Merry memories at Canyon Country Community Center’s Cookies with Santa  

Children at the Cookies with Santa event in Canyon Country Community Center had the chance to decorate cookies in a variety of ways and then take them home. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Children at the Cookies with Santa event in Canyon Country Community Center had the chance to decorate cookies in a variety of ways and then take them home. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
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The Canyon Country Community Center culminated its year of festivities with its last recreational family event for the holidays with over 430 people in attendance and tons of fun for children on Saturday afternoon.  

A long line was forming in the middle of the hallway where parents and children stood patiently to get a photo with Santa Claus. Around the perimeter of the basketball gymnasium different activities were available for children to participate in. Every table was crowded with kids eager to get their hands on arts and crafts materials and let their creative minds take over.  

Approximately 430 people were already present with an estimated 100 more community members to show up throughout the event’s scheduled time.  

Cookies with Santa, hosted by the Canyon Country Community Center, was geared to close out the center’s year of activities and enrichment programs, and also reach new community members so they could learn about the center’s services.  

“There’s a lot of programming that happens here throughout the year and this event brings families that are not participating in the programs,” said Community Services Supervisor Julie Calderon. “We have our after-school program and senior programming but this event is for people who maybe haven’t seen … our programs, and it’s a way to also promote all the other programs the city has. It’s just a festive way to bring the community together.”  

Every year during the fall season, the Canyon Country Community Center hosts a series of celebrations that are free and open to the public. Earlier this year the center had the Halloween “Dia de Muertos” event, a Thanksgiving community dinner, and ended it with the Cookies with Santa.  

Children at the Cookies with Santa event in Canyon Country Community Center had the chance to decorate cookies in a variety of ways and then take them home. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Children at the Cookies with Santa event in Canyon Country Community Center had the chance to decorate cookies in a variety of ways and then take them home. Katherine Quezada/The Signal

Children had the chance to decorate cookies, write letters to Santa, play Skee-Ball and bowling, while simultaneously creating fun memories with their families. 

The cookie decorating table had sprinkles and frosting spilling over onto the surface and some even falling on the floor. Children were running around deciding which activity would be their next destination to continue the fun.  

Calderon said she had a total of 24 employees running the event and each one of them had joyful looks while leading a table, giving children prizes, and providing and being a part of the fun. 

Nancy Castañeda, a longtime Santa Clarita resident, has been a part of the Canyon Country Community Center staff since it first opened its doors in 2021.  

“I like the involvement and also see [Santa Clarita] grow a lot, especially from when I was younger. It was very small, like the community centers were never promoted when I was younger until I started working in them,” said Castañeda. “My favorite part about this is working with the kids, actually working with the community. We get to see a lot of people, a lot of ages and so it just feels really nice when they ask questions and they need help, we can help them in some way or some sort.”  

Minerva Nevarez brought her 7-year-old daughter to the Cookies with Santa event and said that she was having a fun time. Her daughter was participating in decorating a tote bag with markers where children could store their decorated cookies and other prizes and craft projects they worked on during the event.  

“I was going through the Seasons magazine, and this came up. And then I called, and they told me … they were having this event Dec. 2,” said Nevarez.

Children played skeeball, bowling, and other playground games at the Cookies with Santa Claus at the Canyon Country Community Center on Saturday afternoon. Katherine Quezada/ The Signal
Children played skeeball, bowling, and other playground games at the Cookies with Santa Claus at the Canyon Country Community Center on Saturday afternoon. Katherine Quezada/ The Signal
Children played skeeball, bowling, and other playground games at the Cookies with Santa Claus at the Canyon Country Community Center on Saturday afternoon. Katherine Quezada/ The Signal
Children played skeeball, bowling, and other playground games at the Cookies with Santa Claus at the Canyon Country Community Center on Saturday afternoon. Katherine Quezada/ The Signal

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