Out near where we live, there's a house in the middle of a huge farm area that's all alone, away from stores and streetlights and well, everything. You drive on a dirt road for several miles to actually get to the place. The first time The Husband and I drove out there, they were still using hand painted, homemade signs for directions. The signs read "Fantasyland" in red paint on a white background that was probably supposed to look festive, but the signs had been stood up before the paint was dry, so the letters literally "bled" and it looked like this creepy, bleeding sign for (insert creepy music here and say it like the Crypt Keeper)Christmas Fantasyland. About two miles down that dirt road in a heavy fog with the signs more and more resembling a bloodletting, we had better sense than to keep on going and abandoned the deal.
(Okay, laughing people: mini-van with one-year-old-twin babies, no cell phone service, thick fog, no lights, dirt road for miles, no one knows where you are, and creeping bleeding signs???--you'd have turned around too.)
But the next year, the family who hosts this production replaced the Creepy Christmas-Killer-Bleeding-We're-All-Going-To-Die signs with lovely printed ones, and we tried the drive again in confidence (well, after praying and telling people where we were going). IT WAS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! Now, we make this a Must See annual Johnson thing.
This family has their yard and the road leading up to the yard full of these animated scenes and lights and a Ferris wheel and huge displays. It's amazing.
There's a place to sit on a "real" Santa's lap and take photos. And the Grinch is out and about (which was a little freaky creepy. If that thing had popped out the night we made the first ride out there, I'd have run it over with the minivan in a completely justified blind panic). You can drive through their circular driveway or stop and walk. The kids were over- whelmed. It was chilly outside and Santa was there, and it felt like Christmas. You simply cannot appreciate this in photos. It's really wonderful.
Here we are on the front porch of their home.
(Naturally, Lily wasn't going anywhere near any Grinch or Santa, but gladly manned the train as engineer.)