Santa Trains & Holiday Lights – Celebrating the Season

This week I am making my plans to enjoy a holiday rail adventure from Grapevine to Fort Worth, and share holiday lights in as many places as I can schedule on the calendar. For our family the holiday season is about sharing time together, enjoying old family recipes, and reviving traditions which may have been couched because of geographic separations.

Santa awaits passengers for this year’s New Hope North Pole Express.

Across the country the possibilities are endless to share short breaks with sleigh rides, twinkling lights, Santa trains, and even the magical Polar Express. Walk through a fantasy land of twinkling lights; meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus; sip hot chocolate with Christmas elves; sing carols together; ride a special “Yule Train”. From miles of lights along the Boardwalk at Virginia Beach to the magic of Winterfest in Pigeon Forge celebrating is in the air. This year’s lists of reveal a plethora of ways to share the magic with kids including unique lists for Florida and Britain.

My favorites include Winterfest in Pigeon Forge because it offers not just dancing bears, trolley rides, and twinkling snowflakes but great family-style entertainment in the area. For pure fun, I also like the efforts of LEGOLAND in Carlsbad where from mid November to January the “Holly Jolly Holidays” include thousands of twinkling lights, jolly holiday entertainment, nightly fireworks, and  “Let it Snow’ the musical.

In New Hampshire the Hobo Railway will be running a Ho-Ho-Hobo Express which includes the jolly elf himself, and on select dates the magical Polar Express. The family adventure begins with a wonderful evening train ride accompanied by storytelling elves, and of course, Santa himself. The New Hope & Ivy and Railroad in Bucks County, PA will be running the annual North Pole Express- a train themed to match the Polar Express story. Passengers ride the rails with Santa and Mrs. Claus; sip hot cocoa and enjoy cookies; listen to local musicians play & sing Christmas carols.

You will find many more Christmas train excursions on file as well as holiday adventures showcased in our new Away for the Holidays folder.