Tag Archives: 50s 70s theme park

Vintage Kiddo: Santa’s Village Merry Kitschmas in August

‘Twas the night before Monday, a bit quieter than most
As I sat on the couch wondering what I should post…

Ho ho ho, everyone, do I have a story for you. I grew up in Michigan but every summer my parents packed up the family car and drove us across the country to Santa Cruz, California. My dad is a professor and he and my mom taught at the UC Santa Cruz Summer Language Program. It was the perfect place for a family vacation— Santa Cruz is a cool, beachie town and I have tons of amazing memories of playing in the redwood trees and swimming for hours each day. But of all the memories, I have to say that one of my favorites is of a little place called Santa’s Village. Santa’s Village was a Christmas-themed, umm….”theme park” built in 1958. The concept was simple: bring Christmas joy to children all year round. A little insane and yet….totally amazing! My brother and I were fascinated by the place (we would pass it on the highway whenever we were taking a weekend road trip to San Francisco) and would beg our parents to let us go inside. Sadly it was already shut down, but one day we pulled over and were able to sneak on to the grounds and wander around the cobwebby rides. My favorites were the Flying Christmas balls (kind of like the Dumbo ride at Disneyland, only with holiday ornaments!) and of course all the little gingerbread houses.

How cute is this place?? There was something so awesome about celebrating Christmas in the summer time…I think it made it even more magical. Like you were getting away with something sneaky!

I love how cute these ladies look in their sassy little elf costumes! You know there was a hierarchy to the uniforms—I’m guessing red elves were the entry level workers. Green elves were clearly the senior team members. Uh oh, looks like Green Team Leader Dolores swapped her beige tights for non regulation pink. I’m going to have to tell Santa about this one….

“Residents of Santa’s Village included Santa and Mrs. Claus, their elves who operated the rides and sold tickets. There was a baby petting zoo filled with goats, sheep, bunnies, ducks, deer and a Mexican burro. All the buildings were designed to look like log chalet-type structures, repleat with snowy roofs and gingerbread trim. The park had a gingerbread house, a elf toy factory, a lollipop tree and brightly colored gift shops. Around the village were tree-top tall wooden soldiers and candy canes. Santa himself had a huge mailbox to accept all the letters from children around the world.”

Pretty amazing, huh. Happy Monday to all! And to all a good week…

IMAGES: Alameda Net
Apparently there is still a Santa’s Village in New Hampshire.