Santa takes top billing at Magic Forest

Photo by Sue Suchyta Ryder O'Halloran (left), 5, of Taylor and his sister Hanah, 1, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa's Magic Forest Nov. 25 in Taylor's Heritage Park.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Ryder O’Halloran (left), 5, of Taylor and his sister Hanah, 1, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Magic Forest Nov. 25 in Taylor’s Heritage Park.

 

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – Santa remained the star, but there were many other family friendly attractions Nov. 25 at the Magic Forest in Heritage Park, from carriage rides to crafts, to put people in a holiday state of mind.

After Santa, the second longest line at Winterfest was for a horse-drawn carriage ride. Photos with storybook characters, craft tables, food offerings and a choir singing holiday tunes worked in harmony to create a holiday atmosphere.

Photo by Sue Suchyta Families wait in line to see Santa Nov. 25 at Santa's Magic Forest at Taylor's Heritage Park.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Families wait in line to see Santa Nov. 25 at Santa’s Magic Forest at Taylor’s Heritage Park.

The Magic Forest and Santa visits continue weekends through Dec. 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays, 1 to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 7 p.m. Sundays in the Heritage Park Activity Building, 12111 Pardee Road.

Calah Roden of Southgate, who was waiting in line with her children to see Santa, said the displays were beautiful and her children enjoyed looking at them.

“I think it’s neat that a lot of the things that are moving are from Hudson’s,” Roden said. “That’s awesome that they are keeping it going from back when I was a kid and my parents were kids.”

Bonnie Alexander also remembers seeing the displays at Hudson’s as a child. She said the children in their group were equally excited by the carriage ride and seeing Santa.

“Everything seems beautiful, just dress warm,” Alexander said.

Kaitlyn Cochran of Romulus said she likes the lights and watching her daughters take in the displays with wide eyes.

Kara Salisbury of Canton Township was taking her daughter Ava, 1, to see Santa for the first time. She said her daughter was intrigued by the displays as they waited in line.

Photo by Sue Suchyta Dearborn Heights residents Jaylah Cyr (left), 9; D.J. Cyr, 8; their aunt, Alicia Taft; and Kaiden Adney, 7, of Brownstown Township work on crafts Nov. 25 at Taylor's Heritage Park.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Dearborn Heights residents Jaylah Cyr (left), 9; D.J. Cyr, 8; their aunt, Alicia Taft; and Kaiden Adney, 7, of Brownstown Township work on crafts Nov. 25 at Taylor’s Heritage Park.

“Her first time meeting Santa, so she’s excited,” Salisbury said.

Outside of the activities building, people lined up for Winterfest carriage rides, patronized food trucks, and entered the open air pavilion to take photos with costumed characters, do crafts and listen to Motor City Blend, a female a capella group affiliated with Sweet Adelines International.

Admission to Santa’s Magic Forest is $3, and is free to children 3 and younger. Photos with Santa are $8, and are taken by Picture Perfect Photography.

Proceeds benefit Fishes and Loaves Community Food Pantry, a non-profit group that operates the display as a fund-raiser.

For more information about visits to Santa, go to exploretaylor.com/1213/Santas-Magic-Forest.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)

Photo by Sue Suchyta Karah Cochran (left), 4, of Romulus and Nathan Roden, 6, of Southgate look at the Christmas decorations as they wait in line Nov. 25 to visit Santa at Santa's Magic Forest in Taylor's Heritage Park.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Karah Cochran (left), 4, of Romulus and Nathan Roden, 6, of Southgate look at the Christmas decorations as they wait in line Nov. 25 to visit Santa at Santa’s Magic Forest in Taylor’s Heritage Park.