My family and I ventured into down- town Chicago today to visit the 10th Annual Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier. And, what a festival of fun it was - especially for my three-year-old granddaughter, Alexandra, and 15-month-old grandson, Andrew, whose eyes stayed wide open with excitement the whole time we were there!
Winter Wonderfest was located in a huge room upstairs. It was full of activities for kids and kids at heart — a large rink for ice skating, Create-a-Cookie Cottage, Bah Humbug Jail, climbing walls (for the bigger kids) and the Winter Wonderland Stage with continuous entertainment. There were also dozens of rides, including a giant ferris wheel and rubber slides, a miniature holiday train, huge rocking horse and a charming old-time carousel.
The place was crowded, and the lines to get on the rides were long, but Lexi didn't seem to mind one bit. She seemed to enjoy watching the other kids take their turns and showing her how "it was done."
Characters, like the Present Lady, strolled around, delighting the youngest of the crowd. Each sported a huge smile and a friendly demeanor and an attitude as cheerful as Saint Nick himself.
There were concession vendors too, the kind you'd expect to see at a Winter Wonderfest like this, selling wonderful things like flavored coffees and hot chocolate, funnel cakes, popcorn and cotton candy.
Despite all the goodies I'd just eaten before, during and after Christmas Day, I couldn't resist buying a giant mug of the hot chocolate. It was yummy — and just the right refreshment for this particular place and time!
My family must have thought so too. Each member of the clan kept asking to take a sip and then another and another. This happened so often; I was forced to revisit the vendor to buy some more!
Admittedly, the feet of my daughter, son-in-law, son and grandkids held up better and much longer than mine. After awhile, I slipped away from the holiday scene and into a favorite spot downstairs - the Dock Side Cafe. There I settled in at a table over-looking Lake Michigan with another beverage, a basket of the eatery's famous waffle fries and my blue pencil. In my over-sized handbag was 64 pages of copy (for an upcoming issue of Houston Woman Magazine) that needed another round of proofing. Oddly enough, it proved to be perfect spot to relax a bit - and focus on the work at hand.