There are certain holiday staples in everyone's life, many of which are developed in childhood. Whether it's sitting on Santa's lap for a photo op, viewing The Nutcracker for the millionth time or dreaming of a white Christmas (and usually being disappointed by brown grass instead), every December brings the same spirit. Thanks to the folks at the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, kids in the metroplex can start a holiday tradition of their own. The North Pole Express, a 30-minute train ride of Christmas fun, begins with "Christmas Story Time" in the Whistle Stop Theater, where kids will get to gallivant in their pajamas for a fun nighttime trip of sights and singing aboard the train. Afterward, everyone gets free admission to the North Pole Fun Park, full of train models, an ornament workshop, treats and entertainment. And, yes, Santa will be available for his usual photo ops, because some traditions never get old. The North Pole Express runs weekend nights through December 17 and departs from the Cotton Belt Depot, 701 S. Main St. in Grapevine. Tickets are $12. Call 817-410-3123 or visit gvrr.com.
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: Dec. 1. Continues through Dec. 17