Take a magical ride on the Santa Express

We received tickets in exchange for review. Opinions are my own.

We are quickly approaching the most wonderful time of the year! For most children, visiting Santa is on top of their list between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and what better way to visit with Santa than to take a magical ride with him on the Santa Express.
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Royal Gorge Railroad in Cañon City, Colorado, runs from early March through early January with dinner trains, murder mysteries, and at this time of year trips to the North Pole on the Santa Express! You board the train and are served dinner and drinks prior to departing the station, and once the train gets going Santa’s elves deliver hot cocoa and cookies to good little boys and girls and their moms and dads! After traveling about 30 minutes, you arrive at the North Pole, where Santa and his elves greet you as you look out the train windows. After a brief stop, Santa boards the train and makes his way through the cars spending time with each family. After listening to your wish list, Santa presents each child with a sleigh bell from the Santa Express.

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Once you enter the Royal Gorge, just underneath the Royal Gorge Bridge, you stop momentarily, then make your trip back to the station. In all, the trip is roughly an hour and a half. If you don’t like sitting inside you can step outside to one of the outdoor cars and take in breathtaking views of Royal Gorge Canyon. We could see stars all around us on the beautiful clear night when we went. Be sure to dress warm as it does get chilly out there in the canyon! Your little ones can dress in their PJs for a nice homey feeling.

Ticket prices fluctuate between $40 and $60 and you can pre-purchase meals and photos with Santa. There are various different seating options to choose from. We sat in the dome car where we could look up and enjoy the breathtaking scenery from our car itself. There are cars with tables along the windows and a full bar with alcoholic and nonalcoholic goodies for adults and kids alike. A la carte meal prices run approximately $14 and there are also delicious desserts to choose from at approximately seven dollars. There are three or four options for the little ones to choose for their meals; my daughter chose her normal macaroni and cheese. They have some holiday themed alcoholic drinks including a Rudolph, which I enjoyed, made from caramel apple rum and apple cider. You can also try hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, another favorite in our family!

While the train travels there are plenty of entertainment options. Kids are provided with a wish list to fill out as well as coloring and puzzle pages. Santa’s elves lead sing-alongs and play Santa bingo and reindeer hokey pokey.

My daughter is seven now, and I don’t know how much longer she will believe in the magic that is Santa Claus, so I am very happy that we were able to take this ride this year. Our entire family had a wonderful time both indoor in our seating area and standing outside watching the stars. It is quite a hike from the Denver area, over two hours, but I certainly believe it was worth every second of our drive!
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Tickets can be purchased, and more information can be found at Royal Gorge Route, or call 1.888.724.5748. Get your tickets soon as these rides tend to fill up quickly! This will definitely be a night to remember for both you and your children!

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