AZ Sports & Lifestyle v5.6 2013 Nov-Dec

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The holidays are a whirlwind of community events, family gatherings, shopping and traveling. Here are our favorites. By Amanda Ventura

FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENTS THANKS TO THE FANTASTICAL MYTHOLOGY of winter months, Christmas is one of the most magical times for children. Make it one to remember with these family-friendly events throughout Arizona that take the focus off the hottest selling toy or gadget and back to the importance of spending time with people you love.

Polar Express Every winter, the Grand Canyon Railway transforms into the fictional Polar Express, based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. The hour-long trek through the wintry Williams, Arizona wilderness ends at the “North Pole,” where children will meet Santa and his reindeer and get to sip on hot cocoa while listening to a reading of “The Polar Express.” The Polar Express leaves on select days in November and almost daily throughout December at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Visit or call 1.888.848.3511 to reserve tickets.

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