Ever wanted to ride on the Polar Express? You’re in luck because there are a couple of magical train rides you can take this holiday season in the Stateline! These holiday train rides include a visit with Santa Claus! Be sure to get tickets as soon as possible because these holiday train rides often sell out quickly.
Happy Holiday Railway at Illinois Railway Museum
7000 Olson Rd., Union, IL
When: November 24 – December 23, 2023 at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm, and 6 pm
Cost: $25 per person
The Happy Holiday Railway is a 40-minute train ride through the winter countryside with Santa Claus. You can see and visit with Santa on the train. There will be treats and hot cocoa served and gifts given to children on the good list. After the ride, you can visit the indoor heated Model Railroad Exhibit and the historic trains in the museum barns. Included with your ticket is a ride on the historic Chicago streetcars.
Christmas Trains at East Troy Depot
2022 Church St., East Troy, WI
Christmas Day Trains
When: November 25 – 26, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 at 9 am, 10:30 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm, and 3 pm
Cost: $26 per adult / $22 per child ages 3-14 / $9 for kids ages 0-2
The East Troy Depot has two holiday train options available. There are daytime Christmas trains and Santa’s Special Night trains. The daytime trains run from the depot to Santa’s workshop located at the Elegant Farmer. Kids can visit Santa and take a photo with him. The trolley is heated and has bathrooms available. The ride is two hours – 30 minutes on the train, a one-hour stop, and 30 minutes back to the depot.
Christmas Night Trains
When: November 24-25, December 1, 8-9, 15-16 at 5 pm
Cost: $39 per adult / $33 per kid ages 3-14 / $12 per kid ages 0-2
The Christmas Night Train experience happens in an elevated dining car decorated for Christmas. There are cookies, hot cocoa, adult beverages, and other surprises. Each child will receive a special holiday book and stuffed animal as a memento. The train will stop at Santa’s Workshop at the Elegant Farmer. The ride is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The Polar Express at Chicago Union Station
225 S. Canal St., Chicago, IL
When: December 3 – January 1, 2024 at 12 pm, 2 pm, 6:30 pm, and 8:25 pm
Cost: $67 per adult / $59 per child / kids under the age of 2 are free (can sit on an adult’s lap)
The Polar Express is back in Chicago after a several year hiatus. This event is an official Polar Express event which means that the train ride follows the story of The Polar Express. Guests will take a one hour train ride to meet Santa. They will receive Walker’s Shortbread while on the train and listen to the Polar Express story before getting a sleigh bell and doing some caroling.
Special Mention: Watch the CP Holiday Train Come To Town
The CP Holiday Train is a decorated train that travels throughout North America supporting food banks by raising money and gathering food for those in need. The train will be making two Stateline area stops both on November 26, 2023.
There will be a booth for nonperishable food donations set up. It is FREE to attend this show.
The CP Holiday Train will be stopping in Pingree Grove, Illinois from 8:45 am – 9:30 am and Byron from 11:45 am – 12:30 pm. Performers Seaforth and Kiesza will be performing.