A few years ago there was a church near by that did "A Night In Bethlehem" complete with a marketplace, Roman soldiers and a live manger scene. It was awesome. They haven't done it the past few years and we have missed it. Well this year we heard about another church hosting one and decided to go.
This was a lot of fun and the kids really enjoyed traveling back in time. We had to visit each booth and get a stamp on our passport. Here are some of the places we visited:
The Herb and Spice shop where the kids got to touch and smell all the different herbs and spices.
At this shop the kids also got to make a potpourri sachet to take home.
The Carpenter shop (Joshua's favorite)
The Bead shop where they each got to make a bracelet.
At the bread shop they got to taste their choice of a flat or raised bread and then they got to play with some dough.
The kids favorite spot was the Manger Scene complete with all sorts of animals they got to go and pet and hold.
My favorite part was inside the church where they had people and groups performing different music ensembles and there were tables and tables set up with all kinds of Nativity scenes. I loved looking at all the different and unique ones. We also got to dress up in clothes of the time and have our family picture taken. I will post a copy as soon as we get one. I can't wait to see how it turns out.
Afterwards we went to our favorite street to see Christmas light- Cherry Ln. This is another tradition for us. This street is a long cul-de sac of at least 12 houses and they all decorate. There are probably hundreds of people a night that come and walk their street to see the lights. I am also fascinated with their garages as they are completely done up as additional rooms (some even bars and tv's). My favorite house it the one at the far end. You are even able to walk through their backyard and it is set up with wooden cut outs like you are walking through Bethlehem and they have the audio playing of God speaking from 9-11 if you have ever heard that it is incredible.
(Yes in AZ people decorate their Cactus. They actually look really neat but it is hard to see the red lights with my flash)