24 Days of Christmas: Day 13

We tried something new for day 13. The card said “train ride”. Jordan asked what that meant, he didn’t know of any trains in our area. I didn’t either until a friend suggested we check out Christmas in the Village at Heritage Acres.

My friend goes there frequently, I’ve only been there once when I was a teenager and it wasn’t at Christmas. I was told there was a pretty decent train ride and the whole place was decorated with lots to do. It was only available 2 weekends (the first 2 of December) and we ended up going on the last day.

It was a good price, $10 per car load. I liked that it wasn’t per person, since there are 5 of us now, and it encourages carpooling if you want to go with other people. It opened at 5 PM so we went out early to eat first (hungry children are not fun).

When all was said and done we got there right at 5:01… and the parking lot was already full. They were sending people back down the road to another parking lot where an old school bus was shuttling everyone back and forth. We parked, waited a few minutes for the bus and then we were on our way.

You could see the trains from where the bus dropped us off. That was what the kids wanted to do first. There was a long line up but with a few trains circulating at once, the wait wasn’t too bad. It was the type of train that you straddle, quite small, but quite long as well. I was a bit worried about the 3 kid to 2 adult ratio (especially with 2 of those kids being 3 and less than a year old), but we gave it a try and they all did quite well.

There were sets along the track lighting up different cartoon characters and other displays. There was a tunnel and a bridge and it was a fairly lengthy ride. Lincoln (10 months) was sitting behind me with Will holding him. Even he was getting excited squealing and hitting my sides and back as we chugged along.

After the train ride we decided to check out the village. There was a Santa (the REAL Santa they said) who the kids could talk to and get pictures with. We just took a look at him, there was a line and the kids had already gone to see Santa at the mall, but he looked very nice and the set was lovely.

There was plenty of food. Had I known, we would have had something there instead of eating early. There were lots of neat little things all over the place.  Unfortunately, it was getting cold out and we were not really prepared so we didn’t stay too long.

We promised the kids that we would plan it better next year now that we knew what to expect. They understood, they had fun on the train and our little walk around and were already talking about going back next year. The bus ran regularly and we got back to our car quite quickly. I’m excited to do it again next year and check out all of the fun stuff they have to offer.

If you are planning on going next year I have two pieces of advice:

  1. Everything is cash only so make sure you have some. The train ride is included in the entrance fee and a lot of things seemed to be by donation but if you want food or pictures with Santa bring extra cash.
  2. Take the bus. The lot fills up quickly and it looks pretty hectic to get out of it. It seemed easier to park in the lot across the way and take the bus in.

Remember to look into events in your area! You might be surprised at what you will find. I think this one will be a new family tradition for us. See you there next year!

 

If you missed the beginning of the series check out the posts below, and don’t forget to follow along right up to Christmas!

Introduction: Why we are doing a family advent calendar

Day 1: Santa’s Anonymous

Day 2: Decorating the Tree

Day 3: Visit Santa at the Mall

Day 4: Family Movie Night

Day 5: Sock Snowmen

Day 6: The Ferris Wheel

Day 7: Diabetes Disaster and Fun with Paint

Day 8: Treats for the Teachers

Day 9: Colouring with the Family

Day 10: Christmas Cards?

Day 11: School Movie Night

Day 12: Gingerbread House

 

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