{2015 Christmas Bucket List // The Polar Express}

Once upon a time back in November we went on the Polar Express train ride! I have been trying to find time to post about it. For a few years we went to the North Pole Express in Grapevine, TX {posts here and here}...but each year we started enjoying it less and less. It started becoming too commercialized, overcrowded and the train ride seemed to get shorter and shorter. And I think I didn't even post about it our last trip because we just didn't have the best of time. I mean, it was fun because it was a Christmas event and we were together as a family, but I think it was more stressful than anything.

We missed a year of not going at all  and during that time we kept hearing about this amazing Polar Express ride on the Texas State Railroad in Palestine TX. So, after we got back from our Labor Day trip Nate's mom and I started looking into getting tickets. We weren't sure if we could get tickets that early, but wanted to get them as soon as we could before tickets sold out. To our surprise, tickets were available. We picked a date and purchased our tickets. We all know how crazy December is for us, so we opted for a weekend in November...the 21st to be exact.

The perfect kick off to our Christmas season!!! I will take any opportunity I get to start celebrating before December 1st. I love this time of year so much and wish it lasted longer.

We left for Palestine Saturday morning. It's about a 2 hour {easy} drive from us. So we left around 9:30 I believe. The Palestine Depot was on our way to our campgrounds so we stopped to look around and take pictures. We knew that our tickets were for 8pm and it would be too dark to fully see and grasp it all. I am so glad that we did this. There was no one there and we had free range to look at everything and take pictures. I captured some of my most favorite Christmas-time pictures of Mason of all times. Made my heart so happy! But, I think I will have to save them for a separate post for the sake of making this not the longest post in the history of ever.

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And the color there. Oh the color!! They actually get a "Fall" color change in East Texas. Crazy how a town just 2 hours East of us is that different. It was so beautiful. We were in awe of the trees and the color.

We got to the depot about an hour early to get our tickets from will call. It was all lit up and just so beautiful. The line to get tickets moved at a snail's pace and it was pretty chill, but it was festive so I didn't mind. We waited inside a very crowded hall until they let us go line up at our gate. We waited outside probably another 10-15 minutes.

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Then it was time to board the train!!!! The train cars were so cool, but didn't have best of lighting. I didn't get the best of pictures, but we have the best of memories.

The train drives 30 minutes to the "North Pole" and on the way there they play music and pass out cookies and hot chocolate. We had 3 very awesome 'chefs' on our train car. They made it so fun and enjoyable. Once we arrived at the North Pole we saw lights galore, lots of Elves playing and dancing and of course SANTA!!!! The train stopped to let Santa on to visit with the kids. He made it pretty quick to our train car and started passing out Polar Express bells to the kids. He was so personable and stopped to visit with each. Mason loved him!!!

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Santa visited all the kids on the way back to the depot. Once he had left our train car our awesome chef came by with a bag full of bells to pass out to anyone that wanted one. I thought that was so neat and kind of them to do! I was able to get one and turn ours into an ornament for the tree and Mason could keep his!!

It was such an awesome experience and before it was over we talked about making that a new yearly tradition!!! I am so excited. Family traditions are my love language!

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While we were in Palestine we also got to visit the Grinch's Lair! Post on that soon.

Do you have a Polar Express where you live? Do you ride it?


  1. We are moving to southern Texas in a week and I am enjoying all the fun things you post. I can't wait to experience all that Texas has to offer!

  2. How fun! I wish we had something like that here! Love the new blog look, too!

  3. How fun! We just watched the polar express this weekend and my kids loved it!!! Need to find a polar express train near us! What great memories!

  4. We have a polar express about an hour away but we just do a regular Santa train that's closer. Yours looks fun though, and I love that they gave out bells!

  5. I can't wait to do this with the kids! I'm hoping next year their ages will be perfect for it!

  6. How fun! We have a Polar Express ride here but it sells out in August - it's crazy! I tried to get tickets but failed. Reading this and seeing all these great pics makes me so bummed that we're not doing it!

  7. How fun!! We definitely have to add this to our bucket list. BTW Love your new blog design.

  8. Oh my goodness that is perfect and SO magical. What a fantastic family outing. He is going to remember this for years to come I bet :).

  9. This one sounds so so similar to ours! I just love Mason in the Conductor hat, just adorable!


Thanks for the comments! Hope you are having an amazing day!!