Polar Express Train Ride

After keeping you in suspense all of last week, I’m ready to share with you about our weekend adventure!  We took a weekend vacation to Bryson City, North Carolina to ride the Polar Express Train Ride through the Great Smoky Mountains.  And it was awesome!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

We rented a cabin with our good friends for the weekend, just outside of Bryson City.  So we spent the day on Saturday hot-tubbing, eating, playing games and exploring the town.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

And finally, Sunday evening, we all got dressed in our jammies and got ready to ride The Polar Express Train Ride.  The pajamas I made for the kids were a huge hit!  {In fact they’ve enjoyed them all this week at school Christmas parties and pajama days!}.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

I swear Amelia liked hers too….she was just too busy pitching a fit to be bothered with pictures.  {And she will soooooo thank me someday, when she sees this post as a teenager!}

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

Can you tell I made her pants first?  I then decided that the big girls’ pants needed more leg room and more ruffles!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

Jayna tells me she feels like “posing” when she wears these pants.  Success, I’d say!  Do you want to make some of these pajamas for your kids?  Click here to learn how to make the pants, here to make the cuffs and ruffles, and here to make the appliquéd shirts.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

After we were all dressed, we headed into town and waited to board the train.  It was cold…but worth the wait!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

We even had time for a heart to heart with Santa {#1}…Millie was still busy crying…so Jayna relayed her wish list to Santa for her.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

Once we boarded the train and started up the mountain, we were served hot chocolate and cookies by our own personal chefs {and train guides}, Cookie and Poinsettia.  The kids also got to sing carols and dance in the aisles.  They were kept busy and happy, while us adults marveled at the picturesque scenery of backwoods North Carolina…use your imagination!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

The train conductor walked around and punched our golden tickets….no indicative words punched, but still fun!  And then the hobo walked around and shook hands with the kids.  Finally, we reached The North Pole.  And although some bahumbugs had complained on the “reviews” page of the website about the “lame” lights on houses…the kids thought the little town that portrayed The North Pole was magical, and I thought Cookie and Poinsettia did a great job of telling little stories about which houses each of the reindeer and elves lived in.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

And at one point, the train even stopped because there were “reindeer on the track.”  After much “shooing” and “move!-ing” from the kids, the train was on it’s way again….but B spotted a special guest who had gotten on the train!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

Santa {#2} walked up and down the aisles and talked to each of the kids, giving them each a bell and sharing North Pole secrets or knock knock jokes.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

He was just the right combination of mysterious and mischievous to make Jayna light up!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

And make Millie giggle {from afar}!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

The entire way home we sang Christmas carols and rehashed the evening.  It was a fantastic experience!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

P.S.  Here’s my official review of The Polar Express Train Ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad:  Fantastic!   Some ADULTS might see it as a little lame, but as far as I was concerned, it was ideal for KIDS under 7ish….and the more the parents got into the caroling and the hype, the more excited the kids seemed to be.  The hot chocolate was good, and not too hot!  And the cookies were nice and big, although a teeny bit hard.  We took the 5:00 ride on December 15th…the wait to board the train was cold, and pretty hectic.  Not a whole lot of organization, and had a whole lot of over-zealous parents who “cut” in the messy lines, even though it didn’t matter in the end and there was plenty of seating!  You’ll want to have the kids sit on the left side of the train {that would be the opposite side of the train than where the doors are located}, as that’s the side that The North Pole will mostly be on, and where Santa will wave from.  It was light outside when we got on the train….so lots of “interesting” scenery for the adults to look at while the kids danced in the aisles {think cars in the river, scrapyards, trailer parks, etc.}. But on the way home, it was dark….not a whole lot of lit up houses, but it didn’t seem to matter because we sang the whole way home.  We sat in coach and paid $30-something to $40-something each for tickets {kids and adults}….and it was fine, totally worth it.  But we were next to the next “class” up of car, and it seemed like they got a lot more “stuff” {mugs, lanyards, etc.}, so I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be worth upgrading one class of seating?  Overall, fantastic experience!  And wonderful, fun weekend away with friends!

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    […] December, we took the kids to ride on the Polar Express Train up in the Smokie Mountains of North Carolina.  And in keeping with the spirit of the original […]