Now Christmas is just around the corner and some Holiday, Polar Express, and Santa Train rides are accepting reservations and they might book up very soon.
There is nothing like the wonder of Christmas and Santa Claus to your little ones. The joy they experience (and give us) during this season is immeasurable. Here are a few of the holiday train rides available near Las Vegas. Whether you plan a quick trip, or make a weekend out of the experience, these train rides will bring a little extra holiday wonder to your Christmas season.
The Polar Express Train Ride -The Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel Located in Williams, AZ, which is about a 3 hour drive from Las Vegas. No, this is not local, but it’s the nearest Polar Express experience to Las Vegas. You and your family can experience the wonder of this magical train ride, as you fill up on cookies and hot chocolate on your way to Santa’s Village. Watch the joy on the children’s faces when the train arrives at the North Pole, where Santa Claus and his reindeer are waiting! Santa will board The Polar Express and hand each child their own special gift.
You need to book early for weekend dates, many of the dates for 2019 are starting to sell out, and most of the weekends for 2020 are also starting to book up. There are open dates on weekends still in November and many Sundays in December as well. Since it’s quite a drive, you can also book packages and stay at the hotel there. The package includes:
- Overnight stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams
- Polar Express train travel from Williams to the North Pole for each guest
- Dinner and breakfast per guest at the Railway’s Grand Depot Cafe located adjacent to the hotel
Keep in mind that adding the overnight stay can cost as much as $350 on a weekend, but includes dinner and breakfast for everyone as well. (I priced out a room and 2 adults plus 2 children train tickets on a Saturday in November and it was $577. Just the train ride was $227 for the family of four on that same date.) This might be a little bit pricey for my free and cheap peeps, but I know people that have done it and say it’s worth every penny and the drive. Kids absolutely love it, and the reviews and comments are amazing.
There is a 5:30 and a 7:30 departure daily, and the train ride lasts a little over an hour. Ticket prices start at $33 for children 2 -15 and $45 for adults(16+) Sunday-Thursday. There are no train rides on Tuesdays, except on Christmas Eve, which is almost sold out. Weekends (Friday and Saturday rides) are priced higher, at $45 for children and $58 for adults. For more information, schedule, open dates or to book reservations, click the link above. Check out their Facebook page to keep up on any new information as well.
They also offer a Polar Express Charity Train. If you represent a non-profit organization that serves disadvantaged or disabled children in Arizona, please click here to request an application for up to 50 complimentary tickets to The Polar Express, departing at 7:30pm on Friday, November 8, 2019. The deadline to submit applications is September 30, 2019 and recipients will be notified by October 7, 2019.
*Update-We have been there, done that! It was an amazing trip to Williams for the Polar Express. My kids loved it and they also loved all the snow they had there. It was beautiful! A few tips for those that have booked or may be planning to book:
Arizona is it’s own little time warp, and while we did know about the time difference, it totally slipped both my and my husband’s mind to leave an extra hour during the drive. So, we ended up arriving a full hour later than we wanted and with the craziness there, we cut it really close. So, leave early!
Check the weather and bring what you need. It was 18 degrees the night we rode the train, but we dressed for it and it was fine. Besides, check-in and parking being chaos, we had a nice little time with the kiddos and would go back!
For a little bit closer experience, check out these nearby holiday train rides:
Nevada Southern Railway in Boulder City offers a Pajama Train ride for the holiday season. You can experience the magic of the holiday season at night on the train in her pajamas (optional). The train departs at 6pm and 8pm, beginning Thanksgiving weekend through December 23rd. Trains run on these dates: Nov. 29 &30, Dec. 6&7, 13&14, 20&21, 22&23, 2019. Tickets are $30, $35 and $40. All tickets same price per seat. Seats required for all passengers over 1 year old. See the Early Bird discount ($5 per ticket) good through October 31st at 11pm. Each pajama train includes visits from Santa, Storytelling and of course Hot Chocolate & Cookies. Get your tickets early, trains fill up quickly!
Nevada Southern Railway also offers a Santa Train ride. This is a daytime train ride offered in December 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22, with six departures during the day from 10am-3pm, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. All tickets are $10. Dress accordingly or arrive early, some cars are outside seating only. Click the link for tickets and dates. We have done the Santa train more than once and it is so much fun!
Springs Preserve Holiday Express– The train departs 14 times per day on magical journey to Santa’s Village. You must make a reservation at the website. Spaces are limited for each departure time. They strongly encourage you to purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee admittance. Tickets usually run from $10-12, children 2 and under are free. Santa will be there but photos will not be provided, so have your phone or camera ready.
The 2019 dates for the Springs Preserve Holiday Express are December 6-8, 13-15 & 20-23. Times for the train ride will be Fridays 2pm-6pm, and 11am-6pm all other event dates. Admission for the Holiday Express is $10 for Springs Preserve members and $12 for non-members. Kids 2 and under are free.
Since Christmas is closing in fast, you want to book these trains soon. There are lots of other great events on our calendar here for you to plan ahead. You can get free daily email updates of all the free and cheap events, plus deals and discounts on entertainment and dining, by subscribing to our daily newsletter. For even more cheap fun, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.