Take a ride on Santa's Paradise Express. Photo courtesy of Strasburg Rail Road
Take a ride on Santa's Paradise Express. Photo courtesy of Strasburg Rail Road

Polar Express: Christmas Train Rides for Kids Near Philly

Something about trains evokes nostalgia at Christmas in the Philly area. For some, it stirs up childhood memories of building a model train set under twinkling tree lights. For others, it's a reminder of that "coming home for the holidays" feeling, where folks would arrive at the train station, arms filled with Christmas packages.

With that in mind, we have rounded up a list of Philly area railroads hosting holiday-themed trains of all kinds. Some are located more than an hour's drive from Philadelphia, but can make for a fantastic holiday outing. 

At many of these outings, families can ride a real locomotive with Santa Claus, hear Christmas stories, sing carols, sip hot chocolate, and admire the views of the passing countryside. Children are even invited to wear their pajamas at some of these events.  

So climb aboard for some Christmas fun. 

Stay up to date on all things holidays by browsing our Philadelphia Holiday Guide, which is packed with great ways to celebrate the season.

As with many winter activities, modifications due to COVID-19 are in place. Most trains are running with reduced capacity, so be sure to purchase tickets in advance. Please keep your family and others safe by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing measures. If a train outing appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our event calendar to find something else to do. 

 

Places featured in this article:


New Hope & Ivyland Railroad

West Chester Railroad
upcoming events
(Sun May 30, 2021) Memorial Day Express
(Sun Jun 6, 2021 - Sun Sep 19, 2021) Summer Picnic Train Rides
(Sun May 30, 2021) Memorial Day Express
(Sun Jun 6, 2021 - Sun Sep 19, 2021) Summer Picnic Train Rides

Strasburg Rail Road

Delaware River Railroad Excursions

Greenbank Station at Wilmington & Western Railroad

Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern Railroad

West Chester Railroad
upcoming events
(Sun May 30, 2021) Memorial Day Express
(Sun Jun 6, 2021 - Sun Sep 19, 2021) Summer Picnic Train Rides
(Sun May 30, 2021) Memorial Day Express
(Sun Jun 6, 2021 - Sun Sep 19, 2021) Summer Picnic Train Rides

Strasburg Rail Road

Greenbank Station at Wilmington & Western Railroad
In-Person Baby Storytime with Miss Mary at Shakespeare Park
Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library - 10:30 AM Pick
Free Admission Days for Hospital Workers at Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute - various times Pick
Kennett Square Story Stroll
Work2gether - 7:00 AM
Big Time: Life in an Endangerous Age
The Philadelphia Zoo - 9:30 AM
Franklin Square Fountain Show
Franklin Square - 12:00 PM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides