Holiday Trains for Chicagoland Families

Go on a magical train ride at these places in the city and suburbs this holiday season.

Holiday trains in Chicago and the suburbs are a great place to see twinkling lights and spend some time with Santa. If you haven’t booked your special train ride for the holiday season, time to get going! The popular rides sell out fast.

Here are a few holiday trains you don’t want to miss.

Happy Holiday Railway

Nov. 25-27; Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 2022

Take a 40-minute train ride trip through the winter countryside on one of the museum’s trains. Sip on hot chocolate and enjoy treats while you await your visit from Santa on the train. Also, be sure to check out the holiday lights display at the boarding area, including the biggest and brightest Christmas tree in McHenry County.

Polar Express at Fox River Trolley Museum

Nov. 26-27; Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 2022

Chris Van Allsburg’s book The Polar Express comes to life when the train pulls out of the station with your family on board. The train ride will include caroling and sing-alongs as you transport to the “North Pole” with Santa waiting.

Holiday Express at Blackberry Farm

Dec. 1-4, 8-11, 15-18, 2022

See Lake Gregory and Blackberry Farm in all its holiday glory amid the twinkling lights and songs of Christmas. Back in the village, enjoy storytelling of the classics, festive decorations, reindeer food bar, hay wagon rides and a visit with Santa. The special needs night is Dec. 2 and you must pre-register for it.

Christmas Express 2022

Dec. 3-4, 2022

Take a magical round-trip train ride from New Lenox to Tinley Park with songs and entertainment. Tickets include a visit with Santa, breakfast or lunch, plus many activities.

Oswego Holiday Express

Dec. 9-11, 2022

Head to Santa Station in your pajamas for a trip to the North Pole. The Oswego Holiday Express will take you on a magical journey. Sip on your hot chocolate and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.


Nov. 19, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023

  • Address: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago
  • Cost: $5/Tuesdays-Sundays, free/Mondays; fees for additional encounters and activities

In addition to seeing all of the ZooLights attractions, kids can ride the Lionel Train Adventure, ATT Endangered Species Carousel and Ferris Wheel as ticketed experiences.

CTA Holiday Train

2022 dates TBA

  • Various CTA stations across the city
  • Cost: $2.50, kids under 7 ride for free

One of Chicago’s most popular events, the Holiday Train, happens aboard Chicago’s CTA elevated train, the “L.” Even in the most frigid temps, you’ll find Santa outside on his sleigh while his elves hand out candy canes to passengers inside the train car.

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