Sips and Snuggles
The holiday season is rich with tradition from the hanging of greens to the trimming of trees. For many Auburn residents, the season wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Hotel at Auburn University for sips and snuggles at the annual Teddy Bear Tea. Every December, the hotel partners with the university’s theater department to create a fanciful outing for children of all ages.
The children are ushered into Piccolo, where live entertainers and steaming cups of hot chocolate await. Students from the university’s theater department dress as various holiday icons, entertaining the children with holiday tunes and tales. The pint-sized guests are encouraged to cuddle up for story time in front of the fire and to enjoy a meal with their parents. Custom meals are prepared for the event and tailored for both young and old alike.
The highlight of the event is a student actor dressed as a giant, cuddly teddy bear. Entertaining the kids with stories and always ready for a cuddle, the oversized teddy bear is certainly the star of the show. Teddy Bear Tea guest Cole Nelson, 5, says, “My favorite part was when I got to hug the big Christmas bear!”
Cole’s Mom, Kate Nelson, agrees the event is a hit with young and old alike. “We try to attend every year,’’ she says. “That will be the plan until he deems himself too grown-up, I guess.’’ Nelson adds she is always impressed with the table settings and the food presentation. Additionally, the candy station remains a perennial favorite with young Cole.
According to hotel employee Arif Kor, the hotel’s mission is to “create a new tradition within the Auburn community. We want people to look forward to the tea every holiday season. It’s a tradition we hope to build on for years to come.’’ As an added bonus, the hotel also displays spectacular gingerbread creations in the lobby during this time.
Various teas are scheduled for the month of December and interested parents should contact the hotel directly. A small fee is charged per person, but includes the meal and a take-home teddy bear for each child. Capacity is limited to just 70 guests per seating, and reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 334-844-5140.
So as the holiday season rapidly approaches, pencil in some time to snuggle with your loved one at the Teddy Bear Tea!