We topped off our weekeend with a trip out to Amish Country to go back in time some 100 years to ride the Strasburg Railroad steam train for their Santa’s Paradise Express event. And we’re giving away tickets for 1 lucky family here too! ( See bottom of post to enter!)
The kids thought the experience was marvelous and we all had a really enjoyable day out. Santa visited the kids during the ride and gave each of them a cute little magnifying glass which they all loved playing with for the rest of the day.
Plus, the kids were able to fill in Santa on their Christmas gift request – that would be a fire truck for Kyle and a mini stapler for Kenzie – our aspiring student who loves school supplies!
Santa’s Paradise Express at the Strasburg Railroad runs every weekend in December and the ride lasts 45 minutes. You’ll be chilly walking around the mini town before your board your restored Victorian train car (hint: dress warm!) but the actual train itself was very comfy and cozy as sat near the Potbelly Coal stove which kept us plenty warm. (The windows are all shut too as this is not an open air train so no fears on that end!)
Here’s what the train looks like inside.
We joined my good friend Whitney from Mommies with Style and her family for our day which made it an even more special experience for everyone. I also highly recommend planning your mini day trip with another family – as this makes it all more festive and exciting for the kids to have a big group plus gives Mom & Dad some fun adult interaction.
The scenery on the ride is of course beautiful as we could enjoy the beautiful Amish farming countryside. Carolers traveled throughout the train to sing as did a few men playing holiday music on horns.
Afterwards we all bought lunch at the little train cafe for some yummy greasy grilled cheese sandwiches and finished off lunch with Hot Chocolate that we stirred with old fashioned “Dutch style” homemade peppermint sticks that we bought on the premises. Delicious!
After your done with your trip at the Strasburg Railroad, there are also other super close train attractions to enjoy.
Directly across the street is the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania which is supposedly incredible and we hope to visit on another trip. And right down the street about 1/2 mile is a small shopping center with an Issac’s Restaurant, train shops, and the Choo Choo Barn.
We visited the Choo Choo Barn after our lunch and hot chocolate and let me tell you it was stunning and totally amazing. It is a gigantic room all made of of an enormous set up of multiple model trains. Truly a sight to see and enjoy. The adults found it fascinating while the kids were just thrilled with it. From miniature displays of everything from an Amish barn raising to an actual house fire that goes off, sets off an alarm that calls a fire truck from the station to the house and ultimately fire men getting off the truck, climbing the house with a ladder and hosing down the fire. Incredible! And a great way to top off your day at Strasburg Railroad with one more little train related activity. Recognized as one of America’s largest and most beloved model train displays, the Choo Choo Barns captivates visitors of all ages.
Now, we’re giving away a family 4 package of tickets to the Strasburg Railroad so a reader can enjoy this experience too! The date for the tickets will be for a either December 18th or December 19th. Enter by leaving a comment below letting me know you would like to attend by December 7th, 2010. (Note: I will contact the winner on December 8th to let them know they won!I know holiday schedules fill quickly!)
Disclosure: We received complimentary train tickets to the Strasburg Railroad and the Choo Choo Barn to facilitate this review.