Christmas Train Rides In and Around Georgia

All Aboard!  There’s just something magical about a journey by train, and there are plenty of Christmas train rides across Georgia and beyond.  Whether you and looking for a short ride to one that lasts a few hours, we got a great list of train rides you’ve got to check out this holiday season.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Image Credit Atlanta Botanical Garden, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights
Photo by Joey Ivansco

Holiday Model Trains

Currently running through January 11

Take a journey around the holiday model train garden! G scale choo-choo trains and a holiday trolley chug along seven tracks on this whimsical, beautifully landscaped mountain layout.

Watch in delight as the trains emerge from tunnels, cross bridges over rippling lake, and soar across trestle bridges. Small towns, train stops, a holiday workshop, and other unique features dot the landscape.

The trains depart during Garden Lights, Holiday Nights hours and regular daytime hours.

Holiday Ride-On Train

Currently running through January 12

All aboard The Botanical Express! The popular children’s Ride-on Train is set to depart for a trip around the Great Lawn every Saturday and Sunday, November 16 – January 12.

Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad

Image and Information Credit Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad

Winter 2019
November 15 – December 31

Bundle up and sip on a cup of hot chocolate as our train calmly rolls along the Toccoa River and through the scenic Appalachian foothills.

Image and Information Credit Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad

Santa Express 2019
November 29 – December 23

We’re here to spread the holiday cheer. Join our Santa Express for a Christmas story, caroling, plus the chance to meet Mrs. Claus and Santa himself! Every child will receive a traditional bell and candy cane.

Image and Information Credit Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad

New Year’s Eve Midnight Train
December 31

Ring in the New Year on the BRSR! Join us for a 1920’s themed ride. Dress to impress in your best 20’s attire. This wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres train departs Blue Ridge at 10:00 pm on New Year’s Eve and returns approximately 12:30 am on New Year’s Day.

Georgia State Railroad Museum

Image and Information Credit Georgia State Railroad Museum

Savannah Santa Train

December 7

Savannah Santa Train, one of the largest annual holiday events in the Lowcountry, will take place on Saturday, December 7, 2019, from 9 am to 5 pm at Georgia State Railroad Museum, located at 655 Louisville Rd., Savannah, GA.

To celebrate the 2019 event, there will be more workshops and special programming than ever before! Guests can build a holiday wonderland with Snapology of Savannah, enjoy caroling by Savannah Stage Company, learn about holiday traditions around the Lowcountry including Gullah-Geechee cultural celebrations, see and purchase handmade holiday spinning tops created by the Lowcountry Turners, enjoy performances from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Savannah Children’s Theatre and design holiday cards for hospital patients with Savannah Children’s Museum’s “Carts with heART” program.

Other activities for visitors will include learning how to shoulder a musket during Toy Soldiers Training, festive holiday dancing with Minick Family Music, snowball-themed STEM activities, taking a holiday-themed ride on a diesel locomotive and sharing a Christmas wish with Santa Claus.  The Salvation Army Savannah GA will also be bringing their mobile Canteen with free donuts and coffee.

In addition to the many workshops and activities, visitors can purchase a gourmet grilled cheese from the Big Cheese food truck, a delicious taco from Dark Shark – Taco Attack food truck, and have a sweet treat for dessert from Leopold’s Ice Cream.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Image Credit Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The Polar Express Train Ride

Currently Running Through December 31

Over 90,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2018 and we hope to see you in 2019! The 1¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole.

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests onboard will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the North Pole to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

Historic SAM Shortline Railroad

Image and Information Credit Historic SAM Shortline Railroad

Breakfast with Santa

December 21

Kids will adore this special trip with Santa the Saturday morning before Christmas Eve. They’ll park on the Lake Blackshear trestle, where you will enjoy Chick-Fil-A minis and other special Christmas treats with the Jolly Ol’ Elf. Then we’ll take a 45-minute train ride with Santa through the Sumter County countryside.

Select Dates in December

Hop aboard with Santa as we travel from Georgia Veterans State Park Depot to President Jimmy Carter’s hometown of Plains, Georgia. The elves will pass out free candy canes as you enjoy Christmas music along the way. Explore the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Museum, the train depot Campaign Headquarters, The Billy Carter Service Station & Museum, shop the retail stores on Main Street and sample peanut butter treats.

North Pole Express

Select Dates in December

Join SAM Shortline for special Christmas train ride from our Georgia Veterans State Park Depot to our Downtown Cordele Depot to visit with Santa!

Downtown Cordele’s “Winter Wonderland” will feature lots of activities for the kids including bounce houses and a REAL snow slide!

Macy’s Pink Pig

Image Credit Macy’s Pink Pig

Macy’s Pink Pig

Currently running through January 5

The Macy’s Pink Pig train ride at Macy’s Lenox Square in Atlanta, a beloved holiday tradition, runs from Saturday, November 2, 2019, through Sunday, January 5, 2020.

Pine Mountain Scenic Railroad

Image and Information Credit Pine Mountain Railroad

Winter Wonderland Train

December 5 through December 21

Every year, after Ghost Train ends, Pine Mountain Gold Museum prepares for their next biggest event – the Winter Wonderland train!  During Winter Wonderland there are meet and greet opportunities with Santa and friends and even write their very own letter to Santa. There will be a food vendor on site most nights selling hot chocolate, caramel apples, and other holiday treats.

After boarding the Pine Mountain Scenic Railroad you will be transported around Pine Mountain through the decorated ruins of the old mining station and past hundreds of thousands of lights. We operate four different trains every hour.

Southeastern Railway Museum

Image and Information Credit Southeastern Railway Museum

Breakfast with Santa 2019

December 7, 14, 21

Start your Saturday shopping with a light/snack breakfast with Santa and a train ride. Children under 2 are free.  This event consists of breakfast with Santa, a craft, and a train ride with Santa.  Breakfast begins at 9:00 am and generally completes by 11:30.

Breakfast will consist of:

  • Warm biscuits
  • Sausages
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Assorted fruit
  • Coffee and tea

Lunch with Santa 2019

December 7, 14, 21

Take a break from shopping on Saturday and enjoy a light lunch and train ride with Santa.  This event consists of lunch with Santa, a craft,  and a train ride with Santa. Children under 2 are free.  Lunch starts at noon and wraps up around 2:30.

Lunch will consist of:

  • Pizza
  • Applesauce cups
  • Cookies
  • Water, tea, juice boxes


Stone Mountain Park Scenic Railroad

Image Credit Stone Mountain Park

Sing-A-Long Christmas Train & The Gift

Currently running through January 5

Join the fun as you rock around the mountain, belting out all of your favorite holiday songs. Make a short stop in Pebble Ridge to hear the telling of a very special story in The Gift!

Due to the popularity of this attraction, reservations will be required after 5 pm. Please visit the train depot for a reservation time if arriving after 5 pm.

Tennessee Valley Railroad

Image Credit Tennessee Valley Railroad

North Pole Limited Train Ride

Currently running through December 30

As our most popular annual event, North Pole Limited train rides have been a family tradition since 1999. During the magical holiday season, trains take riders on an imaginary journey to the North Pole. Along the way, you’ll be treated to refreshments, storytelling, and occasional sing-a-longs. As the Christmas train gently rolls down the rails, a number of lighted displays can be seen outside. Once the train pulls into the “North Pole,” special guest boards for a visit.

Summerville Santa Train Ride

Ongoing December Dates Available

All aboard for a Georgia holiday adventure: The Summerville Santa Special Train Ride!  Trains depart from the festively-decorated, historic Summerville Depot for a one-hour and 15-minute ride to Trion and return.  Along the way, riders will be treated to light refreshments, storytelling, and Christmas carols.  As the train pulls into Trion, Santa Claus will climb aboard and walk through the train greeting children during the return ride to Summerville.


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