With Halloween come and gone, it won’t be too long until the Christmas season is full upon us. And in the Boston area, there are plenty of opportunities to make family memories aboard holiday-themed train rides. Whether you want to stay close to home or venture a couple of hours away, New England offers Christmas train experiences the whole family will enjoy. The options below offer multiple departure days and times from late November through the Christmas holiday season. Prices vary based on seating options and some offer group rates.
Travel to Cape Cod for a trip on The Train to Christmas Town. Enjoy music, songs, games and of course a meet and greet with Santa and his elf helpers on a 70-minute ride aboard decorated train cars. This outing is offered by the Cape Cod Central Railroad operating out of Buzzards Bay. Dressing in holiday-themed attire is strongly encouraged. Tickets are available here.
Edaville Family Theme Park in Carver, Mass., offers a a 45-minute train adventure aboard the Edaville Express for the holiday season. Dancing elves, eggnog, and cookies are featured on board. Passengers will travel throughout Edaville to view millions of Christmas lights and enjoy rides at the theme park during the Christmas Festival. For more information, visit Edaville Family Theme Park.
Southern New England
Woonsocket, Rhode Island is home to the Blackstone Valley Polar Express. Get in the Christmas spirit via sing-a-longs, hot chocolate, cookies and a visit from Santa on a 90-minute train ride. Photo ops abound both on the train and while waiting in the depot. More information is available here.
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat in Essex, Conn., has two holiday options. The North Pole Express is a nighttime ride on the train featuring live performances of The Night Before Christmas accompanied by songs, hot chocolate and sugar cookies. The Santa Special is a daytime excursion with a prominent visit by Rudolph. Both rides of course include special appearances by Santa. North Pole Express tickets are available here. Santa Special tickets are available here.
Catch Some Christmas Spirit Up North
Journey to the North Pole from either North Conway or Lincoln, New Hampshire. On a two-hour ride, visit Santa in his workshop at the North Pole. A White Mountains tradition, the trip features an opportunity to leave a letter for Santa at the post office while enjoying hot chocolate and a gift from the big guy in red himself. Best of all, all proceeds support literacy programs. North Conway tickets are available here.
Lincoln tickets are available here.
In Portland, Maine hop on The Polar Express. Decorated trains depart from the Ocean Gateway Visitor Center. On board, passengers are greeted by the conductor as they imbibe in cookies and hot chocolate and hear a reading of a holiday story. Santa is also on board to visit children throughout the journey. For more information, visit the Maine Narrow Gauge Railway.