Train Rides for Holidays Through the Year

More and more tourist railroads are offering themed holiday train rides at special times of the year. Christmas trains -- and especially The Polar Express -- are the number one type of holiday train, but Easter Bunny Express runs and Halloween choo-choos are pulling out of the station too.

Holiday trains are extremely popular! Book well in advance.

01 of 06

Christmas Train Rides

What better time to ride the rails than the Holiday Season: in dozens of locations, specially decorated Christmas Trains pull out of the station with kids, hot cocoa, Santa, and elves on board.

02 of 06

"The Polar Express" Holiday Train Ride

Holiday Train - The Polar Express - Photo courtesy of the Grand Canyon Railway.
Photo courtesy of the Grand Canyon Railway.

"The Polar Express" is a beautifully illustrated children's book by Chris Van Allsburg (--also made into a movie --) about a child's train ride to see Santa at the North Pole. At many tourist railroads, families can have a "Polar Express" experience: a real-life holiday train ride that includes key elements of the story. Santa gives each child a souvenir silver sleigh bell.

03 of 06

Polar Express Photos

Polar Express - holiday train - *Photo courtesy of the Grand Canyon Railroad.
*Photo courtesy of the Grand Canyon Railroad.

See photos of a Polar Express holiday train ride on the Grand Canyon Railway, in Arizona.

04 of 06

Halloween Train Rides

Holiday train ride - Halloween - Photo © Yvonne Lashmett, courtesy of Durango & Silverton Narrow Gau
Photo © Yvonne Lashmett, courtesy of Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Halloween train rides are a relatively new trend: plan ahead, as many of these trains run only on a couple of nights or afternoons in October.

Families with young kids might want to hop on a Pumpkin Patch Express, that chugs along to a pumpkin patch where kids can pick out a pumpkin to take home. The Great Pumpkin Patch Express Train" is a special variety, featuring characters from the Peanuts comic strip.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

Easter Train Rides

Every year brings more fun for families at Easter-- egg safaris at zoos, the Easter Bunny on ski slopes, Easter Egg hunts, etc. And at a number of tourist railways, the Easter Bunny rides the rails, and kids can get on board. Easter train rides are often called "Easter Bunny Express"; a special version with Peanuts comic strip characters is the "Easter Beagle Express".

06 of 06

Holiday Train Ride - Mother's Day

Mothers Day ideas - ride a holiday train- Photo courtesy of Green Mountain Railroad.
Photo courtesy of Green Mountain Railroad.

Check out the Green Mountain Railroad in Vermont, for a repeat of this "White River Flyer" special holiday train: take a ride with mom, with optional brunch at a 1920's vintage hotel.

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