A few weeks ago, I shared an event listing for the Timberline Ranch Country Christmas, and told you that we’d be checking it out soon. Well, we finally got our chance to go, and I thought I’d let you know how it went.
When I first heard about the Timberline Country Christmas, I was intrigued. I love Christmas and Christmas events. Like, really, really love them, so I am always trying to find new additions to our Christmas activities, especially ones that we can do as a family. The thing is, though, going to all these big, bright crazy Christmas events can get pretty overwhelming and get to be a bit too much, even for me.
Enter Timberline Ranch. The Country Christmas promised an old-fashioned event, with no Santa or all of the crazy hustle and bustle that inevitably comes with the season. Could it really be true? Could they pull off an event that was both Christmassy and fun but not all in your face? We set out to see.
We headed out to the Ranch on a late Sunday afternoon. We had chosen a 3:30pm time slot. I thought that this time would give us some daytime and some twilight time to see the lights and I was right. We had the perfect mix of scenery and twinkling magic, but I will get to that later. The Ranch was about a 35 min drive from home, so off we went, address GPS’ed and at the ready. The Ranch is quite far out, heading towards the mountains, in Maple Ridge. We found it no problem, but if you haven’t been there before, I would highly recommend that you use your GPS. As it is a working ranch, don’t wear your heels or fancy shoes, as they might get muddy. Plus, you will be spending some time outside, so dress warmly.
After we arrived, we headed over to the registration area and got signed in, as well as picked up our map and schedule, ticket for the pony ride and ballots for the festival of trees contest. All around the room were trees decorated by local businesses, and we were each given a ballot to vote for our favourite one. Scattered through these trees were activity stations where kids could learn about the origins of various Christmas traditions. Q loved going to board to board, lifting the flaps and trying to answer the questions correctly.
After we voted for our favourite trees, we consulted the schedule and followed the map to our next stop, which was the Bakery. Upon entering this old fashioned kitchen, we were greeted warmly and instructed to pick a table. Here we would be decorating a cookie. Once we found our table, we were each brought a freshly baked sugar cookie and a little pack of candy decorations. There was homemade buttercream icing in little pots on the table to frost our snowman cookie.
Naturally, Q and I decided to have a cookie decorating contest with the pony ride as the prize. It was his idea, I swear. And of course even
when if I won, he’d still get the pony ride, but he didn’t know that. I’m not that mean of a mum, I promise, but I’ve gotta keep him on his toes, haha.
Who do you think should be the winner? We let M be the judge…with the loser being eaten…
Apparently win or lose, the cookies are delicious.
It was a clear and beautiful day on the ranch and the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful.
Our first stop at the barn was the Petting area. There, we met a llama named Bethany, miniature ponies, a donkey, a cow, and some goats. Q was smitten with all of them, especially this little pony.
Getting nuzzled by the donkey made him giggle uncontrollably.
Serious conversations about Christmas and life were had…
What good is a photo booth if you don’t pose in it? Yee haw.
Next up was the hay maze. Q had a blast searching the maze for the Christmas tree, star and snowman that were hidden in the maze, and actually had to enlist Daddy to help him find the star, as he was stumped. They did find it, in the end.
Then it was time for the eagerly anticipated pony ride. Helmet on. Safety first, of course.
Q’s horse was named Dream, and he loved getting to go for a ride on the big horse. He was led around the barn a couple of times, and then got to pose for pictures with his horse.
By the time we left the barn for our next station, it was getting dark. The hay wagon picked us up and we did a little tour past the Nativity Scene and got to see a bit of the property. It was beautiful.
Our last set of stations were indoors. Snowville had an indoor snowball toss that Q couldn’t get enough of.
There was also a place to write your favourite Christmas traditions on the wall.
Q went straight for it, grabbing a crayon and finding a blank spot to write his favourite.
In case it’s not clear, under his name it simply says “dinner”. He meant Christmas dinner with the family but didn’t have enough space to write it, he explained.
Next we headed over to the photo booth area. There were hats and clothing to use as costumes, so naturally we had to take part. Q went straight for the box of costume pieces and picked his own outfit. I love it.
This one makes me laugh and laugh. Aren’t we cute? M could not WAIT to get the beard off his face. Haha.
There was also another area to get photos, and after having had the beard on his face for about 5 minutes too many, M told us to do this one ourselves. So we did.
After we had enough picture taking, Q headed off to make a cute little wooden stocking ornament for the tree. Using colourful bingo daubers, he decorated this stocking in a bunch of dots. Then he glued a little present on it and topped it with a star. Then he attached a tag to it and wrote his name. I can’t wait to get it up on our tree.
While we were crafting the ornament, we heard the call that Storytime was starting. We snuck into the warmly lit room and Q settled himself in the rug to listen to the story about a little shepherd.
After the story, we all trudged upstairs to the cafe, where we purchased some coffee, and warm apple cider.
All in all, it took us a little under two hours to do all the activities at Timberline Ranch. We were able to take our time and go at a leisurely pace, and never once did I feel rushed to complete an ctivitunor finish a station. I think the whole time we were there we saw about 20 other people, which made the whole experience feel very intimate and special. I really enjoyed myself, and I know that Q had a great time. M enjoyed himself too, and that is saying a lot since he is not much into these Christmassy type things. I have already recommended the Timberline Country Christmas to a number of friends. It was a fantastic, affordable Christmas activity that really gave us some time to unplug and spend a couple of hours doing things together. Now that we’ve been there, Q really wants to go back in the summer for one of their day camps. They looked pretty incredible, I must admit.
If y would like to check out the Timberline Country Christmas for yourself (and I recommend that you do!), you can find all of the ticket information and times that you can go right here. I felt so calm and relaxed when we left, it was amazing, and such a contrast to how I often feel after finishing a Christmas activity. All of the staff we encountered were friendly and patient, and there was none of the craziness that you often find at similar type events. Timberline Country Christmas is running until Dec 20th,so you still have a bit of time to go and check out what I hope will become an annual family tradition.
We were provided complimentary tickets to visit the Timberline Country Christmas, but all opinions and photos are ours alone. I’m sharing this with you because I think it is something you will be interested in or enjoy. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t recommend it.