Friday, August 31, 2012

Santa's Land in Cherokee, North Carolina

The girls had such an amazing time at Idlewild, earlier this summer, that I've been looking into other kiddie parks within a reasonable driving distance. (This has been my primary resource.) I read about Santa's Land Family Theme Park & Zoo in Cherokee, North Carolina and, with very little effort, talked my good sport of a husband into checking it out as part of our trip south to visit the parents.

Interestingly, I lived two-three hours away from Santa's Land from the time I was eleven until I graduated from college, but, until recently, I'd never heard of it. Likewise, Jim lived about two hours away until adulthood, but he'd never heard of it. In the process of trying to nail down when the park was built (I think I read 1966.), I learned, since visiting: the park is on PETA's radar because of its black-bear enclosures. Don't judge, but I didn't pay much attention to the bears. We have zoo memberships here in Richmond, and I was totally sucked in by all things vintage and tacky.

My eyes could scarce take it all in.

Even the trashcans amazed and delighted:

This friendly elf made the girls rings out of "deershoe" nails:

Clementine fed some deer:

And loved on Santa (Charleigh waved and expressed love from across the room, which was huge for her, so each girl was given a Certificate of Good Conduct):

 The girls rode rides:

We watched a magic show in the Jingle Bell Theater. Clementine was actually called on stage to be a helper!

Santa's Land is, obviously, a park for little kids or lovers of kitsch. It does offer a ferris wheel and one roller coaster, neither of which we rode. We didn't take the opportunity for a paddle boat ride, either, fearing that our water bug would jump overboard.

We saw a total of, maybe, ten kids all day. We never waited in line. And we loved that the park was interspersed with playground areas that gave the adults an opportunity to rest...or play, themselves!

Jim's Sweet Mom


  1. I love these kind of kitchy parks. I like them so much better than the slick, HUGE theme parks. Maybe you would like to bring the girls to a county fair and see the cow, chickens, pigs, sheep, and crafts and all here in SoMD.
    You never know. It could be fun. Who doesn't love funnel cake?

    1. How far is Ellicot City from you? Clark's Elioak Farm is on our "must see" list. And you'll laugh, but funnel cakes make me sick even when I'm NOT diabetic. I can't eat them at all.