I can’t believe I forgot about last Tuesday’s event! Saphira and I picked Spence up from preschool and drove straight to the Chicago Botanic Garden to see the “Winter Wonderland Exhibit.” Wow was it amazing! They have models of all of the sights of Chicago with trains running both on the ground and on bridges above your head. While the kids didn’t appreciate all of the intricate details of the models, they were fascinated with the general concept and the trains. And there were 2 added incentives for looking closely at everything. First, the kids were given a bingo card of things to find throughout the exhibit, along with enough stickers to cover the board. Before leaving the Botanic Garden, they got a special stamp for completing the card.
The second incentive was finding the 7 hidden elves. We almost missed this one! I noticed an elf in one of the Stockyard buildings, but I just thought the people who built that display were being cute. Then I overheard another mom ask if there were hidden Santas again this year, and the volunteer responded that this year there were 7 elves. We went back to the beginning of the exhibit to look for them. We only found 4 of the 7, but we started late and the kids were getting tired. We’ll have to remember that one for next year!
While I was amazed at all the hard work it must have taken to build the Chicago scenes, I didn’t photograph many of them. (It’s hard enough to keep an eye on 2 little kids. If I had focused on photography, my kids would’ve torn something apart while I wsn’t looking, I’m sure! LOL) But I did snap a shot of the United Center and the mini Stanley Cup displayed proudly in front!
The other thing I forgot to mention was that Monday after Spence’s sports class we stopped by North School Park in Arlington Heights to see the lights. I wasn’t prepared, so we didn’t have hats or gloves. But the kids were eager to see the lights, so we did a quick walk around the park. On one hand, it was nice to not have to worry about falling or slipping on the ice or snow this year! But at the same time, the scenes would have been a bit more magical if we actually had snow…Still, I’m glad we went early this year before the temps drop to freezing!
Saphira liked looking at the lights, but she wasn’t too thrilled when I set her on the big drum by the bear to take a photo. LOL!
The train, airplane and carousel were the favorites again this year. And of course Santa’s sleigh! Spence had to sit in the back as well as pretend to drive. He was a bit confused as to why Santa was also depicted driving a truck of toys next to the sleigh. I told him it was like his book “Snowy, Blowy Christmas” and “Mater Saves Christmas” — sometimes Santa has to find other ways to deliver the toys.