Westford's new attraction, the Holiday Festival of Lights, is a wintery wonderland filled with family fun and holiday decorations.
Long-time Westford residents may remember "Winterland" at Nashoba Valley Ski Area, which hasn't opened in over 10 years! The return of holiday lights to Westford comes with some big improvements. Rather than driving your car through the lights, this year a winter carnival has been constructed at the base of the ski area. You'll have to step out of your car to be emmersed in the holiday season.
The first thing you'll notice as you walk into the venue are the 5 roaring fire pits. While attendants watch the pits to keep things safe, children are roasting marshmallows for their s'mores. It being November, some visitors were huddling around the fires for warmth.
As you walk past the many games and rides, don't miss the "Letter to Santa" station. Finish your letter to Santa and drop it into our official North Pole mailbox. All mail will be speedily delivered via reindeer-express class mail, directly to Santa's doorstep. As you continue past more games and rides, there is a giant ferris wheel.
Another family favorite is the petting zoo. There are goats, llamas, and sheep with luxurious fur waiting to be petted. You can purchase food to feed the animals, although they are so friendly that they'll come to you unless someone else entices them away with food.
Now that you've seen the winter carnival, it's time to ride the wagon through 2 million lights!
These wagons have 2 rows of bench seating, all facing the same direction. The lights will surround you, illuminating the entire wagon. The displays are directly in front of you, and feature moving figures like Santa, his reindeer, and even Ebenezer Scrooge. This ride lasts about 10 minutes.
There were many families and children enjoying the festivities, even on opening night, Nov. 23, 2012. I would caution parents to make sure everyone is properly dressed for an evening outdoors in early winter. Although it has been mild, a little wind can make it feel very cold. Bring some extra clothing for the car and make sure everyone is comfortable before getting on the wagon ride, because once everyone is onboard there is no stopping until you reach the end.
This attraction brings back everything from Winterland, with some big improvements. The carnival and fire pits have transformed it from a single experience into a holiday themed night full of activities. It closes Dec. 23, 2012, so mark your calendar with the Holiday Festival of Lights. More information is available at www.skinashoba.com/lights.