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Archive for Museums

when santa visits wisconsin

< by Jill >

To kick off the holiday season, the National Railroad Museum of Green Bay, Wisconsin hosts a live reading of The Polar Express.

When the doors open, parents and kids flood the venue and dart off to various attractions. They line up for Christmas-themed temporary tattoos, toss hoops around reindeer antlers, and explore the cab of the world’s largest steam locomotive.

When the opening activities end, everyone returns to the auditorium area for a live reading that’s punctuated by a 10-minute hot-chocolate break. At the sound of the end, families take a train ride and visit with Santa.

Some of the families pay a premium for special access to Santa. I learned this while applying a temporary tattoo on the small, squishy cheek of Lucy, age 5. She informed me that she had a special appointment with Santa, and that she would kindly request an iPad. As I daubed water on the tattoo backing, we chatted about her many qualifications for the “nice” list. Then, as I peeled away the paper, I asked, “What kind of cookies will you leave for Santa this year?”

“Cookies?” Lucy replied, raising the s to a whistle pitch. “We don’t give Santa cookies. We give him cheese — cheddar cheese.”