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Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Zion...a new Christmas tradition for our family!
I think our family has found a new Christmas tradition! Last year, we took our "then" two year old to Zion’s Festival of Lights, a light show and walk through Kringle’s Kingdom. We loved it – so we decided to go back again this year. At the end of the evening, Mark asked if we could make this an annual family event with Maggie!

The event takes place in Shiloh Park, off of Sheridan. There are several activities during the festival; you have to leave yourself enough time to see it all.

A walk through Kringle’s Kingdom included over 450 lit Christmas trees, some small and some very tall. They were beautiful!! In and amongst the Christmas trees, individuals, groups and business decorated dioramas filled with all different Christmas themed scenes. Every scene was different, some simple and some elaborate, some were animated and some had music; however all were very creative! I giggled when I saw the Subway scene; snowmen selling “Snoway” sandwiches! What a great play on words.

The walk through the trees was actually placed in the Zion park district’s pool area. Picture a tall, winding slide lit with Christmas lights and HUGE wrapped presents coming down! AND, at the bottom of the slide, you see some sort of a runway, lit with green and red lights, only to realize it is Santa’s sleigh’s runway and the lights directing his arrival.

We turned the last corner and what did we see? Santa’s home! Now let’s just say that in the past, meeting Santa has been much more fun to talk about than actually do, for Maggie. Well she saw him sitting inside in his chair and she ran up the stairs, opened the door and gave him the biggest hug! She told him that she wanted princess gifts and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Never once has she been comfortable enough to sit on his lap. This time, she tackled Santa – it was awesome!

As we exited Kringle’s Kingdom, we heard the trolley bell ringing. We boarded it for a fun ride around the neighborhood. We passed the “Shiloh House” and were given the opportunity to run in and take a look around the museum! I swear there was a fireplace in every room!

The trolley took you on a tour of the Festival of Lights too! We drove through dinosaurs and dragons, under an archway of jumping reindeer, a frog jumping into the pond, snowmen playing baseball and so many more light displays. It was just beautiful!

Before we knew it, our ride came to an end and so did our time in Zion for one more year, but like I said in the beginning, we will be back next year! Visit the Festival of Lights website They have listed all of the activities and taken photos to get you excited about going! The site says that you won’t find a collection of holiday events like it anywhere in northeast Illinois – THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!! The event runs through December 30th and activities generally begin around 7:00 p.m. although the drive-thru display opens at sundown.

This is a must-see!

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