Take a trip on Cowichan’s Christmas Express

All aboard! The Christmas Express train is approaching the station.

Running Dec. 5-7, 12-14 and 19-23, the outing offers lots of fun for everyone.

The hugely popular ride through the decorated woods at the BC Forest Discovery Centre north of Duncan at 2892 Drinkwater Rd. has become a colourful, entertaining tradition for many, many Vancouver Island families.

Sampson, the steam locomotive that dates back to 1910, puffs its way through thousands of twinkling lights adorning the 100 acres of trees for a memory-making excursion.

For Chris Gale, manager of the BC Forest Discovery Centre, this is always a special time of year at the FDC.

"We love bringing the Christmas Express out and seeing the magic of the holiday in the faces of everyone that attends. Our attendance has been growing, so we are hoping to exceed previous attendance this year with 11 evenings of holiday magic," he said.

"We invite islanders to come out to see the light displays, enjoy the seasonal music, make a Christmas craft, and ride the Christmas Express train."

The Express is the facility’s largest fundraiser of the year and its success plays a big part in the ongoing operation and maintenance of the antique vehicle collection, trains, maintenance of the historical buildings and even the preservation of an important ecosystem within the Cowichan Region.

Families can support the museum by attending the event or purchasing a membership for the 2014 season and businesses can even book a Christmas Express Office Party.

The Christmas Express runs on weekends from Friday, Dec. 5 to Sunday, Dec. 23, with the addition of Monday, Dec. 23 and Tuesday, Dec. 23 for a total of 11 magical days.

The BC Forest Discovery Centre opens at 4 p.m. on these dates with train departures every 20 minutes beginning at 4:30 p.m. The last train departs at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, seniors and youth and $6 for children. Little ones under two years old are admitted free.

Check out the FDC’s website at bcforestdiscoverycentre.com or call 250-715-1113 if you need more information.