After 18 years of decorating Smith Point beach with holiday lights, the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County are branching out.
Last month, the Girl Scouts unveiled their all-new Enchanted Forest holiday attraction.
Unlike the drive-thru at Smith Point — which is also up and running for the holidays — guests walk a trail of lights and new displays through Yaphank’s Southaven County Park.
Scroll down for photos from Yaphank.
“We wanted to make sure we were offering folks the most robust experience as possible,” Tammy Severino, president and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, said. “Driving through is fun… There is something very special being able to walk through the displays as well.”
The nonprofit’s original plan called for the forest attraction to open Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18, plus everyday during the week from Dec. 26 through New Year’s Eve. Due to inclement whether shuttering the attraction multiple days this season, they added two Fridays: Dec 16 and 23.
Once they parade through the walkway of lights, families have the opportunity to take photographs with Santa and enjoy a snack and a beverage around a campfire, all of which is included with each ticket. Severino said she is excited about the communal quality this aspect of the experience offers, something not attainable with families in their own cars at Smith Point.
“It really has a very magical quality to it,” she said. “That was my hope, that people would feel that sense of holiday magic. It’s the word we’re hearing the most for what being in the Enchanted Forest is like.
“And that fills me with so much joy.”
Next year, Severino said she hopes the nonprofit can open their Enchanted Forest even more nights, allowing more people to visit both the Smith Point Light Show and the Enchanted Forest in the same evening.
Both experiences, she added, allow the community to support the nonprofit.
“Attending a Girl Scout holiday light show, whether the drive-thru or the Enchanted Forest, you are supporting Girl Scouts of Suffolk County with their programs, supporting girls through scholarships, through STEM and STEAM education, through camp,” Severino said. “You’re not only getting to experience something with friends and family, but you’re also supporting our work in the community.”
Tickets for the new Enchanted Forest are available here for $10, or $15 at the gate.
Children under 3 get in for free.