Winter holidays are a time for traditions, and one beloved to many Massachusetts families is The Enchanted Village. The now 57-year-old Christmas scenes and mechanical figures were originally displayed in the windows of the Jordan Marsh Company in Bostonís Downtown Crossing, yet starting in the late í90s, following the closure of Jordan Marsh, the displays could be found seasonally in several locations, then eventually not displayed at all. In 2009, Eliot Tatelman, president and CEO of Jordanís Furniture (no relation to Jordan Marsh), won the Village when it went up for auction. Since then, his staff has restored the 59 mechanical figurines and 18 scenes to their former glory at Jordanís Furnitureís Avon store, where they can be visited every holiday season.
How did the idea of saving The Enchanted Village come about? There was an article in The Boston Globe that The Enchanted Village would be auctioned off the next day.
What was it about The Village that made you decide to bid? Did you ever see it in its original Downtown Crossing location? It was such a natural fitÖto go from Jordan Marsh to Jordanís Furniture! Plus, I remember as a kid going with my family and I have some great memories. I couldnít just let it fall apart, so I bid on it. I didnít have any plans right away, but I knew that I needed to save it.
What was the restoration process like for the pieces that needed work? The restoration of The Enchanted Village was a ďlabor of loveĒ for the Jordanís employees. Our designers re-painted faces and re-stitched clothing. Our engineers fixed the motors. It took our team about 8 months to re-furbish the display and everyone involved was very emotionally connected.
Aside from the Village, what is a guest-favorite attraction? Polar Express 4D The Ride, a 15-minute experience, is always a favorite. The whole family also loves our Laser LITE Holiday Show, with laser lights and popular holiday songs. And we are seeing a lot of interest in our indoor skating rink, Enchanted Ice. All of the elements within The Enchanted Village attraction area are very popular. We see multi-generational families visiting together so that grandparents can introduce it to grandkids. Itís great to see!
Whenís a good time to visit to beat the crowds? Weekdays have fewer crowds than the weekends.
What is your favorite Enchanted Village scene and why? I like the Ice Cream Shop display. It looks delicious!
Are there any new additions to the space this year? There will be a new ďattractionĒ this year, but itís a surprise!
Where does the Village live off-season? Same place. We do not deconstruct it. We cover and protect it during the off-season.
How did the return of the much-beloved Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins come to pass? I met the original baker! We use the original recipe. Again, it was such a natural fit to sell the original Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins at the new home of The Enchanted Village. People love them! They are not only delicious but they also spark other great memories.