Santa drops in for breakfast at Descanso Gardens

Santa Claus made a special trip to Descanso Gardens last weekend especially to enjoy breakfast with children and their family members.

The Patina Restaurant Group, Descanso Gardens’ catering partner, prepared a brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday morning that included a sweet potato marshmallow dish, cherry glazed baked ham, scrambled eggs, strawberry almond crepes and hash brown potatoes.

Jazz Mondé, a catering partner with Patina, said that about 40 children attended the festivities. She and her colleague Erica Yu dressed up as Santa’s elves with clothing they found at Goodwill and accessories they bought at Claire’s. They wore red and white striped socks, festive red and green outfits and jingly bell bracelets.

Mondé and Yu supervised the cookie decoration station, where children took shortbread cookies shaped as snowflakes, gingerbread men and Christmas trees and decorated them with an array of green and red frostings and candies.

“Breakfast with Santa” was a hit with parents looking for a holiday outing with their offspring.

“We went to the brunch last year and loved it. I think this is great, the cookie-making was a big hit with the kids,” said Shannon Riboli, who brought her daughters, one just 21 months old and the other 5, to the event.

Melinda Absy’s 4-year-old daughter wanted to attend the Santa Claus brunch last year, but it was booked, so Melinda reserved seats this year.

“The event is great,” Asby said. “I think they should do it more than just the one weekend of the month. This is a memory, especially at this age, that she’ll never forget.”

As parents, grandparents and children ate brunch, Santa visited with each family, talking to the children and taking photos with them. After brunch wound down, children gathered on blankets in front of Santa, who read Christmas stories to them and handed out little gift bags filled with polar bear figurines, candies and holiday stickers.

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