Santa's Reindeer Visit Country Childrens Center in Katonah

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Connor, Sophie, Luke, Gabriel, Arturo and Areti from the Country Childrens Center Bedford Hills location check out a model of the train from the classic Christmas book "The Polar Express" at the center's annual Polar Express party in Katonah. Photo Credit: Liz Button
Sophie from the Country Childrens Center Bedford Hills location rides the Polar Express. Photo Credit: Liz Button
Reindeer from Antler Ridge Reindeer Farm in Buffalo visited the children at the farm in Katonah. Photo Credit: Liz Button
Frosty the Snowman (Taylor Cotter) and Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer (Megan Beirne) helped supervise the children at Thursday's holiday party. Photo Credit: Liz Button
Rudolph offers a candy cane to Arturo. Photo Credit: Liz Button
Country Childrens Center executive director Polly Peace read "The Polar Express" while the children from the center's Bedford Hills location enjoyed hot cocoa and cookies. Photo Credit: Liz Button

KATONAH, N.Y. ‒ Two of Santa's reindeer came down from the North Pole to spend all day Thursday with children at the Country Childrens Center's farm location in Katonah.

Children from the center's five daycare facilities in Katonah, Bedford Hills and Yorktown Heights were bused in for the centers' annual Polar Express Holiday Party, where they met the visitors from Antler Ridge Reindeer Barn in Buffalo.

Farm site director Noreen Cotter's son Taylor was back from college for Christmas "and she's already putting me to work" as Frosty the Snowman, he said. Taylor teamed up with head preschool teacher Megan Beirne as Rudolph to guide the preschoolers around the exhibits, which included a ride-along train, a rabbit pen and a barn full of Christmas decorations and animatronic amusements.

"The reindeer have been coming here for 10 years," said Chris Geisler, who handles maintenance at the farm. On Thursday, Geisler was dressed as a tin soldier to assist the preschool teachers with their charges.

CCC executive director Polly Peace donned her flannel gown and granny glasses to read Chris Van Allsburg's Christmas classic “The Polar Express” as the children sipped hot cocoa. Peace's husband, Rick, made several surprise visits as Santa during the day.

The holiday party also featured a scale model of the Polar Express train itself in a display created by Katonah resident Fran Resch.

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