There are few things more magical for children and adults alike than a holiday train ride. With festive lights, holiday themes, and a winter wonderland whisking by outside the windows, you can let your holiday season stresses melt away. They’re the perfect activity to take part in whether you’re from the USA or visiting the USA.
Most holiday train rides are fairly short loops that last no more than an hour or two. The goal here is entertainment rather than transportation, though many do take you to some beautiful destinations.
Holiday train rides are available in different locations all over the world, so it’s fairly easy to find one near you. However, we recommend the following three train rides if you’re in or visiting the USA.
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Ohio
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers not one, but three excellent holiday train rides. The Christmas Caboose Ride is a 75-minute round-trip excursion for up to 10 people that includes hot chocolate and cookies, a commemorative mug you get to keep, and a wood-burning stove.
If you’re into fine dining, check out the Dinner to the North Pole Ride. The menu is prepared by the line’s executive chef, and takes place in their classic Silver Solarium and Silver Bronco train cars, giving you the feel of traveling back in time to the golden age of rail travel.
Their most popular package is the North Pole Adventure. It’s a 75-minute ride through the Cuyahoga Valley. Once underway, Santa’s elves will bring you hot chocolate and cookies, and children will have the opportunity to write a letter to Santa, who will make a surprise appearance. Little ones will even get to see Santa’s workshop onboard for a truly magical experience.
1880 Train Holiday Express, South Dakota
This train journey may start in the heart of South Dakota’s Black Hills, but as far as children are concerned, the destination is the North Pole! Each child will get their own bell to ring to summon Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, who will visit each of them during the one-hour trip. You can upgrade to first-class for hot cocoa and a sugar cookie, and adult passengers can elect to have the “spiked experience,” where their cocoa will contain a little something extra to keep them warm.
CTA Holiday Train, Chicago
Staying in Chicago? If so, the CTA Holiday Train is perfect for families. Provided by the Chicago Transit Authority, the CTA Holiday Train is adorned with twinkling lights, and kids will get the chance to wave at Santa and his reindeer outside the window. You’ll even get the chance to see numerous holiday-themed locomotives parked at various CTA stations around the city. The CTA Holiday Train runs from November 25 to December 19.
Stay Insured on Your Holiday Trip
For a magical holiday, make sure you’re prepared with proper insurance coverage for yourself and your family. If you’re visiting the US from abroad, be sure to have visitors medical insurance to shield you from high healthcare costs if you get sick or become injured.
Those traveling within the US should buy travel insurance, which can protect your finances in case of a cancelled trip, and provide many other valuable benefits.