It’s become a family tradition to visit Gardner Village every Halloween, for their annual Witchapalooza event. For those readers who don’t know about Gardner Village, it’s this really cool old mill, and former home of Archibald Gardner and his wives. (Yes, that is plural. It was pioneer Utah, after all.) He lived in this gorgeous old mill house, and he built little houses for each of his separate wives and children, so it’s very literally a village of tiny little homes that have been converted into shops and restaurants. They were built in the 1850’s, and while they’ve been modernized inside, the outsides are still quaintly old-fashioned. I could totally imagine living there and being blissfully happy, except for the polygamy thing.
It’s also minutes from our house, which makes it a favored day-trip destination for our family. The funniest part is, I lived 20 miles away from it my entire life and never even knew it was there, until I drove past it twice a day on my way to work when I was teaching school. Kenny and I checked it out once on a whim, we and fell in love with its charm. (The deep-fried avocados were only part of it!) I’m so glad our kids share our enthusiasm for the village, if not the avocados.
There is always something cute to see, and they go ALL OUT for every holiday. The whole grounds are decorated with lights, displays and decorations, and our favorite time of the year is Halloween’s Witchapalooza. The witch displays are usually the same, and after six years of visits, my kids have chosen their favorites. They love to hunt for them, because the locations move each year, which keeps things exciting for the kids. (My favorite witch is the one appropriately titled “Witchy Poo”. She’s sitting in an outhouse with her bloomers down around her ankles, reading a newspaper. I WISH I had thought to take a picture.)
(Anthony was still a little unsure about the witches, so he refused to pose with any of them. With, near… he wasn’t picky.) 😀
After we wander around the grounds for an hour, we head somewhere for Halloween treats. It used to be Krispy Kreme, but they closed their store, and now we head to Kneaders for their pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies. A lot of years we also need hot chocolate to warm up, but this year was so warm, we were looking for cold milk and apple juice.
We love Witchapalooza. While we’re waiting for the witches to return next fall, we’ll console ourselves with Santa’s Elves, who should be making an appearance within the month.