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8 Amusement Parks That Do Halloween Right (Slideshow)

8 Amusement Parks That Do Halloween Right (Slideshow)


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For some added fun, check out the extensive Halloween festivities featured at these 8 amusement parks

Fright Dome: Circus Circus, Las Vegas

Sure, Circus Circus’ Adventuredome might be one of the worst amusement parks in the country (click here for our story on this matter), but all bets are off once Halloween rolls around. The 14th annual event boasts a whopping seven haunted houses (including Friday the 13th in 4D) and five additional scare zones, plus live nightly shows and the usual 25 rides. After kicking off on Sept. 30, the festivities also occur on Oct. 1, 7–9, 13–16, 20–23, and 26–31.

Fright Fest: Six Flags Magic Mountain, Santa Clarita, Calif.

One of the largest amusement parks in the world (boasting 19 roller coasters, more than any other park) also throws one of the biggest Halloween parties around. For the 24th year in a row, Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California will host Fright Fest with a 2016 lineup that includes two new scare zones (for a total of seven), including “Suicide Squad: The Six Flags Fright Fest Experience.” In other record-breaking news, the park’s “Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising” activity is the largest outdoor maze in park history (just one of seven mazes and haunted houses) and this year’s Fright Fest also boasts more “scare-actors” than any previous year. Even the regular rides get a tweak, as some of the indoor ones will operate with the lights off during the event. The 2016 dates are Sept. 17, 18, 24, 25, and 30, as well as Oct. 1, 2, 7–9, 14–16, 21–23, and 28–30.

This Six Flags-related GIF won the internet. Click here to see it.

Do you live near a different Six Flags park? It’s likely throwing a Fright Fest, too, so be sure to check online. However, Magic Mountain is still the biggest and the best.

Halloween Haunt: Kings Dominion, Doswell, Va.

If you’ve never experienced all that Kings Dominion has to offer, the annual Halloween Haunt will be a spectacular introduction. The event features a total of nine themed haunted houses and mazes, six dedicated scare zones, five frightening shows, a special dance party, and all the usual favorite rides. Halloween Haunt attractions are open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from Sept. 30 to Oct. 30. Kings Dominion is conveniently located off of I-95 just north of Richmond, Virginia.

Virginia is for [wine] lovers. Click here for more info.

Halloween Horror Nights: Universal Studios, Orlando & Hollywood

Arguably the most famous of all theme park Halloween events, Horror Nights has been taking place at Universal Studios Florida for 26 years now, with Hollywood joining in on the fun in 1997. Originally called “Fright Nights,” the festivities now include nine haunted houses, five creature-filled scare zones, two outrageous live shows, and a virtual reality horror experience called “The Repository,” in addition to the usual rides and attractions. The themes vary each year, and this season offers frightening references to American Horror Story, The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Krampus, Freddy vs. Jason, Halloween, and The Walking Dead. This year, the event runs from Sept. 16 to Oct. 31.

Click here to see why Universal Orlando was recently slapped with a $40 million lawsuit.

Haunt at Halloweekends: Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Hersheypark in the Dark: Hersheypark, Hershey, Pa.

Halloween and Hershey are both synonymous with candy, so it’s no surprise the chocolate company’s theme park throws quite the holiday bash.

Click here for 11 things you didn’t know about Hershey.

Sweet-toothed children will enjoy dressing up for a trick-or-treating adventure though Hershey’s Chocolate World and Treatville, while the braver ones can equip themselves with flashlights for the “Creatures of the Night” tour at ZooAmerica. You and your not-so-little-ones can hop on their usual favorite rides for lights-out versions of Laff Trakk, Wildcat, Comet, and Lightning Racer. This year, the festivities fall on Oct. 14–16, 21–23, and 28–30.

Howl-O-Scream: Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay, Fla.

Busch Gardens will host its 18th-annual Howl-O-Scream event in Tampa on Thursdays through Sundays this October — and it’s sure to knock your Halloween-themed socks off. On tap for 2016 are seven horrifying haunted houses (including the new “Motel Hell” and pirate-themed “Black Spot”), numerous scare zones, the ever-popular “roaming hordes” of crazed costumed characters, and the medical-themed “Fiends” live show. Traveling with mini monsters? Busch Gardens’ “Sesame Street Safari of Fun” is hosting a Halloween party the last two weekends in October for family-friendly fun. The Count will run the show on Oct. 22 and 23, and monsters and fairies will invade the park on Oct. 29 and 30 for arts, crafts, and face-painting — in addition to a whole lot of activities and chances to dress up.

Click here to see a Tampa writer’s exposé on all the farm-to-table frauds out there.

Knott’s Scary Farm, Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, Calif.

From Sept 22. to Oct. 31, Knott’s Berry Farm transforms into Knott’s Scary Farm with a total of 10 haunted houses and mazes, five scare zones, and two themed shows. Although the parody presentation called “The Hanging” seems hilarious and intriguing, nothing could possibly top the show featuring the one-and-only Mistress of the Dark, Elvira. The vampiress’ show will transport guests to a masquerade ball full of music, dance, and comedy with nightly shows at 9 and 11:30 p.m. Guests who spend $50 at Elvira’s “Boo-tique” will get a chance to meet the lady herself!

Also new to Knott’s Berry Farm this year: a deep-fried boysenberry cheesecake. Click here for details.

Traveling with a younger crowd? Knott’s Spooky Farm offers trick or treating, a costume contest, a dance party, Great Pumpkin-themed games and activities, a performance of “The Monsters are Coming, Charlie Brown,” and a kid-friendly Halloween maze.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.


Harvest & Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

Old-school theme parks hold a special place in our hearts. Especially one as wild and wacky as Santa’s Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee. Part nostalgic theme park (hello, Tilt-a-Whirl), part petting zoo (aww, look, it’s a baby deer), and part water park, this is a charming park is perfect for little ones up to about age 10 — and especially adventuresome preschoolers. It even garnered a spot on the list of top ten family-friendly amusement parks. New for 2019, the fun extends through the fall and into the holidays! Read on about this day trip destination and why it deserves a visit.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Overview
Santa’s Village first opened in 1959 as a year-round family attraction with a North Pole theme (there was even an ice rink in a huge dome at one point!). It closed in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as an “Azoosment Park” — meaning, you’ll see animals that are as wild as the carnival rides.

As soon as you enter the park, make a beeline to Santa’s cozy little cottage. Did you know Santa lives here during his offseason? In his home away from the North Pole he’ll give your kids a gentle reminder to stay on track with good behavior, while also highlighting the stops he makes during his wild Christmas sleigh ride on his map of the world. The Santa here is the real deal, so plan on dreaming up your wish list before you visit with him.

At $24.99/person (free for ages 2 & under), you get unlimited access to rides, shows and attractions — and that’s a great deal. The whole park is best suited for ages 3-10, and it’s never as crazily overcrowded as other area amusement parks, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable day of fun. Try to arrive when the park opens or plan a post-nap visit: while there is plenty to see and do for a day-long adventure, this park is so affordable and easy to navigate that if you plan your day out you can hit all of your kid’s fave rides and attractions in half a day.

Oh, the Nostalgia!
Most of the rides looked ripped from a retro movie. And the scenery does, too. Unlike Great America, the focus here is on old-school fun, not who can zoom the fastest or scream the loudest. There’s a Tilt-A-Whirl, mini Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, truck track, and tame roller coaster that even kindergartners can tackle. It might remind you of Melrose Park’s now-shuttered Kiddieland amusement park, where the rides were worn but loved. And, funnily enough, a piece of that park exists at Santa’s Village the Space Invasion carousel (a circular, slow-moving spaceship ride) was a fixture of Kiddieland and is now being enjoyed at Santa’s Village.

Critters & Creatures Galore
Little animal lovers will be in paradise. At the barnyard-style petting zoo, kids can feed the goats and sheep with pellets. A choo-choo train zips around a reindeer sanctuary. While there are designated animal exhibits, roving employees bring critters and creatures to you, just about anywhere you are. Standing in line outside for ice cream? A wallaby (relative of the kangaroo) might be carried over to you. Waiting for the bumper cars? You just might get approached by a lizard and its caretaker. Touch, pet and say “hello” to the animals — this place is as interactive as it gets.

Did We Mention the Firetruck Ride?
The end-all-be-all attraction of Santa’s Village is a journey on a big red firetruck. Your destination? A small house that’s actually on fire! While this has nothing to do with Christmas, animals or retro fun, this kind of hands-on experience feels right at home here in kiddie wonderland. Just climb aboard the two-tiered huge wagon hitched to a faux firetruck and position yourself in front of a water spout. The truck’s siren sounds and you’re off, rounding a bend only to discover a small metal house that’s ablaze (there’s actually a well-controlled blowtorch inside). The spouts shoot water and can be moved by kids as they fight the fire. After a few heated minutes, everyone saves the day and the blaze extinguishes. It’s an experience no kid can forget.

Harvest and Holiday Fun
New for 2019, the park is staying open on weekends through harvest time and into the holiday season! On Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, Santa’s Village celebrates all things harvest and Halloween. On November 29-30, and Saturdays and Sundays in December (December 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22), Santa’s Village will host “Magical Christmas Days” filled with holiday cheer, entertainment, shopping, festive treats, rides, and of course, visits with the Man in Red, Santa Claus himself.

Santa Springs
Summer 2019 ushered in a brand new water experience at Santa’s Village, Santa Springs. Featuring a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure with dozens of water toys, two giant tipping buckets and six water slides, including a 50-foot long, four-lane kiddie racer slide, this is the perfect spot to cool off. Lounge chairs are plentiful for parents looking to take a minute to catch some rays and relaxation. The on-site bathhouse means you can dry off and change before and after enjoying the park’s other attractions. Santa Springs reopens for the summer season on May 23, 2020.

Eat on-site or pack a lunch?
Affordable food options are available onsite: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen offers pizza slices and sandwiches. On the Route 66 Grill’s menu, you’ll find all your favorite amusement park fare (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs and burgers). Snacks are available at stands throughout the park. You’re also welcome to bring snacks of your own (though large coolers, alcoholic beverages and commercially prepared foods are not welcome). Ample, shaded picnic tables are perfect for taking a lunch break.

Plan Your Trip
Santa’s Village is located about one hour from downtown Chicago in the northwest suburbs, near Elgin. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here. Tickets are $24.95 for kids (ages 2 and up) and adults those under 2 years are free. Discounted season passes are available, as well as birthday party packages. Park hours vary, depending on the day of the week so check out the online schedule before you go.



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