orange-county-tourism-2.JPGStir Up Visions of Sugar Plums in Orange County, New York Orange County, N.Y. - What better than a toy catalog "wish list" at Christmas time? A family holiday fun list! Orange County is brimming with jolly events for kids and the young-at-heart. Come spark the anticipation factor that's so magical at the holidays by celebrating events all December long. Gaze upon brilliant light shows, dine with Santa, see the ghosts of Christmas Past, and chop down your own Christmas tree for starters. The merry list on the http://www.orangetourism.org/ events calendar is fuller than Santa's pack. According to the elves, frequent visits to fun holiday events are guaranteed to stir up visions of sugar plums and save you a place on Santa's "nice" list this year. Here's an early gift for all! Two special locations are offering free holiday light shows. Holiday Lights in Bloom illuminates the Orange County Arboretum at Thomas Bull Memorial Park with colorful garden-themed brilliance Fridays through Sundays from 5 to 8 pm, December 1st through 22nd. It also glows nightly from the 23rd through the 29th, except on Christmas Day. Join Santa at the tree lighting ceremony kick-off at 5pm on Saturday, November 30th. Wow! Tune your radio to 96.5 FM before pulling into the upper-level parking lot at the Castle Fun Center in Chester for their Christmas Lighting Spectacular. A 15-minute show of nearly 100,000 dancing lights and music hosted by a special animatronic snowman will brighten your nights from 6 to 10:30pm daily from December 1st through January 5th.  Find out if he tucks his whiskers under his napkin when you Meet Santa for Breakfast at the Bear Mountain Inn. He'll be the guest of honor at their breakfast buffet every Saturday and Sunday from December 7th through December 22nd. With a belly that demonstrates his love of food, Mr. Claus is thrilled to attend both the 8:30am and 10:30am seatings. Santa also makes two appearances in the parks at Breakfast with Santa. On December 14th his reindeer stop at Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery for breakfast with the little ones, and also on December 21st at Hickory Hill Club House in Warwick. Macaroni the Clown will be there to entertain everyone after the breakfast buffet, and kids will have the opportunity to talk with Santa about their wish lists. As busy as he is, Santa will sit down to yet another special morning meal at Rogowski Farm's Breakfast with Santa on December 21st from 9am to 2pm. Join him for some farm fresh menu specials and holiday fun. This follows the December 20th Dinner with Santa at the West Shore Station in Newburgh where Santa, Mrs. Santa, and the elves will host an evening of merriment. A delicious dinner, presents for the kids, a raffle and pictures with Santa are on the menu. After all of that good eating, Santa will have plenty of pep for his Christmas Eve deliveries. Another farm fresh favorite, Eggbert, the Hudson Valley's famous talking egg, delights young and old at Christmas on the Farm Trail at Devitt's in New Windsor from November 19th until December 22nd. Even the New York Times investigated why Santa sometimes takes a backseat to this charming character who magically knows every child by name. Live farm animals, holiday displays, and a trail lined with sparkling Christmas trees complete a visit to this fairy tale wonderland. Santa still reigns supreme at the Manza Family's Christmas on the Farm. Before or after the kids whisper their heartfelt desires into St. Nick's ear, take a horse drawn hayride, or film the little ones riding a pony. What a holiday card photo opportunity! Each child takes home a free coloring book and candy cane and, of course, the family leaves with the perfect Christmas tree. Every holiday season deserves a little drama. Introduce the family to tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge at live productions of Dickens "A Christmas Carol." Hear the echo of old Marley's chains rattling Broadway-style across the stage of West Point's magnificent Eisenhower Hall Theatre on December 15th, or catch a more intimate production with a lighter touch at "Ebenezer, A Christmas Carol" in the Ritz Theater Lobby in Newburgh on the weekends of December 6-8 and 13-15. The Three Kings will enrich your holiday spirit at the heartwarming production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors." The original one-act opera was written especially for kids while the author was reminiscing about Christmases of his youth in Italy. Santa doesn't even have a role! Enjoy the weekend performances at the West Shore Station Theater from December 6th to 15th. Do you remember the model trains that circled so many Christmas trees in years past? Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh remembers. They've set up a special Holiday Antique Model Train Exhibit on the lower level sure to stir up happy childhood memories for parents and capture the interest of young ones. Who can resist those amazing little toy train villages? See this holiday display during regular museum hours Friday through Sunday from November 30th through December. Take time out to see the huge collection of antique motorcycles, too. Santa's elves better be ready when all those requests for model train sets and cool motorized 2-wheeled vehicles start pouring in from visitors to this fascinating museum. If a toy train village came to life, it would look a lot like Museum Village in Monroe, especially when it's bathed in the warm glow of its Christmas in the Village event. Be there on December 7th and 8th when this 19th century living history museum resounds with joyful caroling, fun activities and lots of ho, ho, hos! Make your holiday fun list and get started. There's a comprehensive list of attractions, lodging, and events at http://www.orangetourism.org/ with everything you need. For a free copy of the Orange County Travel Guide, email tourism@orangecountygov.com, or call 800-762-8687. Orange County Tourism is headquarters for tourism in the county and is part of the I LOVE NY program. RESOURCES Holiday Lights in Bloom, Montgomery. 845-615-3830, http://www.orangecountyarboretum.org/ Christmas Lighting Spectacular, Chester. 845-469-2116, http://www.thecastlefuncenter.com/ Meet Santa for Breakfast, Bear Mountain. 845-786-2731, ext. 1020, http://www.visitbearmountain.com/ Breakfast with Santa, Thomas Bull Memorial Park, Montgomery. 845-457-4910, http://www.orangecountyparksny.com/            Winding Hills, Warwick. 845-457-4910, http://www.orangecountyparksny.com/    Breakfast with Santa, Pine Island. 845-258-4574, http://www.rogowskifarm.com/ Christmas on the Farm Trail with Eggbert, New Windsor. 845-561-1968, http://www.devittsny.com/ Christmas on the Farm, Montgomery. 845-692-4364, http://www.manzafamilyfarm.net/ Dinner with Santa, Newburgh. 845-565-3791, http://www.justoffbwy.com/ A Christmas Carol, West Point. 845-938-4159, http://www.ikehall.com/ Ebenezer, A Christmas Carol, Newburgh. 845-784-1199, http://www.ritztheaternewburgh.org/ Amahl and the Night Visitors at West Shore Station, Newburgh. 845-565-3791, http://www.justoffbwy.com/ Holiday Antique Model Train Exhibit, Newburgh. 845-569-9065, http://www.motorcyclepediamuseum.org/ Christmas in the Village, Monroe. 845-782-8247, http://www.museumvillage.org/ ## Contact: Mary Ann McCarthy (845) 615-3860 mmccarthy@orangecountygov.com