La Salette Shrine and the Nativity Set Museum

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La Salette Shrine is located in Attleboro, Massachusetts. As a kid, it was a favorite holiday tradition. It would be so cold that we’d  feel like our faces would freeze right off, and we’d get out of the car and walk through all of the lights. It was the most magical thing at Christmas. Sadly, I never really had the chance to take my kids. But this year the opportunity presented itself and we jumped on it.

First of all, arrive early. I mean, if the lights are going to turn on at 6pm, you should be finding a parking spot by 4:30 the latest. We stopped and picked up dinner on the way and ate in the car. Plus, it wasn’t frigidly cold since we went Thanksgiving week, so we got out of the car early and walked around waiting for the lights to flip on.  Make that time in the car together fun. With the wrong mindset it can seem like you are just fighting crowds to get the best spot. Make it an in-the-car picnic and put on some Christmas music and suddenly being so early to get a spot is just another part of the adventure!

 

There are paths to walk through all the lights on both sides of the parking lot. To the left we walked around a large pond. To the right of the parking lot there were more lights, and a “live” nativity scene, although it was not as live as it had been when I was a kid. As a kid, I recall lots of farm animals and real people. This year, we found only a live donkey. It was a bit of a let down but the overall experience was very positive. Oh well. Nothing ever lives up to the magic in your childhood memories.

After walking through all the outdoor displays, we headed towards the cafeteria for some hot chocolate. But on the way, we discovered something so completely amazing, I felt like we hit the museum jackpot! I had no idea this was there and there was no cost to go in. It was an international nativity set museum. Nativities from all over the world, in all different styles of art. It was completely amazing. I walked around with the kids and they pointed out their favorites and we talked about which continent each country was on and compared the differences in style a little, but mostly we just took it in because it was really amazing. It’s not often you get to see the exact same concept worked in completely different styles, with different cultures playing a role in the interpretation. I really think it was one of the coolest exhibits we’ve ever encountered.

 

This was my favorite by far. I’m a minimalist at heart and I loved the simplicity of this version. Gorgeous.

 

But I’m also a sucker for Coca-Cola so this one caught my eye as well!

 

But my kids loved the Lego version best. Of course! How much fun is that?!?

 

I am not sure if the exhibit is only open during the Christmas season or if it’s always there. It is attached to the gift shop, which is open year round, so it may be open regularly.

At any rate, if you should found yourself in southern New England during the Christmas Season, don’t miss this!

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