Like last year, we were offered the opportunity to take a ride on the Polar Express by US Family Bloggers in exchange for a review of our experience. Unlike last year, Engineer was in town and we got to go as a family.
After Engineer came home from work on Friday, we all bundled up (Texas finally decided to get on board the chilly train) and headed out to Palestine, TX - the home of the historic Texas State Railroad.
While waiting to board the decorated train, the Conductor and Chefs were walking around talking to the parents and children, taking photos, and reading The Polar Express.
There was an area where a photographer would take a family photo, but be forewarned, if you aren't in the gift shop or restroom, you are outside and it can get bitterly cold so bundle up.
Once boarded, the Chefs greet the passengers and there was such a buzz of excitement. Our car had a mixed bag of seasoned veteran riders and Polar Express novices.
After the passengers have been brought their cocoa and cookie to the tune of "Hot, Hot, Hot, Hot Chocolate!" from the movie version of the story, the conductor walks around and punches the children's tickets. Then the story of The Polar Express is read. As the train begins to approach "The North Pole" the lights are dimmed and we see the lighted North Pole and wave at the elves and Santa who have been waiting for us to arrive.
Santa then hops on the train to deliver bells to all the children. I asked several little kiddos what the best bit of the trip was and they all said the same thing, "Santa!"
The journey back is filled with Christmas carols and the children parading up and down the aisles ringing their bells and singing.
If you are looking for a little memory making jaunt this Christmas season, look into the Polar Express. There are other locations in the country that are available but I'm not sure that their cookies are as good - a local bakery that provides them there in Palestine and they are outstanding!
Things to consider:
- Bring a camera and extra blankets
- Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to wear their pajamas
- The seats all face one direction but the backs can be flipped to make the seats face each other
- Unless you are in the premium car, the cars are not all that warm - thus the blankets
- You may want to eat something before you come since you are only served a cookie and a cup of hot chocolate on the train ride
- The kiddos that knew the story (either book or movie) seemed to enjoy the ride more
- You really make your own entertainment on this journey with a little nudge from the Chefs so don't be afraid to be silly and have fun with those you love
1-4-3 EM & DM and for all the silliness you two bring to my life.