Polar Express and Christmas Trains Near Philadelphia for 2021

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

There's something about trains that evokes the spirit of Christmas; whether it's memories of model trains under the tree, that "coming home for the holidays" feeling, or Tom Hanks playing the conductor in one of the best kids' Christmas movies ever, just about everyone loves a good Polar Express.

Visits with Santa are even more fun on a train, so we've rounded up all the railroads hosting Polar Express and Christmas train rides near Philly. A few of these are further out than we might normally recommend, but we feel like the longer drives are justified for such a special holiday outing. 

At many of these locations, families can ride a real locomotive with Santa Claus, hear Christmas stories, sing carols, sip hot chocolate, and admire views of the passing countryside. Children are even invited to wear their pajamas at some events. So, climb aboard for some Christmas fun while reviewing our list.

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 may be in place due to the delta variant of COVID-19. 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. 


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