We took our annual drive through Hartwood Acres Festival of Lights Display last night. Do you have something like this in your town? It's a yearly event in Pittsburgh to benefit Children's Hospital and Project Bundle Up, and it's a light display set up through an entire park. Imagine Clark Griswold had his way with a three mile stretch...it is tacky and fantastic all at once.
We have a certain drill we follow that begins with the kids begging to take off their seat belts every 10 seconds during the last 5 miles of the drive there. There is lots of threatening to not go if they ask again and lots of crying as the anticipation becomes tension during the last mile that is total gridlock in stop and go traffic.
Once we turn into the park all hell breaks loose and, somehow, these little children can physically remove me from the front seat to take the best viewing spot. I still haven't figured it out, but there is a whirlwind of activity as everyone's seatbest flies off at once and the car rocks back and forth and when I come to I'm sitting in the back on top of someone's booster seat!
Soon, everyone is happy...but not for long. It's time to argue about whether the windows will be up or down (it was 19 degrees outside). Usually, the kids asking for the windows to be up are wearing t-shirts and refuse to put on a coat. I am a kid at heart and think the lights should be viewed with the windows down, so I join in the argument (I am sitting in a booster seat, after all).
There are dinosaurs, teddy bears, reindeer, Harley Santa, and the blinding 12 days of Christmas. There are lighted tunnels that give you a strange sick feeling when you drive through them, volcanos, and Santa's toy shop... We all have our favorite displays and since I held the camera, I captured my own faves for you.
The first thing I love is watching the kids silhouetted against the lights as we drive into the entrance. I like to see the wonder and watch them point and anticipate what is around the corner - that view satisfies the mommy in me and now I can move onto the ooohh's and aaahhh's with everyone else.
I love the blue lights on the mansion that turn it into an ice castle
and the green forest (they also have the white forest, red forest, and blue forest!)
and the super gaudy illuminated nativity, nothing says Jesus like 10,000 watts!
I hope you find some time to participate in your own family traditions this season, I think it really makes the holiday. Go see some lights!
Tomorrow, a tutorial for a fun placecard idea for the holiday table.
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