More Fun Places to Ride with Santa

Railway companies across the country are inviting families to hop aboard and ride with Santa this season. Whether it’s the “North Pole Express,” “Christmas Tree Express,” or “Snowball Express,” the big red guy will be on hand to visit with your children. Take a look at where Santa will be riding the rails before he hits the skies on Christmas Eve:


Fillmore and Western Railway Company offers not one, but three types of Christmas train rides. Kids can have dinner with Santa, pick the perfect Christmas tree, or visit the “North Pole.” The “Christmas Tree Train” takes families to a private farm to pick out the perfect pine. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $12 for kids 4 to 12, and $8 for 2- and 3-year-olds. Christmas trees cost extra. Meanwhile, “Dinner with Santa” features a 75-minute ride and a family-friendly meal. After dinner kids can meet with Santa one-on-one and share their Christmas wish lists. Tickets cost $45 for adults and $24 for kids. Finally, on the “North Pole Express,” elves read a Christmas story to passengers before the train arrives at the “North Pole” to pick up Santa. Once Kris Kringle is onboard the train it returns to Santa’s Village where you can fill up at food booths or ride the carousel. Tickets for this train ride cost $24 for adults and $15 for kids.


If you are looking to tour a real winter wonderland, then head to Mineral, Washington and ride the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad. The “Snowball Express” features carolers singing holiday classics and games for the kids. At the end of the 20-minute ride to “Santa’s Train Village” on Mineral Lake, Santa appears with his elves to hand out a gift to each child. In addition, free hot apple cider, cookies, and hot chocolate will be served on the return trip. The “Snowball Express” runs Saturdays and Sundays through December 21. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 for kids 4 to 12.


“Santa’s Paradise Express” has been chugging along in Strasburg, Pennsylvania for 50 years. The vintage train rides again this year with carolers and musicians singing favorite holiday tunes. The 45-minute train ride also includes story time for kids and a visit from Santa, who hands out gifts to children ages 3 to 11. Your kids will also get the chance to ride on the miniature train and try out the pump-and-crank cars. Trains leave the station on weekends throughout December. Tickets cost $16 for adults and $10 for kids.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.