For some people it can be a kind of rite of passage or yearly tradition or just general seasonal requirement to go see Santa Clause at some point before Christmas. I am not huge into the Santa deal but I can agree that it is fun and you can teach children the spirit of giving through the jolly fat guy. SO, I thought it would be nice to get some Santa time in plus ride on a train. I think it may have been my first time on a train actually, and definitely the first time for my children.
I bought the tickets for the North Pole Express way in advance (I’m a big planner) and the night of it was very chilly. I had the pleasure of changing a terrible diaper right before so the baby got a changed outfit and I had poop on my jacket sleeve! The “station” got busy just before the departure but it was neat with an old-school vibe to it. The car we rode in was very warm as it was heated and it was cozy with two seats on each side and groups of four facing each other. It seemed like everyone was expecting it to be freezing on the train and were bundled up real good but after a few minutes everyone had taken off their coats. It probably wouldn’t hurt to be prepared though.
Another reason we did this train expedition was because the children would be able to share the experience with some family. We got to sit with people we knew and there were tons of kids around. You can pay for a more expensive car or less expensive car and that gives you options of a “better” experience or a more “basic” one. So on our car we got a cookie, hot chocolate (that was the perfect temperature to drink as soon as you received it), Santa came around, and everyone got a “gift” (a sleigh bell like in the movie The Polar Express). Oh, and the train conductor(?) comes around and punches holes in your cute ticket.
All in all it was a pleasant experience and I wouldn’t mind doing it again if we are ever in Utah around the holidays. The downside to this experience is that it is a little on the pricey side, so it may be more of a burden to buy tickets if you have a large family. Also, if you get a later timed ride you wont be able to see out the windows so good, so if you want a better view (although there is not much out there) I would suggest getting a ride during daylight hours. This train also does different things during the year like murder mysteries if you like those!
I almost forgot, after the train ride we hit up Dairy Keen for some dinner and treats! It’s right down the road from the train. You can read my little review of it here, it’s a casual fast food/dine in place and I recommend the raspberry shake!
I know my kids had a blast though and I think they’d like it in the future as well. Are there any other nice Christmas or Winter activities to do with families? The lights at Temple Square are pretty and I heard something about ice castles (although we’ve never seen them). . .
(Image from DailyHerald – Jennifer Durrant – UtahAdventurer.com Nov 23, 2012)
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