Looking for something to do with the youngest holiday revelers this season? Visit Boothbay Railway Village and take them on a trip to the North Pole to visit with Santa, do crafts, listen to stories, eat cookies and drink cocoa, and more.
The trip starts at the 1912 Freeport Station and travels twice around the track, stopping at Thorndike Station at the top of a small hill. There, a jolly old elf boards to listen to holiday wishes and collect letters. On Saturday, Nov. 30, many excited young travelers and their parents and grandparents were ringing bells to help call Santa as the train stopped. Families rode in comfort in the historic classic passenger car.
Among riders were Cecelia Smith, 6 months old, and her big brother Dugan Smith, 3, of Augusta. While he excitedly rang his bell and laughed at the passing scenery, she was more concerned with her lunch bottle as the train rumbled along the track.
Dugan and friend Charlotte Wesley, 3, of Hallowell giggled at Santa and his reindeer, seen next to the train. The children shouted as the train entered the covered bridge. Bayard Newton, 10 months, of Brunswick smiled at his relations as they encouraged him to ring his bell. Winslow’s Marissa and Josie Letourneau, 5 and 2, hugged each other and their dolls as the train slowed down for Santa’s arrival.
The train trip is short enough for a toddler’s attention span, and the activities including make a holiday ornament as a souvenir keep older children occupied and interested.
BRV strongly recommends buying tickets in advance to avoid disappointment or long waits. The North Pole Express runs eight times per day, beginning at 10 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22. Weather permitting, the grounds and activities will be open from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Buy tickets at www.railwayvillage.org
Although dogs are welcome most of the year, BRV requests they be left home for this event. If a snowstorm cancels the train, there will be a refund and announcements will be made on Facebook and BRV’s website.