This past weekend my family continued our tradition of kicking off the Holiday Season by riding the Santa Express train in Canon City, Colorado. The Santa Express Train, Colorado's favorite holiday train, runs through the Royal Gorge this Nov. 20 through Dec. 27.
It's a VERY popular event that brings more than 20,000 visitors to the Royal Gorge Region over a six-week period. This past weekend was the first weekend of the event and it was packed!
The Royal Gorge Route is offering more chances to experience this annual holiday treat by offering 1, 5, 6 and 8 p.m. departure times, with up to three departure times per day! We rode at 6pm, which was prime dinner time. We enjoyed dinner right on the train and drinks! The kids had eggnog, or as we now call it 'Christmas Milk'. :) For the adults, they offer a fully stocked bar with local microbrews, libations and wines which are available on any class of service. We tried the local winery Abby Winery at Holy Cross and LOVED the merlot! Just a tip! :)
The train ride is a 1.5-hour ride through Colorado's Royal Gorge to the North Pole where children wear their pajamas, listen to Christmas stories, sing Christmas carols and enjoy homemade cookies and cocoa.
Guests of all ages enjoy views of the Royal Gorge on the way to the North Pole, which is decorated like a true Christmas town, including nearly 30,000 holiday lights. The ride begins by heading to the North Pole to pick up Santa. It's so much fun for the kids and adults alike because once the train goes by the North Pole, the kids get to see Santa from the train and wave to him. I have to admit, I actually cried seeing the reaction my 4 year old had. She was genuinely the most excited I've seen her all year...and we went to Disney World twice (what does THAT say about the magic on this train! :)
Once Santa boards the train at the North Pole, all the children await their turn to share their holiday wish list (which is provided when you board the train) and receive their very special Santa Express Train gift. If you've ever seen the polar express, you need to bring your family on this wonderful Colorado experience. All the magical details are in the train ride that you're family NEEDS to make a part of your holiday season. My whole family had a really great time eating dinner, drinking holiday drinks, singing songs and riding a magical train to see Santa!