8 Magical Train Rides Across The United States During Christmas

Travel Map IconAMERICA - You'll find several magical train rides across the United States during Christmas. Whether you're looking to catch a ride on the Polar Express or the 1880 Train Holiday Express, you'll have no trouble finding an extraordinary train ride to celebrate the season. During the holiday season, there are many magical train rides in the United States. From rides to the North Pole to visits with Santa, several holiday train rides are available. These are fun, inexpensive, and offer some special holiday treats.

8 Magical Christmas Train Rides in the United States
Photo: Colorado Railroad Museum Polar Express

  Magical Christmas Train Rides in the United States

 Napa Valley Wine Train Jolly Journeys

The Napa Valley Wine Train offers a festive ride through the wine country and is perfect for families. The historic rail cars evoke the luxury of early-20th-century train travel. Guests are encouraged to bring food and drink for the trip. Whether looking for a fun family day out or a romantic getaway, you can find a package to suit your needs at the Napa Valley Wine Train. During the holiday season, the Napa Valley Wine Train transforms into a festive fantasy for all ages. The Wine Train provides a 1.5-hour ride from downtown Napa to Yountville. The tour includes three stops at great wineries. The tour is perfect for first-time visitors. The tour is delightful for families because children are welcome on the train.

1880 Train Holiday Express

There are many options for holiday train rides, including the famous 1880 Train. This unique, scenic tour operates five steam engines and multiple passenger cars. It is also the oldest continuously operating tour train in the United States. It runs from Hill City, South Dakota, to Keystone, South Dakota. Guests ride on a 20-mile, 2-hour trip. Onboard, passengers learn about the history of railroads, mines, and the Black Hills. The train stops at historic mines and herds of wild elk. There are also several special-themed train rides throughout the year. Aside from the traditional Holiday Express ride, the train offers Holiday Express Spiked. Adults-only riders receive a souvenir mug filled with spiked hot chocolate.

Strasburg Railroad Christmas Trains

The Night Before Christmas Train is an enchanting experience that recreates the excitement of Christmas Eve. Professional performers read the classic poem, Clement Clarke Moore's "The Night Before Christmas," while passengers enjoy complimentary milk and cookies. This is one of the more popular Christmas train rides in the U.S  In addition to the Night Before Christmas Train, Strasburg Rail Road offers a few different Christmas-themed experiences. This includes the Christmas Tree Train, which combines a ride on the railroad with a trip to a charming grove. The Christmas Train Coach also features a pre-cut Frasier fir tree for guests to take home.

Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad Santa Pizza Train

Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad offers Santa Pizza Train Rides for families during the holiday season. This popular event includes a two-hour train ride and a visit with Santa. The ticket also includes a special gift for each child. Guests can enjoy a 45-minute vintage train ride in a restored 1913 trolley-type car. These trains are fun for all ages and provide a cozy atmosphere. The dining cars are plush and feature comfortable seating and large picture windows.  Kids can write a letter to Santa on the way to the North Pole. They'll receive a bell, a homemade chocolate chip cookie, and a unique ornament. Then they can deliver their letters to Santa in person.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Christmas Trains

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers many special events and excursions throughout the year. In addition to its regular train rides, the railroad operates a series of special holiday-themed excursions. This includes the Polar Express Ohio ride. These train rides are popular during the holiday season, and tickets for these excursions usually sell out months in advance. The ride is a 75-minute experience. The train will depart from East Logan at 11 AM and return from the North Pole at 4:40 PM. There is seating in covered areas. The rail cars are heated, and each child receives a special candy cane treat. The holiday train ride is scheduled to run through December 18th. Each seat is covered, and the train is equipped with an audio system. Guests will hear a storyteller read an award-winning story aloud.

Hoosac Valley Christmas Trains

Visiting the town of Adams, Massachusetts, you may not know it, but you are near the home of the Hoosac Valley Christmas Trains. This train is a tourist attraction run by the Massachusetts Historical Society. This historic steam engine is decked out in festive decorations during the holidays. There are three types of rides on offer. The Santa Express, which is the most popular, runs on weekends and mid-day Monday through Friday. The Tinseliner Christmas Trains, in the same vein, take passengers on a 90-minute round-trip excursion. The Husking Bee, also in the same family, takes passengers to the Pumpkin Patch in October. Lastly, there's the Christmas Tree Train, the sexiest of the bunch. It's also the most expensive.

Colorado Railroad Museum Polar Express

During the holiday season, many people enjoy taking a ride on a holiday train. Some rides feature stories, sing-alongs, and carols. Others offer a special gift from Santa. Some trains are full of Christmas cheer, while others are shut down due to inclement weather. The Polar Express, operated by the Colorado Railroad Museum, is based on the classic children's book. It runs through a 14-acre railway park in Golden, Colorado. It features a dramatic reenactment of the story, a cabaret-style show, and a visit with Santa. The Colorado Railroad Museum's Polar Express is an annual tradition. For eight weeks in 2022, visitors will travel on the train to the North Pole and back again. Guests are also treated to cookies and hot chocolate and may even meet with Santa.

Naugatuck Railroad Northern Lights Limited

Besides the Naugatuck Railroad's mainline train ride, there are many other holiday-related activities to enjoy. You can also take the family on a sleigh ride in the woods or sip some hot chocolate on a cold winter night. The best part is you don't have to leave your favorite Connecticut town to do them. The Santa Special is a fun and festive train ride from late November through December. It's a two-hour round trip, so it's perfect for a day of Christmas shopping or a night on the town. There are also several special events, like the Chocolate Decadence Tour. The train has two operational steam locomotives and hugs the western shore of the Connecticut River. You can enjoy dinner on the train, too. The Torrington Twilight Express is another train of choice and is always a good time.