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16 Festive Train Rides You Can Take For the Holidays

Travel + Leisure Logo By Talia Avakian of Travel + Leisure | Slide 1 of 17: The Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel started its Polar Express ride before the famed movie came out. Since 2000, the train ride takes passengers on a nighttime ride through the wilderness of Williams, Arizona, with steam billowing out of the train as it makes its way to the North Pole. Pajama-clad youngsters and adults alike are served hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies while hearing the cherished Christmas tale before they come out of the darkness to witness a brightly lit holiday world where Santa and his reindeer can be seen greeting guests. Santa boards the train to hand every child a sleigh bell before families return from the 90-minute journey, after which they can extend the holiday fun at the hotel. The hotel is completely decorated for the occasion, with opportunities to enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus and photos with Santa. Tickets start at $43 for adults and $33 for children ages two to 15.

Taking a train ride with Santa and his helpers or scoping out magnificent winter scenery can make for a festive way to celebrate the holiday season.

Whether you're a family looking for a playful way to provide children with holiday memories they won’t forget, or adults in search of magnificent ice adventures and mesmerizing views coupled with Christmas-themed meals and drinks, there’s a winter train ride to fit the bill.

We’ve put together a list of 16 train rides to take for the holidays. Some of the trains are inspired by Chris Van Allsburg's famed book “The Polar Express,” while others include schnapps-spiked hot chocolate, views of the Northern Lights, and getting to cut your own Christmas tree to take home.

The trains included in this list still currently have tickets for the 2018 season, but you’ll want to act fast as tickets tend to sell out early for these popular rides.

© Courtesy of Grand Canyon Railroad

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