Note: I received two free nights at the JW Marriott, but as always, all opinions are 100% my own.
I love Christmas traditions, and our annual road trip to our favorite hotel in San Antonio tops the list! This was our 4th annual weekend getaway to the JW Marriott San Antonio for their holiday kick off event called Light Up the Night. How can you not love Santa Clause, waterslides, s’mores, and train crafting?! I have the honor of hosting a train crafting event where kids ages 4-12 decorate their own box car and then participate in a parade to lead Santa to Light Up the Night and kick of the holiday season!
DIY train costumes of the past:
- Polar Express train costume (2016)
- DIY train costume (2017)
Our 2018 DIY toddler train costume is very similar to the Polar Express train costume of 2016 with a few updates:
- I used a paper bowl for the front of the train instead of the paper plate.
- I added the black strip of construction paper to make the train wheels more life like.
- I used washi tape to make the silver sparkly stripe around the the top of train.
- I decided to spray paint the entire train green and let Maxwell and Mila decorate.
Here is the body of the train before it gets a few coats of spray paint. This is actually the 2016 train. This year I painted the wheels separately and hot glued them on the train body after everything was dry.
For the train making event at the JW Marriot each kiddo is given a train car. The kids personalize their train car with markers, stickers, and glitter sticks. Then, everyone lines up holding a rope light, and leads Santa Claus to flip the switch to begin the JW Marriot light show for the season! It’s seriously the cutest. I also love that Santa’s elves come down from the North Pole to help the kids make their train cars and they even hand out candy canes!
Pro tip: The train crafting and parade happens every Saturday at 5:30pm throughout the holiday season. It’s only $5!
Oh and it was a fun surprise to see conductor Maxwell in the hotel experience guide this year!
Just to be clear, you are not expected to bring your own train to the event! No one does, but me. I’m extra, ha! We clearly needed a train engine and conductor for the big parade! Here’s Maxwell putting the finishing touches on his train engine.
If a train parade is not enough excitement, this is also the weekend that Mr. and Mrs. Clause make their debut at the JW Marriot San Antonio! It’s only $25, and you get 5 digital images on a handy zip drive. Andy loves taking family pictures with Santa!
Another fun and delicious way to meet Santa Clause at the JW Marriott San Antonio is brunch at 18 Oaks any Sunday from November 23- December 24th from 10-2pm. The brunch does not disappoint! There are bottomless mimosas, eggs made to order, and desserts galore. Seriously, the dessert set up is impressive, see picture below. Andy declared this the best brunch he has ever attended.
Pro tip: Reservations are required, brunch fills up fast. Make reservations at 210-483-6622.
I can’t talk about our favorite holiday tradition without showcasing the highlight of Maxwell’s trip… the water slides! This was the first year he was tall enough to ride the tube slides with an adult. (You have to be 42in. tall.) He loved every single second of the tube rides and begged to go again and again. The pools are all heated, but don’t confuse heated with bathtub water. I would say it is tolerable, unless your Maxwell. If your Maxwell, temperature doesn’t phase you and swimming always wins. But seriously, the joy on this kid’s face after a tube run was worth a little chill!
If you are still not convinced you need to go, let me just leave you with this little nugget: 17 free things to do with kids at the JW Marriot San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa! The beach entry pool with tons of sand is Mila’s favorite spot. We all loved the free s’mores at hill side fire pit every Friday and Saturday night in the winter. You can even get tucked in to bed by an elf!
If you need more toddler train costume inspiration, here are all 3 versions…
Have you ever been to the JW Marriot San Antonio? Do you love it as much as we do? I’d love to hear…
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