Penryn stable takes children to 'Santa's Secret Workshop'

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Santa Claus is coming to town, but it won’t be by reindeer-drawn sleigh — it will be by draft horse-drawn carriage. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making appearances at Penryn Oak Stables this Christmas season during Santa’s Secret Adventure. They will visit with children ages 3 to 12 as part of a magical trip to “Santa’s Secret Workshop,” which happens to be at the stables. The 25-acre equestrian center will be hosting Santa and crew for a holiday event that is all about children. Stable owners Bob and Lisa Cope have two teenage children who have grown beyond the magic of Santa Claus, but they found a way to create an event that will allow them to share the excitement youngsters experience during the holidays. Kyle, 19, who attends Sierra College, and Ryan, 15, a Del Oro High School sophomore, may be too big to sit on Santa’s lap, but they will both be a part of the event. The Copes purchased the Penryn property in 2002 when it had only a 100-year-old barn and a small house on it. They opened the stables in 2004 and have added all of the improvements. In the past few years, they’ve put on children’s parties and events for their boarders. “We love doing fun events for people,” Bob Cope said. Cope said he came up with the idea for the holiday event in August, while driving his son and his friends to Lake Tahoe and listening to them laugh as they watched the movie “Elf”. In just a month, the Copes had planned the Christmas event and had a creative Web site up and running. To date, they have booked 65 percent of their available dates. The children’s adventure planned by the Copes lasts over an hour. The price is $32 per child and allows two parents to come along for free. Snowflake and Snowball, two huge Belgian draft horses, will each pull a carriage-load of children and their parents through the “dark forest” on the property. The small groups will be delivered to a crackling fire to hear stories told by one of Santa’s helpers and learn a special holiday song. They’ll even get to sip on hot chocolate and munch homemade chocolate chip cookies. Copes said the children will then get to enter Santa’s Secret Workshop for a meeting and chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There, a professional photographer will take a picture that will be available for purchase. The adventure continues through Dec. 23. Remaining dates and times, along with reservations, are available online at Penryn Oaks Stables is located at 2460 Del Mar Avenue.