All aboard—yes, it’s that time of year again, and taking one of the Christmas train rides in New Jersey during the upcoming 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 seat (and if you choose, wearing Christmas PJs), it feels even more spirited. So, while it may seem way too early, it’s time to get a head start by buying your tickets now before they sell out (you’ll thank us later). Scroll down for where you can hop aboard a holiday train ride, and stay tuned for updates to our Christmas Tree Lightings, Drive Through Christmas Lights, or Must-See Light Shows this upcoming season. (featured photo credit: DiDonato Family Fun Center)
Get your tickets ready for Christmas Train rides in New Jersey
The Polar Express Train Ride with the Delaware River Railroad Excursions
November 24-December 17, select dates
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™ for a magical hour-and-a-half trip to meet Santa. Once on board, car hosts will come by to punch your golden ticket. Sit back and relax as the dancing chefs serve hot chocolate and cookies, and the classic children’s book, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, is read aloud. Set to the sounds of the Polar Express, kids can sing along with roaming hobos, watch a Juggling Chef, and spend time with Santa, who will give each guest their first gift of Christmas— a silver bell. And to make the experience truly authentic, wear your Christmas PJs during the ride.
Cost: $38 per child and $48 per adult
38 Market Street, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
November 17-December 23, select dates
All aboard a train ride through millions of Christmas lights with a meet and greet with Santa and his elves in his workshop. Perfect for Kids ages 1-92, experience a train ride through millions of Christmas lights, meet Santa and his elves in his workshop, chat with Mrs. Claus, and so much more. 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, $19.95 online, $22.95 at the door
1151 South White Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037
The Polar Express Train Ride Whippany
November 1-December 30, select dates
Punch your golden ticket and get all aboard The Polar Express. Your family will 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. 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
North Pole Express at the Black River and Western Railroad
November 19-December 30, select dates
Don’t miss North Pole Express—the Black River and Western Railroad’s most popular annual event. There’s a North Pole Station with a 6-foot-tall wreath photo prop. When you board, coach-class guests can meet Santa and his elves on the train and enjoy a chocolate chip cookie, hot cocoa, a special silver sleigh bell, and a gold souvenir ticket. First-class guests enjoy the same as coach guests, along with a reserved table and food and beverage service.
Cost: $39.99 and up
80 Stangl Road, Flemington, NJ 08822
The Santa Express and the Starlight Santa Express
November 25-December 23, select dates
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 in the First Class cars. You can hop on board at Richland Village or Tuckahoe Village, and The Starlight Express includes the same, but the magic happens at night.
Cost: prices start at $24.95
Richland Village- 1272 Harding Highway, Richland, NJ 08350
Tuckahoe Village- Reading Avenue and Railroad Avenue, Tuckahoe, NJ 08250
The Santa Train with the Tristate Railway Historical Society LLC
Climb aboard this hour-long round-trip experience with carols, costumed characters, and an opportunity to meet Santa on a dedicated NJ Transit train. Each child will get to meet Santa and receive a special gift. The Tri-State Railway Historical Society sponsors this annual event, and the Santa Train is its largest fundraiser. Tickets will go on sale in mid-October (but get them quickly since they sell out fast).
Route 23 Southbound and West Belt Parkway, Wayne, NJ 07040
Which Christmas train rides in New Jersey will you hop aboard?
Become an NJMOM Insider! For all the best things to do with your family around New Jersey, sign up for our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox each week, and don’t forget to tag your photos #NJMOM and @njmom for a chance to be featured on our social media.