For this year’s Holiday of Valu’s commercials, we filmed somewhere very special: the Santa Claus Christmas Cottage in Lockport, NY!
What is the Santa Claus Christmas Cottage?
The Santa Claus Christmas Cottage, located at 5080 Day Road Park in Lockport, New York, is a unique place for families to gather during the Christmas Season, take a break from all the hustle and bustle and enjoy a beautiful Christmas setting, free of charge. This magical destination was built by Christopher Parada and his father as a labor of love for their community. It is located in a central place where parents and children can go visit Santa in a safe and comfortable setting. The Christmas Cottage offers kids a place to share Holiday wishes, drop off a letter in the North Pole Mailbox and visit with the Head Elf. Having the Christmas Cottage gives the community a specific place to host Santa and start a tradition that can last for many years.
Can we meet Santa at the Cottage?
Chris Parada not only built the Santa Claus Christmas cottage; he acts as the official Santa! Chris has been entertaining for years as professional Santa and Theatre performer. For years Chris has wanted to have a special place where Children could come visit Santa, drop off a letter in the North Pole Mailbox and be introduced to history that took place many years ago. He even has a custom made Santa suit, in the traditional style of Charles Howard.
Who is Charles Howard?
Charles W. “Charlie” Howard was an actor and teacher from Albion, NY, most famous for portraying Santa Claus in department stores and parades. In 1937, he established the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School which today is the oldest continuously-run Santa school in the world. He first portrayed Santa Claus when he was in the 4th grade, for a school play. He kept playing Santa and his reputation grew; he soon became one of the most sought-after Santas in the area, and then the whole nation. From 1948 to 1965, he was the featured Santa Claus in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, perhaps the most visible Santa in the United States. He initially held classes in his own home. In the late 1940s, he developed Christmas Park adjacent to his house, an attraction for children from throughout Western New York, which had space for his school’s classroom and dressing room.
Charles Howard passed away on May 1, 1966 at the age of 69. Christmas Park, which had attracted 80,000 visitors yearly at its peak, closed, and his Santa Claus School was moved to Midland, Michigan. Today, the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School continues running in Midland, Michigan, under Tom and Holly Valent, who themselves have portrayed Santa and Mrs. Claus for over thirty years. An attraction called “Santa House” is near the School and is themed as Santa’s workshop.
When can I visit the Santa Claus Christmas Cottage with my family?
During the month of December, Santa is at the Christmas Cottage on Tuesday and Thursday from 5 PM to 8 PM, and Saturday from 12 PM to 3 PM. There is no charge to visit the Cottage. Bring your camera and take as many pictures as you like! Please note that if Lockport Schools are closed, then the Christmas Cottage will be closed for your children’s safety.
How can I support the Santa Claus Christmas Cottage?
Donations help with the building costs, landscaping, decorations, gifts and supplies. You can make a donation when visiting the Cottage during the Christmas season, or online through the Santa Claus Christmas Cottage website. Checks can also be mailed to Christopher Parada, PO Box 1272, Lockport NY 14095.
Tagged In: , christmas, christmas cottage, family activity, family fun, lockport, santa