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Hop on the Holiday Train

Santa Claus at Mid-Continent Railway Museum

The magic of a Santa sighting, the joy of doing good for others, and sweet nostalgia wrapped up in music and twinkling lights. Here are holiday trains to get on your calendar. We have a feeling they may become your new favorite tradition.

We all know how the holiday calendar can fill up in the wink of an eye with family commitments, community gatherings, work parties and more. That’s why we’re providing info earlier rather than later on these holiday trains. They’re not just for kids either, they’re for everyone looking to tap into the true meaning of the season.

Santa Express, Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom

This is a tradition that goes back 26 years at the Railway Museum, although the restored steel coaches on which you’ll ride date back a century. When you hear the uniformed conductor yell “all aboard,” hop on the train for a 55-minute ride through the countryside. Each December, Santa makes an appearance and his elves do their part spreading holiday cheer with small gifts for the children. Local high school choirs will invite you to join in the singing of Christmas carols. All so heartwarming. Oh, and keeping you warm are the coal-fired stoves and steam heating of the train cars, just like at the North Pole. There are four Santa Express departures each day. Make your reservation online or by phone. Ho, ho, ho!

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, Amtrak Station, 100 La Crosse Street, Wisconsin Dells

The best word to describe the CP Holiday Train is magical. Close your eyes and imagine more than a dozen train cars decked out with thousands of twinkling lights, children’s activities, food and refreshments, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and musical performances. Best of all, the train will be collecting money and non-perishable food items for the Central Wisconsin Community Action Council food pantry and homeless programs. Since its inaugural year in 1999, the Holiday Train, as it makes its way through Canada and northern U.S., has raised more than $15.8 million and collected 4.5 million pounds of food. Each year the Holiday Train usually stops in Wisconsin Dells early-December. 

Check out all of the holiday happenings by clicking here.

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