Unlike some people, we don’t have Disneyland in our backyard at Christmas (Megan, Erin, lucky), so Bull run is our holiday season’s guilty pleasure. Nothing says Christmas like riding a flying dragon operated by a toothless carny. Seriously. Kent counted three toothless carny folk operating just the kid rides we went on.
Fluffy has been telling all her friends at school she’s “going to Bull Run!” for a couple of weeks now, so last night, we took advantage of the M-Th coupon and made her dreams come true.
Try this outing
Difficulty Level: Easy. So long as your kids are okay being out in cold and dark for a while.
- Rates for the drive through light festival are per vehicle. If you go on a weekend without a coupon, it’s $20 for a van or smaller. If you go M-Th with the online coupon, it’s just $12. I don’t get any pictures of the lights on the drive because I’m behind the wheel, but it’s really worth it even if you drive right past the carnival at the end without stopping.
- Carnival rides are 3-5 tickets each. Individual tickets are $1.50, and there are bulk discounts as well as $25 all you can ride wristbands. This year we bought a $25 wristband for Fluffy and a bunch of tickets for the boys since we figured Peppers would wuss out like he does on the mall rides. He got into it pretty quickly though. Next year we will have to do 3 wristbands for sure.
- It gets bitterly cold so dress very warmly if you plan to do any of the carnival activities. Gloves are a must. Double socks. Even a blanket for the bleachers at the light show.
- Free activities at the carnival include a wagon ride to the toddler center, giant moonbounce, reindeer craft making, synchronized musical light show, visits with Santa starting Dec 19th (pictures cost money), and postcard picture posing.
- Paid activities include the carnival rides, carnival games, Camel rides! (new this year, $5 per person), and of course fair food including s’mores packets to roast on the fire pits. I brought s’mores ingredients, but not skewers, and we didn’t quite dare ask folks for their cast-off s’mores skewers because we’re not quite that hillbilly yet. So we ate crackers and unroasted marshmallows on the way home.
- If you have little kids, you probably want to get there as close to 5:30 as possible, so keep in mind that traffic is serious going west at that hour.
- This is a “holiday” event, not a Christmas one, so don’t expect to see Jesus hinted at even obliquely.
Fluffy Fun Factor (Kindergartener Rating): The best, best, super fun! Bull Run is my favorite thing we do at Christmas. I think you are the best parents ever. If I saw you in a store, I would say, “I’m buying that family!”
As you can see from last year’s pictures, I haven’t changed the boys’ clothes in a solid year.
But that’s really nothing when you consider that this was Fluffy fully five years ago.
And today:One of the toothless carnies (their official title), gave the whole family two free rides on the whirling bears! What inspired such generosity? Either the cuteness of the matching boys, or the glorious turkey hat with candycane lights I was wearing. This is the best hat I have ever owned. Everywhere I wear it, I get hit on. Well, not so much hit on as pointed at, but I know when they are pointing and whispering to each other, they’re all saying, “I wish I could get a hot woman like that one in the turkey hat.”