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Take a ride on the Polar Express

Grand CanyonAt this time of year you can see Christmas anywhere, even in the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Railway runs a Polar Express service throughout December, with the train journey taking around an hour and a half. While on board there are various treats and a reading of the Christmas story. This is a great trip for all the family and you even get to pick up Santa at the North Pole!

The Polar Express was written by Chris Van Allsburg and has become a classic. The Grand Canyon Railway brings the story to life every winter, with a starting point of Williams, Arizona. Santa waits with his reindeer at the North Pole and while you listen to the story you can enjoy treats of chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate.

Entertaining the family on the journey are elves, chefs and plenty of other colorful characters, and you will be encouraged to sing and dance to some of your favorite holiday songs. Everybody gets to spend time with Santa as the train heads back to the depot at Williams and he hands out gifts to all the children on board the train.

Children are presented with bells as a representation of the spirit of Christmas and there is a fun Christmas carol singalong on the way back. With three trips each day you can choose a time that suits you from departures at 3.30pm, 5.30pm or 7.30pm; however, it should be noted that the early train is a matinee service that does not run every day and you should check in advance to make sure that the time you want is available.

Sometimes it is really difficult to get into the Christmas spirit but a trip like this could remind you of the type of Christmas you had in your childhood. Take the opportunity to be creative and dress up – some parents even recommend Christmas pajamas! You should make sure that you wrap up warm for the trip, as even in Arizona it can be windy, wet or even snowing; therefore, check out the weather forecast before you leave and dress accordingly. You will be fine inside the train but you will also spend time outside the train and you need to be prepared.

You should also make sure that you plan enough time for you and your family to explore the depot at Williams and spend a little time with Santa to really make the most of your time here.

Tickets for the train start at $18 and rise to $37, and it is recommended that you book well in advance. The popularity of this attraction means that getting a seat on the train is harder every year; therefore, make sure that you and your family do not miss out.

If you do not live in the area around Williams or within easy reach, you might want to consider staying for a few days so that you can really explore the area.  

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