All Aboard! Santa and Polar Express Train Ride Locations

A few years ago, our family spent a weekend in French Lick where our girls got to ride the famous French Lick Polar Express to the North Pole. A full year has passed, and the girls are STILL talking about that trip! They loved dancing and singing with the elves, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies, and (of course) riding a real train. It was a dream come true for preschoolers!

All Aboard: Where to Ride a Holiday Train

All Aboard! Where to catch a ride on a holiday train or the Polar Express

Unfortunately, the French Lick Polar Express usually sells out an entire YEAR in advance. (It’s been called one of the top five most magical Polar Express rides in the country, so it’s not surprising that it’s popular.) If you can’t snag French Lick Polar Express tickets for this year, here’s a list of other Polar Express train ride locations (and other holiday trains) for you to consider.

Take your kids for a ride on the Polar Express!


Catch a ride on the Holiday Express at Deming Park. 6:00-8:00 p.m. $1.00 per ride. All proceeds go to listed organization.

  • December 4: Vigo County Public Library
  • December 6: THPD Spouse Auxiliary
  • December 7: 181st Intelligence Wing & TH North ROTC
  • December 8: Delta Theta Tau
  • December 9: PS We Love You Fund
  • December 10: Master Gardeners
  • December 11: Boy Scout Troop 200
  • December 13: 181st Intelligence Wing & TH North ROTC
  • December 15: Master Gardeners
  • December 16: Terre Haute Humane Society
  • December 17-21: PS We Love You Fund
  • December 22: Terre Haute Humane Society

November 30-December 31. As part of the seasonal “Winter Wonderland” event, bring the entire family out for a night of ice skating, train rides, crafts, and pictures with Santa at DIY Rentals in Terre Haute.

December 1 and 2. The trackless train will reappear in downtown Terre Haute during Miracle on 7th Street!

December 3. See the Santa train in Sullivan, Indiana (28 miles from Terre Haute) and give dear old Santa your wish list. Santa arrives by train and each child has a chance to come aboard, see the train, and give dear old Santa his or her wish list. Santa even has some very special guest “critters” including Rudolph, Mr. and Mrs. Snowman and Christmas Mouse. The event is FREE to all, and everyone has an exciting time.

November 17-December 17. Whitewater Valley Railroad Polar Express. 148 miles from Terre Haute in Connorsville, IN. Board the train at Grand Central Station in Connersville to pick up Santa Claus along the way. Once on board Santa will come and visit with each child on the train. $35 per persons ages 2 and up

November 2, 2018-December 23, 2018. Polar Express. 109 miles from Terre Haute in French Lick, Indiana. The 2017 season is sold out! It’s time to purchase tickets for 2018. 

November 25-December23. Sullivan Express Santa Train. $35 per family. 86 miles from Terre Haute in Indianapolis. Narrated ride through bear country, Christmas tree lot, and the North Pole. At the North Pole, play in Santa’s workshop and visit with Kris Kringle. Read a review from Indy with Kids HERE.

November 24-December 23. Polar Bear Express from Kokomo or Logansport. Experience a historic passenger train straight out of the history books as it thunders into the station for a grand entrance. As soon as the train stops, the Conductor calls “All Aboard!” for your boarding of the Polar Bear Express (sm). The train is decorated for the holiday season, and Santa as well as his helpers are filled with excitement.

We also find it fun to travel by train during the holiday season. The kids can wander around the train cars and the parents don’t have to worry about driving in sketchy road conditions. Win-win! You can read all about how our family travels by train to Chicago HERE. A holiday train ride is a great tradition for families with young kids, since most kids adore trains. And for those of us in Terre Haute, an amazing train ride could almost make up for all of the times we’re railroaded around town. Oh, who am I kidding? Nothing could make up for that! At the very least, a holiday train ride reminds parents that trains aren’t completely bad.

Must-read tips for traveling by train to Chicago!


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