I'm one of those who puts a time frame on Christmas. For me, the season doesn't begin until Black Friday. And I know that for some--including multiple friends of mine--that's pure blasphemy. Actually, when I was a KID, that was pure blasphemy.

When those Sears and JC Penney Christmas catalogues arrived in August, I was done. I was ready for Mom and Dad to drag the Christmas tree out of the attic and for all of us to start popping open those old fruit boxes where we stored the ornaments and other decor. (We had a great-aunt and uncle who lived in Florida; they'd send us huge boxes of oranges every year. They would then become holiday storage units.)

While those department store Wish Books are a thing of the past, holiday-themed train excursions are a thing of the present...and the future. And when it comes to such events, Polar Express has all but cornered the market.  And Kentucky and Indiana have you covered.

The Polar Express Train Ride -- Big South Fork Scenic Railway

There's never a bad time to head to tiny Stearns KY in McCreary County with the intention of taking a scenic train ride. That's why most people journey to this unincorporated community. They want the unique experience of traveling by rail through beautiful southeastern Kentucky on the Cumberland Plateau.

Just imagine a FALL excursion, right? But what about Christmas? That's when thousands of visitors arrive at the Big South Fork depot for their own taste of The Polar Express. It's one of Kentucky's most popular holiday attractions.

There are multiple Polar Express Train Rides across the country, so make sure you head to the correct website--stearnsthepolarexpressride.com--for more information and tickets.

The Polar Express Train Ride -- French Lick Scenic Railway

French Lick IN already boasts ample opportunities for good times, and one of them--or many of them, maybe--can happen aboard the French Lick Scenic Railway.

If any of your Christmas plans include reservations at either of French Lick's magnificent hotels, the Polar Express Train Ride HAS to be a part of your itinerary. Talk about amazing family holiday memories.

Other Polar Express Train Rides

Don't forget there are also Polar Express Train Rides in Connersville IN, plus three more in Illinois. Branson and St. Louis also have Polar Express depots.

Sure, it's August, but that's when you need to start planning trips like these. It's early, but Merry Christmas, anyway. And tell Tom Hanks I said "Hi."

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