Hosted by the Friends of Pickett State Park in Pickett County, Tennessee, this Christmas Party was a great deal of fun!
Luckily, the weather this winter was pretty mild temperature-wise, so that helped make the outdoor activities more bearable. But inside the recreation lodge where a bulk of the activities were held, it was nice and toasty warm with multiple fires burning bright.
Refreshments were available; from veggies, to sugar cookies and gingerbread men. Hot cocoa and hot cider were plentiful.
Several craft stations were set up, including making owls out of pinecones and felt; rubber stamping on hand-cut log slices; jingle bell fingerpainting; birdfeeder pinecones; and cinnamon tree ornaments.
Tractor-pulled hayrides were offered throughout the afternoon that circled both sides of the lake.
The highlight of the afternoon was the guest of honor, Kris Kringle himself. The kids were all fascinated as rangers directed their attention to the lake. And who should appear, but Santa Claus, crossing the lake on a canoe! Once ashore, Santa joined the kids in the lodge and gave out candy canes to the children as they shared their Christmas wishes.
Pickett State Park is a great destination for families wanting a natural getaway in Central Tennessee. We've visited countless times over the years. Around holidays, the campgrounds and cabin areas are usually at capacity; but at most other times, the pace is pretty relaxed. There are multiple playgrounds throughout the park, including a brand new one for younger kids that has been installed within the past few months. There is a tennis court, and plenty of lakeside picnic tables. A swinging bridge spans the lake and leads to some great forest hiking.
Bear and beaver sightings are quite common. Visit during spring to witness amphibian activity in the shallow shore areas. During summer, they have ranger-led educational activities almost every day of the week. Canoe programs are available. You can even hike down to Hazard Cave at night to see the glow worms! How cool is that?