We decided to hold the party in the morning. Everyone met at the "train depot" (the pavilion behind our church building) for hot chocolate and oatmeal (cookies) while waiting for the train.
Our Bishop (leader of our church congregation) punched the tickets and gave a tour of the parking lot while the train traveled to the "North Pole". My favorite part was when he would say, "Thank you for choosing the Polar Express. We know you have a choice in your Arctic Travel . . . " Our good friends the Purtymuns, put the train together. It was pulled by a skip loader and had a coal car, and they rigged it all so it made a whistle like a real train!!
At the North Pole (notice the "pole" in front of the building), everyone was greeted by one of Santa's elves. A child from each group was chosen to ring the bells to open the doors.
Then two additional elves would throw open the doors and others inside would yell, "Welcome to the North Pole!" It was very exciting.
The women who decorated the lobby did an amazing job!! They had such a cute place for pictures with Santa.
We began the party at 8:00 and finished at 10:01. And amazingly we were all cleaned up one hour later ( a little different than the six hours it took to set up!).