Visits with “Frozen” characters and The Grinch, a walk through a forest of Christmas trees to see Santa, an indoor snow pit and feeding Santa’s reindeer will all be part of the annual Breakfast with Santa and Friends in a Winter Wonderland set for Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Highland County Senior Citizens Center in Hillsboro.
There are three time slots those interested can reserve tickets for: 8 to 9:30 a.m., 10 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. There are 160 tickets for each time slot and Mechell Frost, executive director of the senior center, said tickets are already being purchased.
“The reason for the different times is to help with crowd management because we’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of people support this event,” Frost said. “So we are urging people to get their tickets for their entire party while there is still time.”
The cost is $7 for children and adults, which includes a pancake and sausage breakfast. Children age 11 months and younger are free, but, like the other children, can still get a 4-inch by 6-inch picture with Santa.
There are several themed areas for the event, including a room full of lighted Christmas trees visitors will walk through on the way to see Santa.
After seeing Santa, children will be given “deer food” they can send up clear chute toward the center’s roof to feed Santa’s reindeer.
“That happens on the Highland County Senior Citizen Center Signature Reindeer Food Elevator,” Frost said. “Although they can’t see the reindeer on the roof, they can see the food go up the tube to the roof, and they get to see the deer eating on our live reindeer cam.”
There will also be a “Frozen” room where characters like Olsa, Anna and Olaf will be handing out candy and interacting with the kids. Frost said the room will be decorated to look like it’s covered in ice.
The Grinch will be on hand, and kids will be able to sing “A Spoonful of Sugar” with a Mary Poppins look-alike. Another feature will be a 12-foot high, 12-foot wide and 12-foot long gingerbread house. Children will be able color and help glue decorations onto the house.
There will also be 6-foot by 10-foot indoor snow pit that children can play in. Frost said the snow is made of a non-toxic material that feels cold like real snow. Nearby, Frosty the Snowman will be spraying snow into the air.
Tickets can be purchased at the center, 185 Muntz St., Hillsboro, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at highlandseniors.com. Those ordering online can pick their tickets up at the center the day of the event.
Sponsors of the event are Fifth Third Bank, Better 2 Gether Medicare Solutions and Walmart. Co-sponsors are Highland District Hospital and Hillsboro Elks 361, and honorable mention sponsors are Little Caesars Pizza, Edward Jones/Mathew Greene, Cornele Plumbing, Burwinkel Dentistry, Thompson Funeral Homes and Lowe’s.
“There’s kids that come every year and we’ve watched them grow up, so we really like that,” Frost said. “It’s a fundraiser for the senior center and we have tweaked the event over the years so people don’t have to wait in long lines. Christmas is truly a magical time of year, and this is a special event we really enjoy.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.