Written by Jennifer Haler
November 30, 2013
I was very excited to find out that downtown there was going to be horse drawn carriage rides. I told the family about it and one of my girl’s eyes lit up so bright there was no way we could miss out on it. We decided to go on the first weekend they were running since we have not only Christmas but my son’s birthday, his friends’ birthday, and my husband’s work party during the month. This makes our weekends during December a bit busy.
The rides are put on by the STCU and the Rocking K Ranch. They are completely free and run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday during the month of December.
We decided to go once it was dark so we could really enjoy the lights downtown. We loaded up into the car (this time everyone had all the appropriate gear to be outside standing around waiting) and took off for downtown.
On the way, you would have thought I was a kid. As we were heading down 3rd St. we approached Lakeside. We could see the horses and carriage on Sherman pass by as we were getting ready to turn and I immediately got excited and shouted “It’s the horses!” Yes, I realize I am an adult. What can I say? I enjoy being outside, I enjoy animals, I enjoy doing family outings. This was right up my alley and made me act like an excited little kid.
We found parking and got in line. The starting and ending point is at the corner on 1st and Sherman. It was pretty chilly out so everyone was glad we bundled up. We ended up being in line for about 40-45 min. Part of that was because there were other families in front of us and part of it was because they stopped for a few minutes to give the horses a break. So, if you do your timing right you would probably be able to get a shorter wait time.
While standing around we chatted with some of the other families and while on break we chatted with the carriage driver. Everyone was very friendly. Little candy canes were given to everyone and also a postcard telling of the Rocking K Ranch’s sleigh rides. All the families took turns taking photos of each other in the carriage with mostly phones. One person had an actual camera!
Once it was our turn we climbed up into the white, open carriage, got our phone photo and settled in. The horses were gorgeous. It was completely dark during our ride. Sherman was lined with lights, people smiled and waved as we went by; it was all charming. Very Norman Rockwellesque. At the end we chose to tip the driver and the assistant, this is not required but we chose to do it.
The whole ride lasted about 10 minutes. Yes, I would say it was worth it to stand around for 40 min. for a 10 min. ride. Remember, part of our wait time was the horses taking a break.
All-in-all, this was a short, fun activity to do with the kids and a unique way to see the lights downtown. During the ride one of the kiddos thanked me for taking them. When I asked what they all thought the answers were fun, awesome, cool, and wish it was longer. So, definitely it was worth our time.
Want to have a short, pleasant, unique activity to do? Hop to downtown CDA and take a carriage ride.
I love spending time with my family doing all the wonderful activities in the Inland Northwest.