This weekend we got a chance to travel back in time and celebrate the holidays the way the pioneers would have in the late 1800s. What a fun experience! Here’s a rundown of all of the awesome holiday activities we got to enjoy as well as some cool features of the village that are around all year.
Arriving at Black Creek Pioneer Village
Like with any activity arriving early tends to be the key to getting the most out of your experience. For the holiday program the village is open from 11-4 and we got there right at 11, ready to go! Most of the activities don’t actually start until 11:30 but we took the first 30 minutes to wander through the village and take a look in some of the houses and buildings that were open.
Make sure to get a schedule and map when you arrive because once the activities start they are constant. You can basically go from one activity to the next between 11:30-4, here is the schedule from Saturday Dec 2nd when we visited.
Decorated for the Holidays
One of the best parts of visiting during the holiday season was all of the traditional decorations and displays around the village. Each house and shop was decorated as it would have been in the late 1800s, it really felt like we had stepped back in time to celebrate the holidays!
Christmas Carols at the Doctor’s House
Since we were there nice and early we were literally the first people through the door when it was time for the 11:30 carol sing-along. First of all, I must say that our host was AMAZING! She played the piano, sang, and gave us some historical info about each piece before we began. Here’s a little clip of the carol sing along as well as the song sheet. If you don’t know the history behind ‘Deck the Halls’ look it up, it’s pretty fun!
Wagon Ride time!
If you’ve read many of my blogs you probably know that we love a good wagon ride! But, before we went on the wagon ride we had to take a moment to visit the gorgeous Clydesdales that live at the village, these horses were sooo friendly and tame.
And, as you can imagine, we were still first in line for the wagon ride when it pulled up right at 12PM! The ride does come at an additional charge ($2 per person) but was well worth it to travel around the village in a horse drawn carriage.
After getting off the wagon ride, it was time for a snack and there’s no better snack than fresh baked cookies and hot apple cider. These cookies had just come out of the oven and since we couldn’t decide between flavours (lemon, cinnamon, vanilla & nutmeg) we had to try them all and at only $1 per cookie it was easy to sample them! We also got to learn all about how cookies, tarts & bread were baked back in the late 1800s and let me just say I was AMAZED that they didn’t burn anything, I feel like I’ve been taking my oven for granted.
Tucked away in a little yellow house off the main road you’ll find Santa and what an amazing Santa he is, I even had to sneak into the shot! This little house doesn’t have much room but the quaintness adds to the magic.
Time to dance!
Next, it was off to try out some traditional Christmas dancing complete with our very talented host from the Christmas Carols playing the violin and teaching some dance moves! The best part was when she gave my little guy a private performance so that he could have a little dance party all to himself since we came in at the tail end of the first one.
Trimming the Tree
Once we were done dancing, it was time to head to Town Hall to learn all about the traditional ways in which Christmas Trees were decorated in Pioneer times. It was really neat to see how some of the traditions we still use today originated and evolved. This was a great hands on demo with lots of audience participation!
Touring the Village
Along with taking in the special Christmas activities it was just nice to tour the village and visit the old shops, homes & buildings. My little guy loved wandering through the village and exploring all of the historical buildings.
The actors were very knowledgeable and almost every place we visited had some kind of interactive display to try out. The hands on portions definitely made it easier for kids to really understand how people lived all those years ago.
I also spotted a colourful display in each building called ‘Story Station- Confederation Generation’ which really intrigued me. These were so neat! Each one held a few stories about the people that might have lived or worked in the spot we were visiting and what a day in their life might have been like back in 1867 when Canada first became a country. This was such a fun way to teach history and make it more relatable. If you are visiting make sure to keep a look out for these spots!
If you have the opportunity to visit Black Creek Pioneer Village over the holidays, do it! It was fun, educational & festive! Can’t wait to see what they have in store for the next season!