Real Richmond Review: Busch Gardens Christmastown

Our six-year-old is surprised to find out he's grown an inch since he was measured in August. Blue wristband=SCORE!

We headed over to Busch Gardens Christmastown for the first time yesterday.

Several games made sure "every player is a winner" which prevented some bummed-out kids.

The park opens at 3 pm, which gave us time to get laundry and grocery shopping done, and our little one to nap on the way. A huge crowd was forming at the gate; the day was chilly but the sun was shining and we were ready to rock some rides.

Aboard the Battering Ram, a family fave

We had a couple of hours of sunlight to ride some of our favorites, the bigger boys testing out Mach Tower for the first time as we sipped hot cocoa, then starting to watch the seemingly-millions of lights begin to twinkle our big boy and daddy headed off to Alpengeist.

We grabbed a bite to eat at Grogan’s Grill in Ireland, spooning chili from bread-bowls under the green skylights.

At 7 pm we headed to Italy for one of their special Christmas shows, “Miracles.” Even though the boys were a little antsy, the show with it’s ivory-clad dancers and amazing voices was pretty captivating and a nice treat to sit for a few moments after walking the park.

Mach Tower, Hall-family-tested

Being the geek that I am, I had downloaded the Christmastown iPhone app that I checked out as we walked to help us hit the high points before the kids got worn out.

Carolers and bands, many clad in period-dress, serenaded us going by, and the lights were something I’ll try to share here, but you really have to experience for yourself. In fact, the kids had a ball just playing hide-and-seek in-between some of the hundreds of decorated trees.

Music and lights show near Das Festhaus.
This was one of my favorite sights--the scene where we had splashed together down this slide at Pompei was now swathed in twinkle lights
When I asked our nine-year-old about his ride on Alpengeist, his response went something like this

One of the most unexpected treats about our day was wandering into one of the small shops in Italy, Bella Casa, where we got to witness an artisan hand-blowing jewelry, and all three kids were fascinated to a standstill, a rarity.

The glass-blown jewelry artisan in Italy was super-fun to watch

One of the things I was bummed I didn’t look into was Santa’s Fireside Feast, an event which requires a reservation and that we probably didn’t have enough time for, but something I’d like to check out on the next visit.

Sippin' cocoa and being goofy, what my kiddos do best.

Check out the Christmastown Calendar for special events if you’re heading to Christmastown, , tickets are $24.99 and children under three are free.

Here’s another cool/community-oriented deal where you can earn a free day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg too.









Thanks to Busch Gardens for inviting us to the Social Media preview and for the generous tickets.