For the first time in 6 years, we set up our Department 56 Christmas In the City village. It stayed hidden in previous years as much because of hurricane Mimmy as a lack of time necessary to set it up. This year, the hurricane is a bit more aware of his surroundings and the time seemed right. The kids had a blast setting it up with A-Man. I enjoyed floating in the background soaking it all in.
Visiting Canterbury Shaker Village is another one of our Christmas traditions. It started when they used to run the Gingerbread Showcase the weekend after Thanksgiving. While most would be partaking in Black Friday insanity, we’d pile in the car and admire the handy work of some talented artisans and inventive children. After picking our favorites we’d head downstairs to decorate gingerbread cookies and listen to a holiday story.
In recent years, they’ve revamped the event and moved it into December (a craft fair now takes place over Thanksgiving weekend). This year it is called Christmas at Canterbury and takes place on two successive Saturdays. Along with the gingerbread houses, and Christmas ornament crafts for the kids, the new format includes a visit to several of the Shaker buildings, demonstrations of Shaker life (broom making, chair weaving etc.) and performances by a magician, musicians and choral groups. Oh and I can’t forget the horse drawn wagon rides!
Christmas at Canterbury is probably better suited for older children. The crafts this year involved origami and threading beads onto wire. My nine year old was up to the tasks, but my five year old struggled some. We have also found that the performances are lovely, but again attention can be an issue with our younger child.
There were fewer entries in this year’s Gingerbread contest but the structures were no less impressive. I am always amazed at the way people combine creativity and food to make enchanting designs. Each admission includes a chance to win a Gingerbread House and of course you can purchase additional chances to increase your odds.
We were all very disappointed that this year, they discontinued the decorating gingerbread cookies. It was something my kids looked forward too. Hopefully they’ll bring it back to future events.
Admission is $17.00 for adults, $8.00 for children 6 to 17 or $42.00 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 or more children). Children 5 and under are free and Members are free. This year, there was a ham and bean supper or coffee and apple crisp available for an additional fee.
The second installment of Christmas at Canterbury takes place this Saturday, December 12th from 3:00pm to 8:00pm. Canterbury Shaker Village is only a few miles off of either Route 106 or 93 in Canterbury, New Hampshire. For more information, visit the Canterbury Shaker Village web site.