We spent the day in a winter wonderland yesterday. It was beautiful! Fresh snow lined everything and though it was cold (-6C) we braved the temperatures in hats, mittens, and thermal pants and spent the day in Kasteel Tuinen Arcen (Castle Gardens). We were there for the last day of the winter wonderland, where there were fires burning through the park to roast you toes toasty warm, and in the evening we were awarded with a light spectacle which was really beautiful. I am so glad we braved the boys' fighting in the car and didn't let it stop us from getting to our destination. It was so worth it, spending the day watching the kids run crazy through the park, covered in snow!
The guys even managed to get on skis and take a little ski route through the park. It was both Kaeden and Jari's first time on skis and they thought it was magnificent. Jari got scared a few times when his skis got crisscrossed together, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the kid I picked up out of the snow with her one foot forward, the other backward and unable to get herself straightened out enough to stand. We ended our skiing expedition with hot chocolate and coffee along with sandwiches I brought with us. It was nice sitting by the open hearth and getting warmed up.
We watched a small play of Scrooge which with just four actors they did really well. It was a fun reminder to care for others and the boys were pretty mesmerized with the ghosts, and pleasantly surprised when Scrooge threw candy for them to collect at the end.
The park takes you on a journey of different styles of gardens. There was a bamboo forest, Japanese gardens, rock gardens, water gardens, rose gardens, etc. We have been there before, when it was in full bloom, and though the winter gardens were glorious covered in snow, I think without the snow the gardens themselves are much more fantastic to see during the spring or summer when everything is in bloom. However, we timed it just right and were awarded with a wonderful end to our winter vacation, in which we all enjoyed playing outdoors in the snow.
It's a place in Holland that offers some really nice photo opportunities. The snow added to the magic, and with all the fires burning, candles lighting the pathways, and a Christmas light show, it was well worth the extra driving time on snow-covered roads.