Suppers with Santa
UPDATED 11/1/16: For most children, their first encounter with Santa Clause is often preceded by a long wait in line at the mall. Despite weeks of build up about how wonderful Santa is, as soon as our little ones are placed in his lap, this happens.
Much to my mother’s dismay, I never bothered to stand in that line or subject my first born to this holiday tradition. She spent her first two Christmas seasons very unaware of all things Santa but by the time she was 2.5, she was most definitely a fan of the jolly old man in the red suit. Still, I wasn’t sold on the idea of her first encounter with the big guy taking place at the mall. So when someone in her playgroup suggested we buy tickets for a Supper with Santa, I thought that sounded like a wonderful alternative.
The Santa Experience
Suppers with Santa is an annual fundraiser for the Earlyworks Children’s Museum run by the Earlyworks Society and takes place in early December. Admission covers both your dinner and tickets to Santa’s Village (another wonderful Huntsville holiday tradition, read our review from last year). Dinner is held in the ballroom at EarlyWorks and consists of pizza, salad, lemonade, and cookies. Nothing fancy but perfect for most picky eaters. Each table is set up for eight people and one extra seat reserved just for Santa. While you and your little ones wait for Santa to come over, his friends and helpers including elves, Mrs. Claus, and Grandma Claus come to visit and keep you entertained.
What is it like you ask? Well, how about you watch this brief video from our visit a few years ago. Obviously, I’m a big fan.
The perfect cap to this fun-filled dinner is a walk across the street to Santa’s Village and even if you’ve been in year’s past, there’s always something new. This is a place where the whole family can enjoy Christmas trees that talk and sing, while holiday lights magically keep up the beat!
The Hottest Ticket in Town
Ever year tickets for this event go on sale November 1 and every year they sell out QUICKLY. As the saying goes: you snooze, you lose. Don’t lose.
Updated for 2016
What: Suppers with Santa
When: Nov. 28, 29, 30 & Dec. 1 | 5PM and 6:30PM
Where: 404 Madison Street
How much: $15 per person (includes ticket to Santa’s Village)
More Info: www.earlyworks.com
*Thanks to RCM contributor Sarah Lena for sharing her son’s first Santa photo. You’ll be happy to know he has since recovered and in fact is a true “superhero” when it comes to Santa visits now!
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.
I had to sit on Santa’s lap when my son was maybe 18 months old. As I was holding my son, screaming, he was reaching out for anyone to get him. So I have a picture of myself and Santa laughing as my son is screaming and reaching out for someone.
We love seeing Santa, always have, hopefully always will! My youngest will be 18 months at Christmas time, so we’ll see how he takes to Santa this year! 🙂 Hes pretty wearily of strangers though, so he might be a crier.
Judging by how scared my two year old was of everyone dressed up for Hallowee, I’m being Santa will make her cry too. This is worth a try to get her over her fear. Thanks
My oldest daughter was fine with Santa as a baby, but my youngest didn’t want anything to do with him. lol
My oldest never cried getting pictures with Santa. The closest he came to doing it was his 2nd Christmas, but when his cousins came to sit with him, he just sat there not happy, but not crying. I don’t think I’ll be able to say the same for my second child. She is 18 months now and can’t stand strangers so this years picture is probably one that she is NOT going to be happy to see Santa!
My twins saw Santa for the first time last year at ~1.5 years old, and they were terrified! They’re still quite anxious about all strangers so I don’t anticipate this year being much better.
My oldest 2 saw him at the mall when they were 1 and 2, but didn’t want anything to do with him. The next year, at 2 and 3, they cautiously scooted up to him (no one else was in line), and stood next to him, but wouldn’t climb up. 🙂
My kids have both been terrified of Santa. Now that they are a little older they start thinking of what they want to tell him days in advance 🙂
My oldest saw Santa for the first time in downtown Ft. Worth, TX. He was terrified of the big guy & we still have the family picture of me & hubby smiling in the sleigh with our son screaming in Santa’s lap.
My daughter was terrified the first couple of years. Fortunately, we were able to take her to her daycare for breakfast with Santa so we got to avoid the whole waiting in a huge line at the mall or somewhere. She’s better about it now and looks forward to it every year.
Mine have always loved him and so excited until we actually get up to them, then they get really timid and quiet. Can’t wait to see how our new baby reacts.
My 3-1/2 year old has never sat on Santa’s lap. He’ll talk to him, but he hasn’t wanted to go near him yet. I’m hoping this year he’ll change his mind. I refuse to force him to do it, so we have no pics with Santa yet.
My little man has not met Santa yet… He is only one year! Really looking forward to Christmas this year!!!
Love Santa’s Village! I can imagine Supper with Santa would be a wonderful way to introduce a little one to Santa. My soon to be 3 year old has yet to see Santa without crying…
My oldest daughter got to see Santa on her first Christmas at home! Of course being very little she did not make a big fuss about it. The second time my mother-in-law took her and the pictures proved that though not terrified she was not impressed, lol. Last year neither of my girls saw Santa but i think this year we’ll have to change that!
Love to take my 2 year old … Knew nothing about this!!
I have pictures of both of my girls screaming on Santa’s lap. They talked about it for weeks afterwards though saying they wanted to go back!
My son first saw Santa at Santa’s village…he was 6 months old at the time and fascinated! My daughter will be 6 months at her first Santa sighting as well (Santa pictures at Posh Mommy and Baby Too!) and I hope she will be equally excited.
We are first time parents, so we really get into holidays! Last year, our soon to be two year old was terrified of Santa so we are hoping that now that he’s almost three, he’ll get his picture made with him and enjoy Santa activities! Cross your fingers!
My daughter was 14 months when we did her last Santa pics (she was only 2 months when she first saw Santa – not much of a reaction) and we got a big reaction! She screamed her head off – the pictures are absolutely hilarious.
Neither of my children will sit on Santa’s lap! We saw Santa at Santa’s Village last year though.
My 5 year old daughter has never taken a picture or talked to Santa. She is terrified of him. We have seen him in passing a few times, and she has always been adamant that she doesn’t want to approach him. I think this is her year. My son is 2 and he wants to go see Santa, so I think she is going to brave it for his sake. Here is to hoping.
I guess we have been lucky b/c my daughter has always LOVED Santa, and any other costume character. We have to visit the mall Santa multiple times a season just so she can say hi and sit in his lap. She is the child that cries b/c she has to LEAVE Santa!
My son would absolutely adore this dinner!!!
The first time my oldest saw Santa was the singing Santa at the Incredible Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, TN. He was not a big fan of him at all. Even the next year he wasn’t a fan. My youngest has only gotten pictures with Santa once and he was 3 months old. We don’t do the expensive pictures with Santa so I would love an event where I can get Santa pictures with them!
The first time my little girl saw Santa was at Parkway Place Mall. She was so little that she was scared of him and cried the entire time. She’s 7 now and loves him. The first time my little boy saw Santa was at Santa Land in Tennessee. He did not want to sit with Santa either. It would be fun for them to see him again.
My kids are all ok with him from a distance. We can be beside him around him talk to him but they don’t do touching…and I think I am ok with that ;)We usually go to Bass Pro Shops in Nashville when Christmas shopping and they check him out there.
My little guy was 5 months when I perched him on Santa’s lap for the first time. I admit he was on the verge of a meltdown, but I got the obligatory mall pic with no tears!
We had good luck with our first Santa visit. I think our twins were so stunned that they couldn’t cry or smile.
We tried visiting the mall Santas with no luck. We finally convinced my daughter to meet Santa on a train ride in NC. My son loved Santa from the first time he laid eyes on him so he actually convinced his older sister to sit in his lap the first time (they are 6 years apart).
Our daughter cried and screamed her head off. The picture they took is of her crying and reaching for daddy.
Neither of mine have ever sat on Santa’s lap. They like to see him from afar!!
we have gone to santas villiage twice and LOVEd it both times even though it was freeszing cold my kids and us parents would be just thrilled to have dinner with santa too! They are in the ages now where it is all magic for them and its so much fun to see their eyes light up!
My kids are 2 and 3 and really getting excited about Santa for the first time. I think this will be the first year that they both really understand Santa! We would love to get to have supper with Santa!
My 2 year old has never met Santa. I’m not sure what he’d think. But I’d love to find out.
My kids are so old I don’t really remember their first Santa sighting, but I do remember their excitement to go the the mall to see Santa each year. They would start to approach, then suddenly be seized with a moment of shyness. They would stop in their tracks, look back at me, and at my encouraging nod, continue the walk at a much slower pace. I do remember once my daughter couldn’t stop talking to Santa; she had a very long list that year and wanted him to know she had been especially good.
When my son was almost 3, I was going to avoid the mall Santa because the year before had been a complete bust. However, he begged me to stand in line so he could ask Santa for presents. Through our 20 minute wait, I kept pointing out how the kids would sit on his lap, or cry, and kept asking, “are you SURE!?” He was so excited. Then we finally got to Santa, he’s three steps away, and my son just turned and high-tailed it halfway down the mall!
One of mine is fine with Santa. My other one is a maybe okay with Santa. LOL
My daughter has reacted both happy and unhappy! she has cried and has done well so I cant wait to see her with him this year!