West Chester Railroad

The Christmas holiday season signifies many things to many people: family, faith, tradition, giving and the start of the Winter season. For our family, Christmas signifies all of those things...it is also a celebration of the wonder of being a child. Christmas is a special time of year...experiencing it through a child's eyes transforms the season into something even more magical. Children are naturally full of enthusiasm...the Christmas season highlights this enthusiasm and brings it to the surface each and every day. Their enthusiasm can be infectious and it can also be difficult to manage. We've learned the best way to manage it with our children is to try to match their enthusiasm!

Matching your child's enthusiasm means understanding how exciting it is to find a tree, decorate the house, shop for others, help those less fortunate and making your own list of gifts. Understanding their excitement means encouraging it. We encourage excitement by creating new traditions and experiences that leave lasting memories. Picking a family Christmas tree is one example. Certainly it's a lot of fun to go to a store or a parking lot to find and buy your family tree. It's even more fun to go out to a tree farm to pick your tree and cut it down as a family. What could possibly be more fun than that? Well, thanks to West Chester Railroad, there is something even more fun!

West Chester Railroad has taken the experience of finding a family tree to a whole new level! The railroad is operated and maintained by the West Chester Railroad Heritage Association (WCRHA) which is an all-volunteer, not for profit corporation. WCRHA offers a Christmas Tree Train on Sundays (December 2nd and 9th) at 8am. (Adults - $14, Children (2-12) - $8, Toddlers (under 2) - free. The Christmas Tree Train includes a train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills, donuts, coffee and hot chocolate and a stop at Wiggins Tree Farm where families can locate and cut down their own tree. Each family is provided a saw and a sled to cut down a tree and transport it back to the train. Staff are available to tag your tree, collect payment, bale the tree and load it onto the train. There is plenty of time to find and cut down a tree, let the kids run around it and take family pictures.


The combination of a train ride, children running through a tree farm, boys and girls yelling “timber” and Dads pulling trees around creates a level of excitement and enthusiasm that is infectious. Our family was tired after a Thanksgiving holiday out of town and planned a low key Sunday of R&R after picking out a tree. Instead, we wound up pulling out all of our Christmas decorations, decorating our house and trimmed our tree. The Christmas Tree Train kick-started the holiday season and ignited a level of excitement and enthusiasm that will carry through the entire holiday season. 

Thank you West Chester Railroad for taking the tradition of finding a family Christmas tree to a whole new level!

Gunning It Tips include:

  • Bundle up the children – the train has some heat but is a bit chilly.
  • Bring cash – the trees are $40.
  • If you don't find a tree at first, keep walking back towards the house (there are several fields of trees and the field closest to the train is picked through).
  • Go out to brunch afterwards; it was icing on the cake of a great morning.

Nick and Anna's Picks:

  • Nick loved cutting down the tree and riding the train .
  • Anna loved picking out the tree and riding the train.

(You can also find our post about "Finding the perfect tree" on Exton Does).

Have you been on the Christmas Tree Train? What are your tips?

1 comment:

liz said...

That sounds so awesome! I will have to give that a try and start a family tradition of our own. Thanks for passing along