It was a bright, rather than snowy white, Winter Wonderland under sunny skies Saturday at the annual holiday event hosted by the New Canaan Nature Center.

Unlike last year, when heavy snow kept many people away, hundreds came out to enjoy the center's holiday celebration, which featured horse-drawn wagon rides and a chance to visit with Santa Claus.

"I like that it's outdoors," said Elena Cantrell of Stamford. "I really like the meadow ... and it's a very family-friendly place."

"It's awesome," said Bruce Colthup of New Canaan. "We come here every year."

"Winter Wonderland is a great experience for families," said Michelle Hips, visitor experience manager. "Not only does it help to share in the joys of the holidays, but it also brings families together."

Other activities included a scavenger hunt, a gingerbread house-building contest, and story readings.

"It's really a way for us as a Nature Center to give back to the community," she said.

"It's absolutely fantastic," said Deb Imm of New Canaan. "I just like the fact that you've got lots of different activities and there's lots of people here. It's nice to see community events."

"I think it's going great," said Amanda Keith, a center naturalist. "Last year we had quite a snowstorm. It really killed the crowds. But this year it's beautiful."

"It's a beautiful sunny day," echoed Lacey Tallman, a preschool teacher, "and holiday spirits are all around."