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Travel & Outdoors

Guide to Santa Trains in Puget Sound

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credit: Ashlee Ralla/Getty Images

credit: Ashlee Ralla/Getty Images

Santa’s taking a break from the North Pole to give you and your family a ride on his very special trains! Head out for a day of adventure, hot chocolate, cookies and carols as you and Santa celebrate the season Choo-Choo style.

Santa Train
Northwest Railway Museum
205 McClellan Street
North Bend, WA 98045
425.888-3030
http://www.trainmuseum.org

Santa Train 2011 is scheduled for November 26 & 27, December 3 & 4, December 10 & 11 and December 16 (Friday) & 17 (Saturday). Trains depart hourly from North Bend beginning at 9 AM; the last departure is at 3 PM. On Friday, December 16 only, trains begin operating at 11 AM.

Santa Train tickets are $20 and are required for each person two (2) years of age and older. Online and telephone orders will also be charged a $5.00 per order (not per ticket!) fee to defray postage.

Board the Museum’s railway at the North Bend Depot for a 20 minute, 3.5-mile trip to Snoqualmie. Once in Snoqualmie, enter the restored and seasonally decorated 1890-built Snoqualmie Depot for a visit with Santa Claus. Kids will receive a small gift from Santa. Step in to the Museum’s restored railway kitchen car for refreshments: hot cocoa or coffee and fresh baked cookies from the kitchen car’s large coal stoves. There is a little bit of time to visit local shops and attractions before boarding the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad for the return trip to North Bend.

Polar Express
1101 Southwest Sylvenus Street
Chehalis, WA 98532
360.748.9593
http://www.steamtrainride.com

Take a magical trip Fridays – Sundays from November 25 – December 18. The classic holiday favorite book and movie comes to life as you and your family take a 1.5 hour ride to the North Pole. “All Aboard” says the conductor, as your train ride begins. Families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with a reading of The Polar Express book and hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train. Dress warmly! There’s no on-board heat!

Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will board the train and visit everyone and each child will receive the “First Gift of Christmas”, just like in the story. Sing Christmas carols as you return to the depot. Wear your pajamas and bring your camera! Departure times are Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 4:30pm and 7:30pm and Sundays at 4:30pm. Tickets are $25/adults; $15/Children 3 – 16

Santa Express
Mt Rainier Scenic RR
54124 Mountain Hwy E
Elbe, WA 98330
888.STEAM11
http://www.mrsr.com

Depart Elbe Depot for a 1 1/2 hour Steam Train Ride. Children of ‘All’ ages can enjoy Christmas Carols and decorations. Each child will receive a special toy as they ride along the rails with Santa. Saturdays and Sundays Nov 26 thru Dec 18, visit with Santa, listen to the sounds of festive holiday music as well as enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cookies. Experience a different holiday theme in each passenger car and even take home a special gift from Santa.

The concessions car will be open and have hot dogs, popcorn and other light snacks as well as coffee, cider and other beverages for purchase. Ticket prices are: $25/Adults (Ages 13-61); $22/Seniors (62+); $22/Military; $21.25/AAA Cardholders; $20/Youth (Ages 2-12); Free/Children under 2.

Toy Train Christmas
Northern Pacific Railway Museum
10 South Asotin Avenue
Toppenish, WA 98948
509.865.1911
http://www.nprymuseum.org

Toy Train Christmas at the Northern Pacific Railway Museum: Saturdays November 26, December 3, 10 & 17, Sundays, December 4 & 11 & 18. 10:00-4:00 PM. Take a short train ride in the caboose to see Santa Claus. See toy trains around decorated Christmas trees. Hot chocolate and cookies were offered to everyone. Photographs with Santa Claus will be printed on site for extra charge. Adults/$6.00, Children/$4.00.

Santa Train
Lake Whatcom Railway
N.P. Road and Valley Hwy
Acme, WA, 98220
360.595.2218
http://www.lakewhatcomrailway.com

Santa, Ben the banjo player, an elf and a coffee shop will be on the 100 year old steam train. Bring your camera! Trains run on December 3, 10 and 17. Times are 9:30am, 12:00pm, and 2:30pm. Reservations must be made via US Mail. The procedure is to write a letter to Lake Whatcom Railway containing: Your name, The address where you want the train tickets sent, Your contact telephone number in case there is a problem, Specify the date and time for the trip you want. Specify your first and second time if multiple times are available on that day. Specify the number of paying passengers who are adults or children under 18. $20/Adult 18+; $18/Youth 17-2; Free/Children under 2. Write a check to Lake Whatcom Railway for the total group fare. Mail the letter to:
Lake Whatcom Railway
P.O. Box 91
Acme, Washington
98220

Alki Tours “Snow Train” to Leavenworth
http://www.alkitours.us
800.895.ALKI

For three Saturdays in December, Alki Tours operates the ONLY day-trip train that goes from Seattle to the winter wonderland of Leavenworth to see the annual Tree Lighting Festival. On each departure, eight hundred passengers board the train to enjoy a catered continental breakfast, onboard entertainment including strolling musicians, magicians and of course Santa. Near the 4000 foot summit, the train will transit Cascade Tunnel—the second longest in North America.

There is no place like Leavenworth during the Christmas season. The town is dressed to the hilt for Christmas with chestnuts roasting on an open fire, carolers strolling the streets, food booths, sleigh rides, local crafts, outdoor entertainment and more! At dusk, everyone gathers to sing “Silent Night” and witness the lighting of the village as it is transformed into a magical sea of lights. After, we’ll reboard the train for a cozy trip home. A catered dinner is served on the return trip and the entertainment will continue.

Depart King Street Train Station – Approx 8:30AM; Depart Edmonds Station – Approx 9:05AM; Depart Everett Station – Approx 9:35AM. Arrive in Leavenworth at approximately 1:30pm. The train will depart Leavenworth approximately. Approximate return times will be in Everett at 9:45pm, Edmonds at 10:15pm, and King Street at 10:45pm, respectively.

The Snow Train runs on Saturdays: December 3, December 10 and December 17. Coach Class $149 per person; Premium Class $199 per person; Dome Car $239 per person.

Santa Claus Trolley
South Third Avenue at West Pine Street
Yakima, WA 98902
509.249.5962
http://www.yakimavalleytrolleys.org

Ho! Ho! Ho! The one and only Santa Claus himself will once again take a break from riding his sleigh and travel by trolley instead on Saturday, December 10 from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Join Santa Claus for a 30 minute ride on Yakima’s historic streetcars. Children can sit on Santa’s lap and whisper their holiday wishes. Caroling will be encouraged! Back at the impressive 1911 powerhouse building, there will be all types of holiday crafts, activities, and treats! Purchase tickets on the day of the event at the gray, concrete Powerhouse building at the Yakima Valley Trolleys, South Third Avenue at Pine Street.

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