While some of our favorite holiday trains are stuck at the station and not running in 2020 due to concerns about COVID-19, there are many magical train rides that are still heading out for some holiday fun. But make sure to book in advance and soon because they all have limited capacity this year and will have less tickets available than normal. And most train rides require masks for all riders above the age of 2, so be prepared.
The North Pole Express
The Black River & Western Railroad
80 Stangl Rd., Flemington.
Nov. 22–Dec., Sat-Sun
11am – 5pm, every 2 hours
$30/kids coach, $32/adults coach
On this holiday train, kids can chug chug chug all the way up to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. There will be a virtual queue, so no one has to wait in long lines to meet Santa. This train ride comes bearing tons of holiday gifts. Each child will go home with a silver sleigh bell and a golden train ticket. Each family will take a holiday photo, photos with Santa, and they’ll bring a gift bag home with them. And if the train is too much, you can just book a meet and greet with Santa.
Santa’s Trolley Ride
Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Cape May
Nov. 28-Dec. 20, Sat-Sun
10am and 11am
Head on down to the Physick Estate this holiday season for a festive trolley ride through the streets of Cape May. Mrs. Claus will guide you on a peaceful tour, while she tells you Christmas tales and sings joyful songs! Spend 30 minutes in holiday bliss on this trolley ride.
Strasburg Railroad Christmas Trains
Strasburg Railroad Museum, 301 Gap Rd, Ronks, PA
Nov. 21-Dec. 24 on weekends and select days
Times and prices vary
There’s no shortage of holiday trains to ride at the Strasburg Railroad Museum. Ride Santa’s Paradise Express or Santa’s Christmas Trolley where you can meet Santa himself. Board the Night Before Christmas Train to activate that holiday spirit on Christmas Eve. Or take the Christmas Tree Train and pick the perfect tree for your family.
The Kringle Railway Adventure
7 East Frederick Pl., Cedar Knolls
Nov. 28-Dec. 20
9am, 10:20am, 11:40am, 1pm, 2:20pm, 3:40pm
The Whippany Railway Museum and the Morristown & Erie Railway are bringing a different twist to their traditional holiday train rides this year. Play games, sing songs, and send letters to Santa. Each car is decorated uniquely for maximum fun (Blizzard Car, Candy Cane Lane, and Ornament Express, oh my!). Take a quiz to see if you could be one of Santa’s elves or try the scavenger hunt. This ride is sure to get you ready for the holidays.
DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
1151 S. White Horse Pike, Hammonton
Nov. 6-29 Fri.-Sun. and Nov. 30-Dec. 23
$12.95/online, $14.95/at the door
Get the inside scoop on Santa’s Christmas secrets with a train ride to Christmas Village at DiDonato Family Fun Center. The Magical Holiday Express will bring you straight to Santa and his elves. They already have a gift waiting for you. Check out The Snack and Toy Cottage, the Mega-tree, and the sparkling village decked out in over 4 million lights.
The Polar Express in Phillipsburg
Delaware River Railroad Excursions
100 Elizabeth St., Phillipsburg
Nov. 27-Dec. 20 Fridays-Sundays
Times vary by day
$32/child, $42/adult, $5/children under 2
This Christmas train is for the believers. Inspired by the hit movie, this Polar Express will fill your belly with sweet treats, your heart with joy from Christmas songs, and your sense of wonder with whimsical shows! Feel free to wear your pajamas, just like the movie, and Santa might even give you a bell.
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