1 Railroad Avenue, Essex, CT 860-767-0103
2016 Update: Open from November 10 – December 29, 2016
One of my new favorite Christmas traditions is taking the family aboard the The North Pole Express on the Essex Steam Train in Essex, CT. We went for the first time last year when the girls were only 11 months old. I didn’t know what to expect, or even if the girls would be too young, but it really is an activity that the whole family can enjoy. The girls loved it and I loved how it helped get everyone into the Christmas spirit.
This year I bought the tickets as soon as they went on sale in September. Coach tickets are $32, First class tickets are $65. Kids under two ride free and I knew that I wanted to take advantage of the offer before the girls’ 2nd birthday. I would highly suggest getting on their email list for reminders about ticket purchasing dates.
When you arrive at the station everything is decorated for Christmas. The kids are all dressed up in their Christmas pajamas and everyone seems to have a smile on their face. When you board your car you are greeted by your friendly elf. They each have fun Christmas names. We had Sarah Sweaterton, who knits all of her own sweaters in the North Pole.
As the train departed from the station Sarah Sweaterton began singing “Twas the Night Before Christmas” as we chanted along. The “sleepy servers” quickly made an appearance passing out hot chocolate and sugar cookies. Yum!
The “North Pole” is several small lighted houses where Santa and his elves live.
Once we passed the North Pole, Santa boarded the train. I’ve been prepping the girls for months about Santa, so much that Olivia now lovingly refers to him as “Ho Ho.” I wasn’t sure how the girls would act when meeting him this year. Thankfully both girls took to Santa rather well. He even passed out jingle bells to all of the children on the train.
We even had a visit from Mrs. Claus.
As the train turned back from the North Pole we were handed caroling books. The whole car sang classic Christmas songs. There was even a train-wide singing of “Silent Night.”
We all enjoyed the The North Pole Express this year and I’m sure we’ll be back again next Christmas.