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Walking in a winter ONEderland

Kidsday reporters, from left, Aniela Marino, Connor Batterberry,

Kidsday reporters, from left, Aniela Marino, Connor Batterberry, Colin McCormack and Jill Wagner, sit with Santa at the Winter Onederland One World Observatory in Manhattan.  Photo Credit: Tracey Wagner

Are you looking for a jolly holiday experience with your family? If so, we recommend visiting the Winter ONEderland at One World Observatory in Manhattan. There are amazing views, animations of New York City, a cool elevator ride, and the one and only Santa Claus!

When we first walked in, there were animations of a snowy owl named Ollie. Ollie is the mascot of Winter ONEderland. Then our guide, Ben, took us zooming up a 47-second elevator ride from below sea level to the 102nd floor. Inside the elevator, our journey continued as we watched the elevator walls to learn about the evolution of New York City. When we stepped out, we watched another animation of what New York City life looks like. Twenty-eight projectors were used to show this. Then the screens lifted up and we were able to see an outstanding view of the city below.

Next, we headed down to the 100th floor to meet the jolliest guy around, Santa Claus! We hopped in his sleigh and it was like we were flying with him. Santa wore a bright red coat with a gold belt. He said that his favorite treats are tree-shaped cookies with green icing and red sprinkles. So remember that one kids! We got to interview him and took turns asking him questions.

Colin asked Santa, “How did you teach your reindeer to fly?” He said, “They just came like that. They are magic!” Then Aniela asked him, “How fast does your sleigh go?” He said, “It goes so fast that I can’t even calculate it!”   Next it was Connor’s turn. He asked Santa how he fits all the presents around the world in one bag. Santa told him it’s all just magic and that he also has helpers. Last Jill asked him if he had any kids and which reindeer was his favorite. Santa said he doesn’t have any children but all the kids around the world are his kids. He said Rudolph is special but he couldn’t decide on a favorite reindeer because they are like family to him. Santa ended our interview with a group photo and a candy cane for each of us.

Other parts of this wonderful adventure include the Glacier Cave where you can wander through an underground winter grotto that is filled with crystals and icicles.

And there is a Giant Snow Globe that shows off the New York City’s skyline.

After our interview, Ben showed us around the 100th floor. He pointed out buildings and told us about the history of New York City. Walking around on the 100th floor, we had a 360-degree panoramic view. We were able to see the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. We also saw the East River and the Empire State Building. The Sept. 11 memorial was right below us. Also, when we were up there, it started raining to the left of us but it was still sunny to the right. Of course our trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the gift shop. We each bought a notepad and pen so that we could write down our amazing experiences from the day. We all agreed Winter Onederland should be at the top of your list during the holiday season. What better way to enjoy New York City and the holiday than from 1,250 feet in the sky.

This Winter ONEderland runs through Jan 7. For tickets and information visit them online: https://oneworldobservatory.com

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