Last year I discovered Koziar's Christmas Village in Bernville, PA and decided that it needed to become part of our Christmas traditions.
My husband cringes a bit about the whole tradition thing. He doesn't get the glow of joy as the kids and I discuss the story of every ornament on the Christmas Tree. He doesn't get all teary at the thought of reading all of the Christmas books. He couldn't care less if we made gingerbread houses.
But he did like the Christmas Village. Or else he is humoring me. Either way, we are going back!
My "discovery" of Koziar's was apparently a little late in the game. Many people from Chester County have been there and enjoyed it. Bernville is outside of Reading, near the airport, and on our inaugural trip last year it took about an hour to get there from our place in Chester Springs.
They are open from 6-9 Monday - Friday and 5-9:30 on the weekends. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for kids under 12.
The vast majority of the displays are outdoors, so last year, when the temps were around freezing, it was pretty nippy out there. Luckily there are a few places to duck into, get some hot chocolate or hot apple cider, and warm up before you go back for more. Hopefully this year it will be a little less frostbite inducing.
It is difficult to fully convey what there is to see. Lots and lots of lights. Lots and lots of characters - from the Peanuts, to the Flintstones, to Sesame Street - the whole gang is there on what look to be hand-painted displays. There is a path to follow that meanders through all of the displays. Music is playing.
It's kind of like walking through the Christmas light display of the tackiest neighbors EVER. But in a completely awesome sort of way.
There are little tableaus (I think that is the appropriate word) of toy shops and candy shops and other Christmas Scenes. Some were mildly disturbing, but most were cute. Sprout proclaimed a number of things - especially those with moving dolls - to be "creeeeepy". Luckily she also ooohhhed and aaaahhhed and WOWed about many more things!
Rudolf and Frosty were hanging around for pictures, resulting in a perfect Christmas Card worthy photo op.
There are also two impressive train set-ups, one outdoors and one indoors. The indoor one was huge and, you know, indoors - which was a plus at the point last year where I could no longer feel my toes.
Named one of the top ten attractions in PA as well as the Best Outdoor Christmas Display in the World (!), the kids proclaimed it to be "Awesome" - even Sprout, who I was told might be too old to appreciate the kitchy nature of the whole scene.
Last year Tater said we should go back next year and the next year and the next year.
So we will. And you should too!
Kristen is a new contributor at Chester County Moms. She lives in Chester Springs with her husband, daughter, Sprout (10); son, Tater (7); and two dogs. Be sure to read more about Kristen's exploits as she attempts to keep her kids busy and entertained at http://www.thefunmommies.com/