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All aboard: Ontario holiday-themed train rides you won't want to miss

These holiday-themed train rides will get everyone in a festive mood this season.
Santa's Christmas Caboose

As the holiday season descends upon us, there's a magical ride waiting to transport you into a world of enchantment and joy: holiday-themed train and trolley rides that are the perfect holiday adventure right here in Ontario!

Secure your tickets for an unforgettable rail journey, whether it's a whimsical trip to meet the jolly man himself or a Christmas train brimming with family entertainment, delectable holiday treats, and an abundance of yuletide cheer. 

Whether you crave the festive glow of decorative holiday lights, a peek into Santa's workshop, or simply quality time with loved ones, these magical train rides have it all. 

Here’s your ticket to a unique and unforgettable holiday experience—and one that isn’t a train ride at all, but a North American locomotive concert tour stopping in dozens of Canadian and US cities and towns putting on shows for charity.

The tracks are set, the lights are twinkling – it's time to embark on a holiday adventure like no other.

1. Santa's Christmas Caboose

Book a magical Santa Train Ride at Waterloo Central Railway! Choose between an enchanting daytime tour or a twinkling lights evening tour for a festive experience the whole family will adore. The decorated trains weave through picturesque Ontario landscapes and even pass by Santa's workshop. Running from November 16 to December 23, this joyous ride begins and ends in St. Jacobs, Ontario and is just an hour and a half from Toronto—making holiday memories easily accessible.

Dates: Runs on select dates from November 16 through December 23
Tickets: Book online here

2. North Pole Experience: How the Train Saved Christmas

Climb aboard this York-Durham Heritage Railway train that departs from Uxbridge for a whimsical adventure that'll fill your heart with holiday magic! Expect elaborate decorations, twinkling lights, festive carols, and a visit from the man in red himself. Special features include holiday treats, cozy beverages, selfies with Santa, and more!

Dates: Runs on select dates between November 24 and December 9. Check event website for full schedule
Tickets: Book online here

3. Polar Express Ride at Neimi’s Christmas Land

Step into the magical world of Christmas Land at Neimi's family farm in Mount Albert—it's a holiday attraction for all ages! Shop the farm's Christmas Market, sip cocoa by a bonfire, snap photos amidst dazzling light displays, and spot farm animals and more fun surprises. Then, visitors can take a memorable ride that winds through the picturesque landscapes of Neimi's, where passengers will be treated to a reading of the Polar Express while onboard the train. 

Dates: Runs on select dates from November 17 through December 23
Tickets: Book online here

4. Christmas on the Rails with the Halton County Radial Railway

All aboard! Get ready for a jolly ride on Santa's Trains at the Halton County Radial Railway in Milton. Starting December 3, visitors can hop on a vintage streetcar for festive tour with cider, hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies. Kids and adults alike will delight in the holiday decor, classic holiday tunes everyone can sing along to, and a chance to meet Santa himself. 

Dates: Runs December 2,3,9, and 10
Tickets: Sold at the door

5. CPKC Holiday Train

While not a train you can ride, the CPKC Holiday Train still deserves a spot on our list, Get ready to be dazzled by the CP Holiday Train—a festive concert that raises money to support local food banks. This magical train, spreading joy from town to town across Canada and northern US communities, isn't only about twinkling lights and holiday tunes. It's a heartwarming experience dedicated to giving back.

Watch in awe as the brightly decorated train arrives, and musicians perform free concerts from the festive train stage. To catch it when it comes to an Ontario town near you, no booking is required—just head to the designated stops. So, pack your holiday spirit and a warm jacket and toque and be sure to catch the CP Holiday Train as it rolls into your town!

Dates: Stops in Ontario towns between November 22 and 24. Check event website for full schedule
Tickets: Book online here

6. Portage Flyer Christmas Train Ride to Santa


The Portage Flyer locomotive and authentic coaches sparkle with a thousand lights. As you await your turn to board the train, which departs from Muskoka Heritage Place Rotary Village Station, indulge in a complimentary cup of hot chocolate and cookies and join the festive carol singing. Once on board, experience a leisurely ride along the Muskoka River, making your way to The Purser’s Cabin where Santa awaits. If you wish to extend the joy, feel free to catch the next train back.

Dates: Runs December 23. Gate opens at 4:30 pm, rides begin at 5 pm until 8 pm (last train leaves station at 7:30 pm)
Tickets: Purchase at the door

7. Christmas Lights Trolley Tour

Hop on board Kingston’s festive red trolley for a 75-minute sightseeing tour, weaving through the city to marvel at the holiday lights. This excursion promises a journey filled with spectacular sights, from dazzling to twinkling and sparkling lights, all set to the backdrop of beloved Christmas songs and carols.

Dates: Runs on select dates from December 1 through 31
Tickets: Purchase online here