How many places can boast pristine beaches, wildlife preserves and acres of golf, as well as an all-access pass to the North Pole? At the Wales West Light Railway, guests staying at a Gulf Shores rental or any condo on the beach can take the entire family on a journey up north during the Arctic Express festivities, which take place during the days leading up to Christmas Day. For a mere $12 per person, visitors can not only take the fun train ride, but also meet Santa Claus, nibble on candy canes and sip hot cocoa. Plus, the price of admission also includes a sweet toy.

Did someone say snowball cannon?

Take a ride on the Arctic Express at Wales West Light RailwayThere's more to the annual Arctic Express than just a super fun train ride. For just a few extra bucks, you can be bombarded with light and fluffy snow and feel as though you're enjoying a white Christmas - without the chill, of course! Be sure to take photos of your little ones as they laugh and play in the snow.

Petting zoo and pony ride

Your kids will squeal with glee if you give them the gift of riding a pony. A must for animal lovers, riding on these small and docile creatures is the experience of a lifetime, and may inspire your children to take up horseback riding. Even if it doesn't, you can still snap a photo and tell your friends and family all about it.

If you'd rather pet the animals than take a ride on them, you can also take your kids to the petting zoo, where they can hang out with adorable creatures and not only interact with them, but hold them and play with them as well.

No matter what time of year you head to Wales West Light Railway, you can expect your visit to be totally unforgettable.