Amazing Holiday Trains in New Jersey

All Aboard in 2018!

Pajamas and hot cocoa feels magical when you are sitting on a steam locomotive listening to Christmas music waiting to meet Santa Claus. Thus, our tradition began several years ago to travel on all the holiday trains in New Jersey. At Mommy University, we love trains. Since we are enchanted with everything involving holidays, we can tell you that riding on a special holiday train is a unique experience that the entire family enjoys!

There are holiday train options throughout New Jersey that offer different qualities that make each train ride special and unique. Don’t be surprised if you see families with matching pajamas as even Scrooge can jump on this bandwagon  train. We strongly advise you to purchase tickets as soon as possible since most locations sell out quickly and in some instances the tickets are sold out right after the ticket sales begin. There is no room for Bah Humbug on this holiday adventure!

Mommy University Presents

2018 Amazing Holiday Trains in New Jersey

Delaware River Railroad Excursions, Phillipsburg

In November, the Delaware River Railroad is transformed into The Polar Express! It is a 90 minute train ride where families can meet characters similar to the movie including Santa. This train ride is full of holiday spirit as musicians and jugglers walk throughout the colorfully lit train. There are many magical moments including the ticket punched with the word “BELIEVE” as well as hot cocoa and cookies for all the kids! The tickets for this train go on sale in the summer and sell out quickly.

2019 Dates: Nov. 29, 30 Dec. 1,6,7,8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22
Fares: Adult $42.00, Child $32.00 (ages 3 to 12), Lap Sitter $5.00 ( 2 and under- no child carriers allowed- child must sit in your lap)
Times leave: 6 and 8pm on Friday, 2, 4, 6 and 8pm on Sat, 2, 4 and 6pm on Sunday

Holiday Trains

Black River & Western Railroad, Flemington

Black River & Western Railroad has been known for its excursion trains for years including The North Pole Express and The Christmas Limited! The North Pole Express includes a 120 minute train ride that serves hot cocoa and cookies as well as time with Santa, his wife and the elves.  There is also a unique and FREE photo option inside the Ringoes train station.  The Christmas Limited only runs for two dates and more low key with the focus on Santa.

2019 Dates: Nov. 23, 24, 29, 30; Dec. 1, 7, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28
Fares: adults are $32, 3 and older $34, ages 3 and younger is FREE
Times leave: Times vary based on date which can include 9:30am, 12pm, 2:30pm, 5 pm

Limited Express 2019 Dates: November 16 & 17

Fares: adults are $24, 3 and older $26, ages 3 and younger is FREE
Times leave: Times vary based on date

The NJ Museum of Transportation, Allaire State Park

The Christmas Express with Santa Claus has been running for over 35 years by the New Jersey Museum of Transportation. Tickets go on sale in the fall and this special event is sold out every year. Santa rides on the train and talks to each child individually. (Tickets available on October 6).

2019: Trains leave every half hour.

  • Daytime Rides: November 29, 30  and December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 11:00am to 4pm;
    Fare: $6.00
  • Nighttime Rides: December 7, 14, 21 6 pm to 8:30 pm
    Fare: $6.00
Tri-State Railway Historical Society, Wayne

Offered on one special date, the Santa Train departs from the Wayne station hosted by the Tri-State Railway Historical Society. This special ride includes not only a special visit from Santa but there are also surprise guests each year. The ride lasts an hour and Mommy University has learned a special snowman may appear this year!

2019 Dates: December 14 departing 9am to 3pm, $23 adults, $13 children under age 12, infants in arms ride free

**This train is currently sold out for the 2019 season.

Morristown and Erie Railway, Whippany

The Polar Express Train Ride will begin service to the North Pole onboard THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride offered by Morristown and Erie Railway. The magical story comes to life when the train departs Whippany Station for a Five Week round-trip journey to the North Pole with daily trips.  Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will greet the children and each child will receive their own sleigh bell, just like in the movie, to those who BELIEVE. Experience the joy of caroling and holiday entertainment that will surely encourage you to join in and take part of the whole experience.

2019 Update: November 16-December 30 (no events on Mondays. Exact dates, pricing information and excursion times can be found on their website. Ticket range from $41-80 based on date, age and seat type.

The Santa Express, Cape May

The Santa Express is offered by Cape May  Seashore Lines operating roundtrip rides on the weekends between Tuckahoe and Richland.  There are limited rides on the Santa Starlight Express which runs on select weeknights.  During the 60 minute ride, Santa will stop to visit each passenger. They also now offer the Santa Express Weekday Special which is designed for little ones and is only 45 minutes on December 12.

2019 Update: Exact dates, pricing information and excursion times are available by visiting the website. Ticket range from $14-39 based on date, age, and seat type.

Polar Express Adventure, Riverfront Camden, NJ

The Ronald McDonald House Southern New Jersey is hosting the Polar Express Adventure which is launching from the Riverfront in Camden towards the North Pole!  One day, one trip departing at 11:30 am on December 7th includes boxed lunch, activities and a bag of goodies.  For $45 for adults and $35 for children this will be a unique experience.

Bonus: New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, New Hope PA

If you want to cross over to the edge of Pennsylvania for a Holiday Train, then we highly recommend the New Hope & Ivyland’s North Pole Express and Santa’s Steam Spectacular! Both excursions offer a wonderful experience filled with holiday cheer. They depart from the New Hope train station and offer gorgeous views of the countryside. Santa visits each child and hot cocoa and cookies are served. A highlight is receiving a bell inspired from the film  Polar Express. The North Pole Express is pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive while Santa’s Steam Spectacular takes place on historic #40 steam locomotive.

2019: November 29-December 24, price ranges by Coach or First Class, date and age.

North Pole Express

You can also stop by Peddler’s Village for some hot cider and amazing outdoor lights and last-minute shopping.

Peddler's Village

While we continue to explore holiday trains in New Jersey, we want to know which trains are your favorites?

If you like this post, you might like:

10 Places to Ride Trains in NJ

Model Trains in NJ

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  1. I love this post! I’m from eastern pa and really wanted to take my daughter on the breakfast with Santa train ride out of new hope this Christmas but it is so expensive! I see some other more affordable options on the list that’d be worth driving for. Plus we go to cape may around the holidays every year. I had no idea there was a Santa train there! Maybe that’s what we will do! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica Lopa

      I am so happy this was helpful for you! We love holiday trains and will continue to share new ones as we find them. If you find any that are not on this list, please feel free to share it with us. Thank you so much for following Mommy University!

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