Thursday, November 29, 2007

Roanoke Santa sightings

Santa Claus (Tom Williams) entertains children at the History Museum of Western Virginia's Fantasy Land.

Santa Claus (Tom Williams) entertains children at the History Museum of Western Virginia's Fantasyland.

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Santa doesn’t always come by sleigh in the middle of the night — he often frequents local festivals and holiday activities as Christmas gets close. Here are a few places you can see Santa this season and maybe even get your picture taken with the jolly man.

Santa Arrives by Rail

Children enjoy crafts, a puppet show, and story time with Santa. Group pictures will be taken with Santa, but no individual pictures. $5. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 8. O. Winston Link Museum. 982-5465, linkmuseum.org.

Ye Olde Salem Christmas Celebration

Get treated to seasonal music, carriage rides, an appearance by Santa Claus and more at Ye Olde Salem. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Salem Public Library, where there will be a professional photographer and story time. Children can even mail letters directly to Santa from the library. There will also be a children’s area downtown. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. Salem Farmers Market. 375-3057.

Roanoke’s Dickens of a Christmas

Enjoy carolers, vendors, street performances, children’s activities, magicians and more holiday fun in downtown Roanoke. Santa will be in the City Market on Fridays in December from 6 to 10 p.m. He’ll be walking throughout the crowd so you can snag him for a family photo. The city of Roanoke Christmas tree lighting takes place Friday, the holiday parade is Dec. 14 and the pet costume contest and outdoor holiday movie will be Dec. 21. Santa will be in the parade on the 14th, so he’ll be a little late to the market. Roanoke City Market, downtown Roanoke. 342-2028.

Fantasyland

A gallery of the History Museum of Western Virginia is transformed into a holiday wonderland of reindeer, penguins, Santa’s elves and more. With appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Santa can’t be there all the time, but Mrs. Claus will be there sometimes when Santa is busy. Kids will get one-on-one time with Santa as he sits with them, tells stories, and plays guitar and piano. There will not be a professional photographer but grown-ups are welcome to take their own snapshots. Check out the Fantasyland calendar at history-museum.org/html/fantasyland2007.html for times to see Santa. $3, adults; $2, children and seniors. Monday through Fridays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Runs Friday through Dec. 23. 342-5724, history-museum.org.

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