Thursday, December 13, 2012

Clifton Mill with the Kids

With all the holiday festivities that happen I have to pick and choose what works for us. It all depends on several questions: Where is it at? What time does it occur? What will the weather be like? How much does it cost? Can Ryan attend? If Ryan can't attend, can I handle the kids by myself? Should I bring a friend along?

I originally wanted to go do Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo recently but with the very cold weather, the hour long drive each way, Ryan unavailable, and the crowds... I decided it wasn't going to happen. Instead I chose to go to Clifton Mill which was much closer, smaller, cheaper, and less people (especially on a weeknight).
This old mill is completely decked out in lights every year and it was actually very beautiful. My pictures don't do it justice. William LOVES Christmas lights so that was the reason we decided to go.

It was very cold that night so we were all bundled up.

We started out by walking across the covered bridge, then looking at the Nativity. It was here that William's distractions began -- trying to climb over the wood fence to steal a lightbulb.
covered bridge
Mary, baby Jesus, Joseph, and a Wiseman
We headed over to an original log cabin which the kids seemed to like.
Log Cabin

The main attraction (other than the Mill) was the awesome mini village. There was so much detail and funny scenes - a train, drive-in movie theater, a house on fire, the Christmas Story house, a football stadium with marching band on the field, and a model of the Clifton Mill. Again William became obsessed with a specific light bulb and was refusing to walk with us anymore. He even had a mini fit when I pulled him away.

While looking at the Mill (which was very pretty), Will decided he wanted to go inside and began walking away. He got in trouble, obviously, and I was getting annoyed with his lack of listening.
The Mill Wheel
We headed over to Santa's workshop and there was actually a man in a Santa suit doing paperwork and when the kids knocked on the window he actually looked up and waved at them. Lana was SO EXCITED! She was squealing with delight that Santa was there. William was happy as well and kept telling me that Santa was there.
Also on the property was a crazy big Santa collection. It was a bit overwhelming so we went through it quickly. And much was breakable so we kept our distance. At the end both kids got candy canes.
Once we got out we were told the light show was beginning. Some Trans-Siberian Orchestra music started playing and the lights were flashing artistically. We didn't get a great seat to see everything but the kids did like what we did see. William was enjoying all the lights but was concerned that so many were not on while the show was happening.
Our view of the light show -- the covered bridge
After the show we went inside the shop to get some food. But as we entered and I was wrangling the kids the line pushed in and we lost our place. That happened 2 more times and I was getting frustrated. I was dealing the kids by myself, they weren't being great listeners, people weren't necessarily rude but when I mentioned we were in line I was ignored. William kept getting away from me because he wanted to tell the woman who worked there that one of her flood lights was out. Lana wanted to touch all the ornaments. I was flustered.

I bought our hotdog, pretzel, and hot chocolate then found a place to sit that was warm.
We ate and looked at the lights while waiting for their chocolate to cool. Sadly they never got to drink it. William kept wandering away from the table and Lana was fooling around on her chair. I gave up and said it was time to leave. The hot chocolate was thrown away and I grabbed the arms of the kids and marched out to the parking lot while they whined and cried that they wanted to look at the lights.
So yeah, the night didn't go as magically as I planned. But for parts of it we did have a great time.

Maybe next time will be better.


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