Polar Express Fun – Times Two! Choo Choo!

Getting ready for the viewing of The Polar Express at the same-named party!

Last week was better known as “Polar Express Week” – well, it was for us anyway!

Kids of all ages getting glued to a viewing of The Polar Express.

First, we attended what’s become an annual tradition for T, which is a Polar Express movie-viewing party. How it works is the kids (and some moms) are invited to dress in pajamas and head over to a friend’s house for a showing of the movie. Kids of course get to sip hot chocolate and munch on other holiday goodies during the flick, and moms get to sip wine and ‘nog and chat or watch along with the kids, so a good time is had by kids and moms both! Since the kiddos were a bit older than years’ past, after the movie ended our host gathered us up to play a trivia game; guests won candies and other treats for correct answers as it applied to details of the movie. Lucky for us, the movie’s been running at our house for a couple of weeks now, all thanks to ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas movie showings (and it being recorded on our DVR), so we kind-of cleaned up in the prize department.

Kids are having a great time watching The Polar Express!

It’s just best to show more photos from the party than to blather on about it, which include photos of our own preparations of goodies – train sugar cookies, of course!

Sugar dough ready for baking in preparation for The Polar Express party!

Sheet of cut-out cookies pre-oven for our upcoming Polar Express party! T was nice enough to ask that the T cookies be kept here for us to eat (the letter cutter is a DOLLAR at Sur la Table... they have a wonderful of cookie cutters, by the way!).

All aboard the Polar Express (cookies)! Cookies are Trader Joe's Sugar Cookie Mix (I was short on time), but I made up for the mix by icing with my now-favorite homemade vanilla buttercream frosting.

T narrates the movie to his friends at The Polar Express party.

This little dude must have stood here for five minutes solid; he was absolutely mesmerized with the ice-skidding scene of the movie! So cute!

Looking forward to next year’s Polar Express party already… here’s to hoping the kiddos still “believe.”

T's ticket and bell from his Polar Express train ride with Grandma!

Then a few days after the party, T went on an actual Polar Express train ride with Grandma! Each holiday season in the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas (but excluding the weekend of Christmas), the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum and short-line train route out of Campo, CA offers a North Pole Limited Christmas Train, which is an actual train trip that mimics the story of the Polar Express adventure. Complete with hot chocolate and visits with Santa while riding back from the North Pole, Kids get the entire Polar Express experience all while enjoying the train ride and listening to the story being read as they pass the familiar landmarks along the route.

Again it’s better to just share a few photos that my mom took of their little adventure. While the North Pole Limited Christmas Train has concluded this season, you can go to their website to get on the notification list for 2012 ticket sales. FYI, it’s best to get your tickets early; I want to say my mom bought hers in October, and there were very few dates left for her to choose from, so this one is definitely for the RMT’ers who are planners.

T waits at the train station to board the North Pole Limited Christmas Train in Campo, CA (AKA - Polar Express)! Yes, it was that chilly out, for reals!

The ride (and story) wouldn't be complete without a visit from the stowaway hobo.

A helpful elf reads the story to passengers during the North Pole Limited Christmas Train Ride.

T and Grandma visit with Santa on the train. I guess T tried to tell Santa he'd seen him already this season, but Santa still asked what he wanted for Christmas... Grandma couldn't hear anything as T whispered it (and she doesn't think Santa heard either as he asked her if she heard what he asked for, ha!).

The "North Pole" on the North Pole Limited Christmas Train in Campo, CA.

Have a chug-a-rific rest of the pre-Christmas week!