Covered in garland, a warm fireplace crackles by a massive, twinkling Christmas tree. Santa’s sleigh is nearby, waiting for the big man himself. This is Bethany Beach Town Hall, ready to host children at the annual Holiday Happenings on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
“It’s a lot of fun. The kids look forward to it every year,” said Julie Malewski, Bethany events director. “The ones who have been traditionally coming, they’re in for a surprise,” she added.
The town meeting room has become a Christmas wonderland.
Malewski calls it an “old-fashioned take on Christmas,” with classic toys, books, and garland covering the walls, like a city storefront display. Children can meet Santa Claus beside a massive Christmas tree, and they can gather round the (no-burn) fireplace.
“[We’re] just trying to make it really magical for the kids when they come in to meet Santa,” Malewski said.
Town Hall will snap and print free photographs of children with Santa, which families can take home that day.
Just outside, families can ride horse-drawn carriages or the beach wagon (like a hay wagon, decorated for the holidays). There will be hot cocoa, cookies, face painting, music and more.
All are welcome, residents and visitors. The Town of Bethany hosts Holiday Happenings as a bonus wintertime event. The event has been taking place for more than a decade.
Malewski encouraged people to “be patient,” since around 200 children typically attend in two hours. But they’ll stay busy by rotating through different activities, she noted.