Time is flying headlong towards Christmas, like Santa's reindeer in a hurry. Take a break from the last-minute hustle-bustle to enjoy some of the entertainment and family activities the season offers. After all, the season only comes once a year.
If you have children, few activities rival the excitement of the time-honored tradition of chatting with Santa. There's still time to do it in an extremely special way - climb aboard the Santa Express, a 15-year tradition by Cape May Seashore Lines. New this year is the Starlight Santa Express, with evening trips Thursday, Dec. 23.
The Santa Express makes the 30-mile round trip between Richland Village and Tuckahoe Village train stations. Kids young and old can enjoy the historic and fun train ride with Santa on board, and he'll visit with everyone.
"Throughout the past 14 seasons of the Santa Express, our passengers have become just as much a part of our Christmas tradition as we've become of theirs," says Tony Macrie, Seashore Lines president and general manager.
Children are invited to bring their wish-list letters to Santa, and parents and grandparents are urged to bring cameras and their holiday spirit.
"The train typically includes Budd-built Rail Diesel Cars, originally owned by the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines. Sixty years ago, these exact cars began traveling the very same track we will be using today," Macrie says in a press release.
Other cars include a cafe car, built in 1947 for the New York Central System. The historic car served on many famous New York Central trains departing Grand Central Terminal in New York City, including the Empire State Express, the Commodore Vanderbilt and the Southwestern Limited. The train is pulled by vintage diesel locomotives.
The Santa Starlight Express leaves Tuckahoe at 6 and 8 p.m. Thursdays and departs Richland at 7 and 9 p.m.
Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for children, or $20 for everybody in the cafe car. Buying tickets online is highly suggested, as a very limited number are available at each station prior to train departure. Go to www.capemayseashorelines.org for tickets. The Santa Express operates rain or shine - and snow, if we're really lucky, such as last year.
Don't miss the Repertory Theater's last "Musical Mondays" event, featuring an evening of cabaret music, at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20. Go to www.ocrep.org.