I am starting to feel giddy. On Friday, we are planning to take our children to
a place that I went to as a child. Hidden in the foothills of Pike's Peak is a
Christmas-themed amusement park called the North Pole (of course...). We took
our oldest two before the third one came along, but they were so little, they
barely remember. But first, we'll head to the town I grew up in - Woodland Park.
A visit to the best donut shop in the world is in order! This is sure to be a
great memory-building experience!
Woodland Park is a quiet little town. When we lived there, it was much smaller. We didn't have any fast-food places. One grocery store. Dirt roads, mostly. We could walk or ride our bikes everywhere. It was the perfect place to grow up.And the view of Pikes Peak is stunning. I miss it terribly.
My dad knew the man who owned the Donut Mill. As kids, we'd often go by there, and the man would allow us to help in the kitchen. We'd get free donut holes! Such fun! And the donuts were out of this world! It's not easy making good donuts at such a high elevation. We actually have been back there a couple of times since. When I asked about the owner, the people said they'd never heard of him, and that they no longer use the kitchen. The donuts are made in Colorado Springs. Heartbreaking! But still the very best donuts!!
From there, we'll head down the Ute Pass to Cascade. There's something about driving up the side of the hill and seeing all the signs of welcome to the North Pole. And once you crest the hill into the parking lot, a big gateway tells you are you have arrived at Santa's
Workshop. You can either turn off into the parking lot, or continue on up the Pike's Peak Highway that goes all the way to the summit. That's an awesome, breathtaking trip in itself!
From the parking lot, you can see a giant slide painted like a candy cane. The entryway is always painted in cheerful colors. And the smell...there is no smell like the one at the door. It's a mixture of excitement, fun, mountains, animals, and grease. It's wonderful, really!
After you pay your admission, you're allowed to enter the wonderland. To the right is a giant sled - photo opportunity. You can climb a huge staircase to go up to the Sky Ride (my personal childhood favorite - but with three little ones, there's no chance we're riding until they are WAY older!), you can go straight to Santa's Village, or you can head off to the left to ride some neat little cars and slide down the Candy Cane.
In the midst of Santa's Village is the North Pole itself. It's been icy since I was a child! Just one touch is enough to cool you off. You can also shop in some really fun gift shops, or visit Santa himself!
The North Pole is home to the world's tallest ferris wheel! It's not really that tall, but because of the elevation, it can claim that title. There are a few other thrill-type rides, but most of them are for little kids. Another favorite is one shaped like a Christmas tree. It has ornaments you can sit in and move up and down as it spins.
And you can't visit the North Pole without having some ice cream. They give the biggest scoops! The ice cream shoppe is right next to the carousel - a perfect combination, don't you think? For those of you who might not have child experience...that was meant sarcastically.
We have history with this neat place. My older brother worked there when he was in high school, and like I said, we went there often as kids. It was our Disneyland. Maybe that's one reason I love Christmas so much!
I think I am more excited about going than my kids are!
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3