Let me first say, that after reading some of the negative reviews i was nervous driving all that way to be let down or have my children scared. After visiting, I realized they are either exaggerating or were never really there.
I am not a religious person and was looking for a fun, affordable Christmas activity that both my toddler and baby would enjoy . A train too? Even better.
First, tickets are hard to come by so if you get them, Congratulations! We arrived shortly after 6:00. The parking lot was almost packed, but we walked in no problem and headed for the train. We waited approx 30 minutes, but it seemed faster than that because the line moves fast and you get to see the trains come and go. When we went by the train around 8:45pm (and later) there was barely a line (maybe 5-10 min), but telling a toddler we would wait until later was not an option. The train ride was really nice. Some people complained it was scary for little kids in these reviews, which made me nervous going in. Not sure what they were complaining about. There were large pictures detailing the beginning of the world to Jesus's birth and resurrection that were outside that you passed during the ride. My boy kept saying wow! There were 2 live scenes one with statues of the crucifixion and actors playing Roman soldiers pointing at him. My boy did ask what those men were doing and I told them they were being mean. My boy yelled at them and then looked for the next picture or building to look at. The other live scene was of people rejoicing because they learned Jesus rose. The pictures were really nothing bad. The live depictions were no different than what you see in pictures or statues at a church (just on a larger scale) and you can see ahead of time coming around the corner. If you wanted, you could just turn you head or distract your child. From a person who is not religious, I was not offended and did not feel my children were traumatized. The people who reviewed anything different are being dramatic.
The train station and train was immaculate and the people very friendly. The conductor even asked my son if he wanted a picture with him in front of the train. Oh, and the reviewer that said they had to break out of a room with a blocked entrance and hop the fence? Curious what they are talking about, since we just walked right off the train back outside.
We then went to the playground and a few trips to the carousel and the pony ride (the only activity that cost us extra $ at $3). With a baby and toddler we then decided to go inside for a bit. Food prices were reasonable. I even brought in food for my toddler and was not a problem. In fact, I am guessing you could bring your own drinks and snacks in if you wanted to save money.
We then went to the puppet show which was short but really cute. We never made it on the wagon ride, even though we had time for it. Kids were tired so we grabbed a snack on the way out. It was a beautiful property and a great Christmas activity, especially when you don't live in a city and have access to numerous things.
I am hoping to be lucky enough to get tickets again next year!
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