This past weekend my family and I were fortunate enough to ride the Santa Express Train in Canon City, Colorado. Think the Polar Express train, but going though the canyon the famous Royal Gorge sits above.
We were so excited to bring the kids, mainly our 3 year old, because this is the first year she REALLY gets the whole Santa and Christmas thing. We made sure she watched the Polar Express movie before we headed to the train! (Which I recommend doing yourself). Once arriving to the historic train station in Canon city,Colorado – we had a few minutes to shop before the train departed. The train station carries some great souvenirs and even gifts for the kids. (Mostly train focused of course).
We also had some great photo opportunities before we got on the train, like this one in front of the ginger bread! Notice the kids are dressed in PJ’s. This is part of the experience. Your little ones are encouraged to wear their Pajamas, just like the movie the Polar Express! SO cute and fun!
Here we are boarding the train, Violet is trying hard to give her “cheese” smile Let me just mention that riding a train is cool in itself. Beside the magical aspect that the Santa Express adds, the train ride is exciting and cool for everyone and everyone of all ages.
We sat inside most of the night, but there’s an open air box, and being inside of the Royal Gorge, we couldn’t resist spending some time outside in the open air train. Be sure to bring warm clothes, (jackets, gloves, hats for the kids…I failed and left Violets jacket in the car. So here she is wearing mine!)
In the open air box we saw just how cool the canyon is, the Colorado river flowing next to the train tracks and the up close view of when we approached the North Pole was one of my favorite parts of the ride! I have so much to say about this trip but let me back up a little to explain how the train works…
The Santa Express train departs from Canon City, Colorado. The train then travels though the canyon and the final destination is the North Pole. (Which is a small lighted group of supposed elf homes, where the train then picks up Santa). Once you reach the North Pole, Santa boards the train. While riding to the North Pole, elves on the train bring by hot coco, cookies and sing Christmas songs. The train also serves an optional menu with dinner options, drinks, desserts, and libations for moms and dads including a great craft beer menu and local Abby wine. Being an Organic eating family, we didn’t have any options for food. Which I didn’t expect…so we ate ahead of time. (But the Abby wine is a local winery and totally worth trying!
Here’s the North Pole that we arrived to with an excited and anxious train full of kids in their PJ’s! It really was adorable!
Once we arrived and Santa boarded the train, Violet LIT UP! She was sooooo exicted. The look on her face was priceless and something I’ll always remember about this Christmas. Santa passes out bells to every child on the train, much like the movie. (If you’ve never seen the Polar Express movie, the bell on the movie is heard only by people who still believe in Santa Claus. If you don’t believe, you don’t hear the bell).
The 1.5 hour long train ride was such a wonderful and magical family memory for us. If you have little ones that would enjoy an experience like this, you should make reservations now! Something that really made me happy about the company that runs the train, we were supposed to ride the train on a Thursday night. I received an email a week before the ride that the Children’s Hospital was riding the train on that night and they were completely booked. This made me happy, because not only do I like to support local companies and events, I LOVE when they support our community! So all in all, I was very pleased with our experience and I will be recommending my family and friends to ride the train for themselves!
To book tickets of your own visit the website or call us to make a reservation for an unforgettable journey on Colorado’s top Christmas Train. Visit www.RoyalGorgeRoute.com for a full schedule, or call 1.888.724.5748 to book your trip today!
I was provided 4 tickets for my review of the Santa Express. All opinions are my own.