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These Maryland and DC Christmas train events will delight you and your kids! Santa trains and train gardens are a great way to connect during the holidays!
What is it about trains and Christmas that is just so magical? Whether you enjoy a cozy ride in the country with Santa Claus or pop into the local fire department to see their model train display, no holiday season would be complete without checking out a Christmas train.
These Christmas train activities and events are sure to keep the Holiday magic going strong for you and your entire family.
11 Maryland and DC Area Christmas Train Events Your Kids Will Love!
1. B&O Railroad Museum Magical Holiday Express
Tickets to the very popular Polar Express sell out quickly every year, but there are still tons of fantastic Christmas train events and experiences to enjoy throughout the holiday season. Kids can see Santa, ride the train, see model train displays, and do fun Christmas-themed crafts. http://www.borail.org/holiday/
- Christmas Themed Weekends:
- December 1-2: Silver and Gold weekend
- December 8-9: Deck the Halls weekend
- December 15-16: Jingle Bells weekend
- December 17-31: Let It Snow Festivities
- Breakfast and Train Ride With Santa: December 1, 2, 8, 9
- Holiday Story Time with Mrs. Claus and Train Ride with Santa: December 1, 2, 8, 9
2. Walkersville Southern Railroad Santa Train
This is probably one of our family’s favorite holiday traditions. The Walkersville Southern Santa Train is perfect for young kids. It isn’t intimidating, the ride is gorgeous, and milk and cookies are served at the end of the ride. You can read my review here. To purchase tickets click here.
3. Christmas at Strasburg Rail Road
Trust me, this Lancaster County train experience is totally worth the drive. We have experienced both their traditional Santa Train and the Night Before Christmas train. They are both fantastic. Here are some more details:
- Santa’s Paradise Express: https://www.strasburgrailroad.com/ride/events/santas-paradise-express/Much like the Walkersville Southern Santa Train, Jolly Old Saint Nick will pay each kid a visit and riders will also be treated to other live entertainment designed to put a smile on your face and a warm fuzzy in your heart. Make sure to come early or stay late to check out the other Christmas-themed activities included in your ticket cost.
- The Night Before Christmas Train: https://www.strasburgrailroad.com/ride/events/the-night-before-christmas-train/Just like the name suggests, don your pajamas and get ready to sip on some milk and cookies while enjoying a dramatic reading of this beloved classic. You might even sneak a peak of the little red elf himself!
- Christmas Tree Train: This is such a unique Christmas experience your family will treasure! Ride aboard the Christmas Tree Train to Leaman Place Grove where you can choose a pre-cut Frasier or Douglas Fir tree and have it delivered by steam on a flatcar back to the station. https://www.strasburgrailroad.com/ride/events/christmas-tree-train/
4. Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
Take a one-of-a-kind trek through Winter Land aboard the Western Maryland. During this 3-hour expedition, you will meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves as you join in on reindeer games and more! Each child will have one-on-one time with the jolly guy and will enjoy some Christmas Treats, too!
Dining guests will enjoy a traditional turkey dinner aboard one of our vintage dining cars, and a snack bar is available to all passengers. https://www.wmsr.com/holiday-trains/
Train Gardens Worth A Visit
One of the great things about Maryland area train gardens is that many of them are either free or included with other attractions. Here are a few that are really quite lovely!
- Howard County Fire and Rescue Train Garden. Yep, this is a free event in a local firehouse that is just incredible: http://www.ellicottcityvfa.com/content/train/
- Arbutus VFD Annual Train Garden: http://www.arbutusvfd.org/train_garden.htm
- College Park Aviation Museum Santa Fly-In and Train Garden. December 1st (Santa literally flies in between 12-1230PM) for the Santa fly-in and December 15-22 for the train garden.
- The Shops at Kenilworth- This mall, located in Towson, boasts a fantastic train garden plus many other family-friendly holiday activities, including Sensory Friendly Santa Photos and Breakfast with Santa plus a magic show! https://www.theshopsatkenilworth.com/events/holiday-train-garden/
- Train Garden at Marley Station Mall- This lovely train garden runs from November 19th through New Year’s Eve: https://www.facebook.com/events/2180608825305028/
- Brookside Gardens Garden of Lights- The Garden of Lights is one of the best walk-through lights displays in the DC area. If you check out the Conservatory you can see some pretty fantastic model trains too! Here is my review of Brookside Gardens, including the Garden of Lights.
- United States Botanic Garden- If you venture into DC to see the White House Christmas Tree, you have to check out the US Botanic Garden in all its holiday glory. Not only are there tons of holiday poinsettias, but each year they make a fantastic holiday train display completely out of organic materials. Read my review of this holiday tradition here.
Hope you have fun checking out these Christmas trains.