2013 – My Christmas Elf – Day 8 – Train Time

Speaking of traditions…..last year we started a new one.  It has got to be one of my favourites.  The annual Santaland Excursion!

Santa land is a section of the major Myer department stores dedicated to housing Santa.  It is truly a wonderful experience for all involved and a day my kids talk about all year!

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The Elves knew about our plans!  The kids had not seen this train set for ages and couldn’t believe the elves had found it and put it together! Trixie the elf is being ever so helpful and giving Holly Jingles a ride. 

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All dressed ready to go we drove to the train station ready for the adventure to begin.  Getting the train is a special experience for our kids and I sometimes wonder if that is their highlight of the day!  I must admit, however that I was shocked at the price of train tickets!  Nearly $10 one way for an adult and $4.50 for a child!!!  I might have been better off driving in! Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 5.43.33 AM

As we headed into the mall, the festive spirit was alive and well.  All the stores have their Christmas displays in the windows and the mall was decorated ready to welcome the Christmas shoppers.  The kids RAN from display to display!Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 5.43.43 AM

But our favourite display as always was the Myer Christmas Windows.  Each year the windows have a theme based on a childrens story.  This year it was “Gingerbread Friends” by Jan Brett.  Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 5.43.53 AM

The windows are interactive with each display moving and playing music.  Some of it is quite realistic so be warned my kids even got a little scared when a character moved towards them! 

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With the windows done, it was off into Santaland! 

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Myers really knows how to create an experience.  Literally as we walked in the doors,  we found some clues on how to get to Santaland!  Scan this symbol with an app on your phone for an interactive story.Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 5.44.33 AM

On arrival at Santaland, children line up for a ride on santa’s train.  They are presented with a “golden ticket” (which they get to keep) to board the magical train.  The train only starts when the children yell “SANTA”  It ravels a few times around the track, ringing it’s bell. 
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A few families at a time then enter Santa’s area.  There is a movie on for the kids to watch and the cutest santa boot stools! Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 5.44.56 AM

Finally it’s our turn! Santa’s helpers had already asked Mummy what the children’s names are so when they walk into Santa’s house he greets them by name and comments on how much they have grown. 
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Santa is seated in his lounge room complete with his reindeer sleeping on the floor.  The Reindeer is electronic and occasionally his chest rises and his ears twitch! It had Little miss A fooled but not Master O! Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 5.45.35 AMIt is such a great setup.  The kids can chat away to Santa without the hustle and bustle of the other people in line.  Santa really took the time to chat to the kids about their year, and what they wanted for christmas.  This made my Santaphobic Little Miss A feel so comfortable, she happily posed for a photo!  

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After their official photo they had a quick play outside Santas house on the train.

and the finished product…..

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Our last Santa photo of just TWO CHILDREN.

We had all of this done and dusted (including a very thorough browse of the toy section) by 11am!  Right in time for lunch!

Both kids fell asleep on the train ride home, thoroughly exhausted.  This was one of those days that my heart literally burst with joy.  To have such a wonderful time with two healthy and happy children, experiencing the magic of Christmas together.  One tradition I hope remains for many years to come.

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