One of the things I really enjoy about the Christmas season is all the fun events that happen within our local communities as well as across the state. Last year my family and I went to see the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train in Waseca. This was the second time visiting this festively decorated train in Waseca. Unfortunately it won't be stopping by this area at all this year. The closest stop this year is in Hastings and various stops across the Twin Cities on Thursday, December 8; Friday, December 9; and Saturday, December 10. Some of the major stops include St. Paul, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park, Northeast Minneapolis and more.

Children will be enthralled with the brightly lit cars as it pulls into town for photo opportunities and a short Christmas music show performed on a stage that opens from one of the cars. The train itself is covered with hundreds of thousands of decorative lights and holiday designs. Each stop is an absolutely free event but they do ask that you bring food or a monetary donation for the local food bank. According to the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train website, "Since 1999, the Holiday Train has raised more than CAD $12 million and 3.9 million pounds of food for North American food banks. Anything raised in a community stays in that community. In addition, CP makes donations at each stop."

If you've never seen it before, it's well worth the trip, especially if you have small children. I know my grandkids talked about it for days afterward.