Friday, December 28, 2012

Harrogate Christmas Market 2012

Right after Thanksgiving, we headed off to the Harrogate Christmas Market. 2012 marks the first year for such a market in Harrogate. The market included rides for the kids, shopping for all ages, a stage with various entertainments, and Santa with some reindeer (which I don't think were his!).

Entering the Christmas Market

When we arrived, the first thing the children wanted to do was ride some rides. They saw a few of their friends already on rides, so we couldn't resist. Naturally, J and L chose different rides. Luckily two parents were there so we were able to accommodate them.

L loves her bulldozer

J rides Thomas, blissfully unaware of the camera

After that, we wandered through some of the shopping stalls. A wide variety of items were on sale. One heated tent had more arts and crafts-type stuff. The outside wooden stalls ran the gamut from food (cheese, baked goods, stuff to eat right away, etc.) to jewelry to tchotchkes to toys to woolen products to various alcoholic beverages (my favorite named stall was "Mrs. Sippy's"). The lanes were a little narrow and a lot of people were there, so navigating was challenging.

The indoor sales area

The children rapidly became hungry. We thought about getting food at a stall, but we'd rather sit down and try to warm up a little.

The pizza train was tempting--yummy food and warmth

We looked for a local tea shop for a sit down snack. The nearest ones (i.e. across the street from the market) were full but we found one shoppe with an upstairs tea room that had a table for four. J and L perused the baked goods and chose what seemed to be a chocolate brownie. When the waitress came to take our order, she mentioned that the "brownies" had brandy in them. The kids were pretty understanding and settled for cookies instead.

We went back to the market to look for Santa. We found the reindeer display quite easily and admired the beasts for a while.

Bulking up for the big night ahead

We didn't actually go into Santa's grotto, since Santa's prices were rather steep. Just a picture with him was £3! The deluxe package, which included a gift from Father Christmas was £10. We decided to wait for another opportunity to see Santa and get the photo op. J and L aren't really clear on the whole "asking Santa for gifts" idea. At least they didn't seem so worried missing this opportunity. We'd get a better view the next weekend at Lightwater Valley, but more about that in the next post!

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