Photo: Amy Reid                                Jassy Hans, with the help of Santa Claus, is the new owner of Bear Creek Train and Mini Golf.

Photo: Amy Reid Jassy Hans, with the help of Santa Claus, is the new owner of Bear Creek Train and Mini Golf.

VIDEO: Surrey’s Bear Creek Christmas train rolls with new owners

Though the much-loved Surrey attraction has changed hands, many of the same staff are running the show

Brianna Menzies-Vaught, Surrey Now-Leader contributor

The Christmas train is up and rolling at Bear Creek Park this holiday season, but new owners have taken the reins this year.

The train, which was owned by the Penn family for roughly two decades, was recently sold to new owner Jassy Hans.

Linda Penn is still helping Hans adjust, to give everybody the perfect experience at the attraction.

“During our transition (Linda) has helped me,” Hans said. Penn kept in contact with the new owners daily during the transition, even while she had gone out of town.

Hans, who also runs Creative Explorers Daycare, felt that the Bear Creek Train would be a great addition to her daycare. Now any child who registers for her daycare gets a free year’s membership to the train.

She’s decided to bring back one family favourite attraction. “We found out that 10 years ago there was a Night Light Train… so we decided to do a Night Light Train show 10 years later,” she said.

The evening light show was a huge hit with families until lights started getting stolen in the middle of the night, revealed Hans, who has a solution to that problem.

“We have a security guard here all the time,” she said, protecting the light show from any Grinches trying to ruin this train’s Christmas.

“Seeing all the families just come together, and make it like an evening thing for them” is a huge payoff, Hans said.

There was some uncertainty about the train’s future after the passing of longtime owner David Penn in the summer of 2012, after his battle with leukemia.

While David was the figurehead, Linda had been with him all along, and took things over before selling this year.

Some thought it was the end of the line for one of Surrey’s most beloved institutions. After all, David had been the face, chief engineer and spiritual leader almost since the little locomotive’s first foray through the leased Bear Creek Forest some 16 year earlier.

While the much-loved Surrey attraction has changed hands, many of the same staff are running the show. The train still has a family of its own.

Barbara Krezanowski, with family members Bonnie and Jack and family friend Brian, have worked with the Bear Creek Train for over a decade.

Hans has enthusiastically kept them aboard the ship. From answering the phone, to driving the train and even making the artwork, the staff do it all.

“The smile on the kids’ faces” is the best part of the job, Hans mused.

“We are here to make their experience good,” Jack said.

“I just like making the kids happy,” Brian added.

The time the family puts in to running the track is a huge part of what draws Surrey families, year after year, said Hans.

And now, with the train being wheelchair accessible, everybody can enjoy their perfect Christmas train experience for the holidays.

The train runs through to Jan. 7, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with the Night Light train running from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are $10, or $35 for a family of four. Children under age two ride free.

Check out the train at Bear Creek Park, at 13750 88th Ave., or call 604-501-1232. Or check out the Bear Creek Park Train & Mini Golf page on Facebook.

See more at bctrains.com.

-With files from Black Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
OUR VIEW: We expect integrity from leaders

Is it too much to ask that conflict related to the city’s business be met on the battleground of fact?

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
Rumours of vehicle-occupant address checks untrue, say Surrey RCMP

COVID-19 enforcement about education, says Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

B.C.’s parliament buildings in Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)
Surrey gets two cabinet ministers, a parliamentary secretary and government whip

Premier John Horgan’s NDP MLAs were sworn in on Tuesday and the cabinet was revealed Thursday afternoon

Hardeep Singh Sahota, the director of Royal Academy of Bhangra in Surrey, says there’s lots of confusion around the temporary closure of dance studios. He’s pictured in the empty studio, which shows spaced out dance areas, on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
‘Temporary’ closure causing confusion for Surrey dance studio

Bhangra academy director says studios need more guidance from healh authorities

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, South Surrey couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

Chilliwack school board trustee Barry Neufeld is taking heat over using a ableist slur to refer to three Black Press employees. (Paul Henderson/ Progress file)
BC School Trustees Association president keeps heat on Chilliwack Trustee Barry Neufeld

In a news release, Stephanie Higginson called on voters to take careful note of Neufeld’s behaviour

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Entire gym class at northern B.C. high school isolating after confirmed COVID case

Contact tracing by Interior Health led to the quarantine

Most Read