We don’t know how much longer our girls will indulge us with holiday events like Breakfast with Santa, so this year we went big. The Shedd Aquarium Holiday Fantasea was a magical way to spend a morning visiting Santa and exploring the museum.
From the moment we entered, it was clear that Breakfast with Santa was more than food and a photo. We had a lovely view on Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline while eating our breakfast. Immediately after dining, the conductor from the Polar Express escorted us to our first 4-D experience. A shortened version of the Polar Express tells the story with 3-D glasses and some extras that make it 4-D. I won’t ruin the surprises, except to say that when the hot chocolate is served, you think it’s in front of you.
From the movie we went to the Polar Play Zone to visit Santa and spend some time in the children’s play area. It was hard to believe that our daughters just ate breakfast because they ate cookies and drank hot chocolate like they were starving. I think it was the hot chocolate scent from the Polar Express that really made them hungry.
We finished the official part of our morning at the Holiday Fantasea show. It was a delightful mix of animals and education, with two children chosen from the audience participating. As Santa came overhead I kept thinking about how brave he was to fly overhead in a boat. Of course, for someone who normally travels by sleigh, flying wasn’t really new.
While the cost of the Shedd Aquarium Breakfast with Santa was a little bit more than we had paid before, the experience was well-worth the price. The program was well-planned and well-executed. The team thought of everything from how to keep kids busy while waiting for breakfast to the snack needed shortly after breakfast. Anyone with children would appreciate how cheerful and kind everyone was from the servers to the kid-zone helpers. After the official activities were finished, the cost included admission to all the Shedd exhibits. We went on to learn about tarantulas and giant clams. It was wonderful, as usual.
I’ll admit that a big part of the reason we went to the Shedd was I wanted to see the Jellies exhibit. Since first hearing about it, I wanted to get to the Shedd. Breakfast with Santa seemed like a good way to visit the big guy and get my Jellies fix. It was so much more than we expected. I think it will be part of our holiday traditions for as long as our girls will indulge us.
Disclosure: We paid for our tickets, so my thoughts are completely my own.