This past weekend the G crew, along with my wife’s family took a ride on the Polar Express, by way of the French Lick Scenic Railway. Now before I go any further, I have to give credit where credit is due. I didn’t even know there was such a thing until my wife told me we were going. Like so many things in life, my wife tells me where to go and when to be there, and I simply reply “yes dear.”

We tell the kids Saturday morning that we are going to get aboard the Polar Express and take a ride to the North Pole – needless to say they were just a wee bit excited. So they throw on their pajamas – cause that’s what you do on the Polar Express – we throw the kids in the car and headed east.

The Indiana Railway Museum is a pretty cool place by itself, but this time of year it’s all about Christmas. They do a great job of providing things for the kids to do while you wait to board your train. Kids can play with toys, color and draw, and write a letter to Santa himself. By the time they do that and put their letter in the mailbox, it’s just about time to get on board.

Fast forward to being on the train, in your seat, ready to go. At this point they try to recreate as much of the Polar Express book/movie as they can, considering we are not animated and there is no Tom Hanks – but they do a good job. The conductor comes through and clicks everyone’s tickets, leaving little pieces of paper everywhere. Then as soon as the train gets moving we get served some hot, hot, hot, HOT CHOCOLATE! Portions of the Polar Express soundtrack play overhead while we cruise through the woods of French Lick. As the trip continues, a couple of Santa’s elves (some peppy high school students) sing and dance throughout the car while interacting with the kids and getting everyone involved. This continues until we reach the North Pole, where the train stops temporarily. On our way back from the North Pole, we get a visit from Santa himself. This was probably the highlight of the trip – this Santa was legit! After a little more than an hour on the train we pulled back into the station, greeted by hundreds of people waiting for the next departure.

The Polar Express runs from early November through mid-December – but I realized, while writing this blog, that all dates for the 2013 Polar Express are already sold out. Dang! Reckon it’s that popular. But if this sounds like something you’d like to do, you can go ahead and order tickets for next year – November 7th through December 21st of 2014.

I would personally recommend this for parents of young children – you could certainly do worse for just $29. Below are some pics from our Polar Express experience.

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