Start a new Christmas tradition this year by embarking on one of these magical train trips with Santa and his crew of helpers. We've rounded up the best Christmas train trips for families, many inspired by , as well as some unique adventures designed specifically for grown-ups. Just be sure to book your tickets before these popular events sell out!
Operated by , these hour-long rides brings scenes from (and subsequent ) to life. The adventures feature a Polar Express reading, hot cocoa, and a visit from Santa. The train rides take place in more than 40 cities across the country, which means you can get in on all the Christmastime fun no matter where you live. Ticket prices vary by city; visit for more information.
On the North Pole Express, operated by the , families can sing along to Christmas carols, sip hot cocoa, munch on holiday cookies, and share their holiday wishes with both Santa and Mrs. Claus while they venture through scenic Pennsylvania. Take note: There's an extra special trip planned for Christmas Eve. Tickets start at $62 for kids and $72 for adults. Visit for more information.
On board the 60-minute train ride, operated through the , passengers will journey through the beautiful West Virginia mountainside and forests beside a crew of Santa's best helpers. Kiddos will learn all about what it takes—toy packaging, snowballing, and mischief making—to become one of Santa's elves from characters on board. Tickets are $51 per person. Visit for more information.
Venture through the snow to the North Pole to see Santa during this 75-minute ride from . Conductors lead Christmas carols while chefs serve hot chocolate and cookies. And all passengers are asked to wear pajamas and bring a book to give to Santa, which will be donated to children through the Fletcher Free Library. Tickets are $31 per person. Visit for more information.
This two-hour excursion from the features an array of holiday festivities that will delight the kiddos, including a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and a special book reading by one of Santa's elves. And just like the original Polar Express, this train is pulled by a steam locomotive. Tickets start at $45 and include unlimited hot cocoa. Visit for more information.
Beginning on November 25, guests can enjoy a delicious meal in vintage dining cars decorated for the holidays on the . With tables available for parties of just two or up to eight people, you make this a romantic date night to remember or a festive girls' night out. Tickets start at $75. Groups looking for more family-oriented ventures can ride the nearby or the .
If you love seeing homes ablaze with Christmas lights during the holidays, then this is the train adventure for you. The leaves the station while it's still light enough to take in scenic views of the San Francisco Bay area, and on the journey back it will be dark enough to enjoy the glowing lights covering the interior and exterior of the train. Tickets cost $30. Visit for more information.
Every holiday season, Rudy, the grinning car at the front of Polar Express train, leads a group of decorated carriages through parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas, Missouri, and a few other states. At each of the 27 stops, passengers can hop on to tour the cars, which are decorated to look like a gingerbread house, an elves' workshop, a reindeer stable, and more of Santa's favorite hangouts. This free event makes its first stop in Victoria, Texas on November 24. Visit for more information.