Holiday Open House with the Walker family.

ONLY ON AUGUSTA - Event brings community together for festive family fun.

Sometimes, shopping without the kids is a must for parents, but Shelly Walker, mom of five-year-old twins, said the Holiday Open House is one shopping event that kids enjoy at least as much as their parents do. “We go to everything they do on Augusta Road, but definitely this one,” said Walker, who lives just off Augusta. “My kids love it.” The Walker children, John and Caroline, have attended every year since they were babies, and now they are old enough to take in all of the sights, sounds and tastes that make the holidays special. Their favorite activity? No surprise here - it’s at Phil Hyman Photography, where
Santa Claus himself is on hand to read a special holiday story. “It’s a great early chance to visit Santa,” Walker said. “It gets them excited about the holidays.” This year, Santa will be at Phil Hyman Photography at 1:30, and kids who visit The Grey Goose afterward will receive a ticket for a free Chocolate Moose cupcake. Santa will also be visiting Capers Place and Augusta Commons, so this is a great chance to meet the man in red. John and Caroline are also big fans of the face painting and balloons. “That’s at the top of their list,” Walker said. Walker appreciates that the event helps get kids into the spirit of giving, not just receiving, by collecting donations that will be distributed to Meals on Wheels and The Samaritan House. The kids are also able to select special gifts for family and friends, at a discount, while their parents support local, independent businesses. “Last year, they picked out gifts for each other, and they were so excited,” she said. “The stores really make it easy for parents to bring their kids, and that’s important.” More than anything, it’s the social aspect that brings families like the Walkers back year after year. “It’s the sense of community,” she said. “You see your friends, and you see your friends’  children. Everyone has hectic schedules, so it can be hard to connect. It’s a great way to see people and connect with people you haven’t seen in a while. “To be able to experience a festive event with the kids, and also to be able to shop - it’s really a treat.”

See what is happening this year at Holiday Open House here http://onlyonaugusta.com/holidays