Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Pullen Park sells thousands of ride tickets, prepares for Holiday Express

Posted December 4, 2011

If you've been to Pullen Park in the last couple of weeks, you know that it's been a very busy time for the much missed Raleigh park, which reopened on Nov. 19.

According to the city, more than 66,000 ride tickets were purchased in the first week of operation. You read that right: 66,000. That's a lot of rides on the carousel, train and boats, though I suspect some of them might squirreled away in purses and wallets for future visits. (A few may end up in my kids' Christmas stockings this year).

The new Pullen Place cafe is going strong too. Holly Taylor, one of the owners, said they've learned a lot in the first week and look forward to having a bit more time to make some changes to the menu and service. The restaurant focuses on fresh, healthy, local food, but offers hot dogs and treats too.

Taylor said the cafe also is getting a lot of interest in their catering services from families and businesses. Pullen Place plans to roll out catering services next month, but they've already gotten calls from people wanting help with birthday parties, family picnics, business meetings and even a wedding. The cafe's catering menu will be posted on its website in the next couple of weeks.

Right now, park staff are gearing up for the 2011 Holiday Express, a four-day event that starts Thursday. Advanced tickets can be purchased online through Tuesday for $7 per person. Starting Wednesday, if tickets are still available, they will be $10 per person and can only be purchased at the Pullen Park Welcome Center. Kids ages 2 and under are admitted free with paying adult.

More than 10,000 people are expected this year for the popular event, the first since the park closed in December 2009. The Holiday Express includes visits with Santa; carousel rides; holiday music; arts and crafts; and a train ride decorated with $15,000 worth of holiday lights. The event is presented by the Crabtree Rotary Club and the city of Raleigh. A portion of the proceeds go to Rotary charities.

At last check on Friday afternoon, there were still tickets available for all four days, though there were less than 70 for Sunday. The Holiday Express runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, at the park on Ashe Avenue off Western Boulevard.

For details, click here. Check the box above for more information about Pullen's $6.3 million renovations.


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  • sjaffe Dec 6, 2011

    Does anyone have Extra tickets for this event for Frdiay? My niece and her 2 year old are visiting from seattle. I want to show them the best of Raleigh and treat them to something special. I don't get to see them much since they live so far away. I am willingly to pay $10. each for the tickets. I need 3 of them! Thanks so much. answer on this page and i can give you my contact info... there must be someone out there with extra tickets!!!!

  • shall6 Dec 5, 2011

    Hi there! So sorry you such a bad experience today. Tickets for the event went on sale back in August. And as I've written before, I definitely recommend getting your tickets for these sorts of events as early as possible! I suspect tickets for next year will again go on sale in August ... of course that's no help for you today.

    There are some other Santa trains in the region, including New Hope Valley Railway's this weekend. Some departure times for that are sold out, but there still are some tickets available (as of right now). Check my earlier post for details:


  • sarashalom Dec 5, 2011

    I am so upset this event is already sold out! I tried purchasing tickets this morning after reading this article which stated Sunday was already sold out. I am new to the rec link site which means I had to request a user name/id, easy enough, right? No,I had to submit a form to acquire a user name and password, and I was told it would be 1-2 business days before obtaining a response. It didn't take 1-2 days, but it did take 8 hours. When I went back to the rec link site, the Holiday Express tickets were sold out. I am really upset I was not able to purchase the tickets this morning when I first tried. It is unfortunate I had to wait to be assigned a login name and id manually, instead of in an automated fashion like every other website. I am a very disappointed mother of a soon-to-be three old I was hoping to experience this with.