Lately, in Kansas, it’s been very un-winter-like. We’re talking 70 degree weather kind of “not winter weather.” It’s been very hard to find a good way to get the winter feel lately amidst all of the sunshine and warmth.
Luckily, on our trip to see Santa, a friend suggested we check out the Winter Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops, complete with Santa. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, since I had been in the Springfield Bass Pro Shops location many times, but never the one in Kansas, and never during their winter festivities.
When we first arrived, we were directed to the back of the store, where the ceilings were all aglow with hazy winter blue lights, to a small ticket booth.
Luckily, since it was early on a weekday, there was not much of a wait at all. However, we had this pass to make sure we could shop and explore until it was our turn with Santa. It helped calm down the line waiting, so you would line up at that time and have a shorter in-line wait.
During the wait, there were several cool stations to explore, including tables with crafts, coloring pages, and letters to Santa (plus mail boxes to deposit those letters into), slot car racing, and more.
Bass Pro has a couple of Wii games that they’ve set up for people to try out, including their hunting and fishing games. The boys had fun trying those out.
There was also a fun duck gallery set up for fun.
You could take aim with a toy bow (complete with suction cup, of course!) to hit the ducks and knock them down.
There was also a laser gallery set up with some guns that with laser beams that turn targets from green to red. Hit three, and you got a temporary tattoo! I passed off the camera and got a little gun action myself (and yes, I’m fully aware that I would NOT be able to shoot someone, the way I hold a gun…)
An arena was set up with an RC car, demonstrating how all-terrain it was.
All of the boys, young and old, had fun playing with the truck!
One of the older boys’ favorite activities was the indoor snowball fight, complete with little fuzzy snow bean bags.
I got directly into the line of fire in order to snap some photos of the boys in action.
The lovely Wonderland also had free carousel rides!
At first, Zach was not impressed with his moose, but he enjoyed it more later.
Jeffrey was a ham for the camera, as always.
After doing many of the activities, we decided it would be fun to cheese with the snowman for awhile…
Nicolas decided to hug “Frosty,” as he named them.
Jeffrey picked a fight with Frosty.
The tables turned.
But, in the end, they became bros…
Zach was not so impressed with my funny faces.
My favorite photo is this one, that captures the awe he had when he first approached the snowman.
And with that, it was time to approach Santa… the path to find him was lined with these great little animatronic elves.
By the time we got to Santa, though, Zach was not impressed. It’s that whole stranger anxiety thing… no matter how much we talked about Santa in advance of us going, or looked at pictures and videos of Mr. Claus, he still was not ready to see Santa in person this year.
This was the hilarious, but heart-wrenching, result:
Luckily, a candy cane solved the tears pretty quickly.
Would you like to experience Bass Pro Shops Winter Wonderland yourself? This awesome free event includes a free, studio-quality 4×6 print of your photo with Santa (you can, of course, order additional copies), plenty of free games to enjoy, and even crafts (as available, may vary) for the kids. Head to the Santa’s Wonderland section of the Bass Pro website in order to find a location near you!