December 4, 2009

Christmas Favorites! The Polar Express & Ornament

I live in an area full of fun family activities, especially around the holidays. Our local botanical gardens puts on a fabulous light display every year, and every year we pile in the car and drive through the gardens, oohing and aahing over the lights. This year we signed up early enough to participate in their "Polar Express" event, and it was so much fun!

We arrived at the visitors center and were greeted with hot cocoa and sugar cookies. We took these to the table where we sat down to make our very own bell ornament, just like in the book! The ornament is super-easy and would make a great preschool craft.

What you'll need:
  • ribbon
  • small jingle bells
  • Christmas-colored pony beads
Yep, I bet you can figure out the rest. Just let the kids thread the bell and beads, tie a knot to keep the beads from shifting and another to make a loop... or use a long ribbon to make a bell necklace!

Don't you love how hard she's concentrating? I made one for the baby, and she really enjoyed wearing her necklace and jingling the bell. (That is, until she pulled out the knot and lost the beads and bell somewhere in the recesses of the already messy backseat of the car. At least she didn't swallow any of the beads... I hope.)

After the craft, the kids gathered round for a reading of The Polar Express. I won't bother reviewing such a beloved and well-known classic. The fact it was recently turned into a motion picture is a nod to the mastery of the story and illustrations. (Please, please, please don't let your children see the movie without first reading them the book!)

When the story was over, we climbed into our own Polar Express (the garden tram) and took a tour of the enchanted, twinkling gardens.

I hope you are finding fun things to do in your area and making your own family traditions! Next week I'll be featuring books and crafts that make great holiday gifts... and I have a surprise at the end of the week.


  1. What a neat event they put together for the kids in your community. Looks like fun! Thanks for adding your link to the Holiday Blog Hop.

  2. We also enjoy taking our two daughters (ages nine and seven) to various Christmas activities. Last night we attended a theatrical production of A Christmas Carol - it was wonderful!!

    It's my first visit to your blog - it's lovely!!

  3. How fun! My boys would have loved this. What a special memory! :)


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