By: John Owen | Category: Special Interest | Issue: December 2011
The Castle of Muskogee’s Christmas Kingdom is a winter wonderland filled with lights, inflatables and holiday spirit.
The largest display of holiday spirit in Northeast Oklahoma can be found in Muskogee. At the Castle’s Christmas Kingdom, you can take a slow drive through a Christmas wonderland filled with thousands of lights plus more than 2,000 lighted inflatable displays, with new ones for 2011. In nearby Honor Heights Park, the Garden of Lights has been a popular event, attracting thousands of viewers to enjoy over a million lights displayed throughout the park. Both events are free.
For a change of pace, you can choose to tour the Christmas Kingdom in a tractor-drawn hayride or from a horse-drawn carriage which travels through a very special part of the village that is not accessible to cars.
A variety of activities inside the castle will be going on November 24-27 and December 1-4, 8-11, and 15-31. The Garden Room will be open those nights from 6 to 10 p.m., where you can find one-of-a-kind holiday ornaments for your own display. Soups, sandwiches, cookies, and more will be available from 6 to 10 those evenings in the Royal Garden Café. Some of the area’s finest artisans will be showing unique handmade gifts.
Father Christmas will be at the Castle from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. some nights. There is no cost to talk to Father Christmas, but pictures will be available at a nominal fee. Visit www.okcastle.com for a calendar with dates showing when Father Christmas will be at the castle. The 2011 Christmas Kingdom displays range from 4 feet in height to a towering 20 feet tall. You’ll see all of your favorite Christmas characters including Santa, the elves, many snowmen, reindeer, penguins, polar bears, and more. Also, you will see many of your favorite fun characters including Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Scooby Doo, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, the Grinch, Elmo, Frosty the Snowman, Homer and Bart Simpson, plus many more. “This is the world’s largest display of inflatables. Your entire family is sure to be impressed and filled with holiday spirit,” says Matt Hiller, vice president of The Castle of Muskogee.
The Garden of Lights celebration includes a free drive-through display of over a million shimmering lights displayed throughout the park. Honor Heights Park, internationally known for its Azalea Festival, draws up to a half million visitors annually. The park’s 122 acres are planted with more than 30,000 azalea bushes and thousands of trees, beautifully situated among the park’s scenic hilltop drive. Christmas lights are placed on trees, bushes and structures throughout the park to enhance the natural beauty of the gardens, waterfalls and ponds. Gates open at 5:30 nightly.
The Castle’s Christmas Kingdom will be open nightly from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve from 6 to 10 p.m. Other activities available include a petting zoo for the little ones and a gift shop with a wide assortment of Castle merchandise and inflatables available. Admission is free; donations are accepted.