Teddy Bear Tea Time

Santa and Mrs. Claus’ helpers, Les and Janine Hulke, prepare for more smiles at this year’s Teddy Bear Tea.

Santa and Mrs. Claus are busy this time of year, but they still make room in their schedules to visit nice (and maybe naughty) children. The Oak Ridge Hotel and Conference Center in Chaska hosts its second annual Teddy Bear Tea, inviting all ages to spend time with the duo. “It’s a unique experience, different than seeing a mall Santa,” says Ann Margaret Young, director of sales and marketing at Oak Ridge Hotel.

Children can savor hot cocoa, holiday cookies and finger sandwiches. The adults can indulge in tea sandwiches, scones and other desserts, as well as Champagne and tea. Kids are treated to Mrs. Claus reading holiday classic stories and can join Santa in singing holiday songs. Santa will also present holiday teddy bears as gifts to commemorate the occasion.

The Teddy Bear Tea allows plenty of time for children to chat with Santa and for parents to take pictures. “The kids get to have a one-on-one conversation with Santa, as opposed to being put on Santa’s lap and exchanging a few words before a scheduled picture. It feels like Santa is in their own living room,” Young says.

The event is a perfect way to usher in the holiday season. Children will delight in visiting with Mrs. Claus and Santa, a prelude to receiving specially delivered gifts later in December.

The Teddy Bear Tea drew a crowd of 85 people last year, but that isn’t the only popular event Oak Ridge Hotel offers. It holds Sunday brunches on Easter and Mother’s Day and a Thanksgiving Day buffet. The events include live music and a gift for mothers at their Sunday brunch. “Six hundred to 700 typically attend Easter and Mother’s Day, and Thanksgiving usually is around 300,” Young says.

December 2, 10:30 a.m. Ages 3 & under/free, Ages 4–12/$20, Ages 13 & above including adults/$40.