Looking for some Christmas cheer in this COVID-dominated holiday season?
Look no further than Emma’s Winter Wonderland, a little girl’s festive vision come to life in her own Newark backyard.
All are invited to stroll through a backyard scene of more than 150 inflatables in the Cotswold Hills neighborhood.
The event has two more scheduled nights when the public is welcome: Monday, Dec. 7, and Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Additional nights are expected to be added.
Emma’s Winter Wonderland started in in 2015 when Emma Boyer got a Minnie Mouse inflatable and made a deal with her mom to start collecting inflatables.
Ever since, Emma has thrown a Black Friday party to reveal her annual theme to more than 100 people.
The pandemic may have changed that tradition this year, but Emma was determined to continue to bring joy to her community.
State Rep. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek, is one of the many people fascinated with the result. He’s been plugging the event in his weekly emails to constituents to help Emma have the biggest impact possible.
“Seeing such a young girl do something so nice during COVID was inspiring,” he said. Smith plans to attend Monday night’s showing.
The family is collecting unwrapped toys, and Emma’s Winter Wonderland donates those and the proceeds from gift shop sales to Toys for Tots.
Now 9, Emma says she picked the popular charity organization because “a lot of families around the world don’t have much toys and family time,” and she wanted to bring them some joy.
This year, Emma came up with the idea to dress up her inflatables in the front yard to bring additional smiles to her neighborhood during the pandemic.
Emma also has designed her own logo for her gift shop, where items will be for sale in order to give even more to Toys for Tots. They include clear plastic water bottles ($5), key chains ($2), coffee mugs ($5), ornaments ($5) and wine glasses ($5).
Emma’s mom, Lisa Boyer, is proud of her daughter’s generous heart.
“It’s definitely been overwhelming. She’s a super good kid at heart and super sensitive. She just wants people to be happy,” said Lisa Boyer.
For Emma, it’s all about seeing others’ joy, her mom said.
Anyone who wants to see the jaw-dropping display but cannot make it on Monday or Tuesday nights is welcome to swing by the house on other nights.
“If the lights are on, feel free to go in the backyard,” Lisa Boyer said.
Emma’s Winter Wonderland is located at 33 Bristol Lane, Newark.
To track the event and their public nights, follow their Facebook page here.