Santa train

We didn’t get a whole lot done this weekend due to general blahs (all of us seem to be coming down with something), but we did manage to have a park meetup with one of Griff’s daycare buddies and do the Santa Train at the Museum of Life + Science, all on the same day.

Indian Trail Park off Hillandale Rd is still one of my favorite Durham parks. It’s never crowded, and the equipment is so much more interesting than the standard Boring Blue Plastic Slides in Two Sizes (Little Toddler Kid and Slightly Bigger Kid). Griff and his friend had a blast; he never plays nearly as hard with just us as he does with another kid. (I’ve edited his friend out of the photos since I don’t have permission to post his picture.)

I’d like to point out that I made that shirt for Griff 30 minutes before we left for the play date because I became convinced that he needed to have something festive to wear to the Santa Train. (Griff was unaware of this requirement and really could have cared less, although he was happy enough to have a Rudolph shirt.) There was some frantic fusible applique and stitching going on, but it turned out pretty cute. I got the templates from here.

Indian Trail Park

Indian Trail Park

Indian Trail Park

We stopped at Elmo’s for dinner after the park, and Griff was seriously exhausted after running around like a rabid wombat for two hours straight. We were afraid he’d fall asleep in the car on the way or be a tired, cranky mess at the museum, but he did great.

Sleepy Griff

The park was all dolled up with lights.

Lights near the butterfly house

Lights at the NCMLS

There was a big tent set up near the station with free hot chocolate, some craft stations (making baggies of reindeer food, pipe cleaner ornaments, etc), a bin of instant snow to play in and baggies of it to take home, and face painting.

Instant snow

Griff really wanted to have a train painted on his face, but the artist didn’t have that in her repertoire and talked Griff into being the Grinch instead. He sat patiently through the process and it turned out pretty darn cute.

Face painting

Face painting progress

You're shorter than I expected, Mister Grinch

The train ride to the North Pole was fun, although we were pretty annoyed that we paid for three tickets but had to squeeze into a single seat together. Sean barely fits into the train seats as it is, and Griff was pretty much squashed between us. The train stopped at Santa’s polar HQ, and Santa walked down the train to chat briefly with all the kids while an elf handed out coloring books and got the kids prepped to be on the lookout for runaway Rudolph on the trip back to the station. Griff needed a little prompting, but he managed to tell Santa that he wants Cranky the Crane. Little does he know that Cranky has been patiently waiting in the basement closet for the past 2 months. 🙂

After the train

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