Pancakes and sleigh rides at Terryville's Wood Acres Farm

Published on Sunday, 17 December 2017 22:06
Written by Erica Schmitt

Staff Writer

TERRYVILLE - If they didn’t already feel the Christmas spirit, visitors to Wood Acres Farm were swept away by it over the weekend.

Between sausage and pancake feasts along with horse-drawn sleigh rides over snow-coated trails, families were greeted by Santa Claus himself both Saturday and Sunday mornings. About 600 people took part in the farm’s annual Breakfast with Santa.

“This is such an amazing place any season,” pointed out Plainville resident Arlene Kudla, joined by her husband, Scott, and their grandsons Lincoln, 2, and Logan, 5.

“It gives you a real good Christmas feeling,” Scott added.

Owners Ken and Joyce Wood were in the thick of it all. She cooked up breakfasts with a team in the kitchen and he made sure the sleigh rides went off without a hitch.

“We’re even busier than yesterday,” Ken said Sunday morning, leaving the banquet hall to check on horses Duke and Merc, about to lead another group of people around the farm’s 25 acres.

The family began stirring up excitement for their holiday weekend early in the fall at Bristol’s Mum Parade. That’s when Santa made his first appearance of the year, on Wood Acres’ float.

“I’ve been in the Mum Parade for 44 years now,” Wood said. “Everybody goes wild when they see Santa Claus coming down the road.”

Mr. and Mrs. Claus made a half-a-dozen grand entrances over the weekend during six meal seatings.

“We love to see the children’s faces light up when Santa comes in the room,” coordinator Alyssa Thibodeau said.

She and volunteer Anna Slevinsky greeted families at the door, also collecting donations for the Plymouth Food Pantry.

For many visitors, it was their first time at Wood Acres.

“A lot of people live in this town and didn’t even know this place existed,” Thibodeau said. “It’s a whole other world out here. A little gem.”

Katie Gualducci and her 19-month-old son Dex were two of the first to meet Santa Sunday.

“It’s adorable here,” Gualducci said.

Families warmed up around a fire pit in between sleigh rides, piloted by volunteer husband and wife team Patrick and Jordan Howell.

“We are longtime family friends,” Patrick said.

“We like seeing everyone,” his wife added. “It’s fun.”

The farm hosts sleigh rides throughout the winter, as long as there’s snow on the ground but not in the sky. Its largest venture, however, is the wedding business.

“We did over 90 weddings this year,” Wood explained.

There are 14 horse-drawn vehicles on the property, along with seven draft horses and one donkey.

“As I get older I try to appreciate some of the better things in life,” Ken said. “If you stay healthy and happy you can do a lot and make a lot of people happy. And that’s what we do here.”

Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, @schmittnbh or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Plymouth, Terryville on Sunday, 17 December 2017 22:06. Updated: Sunday, 17 December 2017 22:09.