“Let your imagination take flight” aboard Verde Canyon Railroad is the message for our extremely unique Christmas adventure. Starting December 1, and running every Saturday and Sunday, through December 23 the departure times are 5:30 and 7:00 p.m.
Prior to boarding, families will be able to tour a miniature village featuring 10 tiny houses on a town square with a flight path for children (wearing provided wings) and a walking path for adults offering an eagle’s eye-view of what the majestic birds, that live in our canyon, see in flight. There will be lots of holiday food fare available while perusing the depot grounds illuminated with an overabundance of colorful lights. Luminaries will light the Southwestern-style depot roofline and icicle lighting will adorn the depot’s wrap-around porch and pergola. The spirit of Christmas will be visible long before guests reach the depot grounds. Children are asked to drop their “letters to Santa” in a mailbag which will be delivered to the North Pole during each train ride.
The train cars and open-air viewing cars are all adorned in the same festive illumination. A live bald eagle, courtesy of our education partner Liberty Wildlife of Arizona, and a beautiful princess, will greet the children as they board the train for a 1-hour, round-trip journey through a real “magical” tunnel to the North Pole and back. Along the route, silhouettes of the critters that reside in the canyon will be featured in three-dimensional brilliance which will light the journey to the North Pole.
At the magical North Pole passengers will see 16 creatively-decorated buildings featuring of course Santa’s Workshop, Mrs. Claus’ bakeshop, a coal mine, reindeer barn, elf school and ugly sweater factory among others. Mrs. Claus and acrobatic elves will wave good-bye to Santa Claus as he boards the train for the return trip to Clarkdale. The man in the big red suit will interact with all the children and gift them with a little memento as a reminder of their Christmas Adventure aboard Verde Canyon Railroad.