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Go Ask Mom

All Aboard: It's time to buy Santa Train tickets

Posted November 12, 2010

Santa Train 2010 will leave the station at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham next month. And if you want to climb aboard, you better get ready to get your tickets.

This very popular Christmas event features a night-time train ride, visit with Santa and his elves, hot chocolate, music, crafts and lots of other activities. This is a holiday tradition for many families around here. And tickets sell out fast ... really fast.

The Santa Train runs Dec. 1 through Dec. 5, Dec. 8 through Dec. 12 and Dec. 15 through Dec. 20. Departure times start at 5:20 p.m. and run to 8:20 p.m.

So mark your calendars:

Tickets are on sale for general museum members on Monday and Tuesday starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Tickets go on sale to the general public at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

Tickets are $15 each. Kids under 3 are free. Click here for more information about the train and how to buy tickets.

The museum also is running a Santa Train ticket giveaway. Click here for details.

And there are other Santa trains in the state:

  • Tickets to the also popular N.C. Amtrak Raleigh Santa Train, which runs from Raleigh to Greensboro and back, are sold out. (Congratulations to all you parents who were on top of that one!) But if you have reason to be in the Charlotte area, there are still some tickets available for the Charlotte Santa Train. Click here for details. It's Dec. 4.
  • New Hope Valley Railway's Santa Trains are Dec. 4 and Dec. 5 and Dec. 11 and Dec. 12 at the railway in southwestern Wake County. Click here for details and to buy tickets (which is highly recommended).
  • The N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer, about two hours from Raleigh, has a slew of Christmas-related rides. Click here for details and tickets.
  • And if you're up for a weekend trip, the Great Smoky Mountains Railway in Bryson City has a Polar Express, which started Nov. 5 and runs through Dec. 18. It's pricey ... tickets can run as high as $59. But it sounds like quite an experience. Kids are encouraged to wear their pajamas. Bryson City is about 5 hours from Raleigh. Click here for details.

And for many other holiday events, check the Go Ask Mom Holiday Guide.


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  • shall6 Nov 12, 2010

    Great question Jill. I called over there. The dates for Santa Train ticket sales for next year will not be set until after Jan. 1. But it will most likely be around the same time as this year ... so October.


  • jillwiencek Nov 12, 2010

    Thanks for sharing this. When do the tickets for Raleigh go on sale so we can keep an eye out next year?

  • OGE Nov 12, 2010

    We've done the Cookies and Cocoa with Santa at the NC Trans Museum. The first year was great! They had a real Santa and we actually got to walk through the Roundhouse. The last two have been a bit watered down with a fake Santa and not nearly as much for the kids to do.

    I just can not imagine coming off $177+taxes/fees for the Polar Express ride for our family of 4(we have a 2 year old)....let alone 236.00 next year! Yikes!

  • shall6 Nov 12, 2010

    Thanks for the details myra! I was just telling my husband we need to get out there in the next couple of years.


  • myraburrell730 Nov 12, 2010

    The Polar Express train in Bryson City is a wonderful experience. I am originally from there and took our son last year. We are going back this year too! The children get to dance, have hot chocolate, read the story all the way to the North Pole where Santa boards the train. He visits each child, talks with them, and gives them a special present. It is a lot of fun. Tickets can be high but it depends on which class of tickets you buy. To me it is worth it to see my son's face! PS. Tickets go FAST!