Christmas Train Rides in New Jersey: All Aboard for Family Fun


All aboard—taking one of the Christmas train rides in New Jersey this season is a festive and fun way to get into the holiday spirit. After all, who doesn’t like sipping hot cocoa while spending quality time with Santa and his elves? And when it’s all from the comfort of your own seat (and if you choose, wearing Christmas PJs), it feels even more spirited. Scroll down for where you can hop aboard a holiday train ride this season. And if you are looking for more holiday fun, check out our holiday guides to Christmas Tree Lightings, Drive Through Christmas Lights, or Must-See Light Shows for this season.

Featured Photo Credit: DiDonato Family Fun Center

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(Note: Since COVID-19 rules and regulations are continually changing, it’s best to check ahead for in-person events)

Get your tickets ready for Christmas Train rides in New Jersey

DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
November 12-December 30
All aboard a train ride through millions of Christmas lights with a meet and greet with Santa and his elves in his workshop. After, head to the Holiday Movie tent, take a photo with your favorite snowman, and shop for everyone on your list at the Toy Market and Walkthrough Holiday Village.
Cost: 12 months and younger are free, $17.95 online, $19.95 at the door, there is a discount after December 26
1151 South White Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037
(609) 561-3040

North Pole Express at the Black River and Western Railroad
November 20-December 18, select dates

Don’t miss North Pole Express—the Black River and Western Railroad’s most popular annual event of the year. There’s a North Pole Station with a choose-your-own props photo experience. And when you board, coach class guests can meet Santa and his elves on the train, enjoy a chocolate chip cookie and hot cocoa, face painting, and a special silver sleigh bell. First-class guests enjoy the same as coach guests, along with express check-in, a reserved table, complimentary drinks, and snacks served at your table.
Cost: $28 and up
80 Stangl Road, Flemington, NJ 08822
(908) 782-6622

The Polar Express with the Delaware River Railroad Excursions
November 26, 27, 28 and December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19
If your kids want to be the stars of their favorite holiday movie—this one is for your family. Inspired by the film and the award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, this holiday favorite comes to life as you and your family take a ride on The Polar Express. Set to the sounds of the Polar Express, kids can sing along with roaming hobos, watch a Juggling Chef, spend time with Santa, and receive a silver bell. And to make it truly authentic, don’t forget your PJs for the ride.
Cost: $32 per child and $42 per adult
100 Elizabeth Street, Phillipsburg, NJ  08865

(877) 872-4674

The Polar Express Whippany
Now-December 30 
Punch your golden ticket and get all aboard The Polar Express. This is another ride where you can experience the magic of The Polar Express and take a one-hour trip to the North Pole with the whole family. Kids will enjoy hot chocolate, Walker’s Shortbread, storytime, meeting Santa, and a silver sleigh bell surprise too. It’s one of those Christmas train rides in New Jersey that you won’t want to miss.
Cost: $48 and up
1 Railroad Plz., Whippany, NJ 07981
(973) 419-6255

The Santa Express and the Starlight Santa Express
November 20-December 22 and for Starlight, Friday evenings, December 10-25, and Wednesday, December 22

The Seashore Lines will take you on a historic, comfortable, fun train ride with the big man himself. The 75-minute round-trip ride will feature Santa and his helpers, onboard entertainment, and snack service on the First Class cars. You can hop on board at either Richland Village or Tuckahoe Village, and The Starlight Express includes the same, but the magic happens at night.
Cost: prices starting at $23.95
Richland Village- 1272 Harding Highway, Richland, NJ 08350

Tuckahoe Village- Reading Avenue and Railroad Avenue, Tuckahoe, NJ 08250
(856) 263-2675

The Santa Train with the Tristate Railway Historical Society LLC
December 18
All aboard an hour-long round trip experience with carols, costumed characters, and an opportunity to meet Santa himself. The annual event is sponsored by the Tri-State Railway Historical Society, an educational organization dedicated to preserving, restoring, and interpreting the New Jersey area’s rich railroading history. The Santa Train serves as the single largest fundraiser. As of November 15, 2021, tickets are sold out, but a waitlist is available.
Cost: $24 and up
Wayne/Route 23 Transit Center, Route 23 Southbound and West Belt Parkway, Wayne, NJ 07040


Which Christmas train rides in New Jersey will you hop aboard?

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.

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