We happened to have a little extra money this year, so we bought tickets to take the kids on the Polar Express. It's worth nothing that 1) the tickets are crazy ass expensive and 2) the tickets are crazy ass hard to get! I remember the day after they went on sale and it still took Dave and I hours to find 5 tickets together. The cheapest tickets were long gone by then, so we had to buy pricier ones too.
AND the only day we could get them was Christmas Eve!
I was skeptical. A train ride at 6 30 on Christmas Eve? Wouldn't the kids be insane? Would it be too much the day before Christmas? We were going to miss church too.
The polar express in St Louis runs out of the historic Union Station. My only little complaint is they don't do nearly as good as the Thomas people do with activities to do before you get on the train.
As it turns out it was AWESOME. And perfect timing. We got on the train, rode to the north pole and then said goodbye to santa just as it was time for him to get on his sled and start making deliveries!
This was so much fun. I really don't think my kids have ever enjoyed anything as much as this, Jack included. There was hot chocolate and a cookie, a reading of the book, singing and dancing (loads of singing of dancing). There were actors playing the parts (even the little boy and the hobo). The actors on our train were all in. Seriously. They gave it 120%. They quickly learned our kids' names and had them joining in on everything. Grant was the most involved - dancing in a line with them up and down the train, playing frozen, mimicking their every move. The kids laughed and laughed and sang and just ate up every single minute of it.
Each train had two hot chocolate people, a Santa, a conductor, and an elf.
It's one of the few times when I would say worth every single very expensive penny.
There are very few decent photos. Moving train, low light and kids moving a million miles a minute, but that's totally okay, because we will all remember it forever. (And maybe do it again another year? At least one more time for sure, but next year Jack is keen to see the trans Siberian orchestra).
Seriously though, AWESOME. This was a very happy Christmas present to myself!