Holiday Train Rides within Driving Distance from Philadelphia

I have curated a list of family friendly holiday train experiences within driving distance from Philadelphia. Enjoy these kid-friendly suggestions, including websites and driving time!

1. North Pole Express  – New Hope & Ivyland Railroad – New Hope, PA

*About 45 min from Philadelphia*

This festive train ride is perfect for the family! Wandering musicians play Christmas carols while guests are sipping hot cocoa and eating freshly baked cookies. Share your wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Each child will be gifted a sleigh bell from Santa himself. Wear your cozy pajamas and settle in for a soothing ride amidst loved ones in our holiday-themed railway cars bedecked with festive decor.

Website: https://www.newhoperailroad.com/santas-north-pole-express-train/

2. Santa’s Express – West Chester Railroad  – West Chester, PA

*About 45 min from Philadelphia *

All aboard Santa’s Express! Join Santa for a 75-minute journey on a heated, decorated train through the Chester Creek Valley. Santa will be greeting everyone at Market Street Station and then going along for the ride to Glen Mills and return. Santa will be visiting all passengers while on the train. Make sure you bring your holiday lists with you so Santa can check them twice!

Passengers will also enjoy the live entertainment while on board. Refreshments are available on board for purchase.

Adults – $35
Children (ages 2-12) – $25
Toddlers (9mo – 23mo) – $10
Under 9mo ride free!

Website: https://wcrailroad.com/

3. Santa’s Polar Bear Express – Colebrookdale Railroad – Boyertown, PA

*About 1hr and 15 min from Philadelphia*

This is a one-hour festive excursion departing and arriving in Boyertown. This year they have 3 different classes of service to make the ride more affordable for all:

Coach Class: In Coach Class cars, enjoy the warmth of the train cars, meet Santa, and create memorable experiences. A walk-up snack and beverage station will be available. 

Family Class: In Family Class cars, receive butlered table service with an A La Carte menu, including signature beverages like Irish Coffee, Spiked Hot Chocolate, and a visit with Santa!

First Class: In First Class cars, enjoy a complimentary beverage and dessert. For our adult passengers, end the trip with some champagne! Children are allowed in First Class at Christmas time. 

Website: https://www.colebrookdalerailroad.com/santas-polar-bear-express/

4. Polar Express  – Delaware Railroad Excursions  – Phillipsburg, NJ

*About 1.5 hrs from Philadelphia*

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ for a magical hour and a half trip to meet Santa. Once on board, your car hosts will work their way through the coach and punch your golden ticket before hot chocolate and delicious cookies are served by dancing chefs.

Website: https://877trainride.com/polarexpress.htm

5. Christmas Train Ride – Strasburg Rail Road – Ronks, PA

*About 1 hr 20 min from Philadelphia*

A Christmas tradition for nearly 65 years continues at the historic Strasburg Rail Road. Choose from Santa’s Paradise Express, Night Before Christmas Train, Santa Claus Limited, or the Christmas Tree Train.

Website: https://www.strasburgrailroad.com/christmas-train/

6. Santa Claus Express – Wilmington & Western Railroad – Wilmington, DE

*About 50 min from Philadelphia *

The Jolly Old Elf rides the train and greets everyone on board, giving all the children a chocolate treat. Be sure to bring your camera and have Santa pose for pictures with your child during this 1½-hour round-trip to Ashland.

Website: https://www.wwrr.com/ride/events/santa.aspx

Looking to enjoy the holidays a little bit closer to home? Check out our list of holiday activities in and around Philadelphia

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