Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcome Back Santa's Village...Well, Santa's Village AZoosment Park

From the August 15th Chicago Tribune "Santa rides again" by Steve Johnson.

I know I was very disappointed when this venerable Chicagoland amusement park in East Dundee,(western suburbs of Chicago) closed in 2006 and most of the rides auctioned off.  I went there a couple of times, but always hate to see something that had been around for that long go.

Phil Wenz essentially "willed Santa's Village back into being."  He wrote an Arcadia Publishing book "Santa's Village" on it.  Now, close to 200 days a year, he spends a couple hours putting on make up and getting into the $1,500 white beard and wig get ups, surrounding himself with foam padding, a red suit, belt and boots to go out and portray the jolly old elf.

he started as Santa at age 23, back in 1986.

The new name of the place is Santa's Village AZoosment Park to reflect the focus on younger kids and the live animals new owner Jason Sierpien has brought in.

The new place is now in its second season.

It's open six days a week (closed Tuesdays) until Aug. 26th, then on weekends and some Mondays in September and October.  Located at 600 Dundee Avenue in East Dundee with adult and children admission $17.75.

A Bit Pricey, However, for a Nostalgia Trip for Me.  --RoadDog

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