If you live in the northeast, you know it is much harder to find things to do with your kids in the winter than in the summer. Going outside requires many layers, many winter accessories, and just general discomfort on most days. Gone are the days when you can spend the afternoon at the park, or take a long walk, or play in the grass, and here are the days of sweating your balls off whenever you are inside (because the heat is always jacked up way too high in public areas), losing feeling in your fingers and toes, and that terrible feeling when you are so cold your teeth hurt.
During this time of year (which in Boston lasts about 6-7 months) you need to get a little more adventurous as you can only walk around the Natick Mall so many times - which leads to evil looks from your husband at yet another shopping bag outside of your daughter's room.
So last week I ventured to the Enchanted Village at Jordan's Furniture in Avon. I had no idea what to expect as I had never been there before - who would go there if they didn't have kids? I met 3 mom friends and together we had 7 kids between us (3 babies, Marlo at 12 months, and 3 two year old boys). After taking a few minutes to peel off the layers and get everyone comfortable, we headed into the Village.
Now I must preface this review with this: I am a Disney lover. I have been to Disney World probably 100 times in my life...I lived in Florida while going to high school...and I worked at Disney doing the College Program in the Fall/Winter of 1998. What I am saying is I have high standards and I am a snob when it comes to animatronics....but I digress.
When you approach the entrance to the Village, you are asked to stand in front of this green screen to take a photo, and are then told that you can pick up your photo at the end of the tour. Now, they don't tell you that you have to pay for it, so I thought it was free. I should also mention that there is no entrance fee for this experience...which should have told me right there the photo wouldn't be free!
|Kids giving each other haircuts???|
So you enter into this very dark room, with very loud Christmas music playing. Surrounding you is the Village, which consists of various old-timey store fronts (barbershop, post office, general store, etc.). And populating the Village are very creepy moving figures, which to this day I am not sure if they were children, or very small adults, as they seem to have taken over the Village. They were all moving in very short, choppy movements - some of them even seemed possessed. It was quite a site. Thankfully we didn't have a line to deal with...and it was over with in five minutes.
Some of our crew were very scared by the darkness and the loudness of the experience - and I am not talking about the babies, but the 2 year old boys. One even ended up with a winter hat over his face to hide from the creepiness that surrounded him. Marlo was non-plus about the whole thing, and occasionally did her signature move and pointed and said "whoa." She does this when we walk up and down the grocery store aisles, and when she is laying in her crib, so I wasn't sure if she liked it or not.
I should also mention that about every couple minutes or so the lights go on and they blow fake snow out of the corner of the room. You would think this would be a big hit, but it seemed to upset some of the kids even more.
So why is it "Enchanted"? Because they are broken down figures come to life? It seemed more like a Children of the Corn scenario where the kids had killed off all the adults and were running amok. And I take issue with the tagline of the whole experience "Your Holiday Memories Await You." Whose holiday memories are like this?? Little people that grew up at the turn of the 20th century? I don't think you had any 120 year old people coming to see this village.
At the exit of the Village they try to corral you into the line to see your photo, but when I asked if you had to pay for it (and it was something like $25 for a 5x7) we just moved on.
I don't think I will be going back to the Village any time soon, but it was overall a successful experience as we got out of the house, we were warm, we were with good friends and we did something different. Again, I should remind you that I am a total snob when it comes to this kind of thing, so you should experience it for yourself and make your own judgement. This is just my personal opinion - and you know I like to share them!