Santa’s Cave reaches 100

Manawatu Guardian - - STEPPING OUT... -

Manawatu¯ ’s most beloved sea­sonal at­trac­tion is now open at Te Manawa.

In the Collinson & Cun­ning­hame depart­ment store on Christ­mas Eve, 1918, Santa’s Cave threw open its doors for the first time. One hun­dred years later, the mu­seum is keep­ing the tra­di­tion alive and look­ing bet­ter than ever.

There’ve been some big changes made over the last year, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the cen­te­nary. The Cave’s ex­te­rior now gives an in­sight to what Collinson & Cun­ning­hame looked like back then, and in­cludes col­lec­tion items from 1918.

The big­gest news is that the carousel has re­turned to op­er­a­tion af­ter a twoyear restora­tion pe­riod.

It’s the old­est thing in Santa’s Cave — in fact, it’s older than the Cave it­self. New parts, new safety mea­sures and new paint means a new gen­er­a­tion can add it to their mem­o­ries of Christ­mas.

The lay­out within Santa’s Cave it­self has changed, and here, too, old favourites once again take their place in the dis­plays.

The ma­hout on his ele­phant is back for the first time at Te Manawa, and in full work­ing or­der, an over­haul of the Cave’s il­lu­mi­na­tion casts the elves lit­er­ally in a new light and the Mon­key Band is play­ing in a new venue.

On 29 and 30 Novem­ber and 13 De­cem­ber, Te Manawa is host­ing Santa’s Cave evenings for chil­dren, with hot drinks and sto­ries read by Santa him­self.

There’ll be sim­i­lar nights just for grown-ups on De­cem­ber 1 and 20.

Book­ings for these can be made on 0800 4 A MU­SEUM.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion, timetable of when Santa will be in the Cave, and the his­tory of Santa’s Cave, visit www.te­m­ santa

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