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New England has plenty of holiday traditions, but few places capture the spirit of the season like Edaville USA.
As autumn turns into winter and falling leaves are replaced by snow dustings, this Carver amusement park becomes a winter wonderland, featuring family entertainment that draws guests in from throughout the Northeast.
The festivities at Edaville are already well underway, but they’ll continue up to 2015, giving you ample time for a visit.
Read on for a quick rundown of how you can make the most of one.
Once upon a time, Edaville USA was actually a railroad, which snaked its way around an 1800-acre cranberry bog. Through the years, the land and train tracks evolved to become the amusement park that they are today, and countless families are better of for it.
The Festival of Lights, which began in late November, is one of Edaville’s hallmarks and is well worth a trip to a Carver. Guests get to clamber into coaches (which are warm and dry, don’t worry) and then take a ride around the grounds, enjoying the scenery brimming with lights and decorations. Along the way, there are vintage amusement park rides, all kinds of light displays, and, inside one of the indoor play areas, a certain jolly old elf.
Festival of Lights in full flight at Edaville USA
For festival tours, trains usually run once per hour, with the first one leaving an hour after the park opens and the final one heading out at 8 p.m. The tours are available on weekdays from 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. and on weekends from 2:00 – 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for those aged 2 – 59, $17 for those aged 60+ and entry is free for any young ones under 2. All park rides are included with admission, too.
The Polar Express Train Ride is another Edaville staple and might even be more popular than the festival of lights. Inspired in large part by the eponymous movie, Edaville’s Polar Express whisks passengers away on an adventure to the North Pole, with cookies and chocolate served on board. The journey is set to the motion picture’s music, and upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa is there to greet his young visitors.
The Polar Express looking very polar indeed at Edaville USA
The Polar Express is available on select dates and runs until the New Year. December 17 – 18, 22 – 24, 26 and 29 – 30 are the times to catch it, and because it’s a favorite, purchasing tickets in advance is strongly recommended. Hopping aboard costs $38 per person, and, like the Festival of Lights, admission includes all park rides.
If all the winter fun works up your appetite, Edaville has several places to grab a bite, ranging from snacks to full meals to dessert. There’s a gift shop, too, ensuring that families can take some fun home with them after a day inside the park.
When it comes to overnights in the area, Edaville makes it easy. The website lists more than a dozen suggestions for places to rest up and provides some good info on additional nearby attractions, too. Of course, if you’d like to browse local lodgings on your own, you can do that here.
To learn more about the multitude of holiday events taking place across Massachusetts during the next few weeks, just click here. You can also find some suggestions for seasonal activities throughout the winter here.
Which local holiday tradition do you always look forward to? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo at the top of the 2013 Edaville Festival of Lights via Facebook