GALVESTON, Texas – In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey, as portrayed by Jimmy Stewart, identifies the three most exciting sounds in the world as anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles. At the Galveston Railroad Museum located at the end of The Strand in Galveston, families can hop on a magical train to the North Pole. And yes, the train whistle on the Santa Fe F-Unit Warbonnet historic engine means you’re in for an exciting time!
“The Polar Express” is licensed by Rail Events and Warner Bros. Pictures, and is based on the classic children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg and the 2004 movie adaptation that featured Tom Hanks as the train’s conductor.
There’s no shame in wearing your family’s matching holiday pajamas for a train ride where the story of “The Polar Express” comes to life. Or, if you’re a busy mom like me and forget to put your child in PJ’s, the store’s gift shop has you covered. The toddler-sized nightgown did come with a little sticker shock at $28, but it’s all part of the experience and so it was $28 well spent.
My family, including my husband, three-year-old daughter and mother-in-law, had a wonderful time. Highlights included receiving the first gift of Christmas - a silver bell from Santa himself - and enjoying a cookie and hot chocolate during a performance of “The Hot Chocolate Song.” The experience definitely hinges on how much fun your fellow passengers are willing to have, so I encourage you to sing, dance and have fun – it will add to the enjoyment for your family and for those around you.
The unforgettable train ride ends at the North Pole, where kids can have a dance party with Santa and his elves. It’s a great place to snap more photos of your pajama-clad children having a blast.
While this is a family-friendly attraction, it also makes for a memorable date night. There are even adult beverages available at the train depot, for those who wish to partake.
“The Polar Express” at the Galveston Railroad Museum runs through December 23. For tickets, visit Galvestonrrmuseum.org or call 409-765-5700. The Galveston Railroad Museum is located at 2602 Santa Fe Place in Galveston.