Trains, Dinos & Heros

Holiday Trains in New Jersey: Take the Kids on a Christmas Ride

Every year, New Jersey's railroads get decked out in their holiday best to offer special Christmas-themed rides for the whole family. Though these trains don't go all the way to the North Pole, most include a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, along with treats, caroling, and stories. One storybook Santa train invites kids to wear their pajamas and hear a classic Christmas story read aloud on the rails, while another ferries passengers to a Christmas tree farm. Check out these holiday train rides with Santa Claus and book your tickets as soon as possible – they sell out fast! 

Halloween Ghost Trains, Rides, and Haunted Boats near LA

So you've already been to the pumpkin patches, and you're ready to take Halloween to the next level; you're ready, in fact, to put it in motion. Well, we know seven deadly ways to take this haunt on the road – or the sea – with everything from an old-fashioned train ride through fields of pumpkins, to a spooky tour through the bowels of a haunted ship, to a scream-filled hay ride through fields of zombies. Whatever Halloween means to your family, you can make it a ride at one (or more) of these vehicular annual haunts. After all, the family that guns down armies of zombies together stays together.

Polar Express and Santa Trains Near NYC This Holiday Season

The magic of Chris Van Allsburg’s popular Christmas picture book, The Polar Express, comes to life again this winter with festive holiday trains within a whistle's blow of New York City. A huge hit with kids and parents alike, these trains spark the imagination and holiday spirit with seasonal snacks, stories, even token gifts—not to mention a visit from Santa himself.

These old-school cabooses (some harking back to the 1920s) offer a classic holiday ambience. Best of all, families can combine the annual Santa Claus photo op with a sweet adventure that is sure to create lasting memories. Remember: these train rides sell out quickly, often months in advance, so book now if you want to go (a popular train in New Jersey had already sold out by early October).

For more seasonal fun close to NYC, check out our Fall Fun Guide and 30 Fall Day Trip Ideas.

25 Ways to Play Princess in New York City

If you have daughters, you know it is hard to shield them from the cotton-candy pink frocks, tulle-filled tutus, sparkly wands, and gleaming tiaras of princesses for long. Of course, many kids, not just the girls, are captivated by the swirl of a princess dress or a blinking fairy wand.

With two daughters at home, we have a closet of dress-up flocks, bins of teeny, tiny princess figurines, and shelves chock-a-block full of Disney DVDs. Playing princess is a constant state of being around here. Sometimes my princesses frolic at home; other times we enjoy a night on the town. But no matter where our princess adventures take us, we always have fun.

So, from my princesses to yours, here are 25 ways to experience NYC in royal style.

All A-Boo! Halloween and Fall Train Rides for New Jersey Kids

Halloween and hayrides go hand in hand, but have your kids ever heard of a "Halloween train"? If you have a junior train conductor in your family, don't miss out on one of these four seasonal NJ railway adventures. Take a seat in a vintage caboose, travel through gorgeous fall foliage, pick pumpkins to bring home, and even trick-or-treat onboard. After the ride, round out the day with autumn activities, from corn mazes to crafts to spooky scarecrows.

Check out our NJ Fall Fun Guide for even more seasonal family fun around the state, and find more cool fall train rides just over the border in Pennsylvania, from a haunted ride to preschooler-friendly Day Out with Thomas.


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