Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in the snow
Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

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 Scenic Railway with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

A visit with Santa is magical, especially when you’re headed through the mountains alongside the winding Toccoa River. A daytime ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway 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 nighttime adventure to Santa's Pavilion. Santa visits each of the vintage train cars, and guests stop in the border town of McCaysville/Copperhill for dining and shopping. Various dates and times through Dec. 23, 2018.

The Botanical Express at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights is one of my favorite nighttime holiday treats, with millions of lights illuminating the downtown gardenscape. 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 Botanical Express. Through Jan. 6, 2019.

Stone Mountain Sing Along Train

Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Christmas is an event for all your senses. See multiple live plays amidst 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! Through Jan. 6, 2019.

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. Through Jan. 6, 2019.

The General decorated for the holidays at The Southern Museum in Kennesaw, Georgia

The Southern Museum

Spend an afternoon at The Southern Museum’s Santa's Workshop on Dec. 8, 2018. Families will enjoy seeing the world famous General lit up to holiday music and two special holiday train layouts on display. "The Polar Express" movie will show in the Museum Theater at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. Families can create and decorate their own unique wood ornament to take home. Dress in Polar Express pajamas or fun holiday sweaters for pictures with Santa.

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.

Georgia State Railroad Museum at Christmas

Georgia State Railroad Museum

Head to the Georgia State Railroad Museum for a special day with Santa on Dec. 8, 2018. Ride the city’s steam engine, 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. The Big Cheese food truck and Leopold’s Ice Cream will be there with treats.

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.

Find more train rides and many other holiday adventures on

Published: September 2018
Written by: Lesli Peterson