There’s no better place to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas than at Ardastra Gardens where the holiday season kicks off this Saturday with a tree trimming ceremony. Well worth the trip for those in search of some Christmas cheer, the event which runs from 2pm to 5pm promises to deliver fun for the whole family with full zoo access, reindeer games, Christmas crafts, an appearance by Santa and free treat bags for the first 100 children. Another holiday highlight, Ardastra’s Sip & Safari can make even the most jaded Scrooge feel downright festive.
A night out under the stars, for adults only, proceeds from this December 6, fundraiser go towards the conservation centre’s rescue and rehab programme. During the most wonderful time of the year, guests can get into the holiday spirit moving and grooving to the smooth sounds of Steve Holden and the Loose Crew from 6pm to 10pm. A true one-stop Christmas destination, other events include a Polar Express viewing Pajama Party on December 14, where guests are invited to come dressed in PJs, and a five-day holiday zoo camp which runs from December 16–20. It’s geared towards six to 10-year-olds and runs from 9am to 3pm. The camp wraps up with a Junkanoo parade where camper will frolic in their own self-made costumes.
“After the year we’ve had with Hurricane Dorian it’s not surprising to hear people say. ‘It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me.’ At Ardastra, we don’t believe the holiday season should feel like any other time of year,” said the facility’s spokesperson, Tishka Moss. “The goal is to provide a venue for the public to get into the spirit of Christmas. Enjoy the sights, sounds, experiences we have to offer and, perhaps, start some new family traditions. Christmas is a special time of the year and it should feel that way.” Other fun-filled, kid-friendly activities to zap loved ones with the holiday spirit include Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, a daytime dance party for six to 12-year-olds, and a family movie night on December 21, featuring the popular 1983 film, A Christmas Story.
While attending evening events guests get to enjoy the Christmas night lights adorning Ardastra’s botanical gardens that are decked out for the holidays. “I think it’s safe to say Ardastra has something for everyone,” said Mrs Moss. “With all the hustle and bustle of life, Christmas is the time to slow things down and get back to what really matters – making memories and spending quality time with family and friends. It’s something you’ll remember long after Christmas presents are gone and forgotten.”