Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Things to Love About Las Vegas #6: The Magical Forest

Photo by Debi Bradford

The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village has been my annual tradition even before our son came along. I first learned about it years ago when I was in a show at the Stratosphere, when I heard there was a local organization that decorated trees on their grounds for charity. I convinced my boss to pay the entry fee, and then the other dancers and I got crafty. We themed our tree around our show, creating decorations out of Barbies that we dressed in costumes like those we wore in our show and tinsel-filled plastic drink cups from the showroom bar. (They looked better than they sound.)

A few months later, my boss handed me a certificate that read "Best Themed Tree." We had won a prize!

Years later when I first worked at Nevada Ballet Theatre, I remembered that tree and thought maybe we could decorate one for my new workplace. We covered the tree with decorated pointe shoes, old ballet costumes, and Nutcrackers which my husband nicely placed on our tree from high atop a genie lift.

In addition to decorating trees in the forest, I have attended as a patron every year. I always drag along my husband and a few friends, and we have such fun riding the train, drinking hot chocolate, and marveling at the simple event that gets bigger and better every year. This year, my son's favorite things were riding the carousel and talking to Santa.

And let me talk about Santa for a moment. We went straight to him when they opened at 5:30. There was no line. Santa talked to my son and his friends for probably a full five minutes, about school, gifts, their elves on a shelf, and more. This was truly Santa.

The Magical Forest is open through New Year's, I believe. Be sure to check out this family event and get some holiday spirit while helping out a worthwhile local organization.

And don't forget to go talk to Santa.

On the train in 2012