Butler County adventure park continues to boost attractions with Christmas event

The Land of Illusion Christmas Glow on Thomas Road in Madison Township is open nightly through December with over 3.5 million lights in a 1.5 mile drive-through light display. The Christmas Village with Santa is open on select nights. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
The Land of Illusion Christmas Glow on Thomas Road in Madison Township is open nightly through December with over 3.5 million lights in a 1.5 mile drive-through light display. The Christmas Village with Santa is open on select nights. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

An attraction with more than two decades of entertaining area residents is looking to branch out further.

Land of Illusion Adventure Park, which sits on 180 acres at 8762 Thomas Road in Madison Twp., is launching a “12 days of Christmas” event during its Christmas Glow attraction

Scheduled to run from today through Dec. 24, the “12 days” event will involve students from local schools singing Christmas carols and food donations, according to Mike McKnight, the park’s operations manager.

The effort is all a part of Land of Illusion Adventure Park working to help out as much as it can while giving area residents a familiar place to enjoy the holiday season, McKnight said.

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The park also is working on two new multimillion-dollar attractions, both of which should be ready within the next year or two, he said. Land of Illusion could not offer any hints as to the nature of either attraction, McKnight said.

“It’s going to make us open 365, I can tell you that right now,” he said.

The “12 Days of Christmas” and undisclosed upcoming attractions are part of the park’s efforts to not solely rely on its Haunted Experience, an 1.5-mile haunted trail that has operated for 22 years during two months from late summer and into fall.

Looking to create year-round, family-friendly fun and broaden its appeal, it created Christmas Glow in 2017. The attraction, which runs through Dec. 30, offers a Christmas Village workshop for kids crafts, photographs with Santa Claus, a petting zoo, games, rides, food, drinks, live entertainment and more.

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This year, Land of Illusion also has added 500,000 lights to a holiday lights drive-through, giving it 3.5 million LED and twinkle lights, McKnight said. It also added more rides and games, he said.

In summer 2018, it launched Aqua Adventures, a water park attraction featuring an on-the-water inflatable obstacle course and a beach with 800 chairs, plus private cabanas, a restaurant and bar.

The attraction, which runs from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, more than doubled its attendance this year after adding a new 43-foot inflatable slide.

Land of Illusion is working to add another attraction, one that will offer the site as a campground, he said.

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It has plans for several primitive camp set-ups and RV hookup spots, as well, which will see it using about 60 of the 180 acres it has.

“We’re in the closing stages to get that done,” McKnight said.

Land of Illusion also is hoping to broaden its appeal by making greater use of concert venue Oakley Pavilion, which has hosted national acts, he said.

“We have all this land and we wanted to do something with it, so we just kept trying to expand, and now we’re just trying to get people aware that we’re not just a Halloween place anymore,” McKnight said.