If you feel that pull to ride a train this time of year – there’s something especially charming about trains during the holidays – you may want to visit Edaville USA in Carver. The park has been decked out with an ever-expanding holiday light display, which includes everything from sparkling Christmas trees to giant lit-up teddy bears.
Tara Rohatgi’s 3-year-old son, Matthew, is all about trains. So the family had to head to Edaville USA for a train tour of 7 million holiday lights in various displays throughout the park’s cranberry plantation.
“We wanted to bring him now when we knew he would really appreciate it,” said Rohatgi, who lives in Franklin and has three kids, ages 7 and 3 years old, and 8 months. “My kids were so excited when we pulled up in the parking lot and they saw the lights. There’s something magical about it all. It definitely gets you in the Christmas spirit.”
If you feel that pull to ride a train this time of year – there’s something especially charming about trains during the holidays – you may want to visit Edaville USA in Carver. The park has been decked out with an ever-expanding holiday light display since the mid-1940s. This holiday season at least 100,000 people are expected to visit the park to check out the display, which includes everything from sparkling Christmas trees to giant lit-up teddy bears.
“The park has changed with each generation,” said Susan Wentworth, general manager of Edaville, who said the park has the largest holiday light collection in New England. “But it still holds the same tradition for families that it always has. We can get lost in a commercialized Christmas, but people crave having traditions and family time, and Edaville has become a tradition for many families.”
The two-mile train ride through the historic 1,300-acre cranberry plantation is clearly the highlight for many people.
It can feel chilly – or sometimes downright freezing – to walk around Edaville this time of year, but aside from the amusement rides, the place does have an indoor play area, and the heated train has closed windows and doors, so there are ways to get warm.
“It’s a little cold, but it’s great,” said Heather Harris of Mansfield, who was warming up in the play area with her 3-year-old son, Dexter. “He loved looking out the windows of the train at all the lights. We’ve seen ‘The Polar Express,’ so this train ride was reminiscent of that.”
For some people, Edaville holds nostalgic charm. Robert Barry, 67, of Quincy remembers being wowed by the park when he was a young child. He later brought his own children and now brings his grandchildren.
“They’re fascinated with this place,” Barry said as his 1-year-old grandson pointed to an indoor holiday display.
“We will often have three- and four-generation families stopping us to tell us about all the years they have been coming to Edaville,” Wentworth said.
Edaville’s Christmas Festival of Lights will operate this weekend and then from Nov. 28 through Jan. 4. The park is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information, go to www.edaville.com.
If you (or your kids) can’t get enough of trains, consider checking out these other train-related happenings:
- The Ventress Memorial Library in Marshfield will hold “Train Day 2008” Saturday from noon to 4. The train day will include the display of a working model railroad, food, games, music, railroad history and shopping. For more information, go to ventresslibrary.org
- The nonprofit Boys and Girls Club of Marshfield will hold a “Polar Express” train ride that is open to the public Dec. 20. The train will travel from the Kingston commuter rail station to the Halifax station and back. Passengers can read along to the “Polar Express” story with Mrs. Claus and enjoy caroling, hot chocolate and cookies baked by Santa’s elves. Children will meet Santa and write their Christmas wishes on his scroll, and every child will receive a gift from Santa.
For more information, go to www.marshfieldpolarexpress.com.
Reach Patriot Ledger writer Dina Gerdeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.