If you are ready to get in the Christmas spirit, Madison has a great weekend coming.
This first weekend in December is filled with activities for children as well as adults. Since Christmas is for children, let’s start with them.
Without spending much money at all, families can enjoy a train ride with Santa, supervised crafts, a parade and a holiday movie … all on Saturday, Dec. 1.
For several years now the Madison Railroad has made an engine, passenger car and caboose available to carry children on a “Santa Express” at 1800 Allen/Green Road on Madison’s hilltop. Kids will love boarding a real train just as much as they love sharing a train car with Santa Claus.
The 30-minute train rides will depart at 10 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early for boarding. Tickets are $5 per person and available at the German American Bank on Clifty Drive. Call (812) 273-4248 to find out if tickets are still available.
And if Santa isn’t already busy enough riding the “Santa Express,” he’ll also arrive downtown in A Very Merry Madison Christmas Parade at 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The parade is bigger and better than ever, join amazing floats, marching bands from our local schools, favorite characters, and giant helium balloons.
A personal favorite tradition for me is the Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes, which gives the opportunity to see inside some of Madison’s most amazing private homes. Volunteer docents/guides will greet you and share their stories. Many of the sites offer holiday music or other bonus features.
The last two nights of the tour this season are Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1. Adult tickets are $15 until November 9th, tickets go up to $20 on November 10th, children ages 5-12 are just $5. For ticket information call 800-559-2956.
Here’s my last weekend tip for adults who want to spend some quality time savoring the season. The Madison-Ohio Valley Choir and the Hanover College Choir are joining their voices to present Handel’s “Messiah” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Tickets are $7. The concert will be held in the Fitzgibbon Recital Hall at Hanover College. Visiting Santa is all well and good, but hearing this beautiful cantata is an experience that will truly prepare you for the Christmas season.