All aboard! Holiday train adventures in Chicago

Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier

By Cheryl Eugenio

Member of the Chicago Parent Blog Network

Both of my sons LOVE trains and Chicago has no shortage of fun places to enjoy them. For the holidays I thought it would be fun to treat the boys to a train-tastic weekend in the city. Here are a few ideas to get you going!

Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is one of my family's favorite museums in the city particularly since there's so much to see and do. My little ones, on the other hand, cannot get enough of MSI for one reason - the awesome model train exhibit with over 20 trains spanning over 1400 feet. In fact, the kiddos refer to MSI as the train museum. During the holidays, MSI gets extra festive with Christmas trees decorated from cultures all over the world. Their new special exhibit, Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, is a must for any Disney fan. Plus who can resist a photo in front of the huge grand tree decorated in Disney ornaments?

CTA Holiday Train

Seeing these festively decorated CTA cars all lit up will put anyone in the holiday spirit. See Santa outside on the open sleigh, while passengers receive a treat from Santa's elves. Check online for the schedule.

Winter WonderFest

A visit to Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier has become a yearly family tradition that we look forward to every year. With holiday-themed slides and rides, ice skating and a toddler area, it's easy to see why it is one of our favorite events of the year. The big hit is, of course, the Reindeer Express - a trackless train that chugs around a cutely decorate holiday village.

Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour

Okay, so this may not actually be a train, but nevertheless my sons absolutely go ga-ga over trolleys. Hop on a trolley named after one of Santa's reindeer then see the city twinkling in holiday lights galore. The Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour also makes two fun stops at Lincoln Park Zoo's ZooLights and the Christkindlmarket.

Shedd Aquarium

You wouldn't expect trains at the Shedd Aquarium, but during the holidays the aquarium takes the popular holiday train movie, The Polar Express, to a whole new level by adding special effects such as snow and wind. Don't forget to save some time for the fun Holiday Fantasea show where jolly St. Nick makes a special appearance.

Kids Eat Chicago

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