My granddaughter asked if we could stay in a “hotel house” rather than having a party to celebrate her fifth birthday. In our attempts to find a place for nine people, four of whom are five and under, we decided that renting a cottage in Santa Claus, Indiana would be a fun option.
We rented a cottage at Santa’s Cottages Resort. They have an abundance of fun activities for young children, it worked well for my daughter-in-law, who was nursing a newborn, and they had a cottage that was wheelchair accessible for my son as well as paved walkways so he could easily get around outdoors. It was a perfect fit for our family.
As soon as we checked in and unloaded our belongings, we loaded the kids up in the “RV of strollers” and headed off to explore. Before heading out, however, I had to give my grandchildren a small amount of pickle juice to carry with them, in the event they should run into the Big Bad Wolf! (Because pickle juice makes him act nice but, of course, you already knew that.)
The kids played in the giant sandbox, in the Elves Playhouse, and on two playgrounds with swings and slides. We checked out the hammocks and wooden chairs and gliders throughout the park.
We returned to the cottage to enjoy some snacks on the patio and set off again for playing. We took the kids to swim in the pool for awhile and then took the babies back to the cottage for a rest while I started dinner.
“The Big Book of Fairy Tales” is one of my grand kids’ favorite books for me to read to them, so since we were staying in a cottage, Little Red Riding Hood seemed like the perfect theme for my granddaughter’s birthday dinner.
We feasted on grilled steaks for the grownups and hot dogs for the kiddos, fresh corn-on-the-cob, green beans, and a big fruit salad made with all of the fresh fruits of summer. We ended the birthday feast with Butterfinger brownies and cherry pie, which is what the birthday girl requested instead of cake.
The kids had as much fun playing inside the cottage as they did outdoors. They built forts in the bedroom and played Candyland with their Auntie Catie. We had a pretend picnic with Little Red Riding Hood. There was also plenty of climbing and wrestling and monkeying-around.
As the sun began to set, we headed out with our glow sticks, gathered around a camp fire, and made a few S’mores. Those glow sticks proved to be lots of fun at bedtime, as well.
The next morning, after a breakfast of bacon, eggs, biscuits, and watermelon, it was time to do a little fishing. No one fell into the water, and a few fish were caught. Success!
We stopped by Santa’s Candy Factory before heading home, for some sweet treats. Everyone had a great time! It was relaxing for the adults and fun-filled for the little ones. So much so, in fact, that my granddaughter has been trying her best to convince her brother to replace his plans for a Fire Fighter party for his next birthday with another trip to the cottage!
Thanks to my daughter, Cate, for the awesome photos!