Though we live in Northwest Arkansas, we bundled up and drove two hours into Oklahoma to ride the "Christmas Train." The Christmas Train is located in a ghost town called "Dry Gulch." Originally, Dry Gulch was an old time western town built to be used in movies- a movie set. After filming wrapped up for the western shoot, a local church purchased the set and saved Dry Gulch from being destroyed. This was in the early 1980's. It is such a neat story! What makes it an even better tale is that the church uses it in the summer as a church camp (my Rachel went there once for church camp as a kid!) and in the winter months, the place is a magical winter wonderland where the true meaning of Christmas is displayed.
Dry Gulch is an amazing place to visit and well worth the long drive. There are characters that roam the streets- cowboys, outlaws, a sheriff, singing carolers- dressed in authentic clothing. There are saloons, general stores, mercantiles, bakeries, candy shops, and boarding houses. The movies spared no expense when creating a faux western town! The train gives a message of salvation as you pass live nativity scenes complete with animals and a final Crucifixion scene with live actors. There are horse drawn sleigh rides, mini-trains, pony rides, and even Mrs. and Mr. Clause. The streets are lit and Christmas music plays in every building. Think mini Silver Dollar City, if you are from my area.
We had a great time! We are officially in the spirit of the holidays!
Ashley and Rachel
Map of the park
The Christmas Train
Our Boarding Passes
Riding the rides- they were all free! Once you paid for your ticket, you had access to all the attractions.
Since the activities were free, Harbor William went through this maze three times.
Riding the pony
Taking the "Night Before Christmas" sleigh ride- also free with your ticket! The story was displayed in different areas of the woods as we traveled through. We had a guide on the sleigh with us that narrated.
Entering the ghost town, Dry Gulch
Some of the singing carolers
One of the many shops in the town..
There was an hour line wait to see Santa in the "Santa Palace", but Mrs. Clause was outside of the palace, visiting with families.
I lost count as to how many times Harbor rode this little train. He barely cleared the height requirement, but was determined to ride as many times as possible. I think it was somewhere in the neighborhood of five times. He really loves trains... I'm thinking his next birthday party may involve train tracks and smoke stacks.