It’s a bit late to catch this wonderful holiday time activity, but I wanted to share how much fun we (PlayDrMom) had at Christmas at Crossroads this year. Christmas at Crossroads is the holiday celebration at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad, part of the Genesee County Parks in Flint, Michigan.
Crossroads Village is “an authentic Great Lakes from the turn of last century with more than 34 historic structures and a thriving community to welcome you.” Different fun family activities are offered throughout the year. In the summer (May 25-September 2) the village is open and also offers rides on a replica paddlewheel riverboat called the Genesee Belle. In October, the Village transforms into a friendly Halloween celebration with a straw maze and an enchanted forest. The Huckleberry Railroad is located right next to the Village. A ride on the Huckleberry Railroad is a 40-minute journey pulled by an authentic Baldwin steam locomotive. “The Huckleberry Railroad began operating in 1857 as part of the Flint Pere Marquette Railroad Company” and “was so named because it ran so slow. A person could jump off the train, pick a few huckleberries, and jump back on the train with minimum effort.”
You can find the address, directions, hours, ticket prices, and even purchase the tickets all on their very user-friendly website …links located above.
We have only gotten the chance to visit Crossroads Village and the Huckleberry Railroad at Christmas time, but I hope to visit more often throughout the year (and perhaps post again on those visits!). But here’s all the fun we had in our 2 visits (different years) at Christmas at Crossroads ….
First off, driving into the park transports you into a magical world … the lighted displays are breathtaking. There is ample parking, but the lot can get very full. Also watch your step because it can be icy if there has been a snowfall! Make sure you bundle up and wear appropriate clothes … warm coats, hats, scarves, mittens, and boots. A lot of the activities are outside and there is a fair amount of walking to do around the village.
There are places you can get food (pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers) and beverages (coffee & hot chocolate) with good service and decent prices. There are also a couple of dates during December where you can attend a catered dinner for an additional price.
We usually walk around the village first (leaving the train ride for last) – so we arrive at least one hour before our train departure time. There are a couple of stores to wander through … including a General Store and a Train store. You’ll also want to check out some of the historic buildings like the bank, barber shop, and print shop. Each will have someone there to explain about the building and how those services were performed “back in the day”. The Village is decorated with lots of light displays too. You definitely want to check out the gigantic Christmas tree in the Village Green and the amazing Tree of Lights (located by Flint Township Meeting Hall).
And definitely don’t forget to visit Santa Claus while you are there. It’s a great photo opportunity. He’s only there until December 23rd, so unfortunately we missed him this year. But the highlight of the visit is always the train ride! You get to sit back, listen to Christmas music, and look out the window to see amazing light displays throughout the park and well as some natural beauty of the surrounding area (especially this year because we went during a snow storm!). My three year old, Honor, was glued to the window this year … just taking it all in, her eyes filled with wonder. It was a great time being together as a family and enjoying the season! We can’t wait to go again next year!!!