“It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…” I thought upon entering the Winter Village at the Glensheen Mansion this past Saturday. The earthy aroma of evergreens. The hum of cheery holiday shoppers carrying gifts.
For the second year in a row, Clara and I took a school bus from UMD to the Glensheen Mansion for this annual holiday event. It was quick and easy to park, and within minutes we were aboard the warm bus filled with families and college students.
During the short trip, I was telling Clara, my five-year-old, that the last time I was on a bus was last year for this same event! Of course, she then bragged about how often she’s been on a school bus for preschool field trips. Lucky girl! Next we start the familiar game of “I spy” looking out of the window. Within 10 minutes, we had arrived.
There is a short walk from the drop-off location to the parking lot and event area. I was grateful for the warm weather thinking about the gusty cold winds at the event last year. The weather this year was calm and temperatures were just over 35 degrees. Much easier for this momma and busy kiddo to be outside for a few hours. It felt similar to some past winters in the Pacific-Northwest (having lived there for nearly three years), with the moisture-filled air and the distant fog resting over the mighty Lake Superior.
Our purpose for going to the Winter Village was to help out with the Duluth Moms Blog family area (and enjoy the vendors, too). Our DMB family area was filled with tables of crafting items for kiddos to make an ornament or whatever their hearts desired, Santa coloring pages and crayons, candy canes, and for the moms, a private area for pumping, infant feeding, and diaper changing. Yep, we pretty much had it all. There was even water and snacks for all you hard-working mothers who were producing that precious, liquid-gold called breast milk.
After Clara and I finished up helping in the family area, we ventured into the village to find some treats. First stop, of course, had to be s’mores (after a quick port-a-potty break…the first of many for my little one). Who doesn’t want to roast marshmallows over an open campfire on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior for free? It doesn’t get any better than that. Lake Superior was calm and peaceful, beckoning us to get closer, so after we ate our s’mores, we ventured down to the rocky beach and Clara playfully threw rocks into the water (burning off her sugar high!).
Our next stop to complement the sweetness of the marshmallows was kettle corn. What a time to be alive and well—crunchy, sweet and salty kettle-cooked popcorn—after s’mores, no less! But, it didn’t end there: who wants a steaming cup of warming hot chocolate on a cold day? We did! It felt like we were living in one of those fancy holiday commercials.
With our bellies full and bodies warmed, we made a few trips around the winter village using our “eyes only” to check out the local goods. Then, we made our way back to the bus drop-off and pick-up area. Within minutes again, we are back at our car. We had such a delightful day and I couldn’t have planned it better myself! Thank you to the Glensheen Mansion, as well all of the local restaurants, crafters, vendors, and merchants who make this event possible year after year.