The Holidays are such a magical time of the year for not only our kids but our whole family. If you live in or near Medford you will not want to miss the Winter Lights Festival. Medford Parks and Recreation plans a whole day of fun to add to the magic of the holidays!
Every year we start the day off with the coloring contest. There are three different age groups, all coloring for a chance to win a prize. They gave away bicycles last year, so I'm sure the prizes will be just as good this year. The children are provided with crayons and a holiday themed coloring sheet and then are let loose to let their imaginations flow.
After coloring we walked down to Starbucks and got some hot cocoa for the kids and then walked around to visit with the Gingerbread Man and wait for the Candy Cane Hunt.
The kids always have a blast participating in the Candy Cane Hunt. The kids are broken up by age group, just like Easter Egg Hunts, and then candy canes are thrown out by the handful onto the grass. When the littlest ones went out it was quite calm, our then two year old was a bit tentative and sweetly went around picking up candy canes holding hands with her daddy. She got about five or six candy canes and she was perfectly content with that. But boy, when the older groups went out, what a change! It was like an MMA fight with more adrenaline, okay maybe not that aggressive, but I did see some friendly pushing and maybe a few elbow thrown. They all ended up with 20 or 30 candy canes; yes there were that many candy canes. No tears were shed and everyone finished with smiles on their faces.
Following the Candy Cane Hunt there is always live music along with live dance performances by local dance companies. The performers always do such a wonderful job, never showing how cold they really are in the freezing cold temperatures. After the performances Santa comes out for photo-op's, but there is always quite a crowd so we opt to wait until another time since we know there are a lot of places that Santa visits in the Rogue Valley. Sometimes if the weather permits they will show a Christmas movie. In years passed they have showed A Charlie Brown Chritmas and The Grinch.
The grand finale is always the Tree Lighting. The beauty of it all always makes me choke up a little bit. The spirit of the holiday, being there with my family and sharing in all of the holiday joy; it is such a wonderful way to enjoy the holidays with our amazing community. We have made it part of our annual family traditions and are sure you will too!
If you want to attend the Winter Lights Festival it will be Saturday, December 1st, 2018 at Pear Blossom Park on N Bartlett St in Medford. It is all FREE and the schedule will be as follows: Coloring Contest at 330pm | Candy Cane Hunt 430pm | Live Performances, Booths & Activities 450pm | Photo Ops with Santa 545pm | Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony 550pm
Tips: Make sure you dress warm because it is really cold once the sun goes down. I suggest hats and gloves for all, so that you can stay for the whole celebration. I also suggest bringing a blanket so you can sit and enjoy the shows. Also, you may want to bring some snacks and something warm to drink. I know that we needed it.
If you want to check out more great holiday activities in Southern Oregon visit our Holiday Festivities and Events page. We have lots of ideas to fill your whole holiday calendar!
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