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Festival of Trees and Lights

Sorry this post is a bit late 🙁 We have definitely been busy doing lots of holiday shopping and activities, but I want to make sure to share our fun experience at the Festival of Trees and Lights! You NEED to check it out next year! I do not know why I have never been until this year! This event is FULL of activities, beautiful lights, entertainment, food AND it helps an awesome cause … Blank Children’s Hospital.

According to their website, the Festival of Trees and Lights has brought in 6.5 million dollars to help support programs such as child life, and other unique programs and projects to help children who are in need. Another great thing about this event, it is all volunteer based. Every aspect is put on by volunteers and donations from local businesses and individuals.

It’s a wonderful feeling, to walk in and know that everything you look at and do is provided by volunteers.

There were so many trees decorated in different themes! Monte’s favorite tree was the one that they had decorated in Disney characters for their silent auction.

Inside where the trees were lined up, there was also a stage where about every hour, performers would perform. Local groups of singers, dancers, etc. You could also purchase snacks such as hot dogs, popcorn, sandwiches and more. There was even a special bakery section!

We headed back out where all of the kids activities were held! Each activity was one ticket, which you could purchase when you purchased your admission ticket to see the lights. They even had a special deal to purchase 22 tickets for $20.

You could ride the train … Monte did all by himself!

Decorate cookies and decorate ornaments

Play with legos!

There was also face painting available, a toss game, and more!

Not only was there activities for the kiddos, lights, entertainment, and food BUT there was also a place to do a little holiday shopping! There was a shop available to purchase gift items and Scholastic Books was also available to purchase books.

You can definitely make a day out of this fun holiday event. There is so much to do and it helps such a wonderful cause! We will be making this a yearly tradition for sure!

Have you attended the Festival of Trees and Lights before? What is your favorite thing to see and/or do?

East Village Holiday Promenade & First Snow!

Yesterday it snowed our first “big” snow! Meaning snow stuck on the ground and is still on the ground!

I am so happy it did snow, because now I feel a little bit more comfortable listening to Christmas music and doing holiday festivities 🙂

Monte was ready for the big snow!

Even though we may not be completely finished with our 2013 Fall Bucket List, we did cross the first thing off our 2013 Holiday Bucket List last night … the East Village Promenade. It was a bit chilly, but it was a fun evening to get us in the spirit!

The East Village was decked out in lights all the way down the street. Monte thought those were awesome!

Our first stop was the State Historical Building where Santa, a DJ, and a chili supper was being held for Toys for Tots. I was not sure how well Monte would respond to Santa this year. Last year, he was a little young and I don’t think he really understood what was going on. This year, he smiled at him, but as soon as we got him on Santa’s lap, he was not a fan.

He did give Santa a high-five and “pounded it” with him. I’m glad it was not such a horrific experience!

After visiting with Santa, we headed to dinner at Quinton’s! Oh my goodness, if you have not been there, it is defiantly one place to check out! It’s a sports bar, but the various burgers and sandwiches they offer … are amazing!

While we were waiting for our food, chatting and some were playing foosball … a group of carolers came in!

After we stuffed ourselves with good beer, sandwiches, and burgers … we headed out to enjoy more lights and do a little window shopping. I have never really shopped in the East Village before and was surprised by all of the unique, local stores! Jett and Monkey’s Dog Shoppe was a fun dog  bakery and supply store. They had a few small dogs, that Monte enjoyed seeing. Raygun where they offer t-shirts, local labels, and vintage merchandise. Sticks! I love all of the unique items available. My dad purchased a basset coffee cup for himself 🙂

Overall, the East Village Promenade was a hit! It was the perfect way to kick off this 2013 holiday season. I am excited!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Friday evening and has an awesome weekend! Enjoy this snow and some hot cocoa!