December abounds with winter fun

TEMP ORARY December 9, 2011 0

There are a lot of great activities ranging from ice-skating to light shows to get yourself in the holiday spirit this year. As exam time approaches at Elizabethtown College, students tend to feel more and more stressed. However, with these ideas to get your mind off the books, you can definitely relieve some stress for at least a few hours.

Dutch Winter Wonderland offers many things to do on a cold wintry day such as rides, games and entertainment to get in the holiday spirit. There are indoor activities that include decorating cookies, meeting Santa and making gingerbread houses. There is a gingerbread house competition, as well as a public vote for the winning house, and Santa’s reindeer always pay a visit. There are over 15 themed rides and games, as well as a performance from Santa’s favorite elves. A miniature train display is a popular crowd favorite, and different food items are available in the Castle Café, Mill Stream Eatery and the Snack Shack. Popular food items include sundaes, s’mores, kettle corn, funnel cakes and much more. Dutch Winter Wonderland is open through Dec. 30 and the business hours are Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., with tickets at only $12.99. Call 866-FUNatDW for more information.

The Lancaster Barnstormers will once again be offering ice-skating at their stadium, the Ice Park at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The big turnout from last year amounted to over 28,000 people coming to join the fun at the ice park of the Barnstormers. The rink is open Thursdays and Fridays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. as well as on days when schools are closed. The rink is even skateable in up to 50 degree weather! You are encouraged to purchase your tickets in advance by calling 717-509-3633 or at the stadium box office with prices ranging from $7 for unlimited skating, $6 on Thursdays and $3 for skate rentals. Parking is free, and the stadium concession stand is always open with the normal menu items as well as hot chocolate, coffee and soups.

HersheyPark is not just an attraction for the summer days. Hershey Sweet Lights is a great way to spend a cold night. Drive through two miles of trails and admire the nearly 600 lit-up, animated displays from your own car. Sophomore Lexy Viscardi wondered, “How could anyone pass it up? One gets to enjoy incredible holiday light displays from the comfort of one’s own car. Hershey is beautiful around the holidays, and for those looking for a way to get out and celebrate the season, it seems like a fantastic option.” The price is $20 per car and the hours of entrance are from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekdays and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on the weekends. Hershey Sweet Lights is located right near HersheyPark, between Route 39 and Sand Beach Road.

HersheyPark Christmas Candylane is an all-ages holiday special with over two million lights covering over 30 different rides. Different choral groups perform live in addition to a sing-along Christmas show. Tickets are $12.95 and parking is $8. There is tons of food available at the Rhineland Food Court, Craftbarn Kitchen, Minetown Restaurant and Santa’s Candy Cottage that include soups, sandwiches, cookie decorating and other baked goods. The Chocolate Lab at the Hershey Story museum also has fun activities for the holiday season. You can make your own candy with different classes such as tempering, molding, dipping and designing. Be sure to arrive early in order to receive a spot in these fast-filling classes. Classes can only be purchased on the day of the class at the admissions desk. There are many different classes that are taking place this month at the Chocolate Lab and you can visit this website: to learn more about the times and availability of each class.

Call 1-800-HERSHEY for more information about any of these festive activities in the “sweetest place on earth.”

As the holiday break draws near, so does exam time, which is not a thrill for most students. However, the High Library right here on campus provides a stress-free zone where students can relax by the fireplace and enjoy board games, coloring sheets and other things to relieve stress and help students focus on their studies. Sophomore Samantha Bancroft said, “It is a great idea because it gives college students the option to unwind. By providing the games and coloring sheets students have the resources other than textbooks to occupy their minds.” The High Library is open for extended hours during finals week.

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