The weather outside may be frightful, but the holidays are still so delightful. And if you’ve got nowhere to go, Santa Claus knows, he knows, oh, he knows.
When in Chilliwack, Claus says he knows Dickens Sweets and British Museum is the place to go when craving a chummy British treat on this side of the pond, but it’s also a great place for him to spread some holiday cheer before he makes his annual trip around the globe.
A popular Chilliwack attraction, Dickens is visited by thousands of tourists each year, yet their most special visitor may be the big man himself: Santa Claus. In anticipation of his arrival, staff decorate a special space with festive holiday miniature scenes, including a festive wedding scene in front of a church, a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, festively dressed children’s characters, and even a replica of Santa’s workshop, complete with elves.
And even though December is such a busy month, Santa says he enjoys being there so much he makes time every Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., to hear requests from anyone who wants to visit. If you want to have your picture taken with him, Claus says not to forget your camera.
When he’s feeling like something a little more familiar to the Fraser Valley, Claus says head out to Petey’s Country Christmas to learn what farmers in the area do while he’s busy making his list and checking it twice. One of he best things about Petey’s, Claus says, is the variety of things he can do and see while he’s there. With three acres of Christmas magic and 5,000 sq. ft. of indoor entertainment, there’s always something fun to do: a Christmas train ride, an outdoor movie theatre, and an epic indoor snowball fight where hands never freeze.
On his way out of town, Claus likes to fly over Joe Schulz’s place at 9986 Llanberis Way, Rosedale, because he loves the way Schulz’s place glows at night. For more than two decades, Schulz has been earning his way onto the Nice List with his Christmas light display.
He does it to create joy, Claus exclaims.
“It’s all about making (the kids) smile,” Schulz says as he watches a group of pre-schoolers run around his holiday displays. And with thousands of light bulbs illuminating Schulz’s creations and home, Claus points out the retired carpenter’s handiwork rivals the North Pole.
A project of time and love, 75-year-old Schulz doesn’t spend five weeks every year setting up his display to earn his way into Santa’s good graces.
“I started building it for my grandson,” he says, pointing to one of the small buildings lining the driveway to his house. “And when I finished, he could run around inside. Now he’s this tall,” Schulz says, holding his hand above his head. His grandson now grown, Schulz says he continues the tradition for any child who may come to call.
Before driving out of sight, Claus says it’s not just the kids who stop by that Schulz aims to make smile. He uses his display to collect donations for the BC Children’s Hospital.
For more festive family fun, please visit the City of Chilliwack’s online event listings page.