Winter Wonderland Festival in China Spring is back by popular demand

Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 11:19 AM CST
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CHINA SPRING, Texas (KWTX) - A China Spring event venue’s holiday festival is back by popular demand after turning its light off in 2021.

Co-owners, Eddie and Jennifer Vera, co-owners of Fossil Creek Wedding and Event Retreat, started the Winter Wonderland Festival in 2020. Because most weddings and events got canceled because of the pandemic, the Vera’s said they wanted to find a way to keep their workers employed and spread some holiday cheer during a tough time for many families in the area.

“We wanted to create something that was more immersive and where the kids could get out and run and feel Christmas and smell Christmas and taste Christmas, so that’s kind of how we created this event,” Jennifer said.

She said many people from all over Central Texas came to the event in 2020, exploring the lights, ice skating rink and animal petting zoo, and, in 2021, when people started planning events and weddings again, they did not bring back the Winter Wonderland Festival. However, the community’s response to that changed their minds this year.

“My husband said, ‘Wow, we’ve been getting a lot of phone calls about Winter Wonderland and about the the Autumn Fest, and he’s like, why not? Let’s just do it,’ Jennifer said. “We decided to do it, and we we’ve had so much fun so far. It’s just unbelievable.”

Jenny McCaslin, China Spring resident, said she brought her children to the first Winter Wonderland in 2020.

“It was just a really great open space to walk through the lights,” McCaslin said. “At the time, my son was about nine months old and my daughter was four, and so she and her little friend ran through the light displays, and were just in total awe of them.”

She said her daughter was even more excited to go this year because of the new additions they added to the festival.

“It was really cool that your ticket includes the zipline and the animals and then all the hot cocoa and cookies and the lights,” McCaslin said. “Now, they had the hay ride this year, which the kiddos just loved...It just was great.”

The tickets also include several photo opportunities set up indoors as well as a petting zoo, hot cocoa and Christmas cookie decorating with Mrs. Clause and more photo and game activities.

Ice skating on a synthetic ice-skating rink that was featured on Shark Tank is also available for an additional fee of $15. Vera said they wanted to include ice skating in the winter wonderland on a rink that would survive Central Texas weather.

They are open Friday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. this weekend and next weekend. Anyone interested can purchase tickets online or at the door.

Vera said they hope to make the festival an annual event for the Central Texas community to enjoy.