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Book Tix for These NJ-Area Holiday Train Rides Before They Sell Out

Don’t miss these magical holiday rail trips to the North Pole.


Photo courtesy of Whippany Polar Express Train Ride

The North Pole Express

Kids get to ride all the way to the “North Pole.” Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves will visit each and every passenger on the train (that means no long lines to visit St. Nick!). Enjoy hot cocoa, a cookie and a photo booth before you head home. Be sure to visit the gift shop, museum and Santa's sleigh after the ride. 

All Aboard: 80 Stangl Rd., Flemington.
Nov. 18–Dec. 17: Weekends, times vary. $29.50

908-782-6622, blackriverrailroad.com

The Christmas Express with Santa Claus

This annual trip through Allaire State Park to meet Saint Nick has been running over 35 years at the New Jersey Museum of Transportation. Santa sits down with every kid onboard. Have a blast on the nighttime ride, or check out the day rides for young ones with early bedtimes, too. 

All Aboard: New Jersey Museum of Transportation, 4265 Atlantic Ave, Wall Twp.
Nov. 24, 25 and 26, Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17; Sat.-Sun., 11 am-4 pm (departs every half hour).
Nighttime rides are also offered on December 2, 9, and 16 from 6-8:30 pm. $6. 

732-938-5524, njmt.org

Whippany Polar Express Train Ride

This ride was new last year and a huge hit. Kids will receive their iconic silver sleigh bells in addition to hot chocolate and a cookie. Your crew will meet Santa while reading along with the famous children's book, The Polar Express. The ride is one hour long. Splurge on First Class seating in a stunning restored 1940s coach boasting extra leg room and huge windows. 

All Aboard: 1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany. Nov. 18-Dec. 31, days and times vary. $40-70 kids; $45-75 adults. 

973-419-6255, whippanythepolarexpressride.com

Santa's Trolley Ride

Head to Physick Estate to meet Mrs. Claus and her man. Kick back with the gang and listen to seasonal stories and songs while getting a serene tour of Cape May. Santa has sweets for your little ones waiting for them in the Carriage House, too.

All Aboard: Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Nov. 18-Dec. 17, Sat.-Sun. Times vary. $10 for adults, $8 for kids.

609-884-5404, capemaymac.org

Strasburg Railroad Christmas Trains

It’s worth the drive to Amish country to take one of these three train adventures. There’s the “Night Before Christmas Train” (story time with milk and cookies), “Christmas Tree Ride” (where you pick up your own tree to take home) and “Santa Paradise Express” (where you’ll see good ol’ Saint Nick himself).

All Aboard: Strasburg Railroad Museum, Ronks, PA. Nov. 24–Dec. 17: departure times, dates and prices vary per train.

866-725-9666, strasburgrailroad.com

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