both kids crying and begging us to never do it again. Insanity seems to be a trend in this household… As I was recently flipping through the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation’s Fun Times Winter catalog, I discovered an event that I had never heard of before: Santa & the Reindeer at the Botanical Conservatory. This definitely caught my attention! Even if we went and the kids didn’t want to see Santa, at least there were reindeer for them to marvel at. In my attempt to retrieve more information on the family-fun activity, I turned to Mitch Sheppard, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory’s Manger. She informed me that this is actually the tenth year for the event. Obviously it’s been a great success and highly popular for it to continue through ten years! Mitch also stated that attendance had dropped significantly last year due to the crazy winter weather, but the organization is hopeful that this year’s attendance will climb back thanks to milder weather. When I asked Mitch about the Parks & Rec’s goals in providing family-centered activities such as this, she directed me to their mission statement: to enhance the quality of life in Fort Wayne by providing positive opportunities for leisure time and by being stewards of our parklands, facilities, public trees and other resources entrusted to our care. She further explained “we consider what we do a part of the fabric of the quality of life in our community and think it is a part of what makes Fort Wayne such a great place to live, work and play.” This past Saturday was the opening of the Santa & the Reindeer event, and our family took advantage of the milder weather to experience the fun. Once we walked into the Conservatory’s Showcase Garden, we were greeted with a holiday wonderland called “High Style Holidays.” This is the Conservatory’s glitzy and glamorous take on the holiday season. The staff did a wonderful job at creating giant trees of festive poinsettias and the decorations were uniquely placed throughout the facility. We followed the path around the Showcase Garden to where Santa was happily waiting for guests. As we got closer, Kennedy and...

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