The Polar Express has always been my absolute favorite Christmas book. When I was younger, my siblings and I would snuggle up to our father as he would read us the story year after year. Now everyone has a different take on the book (even the movie version). But for me personally, the meaning of the story is about FAITH. It's about having faith in something even if others do not believe, no matter what it is.
We recently had the amazing opportunity to ride on the Polar Express with a group of friends all the way from Cape Cod to the North Pole! Our experience was filled with music, laughter and many new memories.
On the Cape Cod Central Railway there are two different points to leave from: Buzzards Bay and Hyannis.
We opted for the latter and for the 6pm train on a weeknight. I was not as familiar with the Hyannis station so I did have a small difficulty in finding the parking lot. Once there I picked up the tickets at will call where there was a very small hiccup, which Christina fixed for us right away! Thank you Christina and staff!
We were given our tickets and sent on our way to board. We ran into gasp… a Hobo outside the station looking for tickets. I grew up on the story without the Hobo, but I have seen the movie so we were ready for
him! We boarded the train and found our seats. The table car is setup with tables and 4 chairs per table. We were seated in the front of the train car with other kids. The middle of the car was empty and then at the other end was approximately another 4 tables of adults and kids.
The chefs came around and passed out coloring books with crayons for the kids which I believe were only a few dollars. Then the conductor came around checking everyone’s tickets. All the children are given golden Polar Express tickets as a souvenir. It's a nice touch that the conductor tries to write the names of the children on the tickets.
The Hobo, who must have snuck on the train, came into our train car. He was great for entertainment, especially the parents. He teased the kids about taking their tickets and showed us the silverware he had pilfered from the train. Some kids were a little afraid but tightly gripped their tickets. He wandered the train the whole ride and Santa allowed him to stay on at the end despite the conductor's misgivings..
The chefs then got the Polar Express books and the story was read aloud over the loud speakers. It was difficult to hear the story and the kids in our section were mostly 3 and under so they weren’t really paying attention. They were more focused with being on a train and their snacks! Perhaps children this age would have gotten more out of the experience if we had seen the movie instead of just reading the book. Or perhaps even a video version of Santa reading the story?
As we approached the North Pole, the chefs had us on the lookout for the North Pole and we pulled into a lit up village. The North Pole, although well-lit with Christmas lights, might have used a tad more fanfare for such an epic destination. Santa was flanked outside the train by two excited elves. We stopped for a bit and Santa boarded the train. The chefs said goodbye and magically elves reappeared on our train!
The Santa experience was great. It was nice to spend so much time with St. Nick himself, especially the one-on-one opportunity, and not feel rushed. He spent a lot of time talking to the kids, taking pictures and passing out a gift for them. Every child received a silver bell with a red ribbon. The children adored the well-made bell. It is a great addition to hang on the Christmas tree or bring out year after year. Santa was definitely the highlight of the trip. The kids will probably never spend so much time with such an official-looking Santa again in their young lives. At the mall, etc. it's a 30-second deal. Here, you could relax and converse at length with Santa and little ones could get a few minutes to warm up to him, if needed.
The experience was definitely memorable and the kids still talk about the Polar Express, Santa and Hobo stealing their tickets to anyone who will listen. I am so grateful we were given an opportunity to attend this event and see the magic and innocence in the kid’s eyes. I hope that magic never goes away and I hope they always believe.
Thank you to our friends and family who joined us for this unforgettable journey! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our readers and bloggers! I hope you enjoy each and every moment with your loved ones and keep the "magic" and faith alive!
Cape Cod Moms