My family did something really fun over Thanksgiving weekend this year. My family of 4 (my husband, myself, and our six-year-old twins) went with my sister’s family (my sister, her husband, and their two-year-old twins) rode the Polar Express train ride in Elbe, Washington near Mt. Rainier.
The cost isn’t cheap, but my sister and I had talked about going back in August (tickets sell out early!) so we were able to pay for it separately from all of the costs that come up at Christmas time, which was helpful. And the experience was worth it. The staff works hard to make the entire time on the train really special. They play Christmas music, read the story of The Polar Express, and everyone gets hot chocolate and a cookie. Two of the staff members in our car spent a lot of time interacting with the kids. They asked my kids what they want for Christmas, and they invited them to come out and dance in the aisle during a couple of the Christmas songs. They also pass out song booklets so that everyone can sing along, which my girls really loved.
Santa also comes onto the train, which everyone really enjoyed.
This was a really fun activity to start off the Christmas season. We enjoyed spending time with my sister and her family, so it was special to get to do it together. My kids have said they would love to do this every year. I’m not sure I can completely commit to that, but it was definitely worth it to make it happen this year!