Tired of dragging yourself, kids in tow, to the mall every year just to see Santa? Standing in the loooong line waiting for 20 seconds of lap time with the Jolly Man, and pay a ridiculous fee too! I'll bet! This year, why not broaden your scope of possible family holiday activities. Gainesville has a LOT to offer...some of which are absolutely free...and tons of fun for the kiddos!
The classic play A Christmas Carol is playing at the Hippodrome theater downtown. Rather than watching yet another movie, why not expose kids to some culture?! Before technology existed, going to the theater was a treasured past time. Let's reintroduce this tradition to our children this season. We're in luck too because, December 1st-10th, kids get in free when you bring one canned food item! (Be aware that the play is 1hr 15 min long, so take only children who can sit for extended periods of time, generally age 7+.)
Operation "Letters From Santa" is a free program offered by the City of Gainesville. It provides the service of sending a personalized response to your child's Santa letter. So, after your child painstakingly writes his/her wish list to Santa, why not mail it this year? (or fax, or deliver) The treasured Christmas tradition of helping your child write to the North Pole can now have a new twist...getting a response (that you, the parent, don't have to create.). Sound good? Wonderful...but be aware: there are some "criteria." Letters need to be no more than one page in length, contain the child's name, age, address w/zip code, two accomplishments they are proud of, and their top three wishes Hurry, letters must be postmarked, or received, by Dec 10th to get a response!!
Life South Operation Santa Delivery offers a unique, and selfless, tradition for adults and fun, fun, fun for kids. Santa arrives by helicopter, to promote the Life South Blood Center's blood drive that day. While parents give blood (hopefully), children eat free food and enjoy fun activities like the bounce house, petting zoo, hay ride...and of course, Santa Clause! Do a good deed, in the spirit of the holiday season, while spending quality time as a family. Head out to the North fields of Santa Fe College on Saturday, December 18th 10am-2pm.
There are many more upcoming events around town. Check out Fun4GatorKids.com for more kid-friendly Christmas fun.