It's August, and about that time when we start telling ourselves things like 'I'm going to be really organised for Christmas this year'. We make the pledge, our intentions are there. And then, reality hits – the kids need new school shoes, the cat needs taking to the vet, the dishwasher breaks. And we don't start thinking about Christmas again until 30th November.
If there's one thing that's going to encourage us to plan ahead, though, it's The Polar Express Train Ride – which looks truly MAGICAL, and is touring across the UK throughout the 2021 festive season. In fact, future us will be so impressed by how forward-thinking we were back in the summer, that we'll have definitely earned ourselves a mince pie (and maybe even a glass of mulled wine).
Whether you're fans of the 2004 film starring Tom Hanks, or you love the original book by Chris Van Allsburg, this thrilling yuletide experience brings to life The Polar Express as you've never seen it before.
Your adventure begins at the Park and Ride, where buses will shuttle you from the car park to the railway. If you like, you can even wear your pyjamas (just like in the movie). Once the conductor has given you his grand welcome, the steam engine will fire up and you'll be on your way to the North Pole.
On board, you'll be entertained by singing and dancing chefs, as the conductor makes his way up the train to say hello and check your tickets. You'll also be given a delicious chocolatey cookie and hot chocolate to enjoy during the journey. We've heard rumours of a ghostly figure who wanders up and down the carriages, too, though you might find that you're the only ones who can see him.
Once you've arrived at your destination, Santa and his elf helper will step aboard to meet all the children, and gift them a shiny silver bell from his sleigh as a memento. The train will then begin to make its way back towards home, as the chefs lead you in singing a few classic Christmas tunes during the journey.
Santa's workshop will also be open for visitors to explore at the end of your trip, where you can purchase toys, souvenirs and goodies. There'll be a Naughty or Nice scanner, too, where grownups and kids can find out whether they've made it onto Santa's Nice List.
The Polar Express Train Ride will be stopping off at South Devon Railway, Cholsey and Wallingford Railway in Oxfordshire, Wensleydale Railway in Yorkshire, and Spa Valley Railway in Kent. Bookings are available for November and December 2021, and tickets are selling fast – so plan ahead and get yours now at seesanta.co.uk.
This article was commissioned by PNP events, but all views are our own.