Friday, December 4, 2015

A Tale of Two Tree Lightings

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Emily and I went to two different tree lighting celebrations. They both had good parts and not so good.

First one was on Friday and it was the tree lighting at Biltmore Park Town Square. We got there early so we could find a parking spot and had supper. After we ate, we had some time to kill before things started up, so we went to the toy store which Emily loved.

It was cold but not terribly so. We had hats and gloves though Emily decided her hat was itchy so I ended up giving her mine. There was some booths set out. Emily got to meet the Grinch and got some candy. She got to do some science experiments as well - like making snow.

They had a little parade with the local high school band as well as some performers on stilts and to end it off was Santa and Mrs. Claus in the bucket of a fire truck. As the parade was finishing and they were getting them on the ground, Emily got in line to meet Santa.

Emily is seven now but she still believes in Santa Claus. The Santa at Biltmore Park is the real one to her. Her reasoning is that he's the only one that brings his wife with him. The wait was long, but people were giving out red and green glowing necklaces that Emily had fun with. The performers on stilts were right by the line so we got to see that as well.

We got to the front and I was able to take some pictures of Emily with the Clauses. She told that what she wanted - which happened to be two things she saw in the toy store. From there, we were both getting cold and we'd seen most everything so we headed out. It was really fun and it was also completely free.

The next day, Todd had to work so I decided to take Emily to the tree lighting at the new Asheville
Outlets. It was rather disorganized since there was supposed to be activities starting at 2 pm and there wasn't a lot going on. She did get a balloon animal and we spent some time looking at the stores since we hadn't been there before.

Around five, a table was set up with crafts for the kids. Emily did all the crafts and while she was doing that, the tree was lit up. This was not very good because it was still light out and it was a massive crowd so Emily couldn't see very well.

Part of her balloon animal had popped so after the crafts we went searching for the balloon animal man. He made her a swan, which ended up popping before we left. Balloon animals are fun but dangerous!

Since it cost money to get a picture with Santa and we had gotten a free picture with the 'real' Santa the day before, we skipped the massive line. We instead went to check out the carriage ride. We found it and Emily loved the horse. We got to take the first ride with another mom and her two kids. It was a five minute ride around the parking lot but it was still fun.

But when our ride was finished the carriage driver asked if we had paid. Nothing on the schedule had indicated that it cost money which is what both me and the other mom had said. So we ended up getting a free carriage ride that was really expensive - like $20 per person!

The Biltmore Park Town Square was far and away the best of the two. It was well organized and it was completely free. Asheville Outlets was very expensive for just about everything and it was pretty disorganized. Hopefully we can skip Asheville Outlets tree lighting next year!

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