The Christmas Train.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last year we discovered a local park called Irvine Regional Park. We went for the first time over the summer and then again for their pumpkin patch in October. 

When we went for the pumpkin patch in October, they gave us a brochure advertising their Christmas train in December. The Christmas train had become such a popular event at the park that they only sell tickets online. I was intrigued. I found out more information and I quickly I booked us tickets.

I knew I wanted to go back again this year so when I got the email that the tickets were on sale, I knew I had to book them. But, before I did, I knew there would be another little boy that might be interested in going. So, with a quick email to Desiree (who was so excited to go!) we made plans to visit the Christmas train this past weekend together.

We love this park and the Christmas train is one of our favorite activities every year. I was so excited to introduce Desiree, Scott, and Marcus to one of our favorite holiday traditions.

We met them there slightly before 5pm, picked up our train tickets at will call and hopped on the train for our 5pm train ride. There was hardly a line and we were able to get on the train almost right away.

The train ride was amazing. Mason was in awe the whole time and just sat on Seth's lap staring at all the lights on the trees.

The train was moving pretty slow but fast enough to not be able to get many good pictures but just imagine riding on a train through a forest of trees completely lit up with lights. It was BEAUTIFUL. I told Seth that I wish my backyard looked like that (you know, if we had a backyard). It's like the Christmas tree in your house times a hundred. I could have sat out there all night.

The train ride is a two part-er in the fact that you ride the train on the first leg and stop to get off to see Santa.

Yep, the S word. The man that Mason has grown to love so dearly this Christmas season. And yep, you guessed it, I attempted ONE last picture with Santa. This time I thought I was prepared. I would hold Mason on my lap and I would be the one sitting next to Santa. It was fool proof. Mason would be happy because I was there and I would get a good picture.

So naive.

Definitely not the look of horror from Santa attempt #1, but definitely not happy. And about 3 seconds later, he tried to wiggle away and we were done. I asked him if he wanted a candy cane that Santa was offering and he couldn't get away fast enough.

Mason : 3
Santa and Mommy : 0

We took a couple pictures and waited for the train to go back to the train depot.

After about another 5 minute ride, we were back at the depot and ready to explore Santa's Village.

When we first entered Santa's Village, Mason and Marcus were together and then after that, they ran in separate directions. 

Mason went to investigate the lights everywhere and Marcus went to play a game.

Mason was fascinated by all the lights...

...and obsessed with running back and forth and back and forth on this porch.

After about 10 minutes of running, we decided to go find Desiree, Scott, and Marcus and of course we found them at toddler heaven : a bounce house.

Mason never used to be so willing to go in alone (or even at all) but he couldn't get his shoes off fast enough to go join Marcus in there.

These two had a BLAST. They were bouncing and laughing and playing. It was so fun to watch.

The bounce house had a 10 minute limit (very smart of them or the kids would have stayed in there FOREVER) so after the bounce house, we decided to decorate cookies.

They certainly don't skimp on the cookie size of these cookies! I swear they were almost as big as Mason's head (which was pretty exciting for Seth and I because it meant that we got to eat some cookie when Mason was done).

After cookie decorating, we walked around to check out the rest of the lights, hit up the Santa bounce house, and then left to go get dinner together.

We had a blast with Desiree, Scott, and Marcus and are already planning our trip back next year! And just the short time of actual interaction between Mason and Marcus makes me SO excited for an actual playdate (hopefully in the near future!).

Thanks for coming with us Desiree, Scott, and Marcus! We had a blast!


Oh, and in case you would like to see all 3 Santa fails...

one // two // three


  1. I love all of the different activities they offer! It looks like so much fun! And isn't always the little things? That would so be Wyatt, running on the porch, ha!

  2. Ooh that santa train looks fun! I love seeing how they are all different in different states! I was just saying this year that I want to go with friends next year cause I think noah will have even more fun that way!

  3. The Santa fails have me cracking up! Seriously he's so funny. And that train and park looks divine. We might just need to make the trek to Irvine soon!

  4. Okay I am dyyyyyyyying!! That picture of you and Mason with Santa?! THE BEST EVER!!
    This seriously looks SO fun! I am loving all the festive activities you've been doing!

  5. This is such an awesome event! So fun that you got to go with Desiree & Marcus!

  6. Oh how fun! And so many lights!!! There's always next year for Santa! ;-)

  7. That looks so fun!! I love all the lights, and especially that picture of what looks like the train going through a light tunnel. So cool! At least this Santa picture it actually looks like he's sort of smiling, even though it was another fail :) That's awesome that you're able to get together with Desiree and her family often- love it!

  8. I just love seeing two of my favorite bloggers together! It's just so fun you guys live close enough to hang out! This train looks so cool and I LOVE the tunnel light photo when the train is moving! I think Santa #3 is a keeper because it's a cute photo of you with Mason -- even if he wasn't loving Santa. :) Looks like such a fun night - so many great things for littles! Love it!

  9. Reading your post has me so excited to go back again next year!!
    Oh my gosh, your picture from in the train tunnel turned out SO COOL!!
    And, there was a porch? We totally didn't even make it that far. I think we were ice fishing or something, at that point. HA!
    Thank you so much for introducing us to so much awesome. I can't wait to see what fun the boys have next year!
    (And yes, play date soon!)

  10. Another awesome place!! I’m jealous of all your adventures. Seriously! These pictures are great! And the cookie decorating? How amazing is that!

  11. This one is my fave Santa!!!! That face, I love it. Your train and light pic is like you are warping...lightspeed and all. And I want a cookie the size of my face. I think I need to make those soft sugar cookie with the ton of frosting this year. drool. Love that you and Desiree can hang out for all the fun things now, and so cool that they were playing together in the bounce house!!

  12. How fun - love all the lights, and the pictures of Mason checking them out. So cute!! :)


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