Tonight we set out to go through the Wonder of Christmas, created by Te Atatu Baptist Church on Old Te Atatu Rd. We had Miss 4 and a quarter and Little Mr 3 in tow, they would easily be some of the harshest critics on the Peninsula along with every other child. Their reaction was clear, little faces lit up with complete excitement as they raced from one area to the next. I chose not to cover everything in the photos but rather to give everyone a taste of this event which truly is a spectacular. It’s clear that this event was well planned and brilliantly executed. Enthusiastic volunteers meet and greet and brief you on what to expect. We journeyed through at our own pace having arrived just before dusk at 8.15pm, there were lots of people but it was a very comfortable experience. Halfway through the spectacular is a coffee stop where there are beverages on offer and lots of seating should you need to take a breather. The cafe area is complete with computer generated fireplaces which add to the wonderful ambience. I didn’t have a coffee as I was on the run after two kids, but the live music was really delightful, contemporary Christmas carols and instrumentals were played by a trio which was then able to be heard right throughout the experience.
There are lots of displays to delight both young and old, Little Mr 3 spent a long time watching the model train go around the tracks above and the model helicopter suspended in mid-air which could have it’s rotor blades switched on by a button. The manger scene was one of the best I have seen, including live chickens and two plasma screens with changing night sky scenes. Once outside you can continue to experience the spectacular by lying on one of the hardy outdoor bean bags to look up through the massive array of Christmas lights in a tent formation to the evening sky. When it was time to leave there were two rather sad faces, it was after 9pm and way past their bedtime but they would have been happy with a blanket and an outdoor bean bag to lay on all night … they didn’t want to leave.
I hope I haven’t given away too much of the wonder that awaits and I can only say that I would give this event a score of 12 out of 10 and I have an events background so that’s saying something! A friend of mine who had been to the Smith and Caughey’s Christmas walk through said this event was definitely superior! Unfortunately I have waited until the second to last night to see what all the fuss was about, it’s final night is tomorrow (Saturday 21 December 2013) but I would highly recommend it to anyone keen to experience a true Christmas spectacular. The cost is $10 per adult which also includes 2 free children’s passes – a very reasonable price for such a fantastic Christmas offering and it’s open from 11am – 11pm. I can only commend the team who put this together and hope they are able to continue in years to come, I’m sure the public attendance would be increasingly generous from our community and other communities should it become a yearly event.