Blue Ridge Scenic Railway decorated in holiday lights

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

8 Holiday Train Adventures Around Georgia

Remember a train encircling your Christmas tree when you were growing up? My boys spend hours enjoying our steam engine that comes out each year with the mistletoe and stockings. Holiday train adventures around Georgia will help you relive those childhood memories. Hold on to your seat, we’re going for a ride!

Blue Ridge Santa Express

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

A visit with Santa is magical, especially when you’re headed through the mountains on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway alongside the winding Toccoa River. A daytime ride on the Santa Express is best for young children, lasting only an hour. It includes storytelling, caroling and a visit from Santa. Older kids (and adults) will enjoy the four-hour adventure with a stop in the border town of McCaysville/Copperhill for dining and shopping. Various dates and times Nov. 15 - Dec. 31, 2019.

Holiday model trains at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights is one of my favorite nighttime holiday treats, with millions of lights illuminating the downtown gardenscape at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Holiday cheer continues during the day when visitors can enjoy a G-scale train and trolley winding through a mountain village town. The miniature metropolis is not the only train show; kids can enjoy a turn on the Holiday Ride-on Train. Through Jan. 5, 2020.

Stone Mountain Sing Along Train

Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Christmas is an event for all your senses. See multiple live plays amid 2 million sparkling holiday lights. Visit the Snow Angel in her palace or see Polar Express in 4D. End the evening with a parade featuring Santa, the Snow Angel and a fireworks extravaganza. If you ask me, though, the highlight is a ride on the Singalong Train. Carol with the other passengers along this five-mile route around the mountain. There is no extra charge; it’s included with admission! Nov. 16 - Jan. 5, 2020.

Macy's Pink Pig in Atlanta

Macy's Pink Pig

This vintage train is enjoying more than 50 years in Atlanta. Once with Rich's, then at Egleston's Festival of Trees, it now sits rooftop at Lenox Square Mall. If you grew up in Atlanta, you probably rode this train as a child. Bring your kiddos to meet Priscilla and carry on this Atlanta tradition benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Nov. 2, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020.

Santa at the Southeastern Railway Museum

Southeastern Railway Museum

When Santa’s reindeer are taking a breather, you’ll find him at the Southeastern Railway Museum where he can pick from more than 90 pieces of railway equipment, all perfect for delivering presents. Mingle with Santa and his elves, make holiday crafts and take a ride with Santa at the museum. On select days in December, families can dine with Santa for breakfast or lunch.

SAM Shortline Excursion Train and Santa

SAM Shortline Excursion Train

Head to southwest Georgia for multiple holiday adventures on the 1949 vintage cars that are part of the SAM Shortline Excursion Train. The North Pole Express is a relaxing ride into Cordele for a short layover. There, kids can play games, listen to music, hear the "Polar Express" story or hunt for Christmas gifts. Book your ticket for Breakfast with Santa, where you will enjoy Chick-Fil-A minis and other special Christmas treats with the Jolly Ol’ Elf.

Winter Wonderland Train at Pine Mountain Gold Museum in Villa Rica, Georgia

Pine Mountain Gold Museum

Join Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, The Grinch and more holiday characters at the Pine Mountain Gold Museum for Winter Wonderland Train rides on Wednesdays through Saturdays Dec. 4 through Dec. 21, 2019. Meet the Winter Queen, who can make it snow on command, and hear stories and sing songs while you wait on the train. Families will enjoy riding the festively decorated train for almost a mile to see the twinkling lights. (Note, the rides might be cancelled in inclement weather. Check the museum's Facebook page for the latest information.)

Georgia State Railroad Museum at Christmas

Georgia State Railroad Museum

Head to the Georgia State Railroad Museum in Savannah for a special day with Santa on Dec. 7, 2019. Ride the city’s diesel locomotive, which is decked for Christmas, and meet a very special conductor. After the 30-minute ride, visit Santa, create holiday crafts and enjoy performances from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by Savannah Children's Theatre. Food trucks and Leopold’s Ice Cream will be there with treats.

Find more train rides and many other holiday adventures on ExploreGeorgia.org/events/holidays.

Published: November 2019
Written by: Lesli Peterson