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Jingle All the Way

Your Heart Will Grow Three Sizes at Middletown's Holiday Whopla

When the weather turns cold, bundling up and getting out is even more important and fun. Holiday Whopla is a set of events and activities to bring people into downtown Middletown with a delightful holiday theme, from a Santa Run to live performances to tasty treats. What’s even better, according to Avinne Kiser, president of Holiday Whopla, is that small businesses downtown see a boost in foot traffic during a traditionally slow time of year, helping the community. Here’s what you can see and do at the 2nd annual Whopla.


Ready to meet and get photos with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Grinch himself? Plan a stop by the North Pole Experience, Crystal Palace and Grinch’s Grotto. These photo opportunities are a fun journey for families and a great way to make memories as children step into their most cherished stories brought to life.  


Start a new tradition by attending or singing at the Holiday Choir-Off at the Sorg Opera House, December 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $10 per person. Singing groups will compete for cash prizes while spreading some serious holiday cheer. All proceeds benefit the revitalization efforts in the beautiful and historic Sorg Opera House as well as helping Holiday Whopla continue its work.


Want unique gifts that build up your community at the same time? Stop by the small businesses downtown to make holiday ornaments, find one-of-a-kind gifts and do a little shopping for yourself too. This year, a fun addition to Whopla is S’mores Park, which will be open down the street from the ice rink, giving you a good place to take a little break before continuing to deck the halls.


Nothing says winter wonderland like skating across the ice while bundled up in a cozy scarf and mittens. “This year we will have a larger ice rink which will be open for an additional 30 days,  opening on November 14 and closing on January 17,” says Avinne. A beer and wine garden will be located right next to the rink, as well as heated igloos for thawing out, and since it’s located in a DORA District, guests can even sip while taking a stroll.


The Light Up Middletown drive-through light display was a long-running institution even before the Holiday Whopla, but a trip to Middletown is even more fun if you can combine the amazing Smith Park light show with a merry meander downtown. “It is extremely emotional for our team to hear visitors and citizens comment on the wonderful time they are having and how beautiful the city looks,” says Avinne.

Visit or follow to make sure you don’t miss a minute of the fun.