The Dover Difference: Holiday Edition


Christmas has been a holiday for as long as any of us can remember.  Centuries of traditions have made this holiday special for all who celebrate it. Every family shares different traditions around this time of year, but these differences are exactly what makes this time of year so special for everyone! I have lived in Dover my entire life, and there are many traditions that my family and I have cherished over the years.  While traditions and values vary from family to family, there are many local activities that anyone in our town can experience. Throughout my childhood, I have experienced many of these local activities that you should definitely try out too!

Every Christmas Eve, my family attends a nighttime church service. On our way home, we enjoy taking a drive through Storybook Lane.  This has always been one of my favorite memories and it is something that I would highly recommend to other families.  Located in Tuscora Park, Storybook Lane presents nursery rhymes in the form of visuals and provides famous stories too. Storybook Lane is loved by all who drive through, especially at night with the shining spotlights. I personally think this makes the experiences better. Storybook Lane is a famous family experience in our area, and brings all your favorite childhood stories to life!

Featured on the front lawn of Saint John’s Church, there is always a live nativity scene to admire during the holidays.  Even if you are just driving down Wooster, this popular scene will catch your eye. As a member of this church, I have participated in this presentation many times and it is always a popular hit in our community.  While the Christmas story is being narrated, young students recreate the beloved story for anyone to see. This short fifteen-minute production is a reminder of the true meaning behind Christmas. 

Everyone knows and loves the famous Christmas movie, The Polar Express. Based on this famous movie is a popular train ride, where you will find a real-life Polar Express experience! Located in Dennison, this is a fun trip that anyone in the family will enjoy together! Make sure to wear your Christmas pajamas for an extra comfy experience! You will be able to watch Santa’s elves dance and sing, all while being served delicious cookies and hot chocolate. And with a special surprise guest at the end, Santa Clause! You will not want to miss out on this real-life movie experience!

Another Christmas tradition that I adored as a child was visiting Santa in downtown Dover. Every December, the downtown area is decorated with beautiful Christmas lights and decorations spreading Christmas cheer. There is also a small red house, lit up by lights, where you will see Santa waiting for any child’s arrival. Here, any child is welcome to come and sit on Santa’s lap and even get a few candy canes from Santa too. This experience stands out in our downtown area and never fails to make the children of our community smile. 

Finally, there is one last thing that I love to participate in during the Christmas season and that is preparing Share-a-Christmas boxes.  These boxes are often provided at churches, but encourage people of the community to put together a small gift for a child that needs it. These boxes are sent all over the world, and sometimes they will even write you a letter back, thanking you for thinking about them during this holiday season. Christmas is one of the most special times of the year for my family, and I think it is important that everyone has a positive experience during this time of year as well.

Christmas time is a special time of year to create memories with loved ones all around you. Every family shares different traditions, but these are some of my favorite local activities for everyone. I hope that through sharing some of my own personal favorite traditions, you will experience them yourself and find more ways to make the Christmas season even more memorable.