I received tickets in exchange for sharing my honest opinion.
Santa’s Village may not be a giant theme park or water park but honestly, that is what I love about it. You can visit Santa’s Village and cover everything in a day (and then some.) I actually used to visit Santa’s Village when I was younger with my parents and siblings and was sad to hear they were closing in 2006. Luckily though just after I had my third child, Santa’s Village re-opened in 2011 with a shared focus on both rides and animals. Since the re-opening I have taken my own kids every year I could.
Last week I got the chance to visit Santa’s Village with my daughter and mother-in-law as well as I got to introduce the park to my nieces and their mom. My sister-in-law had never been before and could not stop raving about how perfect it is for young kids.
Here are my 10 reasons for checking out Santa’s Village:
- There are tons of rides for all ages. The focus is definitely on younger kids but there are a handful that teens will appreciate.
- There are animals! There are tons of animals to feed and view.
- Dining is affordable for a family but if you decide to bring your own food in, you can bring in a small cooler worth for $5. Check the dining policy to read more about it. We ended up getting meals in the park and ice cream to wrap up the day.
- The park is just the right size. We tackled the park in about five hours. We could have spent longer but definitely needed at least five hours. I like how it wasn’t overwhelming to do everything we wanted to do. We could have spent more time there and will definitely go again to re-do our favorites.
- There is a mining attraction you can do that seriously my kids talk about it year-round. I don’t know why it is so cool to them but they love shaking the sand for those gems and then bringing them home.
- Your ticket price of around $30 includes all rides, shows and critter encounters. Parking is free.
- As I mentioned, Santa’s Village has been around for quite some time (opened in 1959 until 2006 and then re-opened in 2011) so it is a great place to re-live old memories and create new ones. While a lot has changed, some has stayed the same. My favorite is the slide which I wish I could find the photos of me on the slide from when I was little. There are also a few rides from KiddieLand which was an amusement park in Melrose Park that closed down – I had been there too as a child and love that there are rides from there that I am sure I went on now that my own kids can enjoy.
- A water park that is perfectly sized and shallow. There are 2 bigger slides in the back but the main area is a giant splash area with a few little slides and water to walk in, not swim in.
- The park is open year-round, with park hours on weekends only in the fall/winter. We have gone in the winter before and it is so nice to see the park decked out in lights. Now they have a drive-thru light experience which started during covid and is perfect for enjoying lights while staying in your car.
- There are both arcade and booth games to play which are perfect breaks from the heat and rides. The prices are not terrible and its easy to win prizes!
Honestly, we all had a blast at Santa’s Village. It was fun being able to ride rides and see animals all in one day. I loved too that it is close enough to drive to for the day, being located in East Dundee, IL. I highly recommend if you have a child ages 2-8 years old to bring them as they will have a blast with all the kid-sized rides – older siblings will have fun as well but probably not as much as the younger ones will!
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