“Put on your jammies” is usually something my girls dread hearing because they know it means bedtime is approaching. However, this past weekend when the words were used my daughter joyfully started jumping up and down screaming in glee. Tonight, instead of getting ready for bed, we got ready to go to the PJ Party on the Como-Harriet Streetcar.
We arrived at the station greeted by a couple of our friends along with about 30 other excited children and parents; smiling with milk mustaches, eating cookies, and waiting to board the historic streetcar. “All aboard!” The streetcar conductor, appropriately dressed in his conductor uniform, had us form a line to get our ticket stamped before boarding.
We took the rail to the end of the line and then stopped for a “bedtime story,” which was really special because it was read by the children book’s author. All the kids got to grab a seat in the aisle at the front of the car for the reading. As the author theatrically read her book, you could see the wonder on the children’s face. “Why? Why!?” was chirped out from the young audience more than a handful of times.
Once the story completed the children returned to their seats and we road all the way back to the station. The event lasted about 45 minutes. Note, Tickets are $5 a person and are available only through the Wild Rumpus Books. They’re a hot commodity, so make sure to register early to get your name entered into the lottery.
Since we were in such a beautiful part of the city, we decided to take a stroll to the Lake Harriet Bandshell. We fed the ducks our leftovers cookies at the lake, took down a couple scoops of “pink ice cream,” and were even able to dance up a storm to a live band during one of Lake Harriet’s music in the park performances.
It was a perfect double date with friends. The only thing missing was perhaps a glass of wine. These days though beverages like that are most often enjoyed on my couch, in yoga pants, catching up on TV shows, after the little ones have finally given into the calmness of the night and fallen asleep.
More information on Streetcars in the Twin Cities Area
There are two in operation:
- The Como-Harriet Streetcar Line in southwest Minneapolis on the west side of Lake Harriet
- The Excelsior Streetcar Line near Highway 7 in Excelsior, southwest of Minneapolis
Both are worth a visit on a normal day, but are especially magical when they put on one of their special events throughout the year. Below are a few highlights, but be sure to visit their website for the full listing.
Como- Harriet Streetcar
Farmer Ken’s Pumpkin Patch– Oct 10 & 11 between 12:30-4:30 PM
Take a trolley ride and bring home a Halloween pumpkin. Riders get off the car at the “pumpkin patch” where they can search for just the right pumpkin to bring home. There are no advance tickets or reservations. Regular fares apply; pumpkins are $4
Ghost Trolley- Oct 23 & 24 from 6-9 PM
Actors board the streetcar for a Halloween adventure. Some of the ride takes place in the dark and things do go bump in the night. It’s fun and not too scary, but may not be suitable for the youngest children. The trip is about 20 minutes. There are no advance tickets or reservations. $4 per passenger
Holly Trolley– Nov 28 & 29 & Dec 5 & 6 from 12:30-3:30PM
Take a streetcar ride with Santa and warm yourself by a friendly fire. The historic streetcar is decked out for the holidays. The ride is about 15 minutes and no advance ticket or reservation is required. $4 per passenger
Trick r’ Trolley– Oct 25 1:30PM & 2:30PM
A ride, a story and a Halloween treat for younger children
Tickets available only at Excelsior Bay Books, 36 Water Street. $5 per person
Christkindlsmarkt– Nov 27-28 from 10am-7pm, Nov 29 from 11am-4pm
Open air market, food & drink, and Santa on the trolley. $3, children 3 and under free