Sunday, December 28, 2014

Our Christmas Highlight on The Polar Express

Another fabulous Christmas is in the books and I have the photos to prove it!

After all the blogging this past month, I took a few days off to enjoy with my family and we crammed a lot of memories into one short week.

Have you read or watched The Polar Express?

I think the movie, with an animated Tom Hanks playing several characters, came out before my children. 10 years ago, to be exact, since we were able to enjoy the 10th anniversary of the movie with The Polar Express train ride. It was quite an event and we are already planning to make it a yearly occasion.

Last year my son's class read the book and then right before break, they watched the movie. I forget why, but my son only saw part of the movie in class, so we watched it as a family at home.

It was a sweet tale about believing and holding onto a belief a Christmas. Much more elaborate than the beautifully illustrated storybook version by Chris Van Allsburg, it contained many characters most of which were voiced by Tom Hanks. Great detail was put into the animation and it even won a Grammy for the song "Believe". 

So both my older children were excited when they found out we were headed to the North Pole for our own little by train.

This is my favorite part about Christmas. Being able to infuse a little more magic into such a special time of year for my 5 and 7 year old was so worth it. We were encouraged to come dressed in comfortable pajamas and most of the kids were.  Seated at tables for 4, cast members read the original story to the train car then served up the appropriate Hot Chocolate and cookies as seen in the movie.

Then we were able to "pick up" Santa at the North Pole and the excitement in the car was palpable.

Santa stopped at each and every table to talk with the children and hand out special Santa bells. Of course, we could all hear the bell ring showing that we all believed.

Other cast members from the movie joined us like the conductor...

As well as the friendly hobo, who still couldn't hear any of the Santa bells ring. 

I know my children were fans of the movie before riding our own local Polar Express, but now I have a feeling they will be asking to watch it every year. As a parent, it was one of my favorite memories from this holiday. Seeing so many smiles and so much joy was  wonderful.

Tickets sell early, so mark your calendars for next year. Most states have their own Polar Express ride around the holidays in conjunction with Time Warner pictures. It was quite an experience and one I recommend (un-sponsored) trying with your young children next Christmas.

Have you taken The Polar Express with your family?
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