We spent an afternoon at the North Pole BC’s Festival of Christmas this past weekend. It was their grand opening weekend and it was a blustery day so we were very grateful that this years re-incarnation of this long time family favorite event was moved to an indoor location in the heart of the Fraser Valley. Past years we have visited the North Pole BC in locations like Belcarra, Maple Ridge and Maple Wood Farm in North Vancouver- all outside so the elements would have to be taken into consideration for each visit. Nestle inside the cozy and warm Tradex in Abbotsford this year we were happily protected from the elements and free to enjoy each attraction without the chattering of little teeth and sniffling of runny noses, definitely a plus in this mamas eyes!
When you arrive at the Tradex there is ample parking available at a cost of $6. Of those $6 paid for your parking spot $2 goes directly to the Abbotsford Food Bank, always a perk to be able to give back with the simple act of parking your car!
Once you get inside out of the cold you walk into a magical scene of lights and carols only to be greeted by none other than Santa’s elves! The thousands of Christmas lights and whimsical displays will make you smile as you embark on your journey through the North Pole learning the inner workings of Santa’s home base and seeing first hand the many duties carried out by his elves.
Start your journey at the Post Office and write a letter to the big guy himself to let him know what you hope to see under the tree on Christmas morning , or like my son just write a letter to say “Hi Santa, I hope you’ve had a fun year! How have you been?” It’s like they’re old friends and he’s just dropping him a note to let him know he’s thinking of him! Be sure to weigh and stamp your letter before you drop it into the special mailbox for direct delivery to Santa. Keep an eye out for Santa while you’re there he’s been known to pop into the Post Office regularly to check up on the mail personally!
Get your Elf Magic mojo flowing with the quirky toy inventors Professor Hazel Nut and her partner Professor Wally Nut. After you help them get over their toy inventing block be sure to duck into the Elvern School of Secret Skills to see if you have what it takes to become an authentic North Pole Elf! (this is my favorite place to visit!)
Help out in the Gift Wrap room and the Gingerbread Bakery and show your creative flare decorating these Christmas essentials. Guard your cookies closely, Santa is rumored to be quite the cookie monster. We overheard Mrs.Claus scolding him for eating far too many AND trying to have cookies for dinner! I guess even Santa can end up on the naughty list from time to time.
You can visit with Mrs.Claus while you munch on your cookie creations and listen to a story or two before heading to the toy workshop where the little ones will have the opportunity to stuff a bear of their own. Bears come in two sizes and cost $12.00 or less depending on what you choose. We opted for the large size and had lots of fun stuffing while watching all of the activity around us! Elves are always bustling about the North Pole but are never too busy to stop and chat or cause some mischief with the kids. The elves like to sing and dance and play tricks and will win you over with their silly charm in no time, they will draw you into their antics and will have you singing and dancing and hopping about right along side them.
Once you’ve fulfilled all of your honorary elf duties finish off your stay at the North Pole with a visit with Santa Claus. We were very fortunate that when we visited Santa wasn’t too busy and he took a lot of time to sit a talk with the boy- he told him stories and the two of them laughed and shared experiences. Santa shared stories of his childhood and vacations he had been on as a young man and my son was engaged and conversing with this magical man whom I am so glad he still believes in. Santa was so impressive he was exactly what I always imagined Santa would be like. Soft spoken and sincere, caring and charismatic, he even seemed to know things about us that I didn’t expect and by hte end of our visit he had me believing again. That was the moment that made it all worth it for me, feeling the true magic and meaning of Christmas in that private moment my family shared with Santa Claus.
In addition to all of the fun and activities at the North Pole BC there will also be a midway and market hosted by Westcoast Amusements at the Tradex, please contact them directly for operating hours as they are separate from the North Pole BC Festival of Christmas but an awesome addition to the outing!
I want to thank the North Pole BC for inviting us to visit and encourage everyone to go and experience their Festival of Christmas for yourself. The kids will have a blast and it’s truly a fun event with tickets reasonably priced so that the entire family can go and enjoy the many activities they have made available to evoke the magic of Christmas.