82 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • DECEMBER 2019
PRESS HOME BUZZ
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO LI
continued from page 81
As Long Island’s biggest mall, Roosevelt
Field boasts a beautiful Winter
Wonderland display featuring a
rideable train, glitzy trees, elf helpers,
a Toys-For-Tots collection, and a
chance for St. Nick to play his guitar.
Santa stays to hear from boys and
girls through Christmas Eve, even
taking photos with pets and Disney
characters on select dates and times.
One of Santa’s most luxurious local
stops is Old Westbury Gardens,
which was built in 1906 and is listed
on the National Register of Historic
Places. Vintage ornaments adorn
every room and cookies and cider are
offered to celebrate Santa’s arrival.
Kris Kringle sits in a large golden
chair near a cozy fireplace befitting
the opulent abode.
A similarly historic atmosphere fills
the air at St. James’ General Store,
which also hosts an annual meetand
greet with Santa. Countless
In 1953, Pilot Snow (a.k.a. "Flying Santa") flew his plane past the Fire
Island Lighthouse and left a package of holiday gifts for the lighthouse
keeper and his family. It has since become a local tradition.
(National Park Service photo)
Christmas gifts have been purchased
at the shop, which has been in operation
Another popular stop for jolly old St.
Nick is Hicks Nurseries in Westbury,
which offers a wealth of seasonal
decorations, immersive displays,
and live reindeer. Although Hicks
is known for presenting family
friendly events all year long, December
is a special month since Santa arrives
to take pictures and sample the
delicious cookies, fudge, and other
pasties that are available at Hicks’
“I love going to Hicks and making
all types of people feel special and
loved,” Hicks’ Santa says. “The most
memorable moments are when they
ask me to bring something to the less
fortunate. Sometimes children even
ask for younger siblings and pets. I
tell them that’s not my department.
I’ve also had three different couples
get engaged while sitting on my lap!”
Bayville’s Winter Wonderland, another
frequent Santa stop, has in recent
years added a haunted Christmas
house to its usual holiday offerings.
Among the haunted Christmas stars is
Krampus, who punishes the children
on Santa’s naughty list.
Possibly the most sensational and
memorable Santa Claus appearance
is Fire Island’s Flying Santa. Taking
a break from his sled, Santa flies via
plane — not reindeer — above the Fire
Island Lighthouse just east of Robert
Moses State Park.
When asked what he would like to
relay to readers, the Fire Island Santa
proclaimed: “Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year!”
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