Experience the delight of Christmas trains with this list of train displays and ride-on train options in Michigan.
Find a Polar Express or Favorite Christmas Train Ride
There is something magical about trains at Christmas time.
Whether it is the site of train tracks wrapped underneath a family’s Christmas tree or watching a holiday favorite like The Polar Express, trains are a holiday tradition for many.
Last night my son set up his electric train in the living room and I could just see it running under our Christmas tree when we set it up. Christmas trees + trains = magic.
We will update this as we learn of new displays and rides, and look forward to the return of many Christmas train rides
Magical Christmas Train Rides in Michigan
Coopersville & Marne Railway
306 Main St, Coopersville, MI 49404
November 27, 2021 – December 19, 2021
Elves will escort the children to sit with Santa. All children get a present, even the shy ones! The story-telling Princess will read Christmas-themed books to the children in each of the decorated railcars.
All of the train cars are comfortably heated and each has a restroom on board. Online tickets must be purchased in advance. Masks requested. 90 minutes.
5045 Stanley Road, Flint, MI 48506
Nov 26 – Dec 31, 2021 on Select Dates
Make memories to last all year when the spirit of the season fills the streets and shops of Crossroads Village, with thousands of lights sparkling. Join friends and family for an evening ride on the Huckleberry Railroad and watch Village artisans make vintage crafts.
You’re sure to find gifts for everyone on your list.
Ride is approx. 40 minutes long. The train is enclosed and heated for your ride. However, please dress for the weather as there are many outside components of your visit.
A family tradition for over 30 years!
TICKET PRICES: Adult (13 -59yrs) – $24.00, Senior (60yrs +) – $23.00, Child (25mos.-12yrs) – $22.00, 24 mos. & under are free.
Southern Michigan Railroad Santa Train Rides – Only 1 Date Available at time of Publication
101 East Chicago, Tecumseh MI 49286 (They park the train next to this building, the building doesn’t belong to the railroad)
Nov. 27 & 28, Dec. 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19
This is a simple, small-town event with a kid-friendly price. We keep the event deliberately small, so it goes smoothly without big lines. (or a big price.) Tickets do tend to sell out.
However, this is a significantly expanded train ride and experience. You’ll have a 30-minute train ride, about an hour seeing Santa, and a 30-minute train ride back.
The Christmas Train will pick you all up in Tecumseh, take you to our version of the North Pole, There you will meet Santa and give him your list.
Dress for the weather! Seriously! You may be standing outside for a while. While the coach and caboose are fully enclosed, please consider this a Michigan outdoor activity.
Once, you arrive at the village you will either go in and see Santa first or you will enter a warming tent to enjoy some Hot Chocolate and a Christmas Video while waiting to see Santa. Make sure they bring their letters to put in Santa’s mailbox. Later you will get back on the train for your ride back to Tecumseh.
2021 North Pole Express – Only 1 Date Available as of 11/21/21
This holiday season put on your favorite pajamas or 1940s/50s attire and join us for a nostalgic journey to the Christmas of yesteryear when you climb aboard the North Pole Express, pulled by the world-famous Pere Marquette 1225!
The North Pole Express is a Christmas journey that will have your family feeling like they’ve entered into the pages of Polar Express.
It’s a four-hour holiday experience that includes a ride in a steam locomotive that winds you through a winter wonderland, delivers you to a Christmas festival in a nearby village where you are dropped off to explore, and then returns you once again by train.
November 20, 21, 26*, 27 and 28
December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19
*Friday, Nov 26: 10am and 5pm
Saturdays: 10am and 6pm
Sundays: 10am and 5pm
29 W Park Ave, Coldwater, MI 49036
December 4th, 5th, 11th, & 12th
Clinton Township Parks and Recreation and the Michigan Transit Museum recreate the magical Holiday Express train ride for children of all ages.
The Polar Express story will be read as the train begins its journey, while families feast on hot chocolate and cookies, sing carols, and more!
Adults (12 and up): $20.00
Children (3-11): $13.00
2 and under ride free and do not need a ticket.
Train cars are enclosed but not heated – warm clothing is advised – please dress for the weather. Children over 12 months old and all adults must register and pay the fee. Under 12 months must sit in a lap – if you would prefer your infant to sit in their car seat, a ticket must be purchased. A child under 12 months may be registered if you would like them to receive the goodies, but it is not required.
~Souvenirs and concessions will be available.
~Restrooms will only be available inside the station before and after the excursion. (sanitizing stations will be onboard and on the platform)
~These trains will be sold at half capacity and face masks are optional.
~Normal cleaning procedures will take place before and after each excursion. Staff will utilize a disinfectant fog on all frequently touched surfaces on the equipment used. We ask passengers and guests to utilize provided hand sanitizer stations and wash hands before and after the excursion. With everyone’s cooperation, we will have a safe and fun environment while aboard the trains.
11854 Peacock Road, Laingsburg, MI 48848
Take the Peacock Express to see Santa and Mrs. Claus! The train leaves the station every half hour. You will travel past our Animal Park, go over the river and through the woods to reach Santa’s cabin. Watch carefully, Santa will be waiting for you as you come around the bend!
The train has an Engine, Tender, and 4 Passenger Cars.
Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy hot cocoa and roasted marshmallows at their cabin.
Continue the magic at any of several other spots on the farm. Visitors can make a caramel apple with Chrissy the Elf at the Sugar Shack and visit the Christmas Shoppe. You can even cut down your own Christmas tree or pick one from the pre-cut lot.
The Santa Experience sells out every year so be sure to get your tickets early. Tickets typically go on sale beginning August 1.
Christmas Train Displays
Frederik Meijer Gardens – 1000 East Beltline Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
November 23, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Model trains and trolleys run through an incredible miniature Grand Rapids village that spans several indoor gardens.
Each village piece is crafted from natural materials and features many popular Grand Rapids area buildings and spaces.
November 19, 2021 – December 18, 2021
Howard Miller Community Center
14 South Church St, Zeeland, MI 49464
The Holland Modular Railroad Club, fondly called ‘a traveling railroad club,’ takes their train all over West Michigan.
This holiday season, their holiday themed models return to the Howard Miller Community Center in Zeeland.
November 22, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Gerald R. Ford Museum
303 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
For nearly thirty years a whimsical miniature train display brought families and train enthusiasts alike to the Breton Village Mall each holiday season.
Since the remodel of Breton Village, their famed train has found a new home at the Gerald R. Ford Museum.