The Hippo


Feb 27, 2020








Santa and friends at Charmingfare Farm. Courtesy photo.

Charmingfare Farm Holiday Events 

Where: 774 High St., Candia
Santa’s Big Party 
When: Saturdays and Sundays, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 20, with check-in from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
Cost: $19 per person, free for children under 23 months. 
Lighted Winter Wonderland 
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from Dec. 4 to Dec. 27, Wednesday, Dec. 23, and Thursday, Christmas Eve, with check-in from 5 to 9 p.m. 
Cost: $25 per person, free for children under 23 months. 

A charming kind of Christmas
Holiday activities begin at Charmingfare Farm

By Angie Sykeny

 Horse-drawn rides to the North Pole and partying with Santa and his friends are just a few of the activities happening at Charmingfare Farm in Candia this holiday season. The farm will have two ongoing events: “Santa’s Big Party,” held Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 29 to Dec. 20, and “Lighted Winter Wonderland,” held Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from Dec. 4 to 27, as well as Wednesday, Dec. 23, and Thursday, Christmas Eve. 

Linda Ellis of Charmingfare Farm said both events have been running for about 20 years.
“They’re definitely very popular,” she said. “A lot of people have their holiday traditions here and have made family memories here. We have people who came as kids now bringing in their own kids, so it’s something local families have been doing for years.” 
The check-in period for Santa’s Big Party is 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and families typically stay for two hours. Upon arrival, families will board a horse-drawn wagon for a 30-minute ride on the Christmas trail to a secret location. Once there, they’ll find an outdoor party hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Santa will be spinning all the kids’ favorite Christmas tunes as well as visiting with each guest and accepting letters. Mrs. Claus will be serving up hot cocoa and sugar cookies to enjoy by the bonfire, where there will also be marshmallow-toasting. Animated characters like Frosty, the Grinch, Santa’s elves and many others will be dancing and interacting with guests. When families are ready to leave, they’ll travel via tractor-train back to the farm headquarters, with a quick stop along the way to visit Santa’s reindeer. 
The Lighted Winter Wonderland event takes place in the evening, with check-in between 5 and 9 p.m., and guests should plan on spending at least two hours there. The evening begins with a 30-minute horse-drawn wagon ride, bound for the North Pole. Passengers will travel through a wonderland with thousands of lights, around a dozen holiday scenes, a nativity with live animals and appearances by some familiar characters. The ride ends at the reindeer barn, where Santa and his friends will greet the guests.  
Ellis said that while the two events may sound similar, they’re both “entirely different experiences.”
“Santa’s Big Party was created for kids who don’t want to be out in the dark and the cold and who want to have more interaction and more time with the characters and Santa,” she said. “The Winter Wonderland is all about the nighttime ride with the lights and the magic, and it’s definitely ageless.” 
People are encouraged to register for the events online as early as possible, because spots fill up quickly. If you attend, be sure to dress for the weather as both events are held entirely outdoors, and don’t forget your camera for photos with Santa and his friends. The farm will also have Christmas trees available for purchase. 
“It’s definitely a country, old-fashioned type of Christmas here,” Ellis said. “With the live horses and sleigh bells and lights in the dark, it kind of brings you back to that Christmas-years-ago feeling.” 

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