The faintest of train whistles and the jingle of bells welcomed children and families to The Polar Express at the Beaches Museum Dec. 9-10 for an afternoon of holiday festivities.
Around the park, several stations added up to one grand tradition of keeping a Christmas dream alive for local children. With the History Park decked in holiday décor, guided pathways beckoned visitors to the 1903 Pablo Beach Post Office, where children were given the opportunity to write or draw letters and pictures to send to Santa. The Mayport East Coast Railway Depot hosted its interactive model Polar Express on the upper deck, featuring a miniature train zipping through a winter wonderland complete with Christmas trees and presents
On the lower level, guests were invited to craft Christmas presents of their own with beads and ribbon, while the East Coast Railway Foreman’s House #93 housed Santa and “his favorite reindeer” for photographs.
Rounding out the activities were a showing of “The Polar Express” inside the Dickinson Gallery and a trip through the inner workings of the 1911 Steam Locomotive 4845 – the event’s own Polar Express – courtesy of Conductor Michael Chavalire, who showed children how to ring its bell.