Better (and Brighter) Than the World’s Largest Ball of Yarn

UFO Crash Site in Roswell, New Mexico. Beer Can House in Houston, Texas. The Big Chicken, Marietta Georgia. There are some roadside oddities that demand you pull out of traffic, loop back, and then simply stare. In Florida we have one that is accessible for only two, glorious months: Santa’s Enchanted Forest (7900 SW 40th St., Miami).

Setting foot in this holiday spectacle is not for fans of Martha Stewart-style decoration, for those with the type of epilepsy that’s triggered by visual stimuli, or for anyone who’s ever said “wouldn’t it be nice to just have a simple, tasteful tree?” At SEF expect to see more than 3 million twinkling, fading, flashing lights. They line mangers, glow from inside hundreds of Santas, flicker hypnotically from the Magnum PI ride, and even line the daredevil motocross family’s death-defying ball of doom. (All of which is paid for with gate admission, so you can blow your surplus cash on Midway games, assorted tropical fruits dipped in chocolate, and His and Hers airbrushed Styrofoam wall art – a.k.a. the really important stuff.) There are pony rides, petting zoos, freak show tents, rides galore – all under the watchful eyes of a small army of Santas. So, after you finish your turkey, hop on some rides, focus on 3 million erratic lights, shovel down some carnie food, and throw up on a Santa. You’ll be a more well-rounded person for the experience. One day passes cost 14.93 to $21.96. Visit The park is open daily through January 6, from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Nov. 22-Jan. 6, 2007

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Jamie Laughlin