Train Ride Brings Christmas to Life for Children

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A Christmas story came to life for people in Van Buren Saturday. They bundled up in their pajamas and headed to the Van Buren Train Depot.

The A & M Railroad based in Springdale partnered with Exploring with Happy to offer a Christmas Pajama Train.

The train, decorated for the holiday, looked as though it was right out of the Polar Express, according to those boarding the train.

"We love the Polar Express," said Summer Bonner, who was boarding the train with her husband, Josh, and daughter, Marley Dawn. "We're looking forward to that. We're ready for her to get old enough so we can start reading the Polar Express to her. That was one of my favorite books growing up."

The train traveled through the Ozark Mountains to Winslow. They sang Christmas songs and nibbled on Christmas cookies and candy canes.

Carson Lee, and his twin brother Grayson, even shared the story of the Polar Express, remembering the first gift of Christmas.

"It was one bell from Santa's sleigh," Carson Lee said. "It was for those who believe."

At the end of the ride, Santa greeted the children on the train, waiting to hear what all they wanted for Christmas.

"I want a big Barbie house and an iPod," said 4-year-old Bella Graham, who was snuggled up to her mom during the ride.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child which sends shoe boxes loaded with Christmas presents to kids around the world.

For more about Exploring with Happy, CLICK HERE.