Adventure awaits on National Brownie Day when you wander the paths or ride on twisted bike trails with a brownie in hand or one tucked into a convenient backpack while enjoying time spent in Skypark at Santa’s Village in the San Bernardino Mountains of California. You can also eat your brownie at a table under a canopy of towering pine trees next to The Gingerbread Bakery where more tasty treats await. (Did I mention that Skypark is a special place and I love their brownies!)

Skypark at Santa’s Village used to be called just Santa’s Village where kids could visit Santa year round. This 15 acre amusement park opened in May of 1955 right before that other amusement park in Anaheim, California. A trip to Santa’s Village meant a wonderful day to ride rides like The Magic Train, the Bumble Bee Monorail and Santa’s Bobsled. Excited kids strolled the pathways to The Enchanted Castle, The Reindeer Barn, and The Chapel of the Little Shepherd. Sweet treats abounded at The Gingerbread Bakery and Mrs. Claus’ Candy Kitchen. Buying a toy or souvenir from The Mill Wheel Toy Shop topped off the day. (Did I mention I loved Santa’s Doll House!)

During my childhood on one memorable visit to Santa’s Village and before getting to touch The North Pole, ride all the rides, feed reindeer, eat at The Pixie Pantry, or meet Santa, something really exciting happened in the Santa’s Village Welcome Center. I pushed through the turnstile to enter the park then looked across at guests who were leaving. Lucille Ball and her darling daughter had moved through the exit turnstile! What a thrill to see that redhead in person! (Did I mention I loved the I Love Lucy Show!)

Because of my love for and attachment to Santa’s Village, when I researched ideas for my fourth chapter book, Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues and Crooks, I wrote two chapters about Santa’s Village. My main characters, Pete and Carol Ann, experienced all the fun adventures I enjoyed during my childhood. There is even Santa’s Village art inside my book and on the outside back cover. Though Santa’s Village had been closed for years when I wrote about it, I maintained vivid childhood memories of that special place.

The brand new and reopened Skypark at Santa’s Village still offers some of those past places and things plus so much more: biking, hiking, ice skating, bouldering, and coffee or hot cocoa at Kringles. So on National Brownie Day, bake upa batch of brownies, buy one at your local bakery, or take a trip to Skypark at Santa’s Village to purchase a delicious brownie from The Gingerbread Bakery. And munch your brownie while enjoying an adventure in this amazing outdoor amusement park.