My son is two and a half and I feel like this is the first Christmas that he is starting to “get it”. It’s been so fun to do lots of Christmas activities with him, but I’m quickly realizing that we just can’t do them all because of the cost.
While activities like taking a pictures with Santa, seeing Rudolph at The Majectic Theatre, visiting the North Pole Express, going ice skating, or checking out the Trains at Northpark are all fun activities, everything costs and it starts to add up. With the added expense of Christmas shopping in December, I was on the hunt to find a free family-friendly activity.
I found just that at Joel’s Holiday Express Train Ride in Richardson. (156 Hidden Circle, Richardson, 75081)
One night this week my little family of three loaded up the car to go look at Christmas lights. Just looking at Christmas lights was a magical experience for him, but our grand finale made things even more magical. We made our final stop at Joel the Trainman’s house for a ride on The Holiday Express.
Joel the Trainman, is a local Richardson retiree. The train he built in his backyard was first just a little project for his grandchildren but over the last 10 years has become a must see attraction in Richardson for 6,ooo-8,000 people each year.
It’s an electric train on wooden tracks that is guided by a metal beam much like a monorail, driven by the kindest man you’ll ever meet. It’s large enough for adults and children to ride and even has a train car that can be transformed to fit a wheel chair in just a few minutes. His entire backyard is filled with thousands of lights and Christmas characters to look at during the 5 minutes train ride.
Sadly, because of Joel’s heath at age 81 and the cost to maintain the trains, this will be his last year to have The Holiday Express open.
Even though you won’t be able make this an annual tradition, you must check it out this year!! It’s such a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy for free.
The train runs every night (rain or shine) from 6pm to 10pm through its last night on Jan 1st, 2014.
You can read more about Joel the Trainman and his Holiday Express Train here.
Do you know of any other family friendly Christmas activities that are FREE in the area?