The “Polar Express" the popular book by the author Chris Van Allsburg has made Santa train and trolley trips all the rage in recent years. You’ll find many area town park district trips on Metra trains, public libraries, convention and visitor bureaus, Jaycees, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Illinois Railway Museum and the Fox River Trolley Museum, among others all offering Polar Express trips or holidaytrains, featuring Santa Claus. These trips have proven to be very popular—be sure to book early, most of these trips sell out months in advance. Remember, trains don’t wait for anyone. Plan on arriving at the station or for the trolley departure at least twenty minutes before the scheduled time.



Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train
Sunday, December
8th & 15th, 2019

Call the park district for check in and departure times.
Trips departs: Itasca Metra Station
Irving Park Road (Route19) and Maple Street
Sponsor: Addison Park District
(630) 833-0100
Addison Park District
pre-registration required
Cost$16 residents non-residents $23; Children 2 and under free
The wonderful Christmas story, the “Polar Express” will be read, while the kids are enjoying chocolate milk and cookies on the train trip to the North Pole. Santa will meet the incoming train and join in the fun for the return trip. Please note, space for this trip is very limited.







Santa on the North Pole Express Trains
December 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 2019

Times: There are 12 trips scheduled departing Monday through Fridays and the last two on Monday and Tuesday at 10:35am & returning at 2:35pm
Trips depart: Antioch Metra Station
305 Depot Street
Antioch, IL 60002
Sponsor: Village of Antioch Recreation Department
Note, For information: (847) 395-2160 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                          
pre-registration required
Cost: $23 for residents; $26 for non-residents
This three and a half hour magical excursion to the North Pole includes lunch, crafts, hot chocolate, cookies, Christmas Carols and fun for all and of course a visit from Santa.

Arlington Heights

Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train
Saturday, December 7th 2019
Three departures on Dec. 7th - Time: 8:15am, 10:15am, 12:15pm
Trips departs: Arlington Heights Metra Station,
Downtown Arlington Heights
Sponsor: Arlington Heights Park District
(847) 577-3000
Cost: Residents: Adults & Children - $20
Non-residents Adults & Children - $30 - Tickets go on sale Oct.1st, for residents and on Oct, 8th, for non-residents
Santa will be on the trains visiting with the children—treats will be served and the Polar express story will be read during the trip. Don't forget your camera. These are very popular trips—book early!


Santa on the Blackberry Farm Holiday Express                                                                                                                                                            Friday December 6th & 13th
Saturday December 7th & 14th
Sunday, December 1st, 8th & 15th, 2019

The dates and times listed are tentative check with Blackberry Farm for the exact dates and times - Sponsor: Fox Valley Park District
Train is located at: Blackberry Farm
100 S. Barnes Road
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 892-1550
Times: Fridays 5pm to 8pm                                                                                                                                                                                 Saturdays & Sundays 2pm to 7pm  
tickets online beginning mid-Nov. - avoid lines at the ticket window
Cost: $7.00 per person ages 2 and up
Blackberry Farm will be all lit up for the season with thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights. For three weekends in December families can ride on the “Blackberry Farm Holiday Express.” Enjoy a great trip on the train which chugs its way around Lake Gregory before returning to the old-fashioned depot where you will meet Santa at the Early Streets Museum. Groups of 100 or more can book their own private Polar Express parties. Contact Sandy Smith at 630-264-7408 for details.









Barrington Express to Santa's Workshop
Saturday December 14th, 2019

Times: 9:32am to 12:18pm and 11:32am to 2:15pm
Trips departs: Barrington Metra Train Station
201 S. Spring Street
Main and Spring Streets
Barrington, IL 60010
Sponsor: Barrington Park District
(847) 381-0065 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pre-registration required - Deadline November 9th
Cost: Residents $20; Non-Residents $23
All aboard! This trip to the North Pole will take participants to the Moose Lodge in Woodstock. Children will hear holiday stories, there will be cookies to decorate plus cocoa and cider at the restaurant. Of course the children will visit with Santa Claus who will have bags of treats for all the kids. This event fills up quickly.


Santa on the Holly Jolly Trolley Ride
Thursday, December 19th, 2019

Times: There are 10 trips scheduled from 3:40pm until 7:40pm
Trip meets at: Villa Olivia at Santa's North Pole Workshop                                                                                                                                              1401 West Lake Street, Bartlett, IL 60103
Sponsor: Bartlett Park District
(630) 540-4800
registration required -online registration not available
Cost: Residents: Adults & Children - $10
Non-residents: Adults & Children - $15
Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas for an evening of excitement. Participants travel to to the "North Pole" on a private holiday trolley — the "Holly Jolly Trolley Ride". Santa meets everyone when they arrive at his workshop at the North Pole. There will be plenty of activities, treats and good times or everyone. Don't forget to bring your camera. This program is sure to sell out.


Santa on the Christmas Express
Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Trip times: 3:15pm-4:15pm & 4:25pm-5:25pm
Trips departs: Fox River Trolley Museum
Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve station
35W003 Il Route 31
South Elgin, IL 60177
Sponsor: Batavia Park District
Registration required for all ages.
(630) 879-5235
Cost: $32
Batavia children and their parents make the exciting trip where a young girl visits her grandmother starting at at the Fox River Trolley Museum. Hot chocolate will be served and the children will be read the magical Polar Express story, meet Santa Claus and receive a bell as a gift.


Santa Train Ride                                                                                                                                           Saturday, December 7th, 2019
Times: Sat. 12:30pm - 4:35pm
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the train's departure
Trip departs: Bensenville Metra Train Station                                                                                                     110 West .Main Street
Bensenville, IL 60106
Sponsor: Bensenville Park District
Questions? call Lisa Semetko (630) 238-4920 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    
registration required Ages - infants up to children age 10
Cost:$20 per person
This event leaves from the Bensenville train station to the North Pole—Elgin. Along the way children will be read the story, "The Polar Express" play games, sing carols, while Santa takes time to visit with each child and give all boys and girls a holiday treat. Don't forget your camera!


Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train
for Families with Children who have Special Needs
Saturday, December 14th, 2019

Time: 12:45pm to 3:15pm (Train departs at 12:55pm)
Trips departs: Berwyn Metra Train Station
6801 Windsor Avenue - Oak Park Avenue & Windsor
Berwyn, IL 60402
between Grove and Oak Park Avenues
Sponsor: WSSRA - West SuburbanSpecial Recreation Association
(847) 455-2100
For additional information - West Suburban Special Recreation Association
Pre-registration required - tickets are limited
Cost: $15.30 - 12 years & older; $8.15 - 11 years and younger
This train trip is only for families of children who have disabilities and are members of West Suburban Special Recreation Association. Children take a real train ride, but make an imaginary trip to the North Pole (actually the Aurora train station). The delightful Polar Express story is used as the basis for the trip and will be read. Santa will join everyone at the North Pole and will be part of the joyful ride home. Light refreshments will be served and wheelchair seating is available. This popular trip fills up quickly.









Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train
Saturday, December 7th, 2019

Times:8:30am to 12:30pm, & 1:30pm to 5:30pm 
Trips departs: Berwyn Metra Train Station
6801 Windsor Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402
between Grove and Oak Park Avenues
Sponsor: Berwyn Park District
(708) 795-2892
Registration starts November 9th at 10am at the Oroksa Park Activity Center,
Cost: $30 per person
These train trips takes Berwyn children to the North Pole (actually the DuPage Children's Museum). The Polar Express story will be read on the train. Santa will join the children at the North Pole for pictures and crafts where there will be plenty of fun for all.


Santa on the Bloomingdale Holly Jolly Trolley                                                                                                    Friday, December 20th
Saturday, December 21st, 2019

Trip check in times Friday - 7pm; Saturday 8:45am and 10:45am
Trips depart: Roselle Metra Station
540 Irving Park Road
Roselle, IL 60172
Sponsor: Bloomingdale Park District
Register by - Nov. 10 or until sold out
(630) 529-3650
Cost: $15 Residents; $20 Non-residents
All aboard! Hop on the Bloomingdale Holly Jolly Trolley—note this trip is on a Metra train not a motorized trolley! Take a magical train trip to the North Pole. Enjoy a special story, there will be caroling, milk and cookies and of course Santa Claus!









Blue Island

Santa's Train Ride
2019 dates T/B/A

Times: T/B/A
Trips depart: Blue Island - Vermont Street Metra Station
2300 W. Grove Street
Blue Island, IL 60406
Sponsor: Blue Island Park District
Registration required - tickets go on Sale Oct. 1st
(708) 385-3304
Cost: $15 Residents; $25 Non-residents
Children in Blue Island can take the train trip to the South Pole to find Santa Claus. Mrs. Claus will be on the train both ways and Santa will be with the kids on the return trip. There will be holiday songs, treats and a memorable experience for everyone. Don’t forget your camera—you’ll want pictures of the kids with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Please note the 2019 dates are not yet available, if you have any questions call the Blue IslandPark District at 708-385-3304.








Burr Ridge

Santa on the Storytime Train
Sunday, December 15th, 2019

Train 1:   9am check in - train departs 9:14am                                                                                                                                                             Train 2:   1pm check in - train departs,1:14pm
Trips departs: Hinsdale Metra Train Station
21 E. Hinsdale Avenue
Hinsdale, IL 60521
Sponsor: Burr Ridge Park District
(630) 920-1969
Registration required - Begins August 19th
Cost: $53 residents; $58 non-residents
Enjoy a holiday favorite—a trip from the Hinsdale train station to the North Pole where you will have a buffet. Here the children meet with Santa, have a picture taken and enjoy holiday crafts and entertainment, plus they take home a gift.









Carol Stream

Santa on the Carol Stream Polar Express Storytime Train
Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Times: Two departures  - 11am to1pm & 3pm to 5pm
Trips depart: Roselle Metra Station,
540 Irving Park Road
Roselle, IL 60172
Sponsor: Carol Stream Park District
Pre-registration required - registration deadline is November 1st
Cost: Residents: $15  Non-residents $22
All aboard for a trip to the North Pole (Roselle to Elgin) for children two and up. The Polar Express story will be read to the children on the first part of the trip. When the train arrives at the North Pole, they will be met by Santa who will be with them for the ride back home. There will be holiday songs and Santa will make time for a visit with each child. Refreshments will be served and every child will receive a small keepsake. These events are sure to sell out.








Santa on the Carol Stream Holiday Trolley Express
Friday, December 20th, 2019

Time: 5pm - 8pm
Trips depart from: Fountain View Recreation Center
910 North Gary Avenue
Carol Stream, IL 60188
Sponsor: Carol Stream Park District
Pre-registration required
Cost: Residents: $15  Non-residents $22
Take a festive trolley ride to see beautiful holiday lights, Hear the Polar Express story,, enjoy refreshments, make a craft and meet with Santa at Fountain View Recreation Center. Each child will receive a special holiday keepsake.This event always sells out.


Santa on the Cary Train to Santa's Workshop                                                                                                Friday, December 13th & Saturday, December 14th, 2019
Times: train departs 11:43am on Friday and 11:08 on Saturday

Be at the station at least 20 minutes before departure time
Trip departs: Cary Metra Station
100 West Main Street
(Route 134 and Cedar Lake Road)
Cary, IL 60013
Sponsor: Cary Park District
(847) 639-6100
reservations required - deadline early November
Cost: $19 for residents; $28 non-residents
This train trip is for children ages 11 and under with a parent from Round Lake to Crystal Lake. There will be a buffet meal Friday at Duke's Alehouse and Kitchen in Crystal Lake and on Saturday at Durty Nellies in Palatine and then a visit with Santa Claus. A great day for all the little ones is guaranteed. Be sure to bring a camera. Book early—this event will sell out..



Santa Claus on the CTA Holiday Train                                                                                                               Friday, November 22nd through Friday, December 20th, 2019
Sponsor: Chicago Transit Authority

Cost: Normal fares apply—there is no premium to ride on the Holiday Train. For a detailed schedule for the Holiday Train check the CTA websit. The information for the 2019 Holiday Train pag.e will be available in November.
Every Christmas season The Chicago Transit Authority gives the citizens of the windy city a marvelous gift—the CTA Holiday train. This spectacular and beautifully lit up train with Santa and his elves, runs on different CTA routes from late November usually up to a few days before Christmas. The six car train can be seen coming from a long way off, with thousands of brightly colored lights festooning the cars. The interiors of the cars are gaily decorated with a plethora of multi-colored lights, garlands and red bows with poles wrapped to resemble candy-canes. Santa arrives in dramatic fashion, on a sleigh in an open flatbed car in the middle of the train—which has been outfitted with reindeer, Christmas trees and luminous shining lights. As the train pulls into a station Santa can be seen greeting the children and boarding passengers and of course ho ho hoing!











Chicago The Polar Express™
Saturday, November 23rd, through Sunday December 29th, 2019

Visit the schedule & tickets page to book this event and for dates & times
Trips departs: Union Station
500 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 471-2501
For additional information click on the following LINK
Cost: $48 and up to $70 adults; $38 and up to $62 children + service fee
Chicago Rail Events Productions is offering The Polar Express train ride from Chicago’s Union Station during the holiday season. Each guest will receive a souvenir golden ticket and keepsake sleigh bell to bring home. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride!











Chicago Ridge

Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train                                                                                                           2019 dates T/B/A
Times: T/B/A
Trips departs: Chicago Ridge Metra Station,
103rd Street & Ridgeland Avenue
Chicago Ridge, IL 60415
Sponsor: Chicago Ridge Park District
(708) 636-4900
registration required
Cost: $12 residents; $25 non-residents
Kids, take a trip to the North Pole (Chicago Ridge to Union Station in Chicago). There will be Christmas treats, crafts and a visit by Santa himself. Remember to bring your camera.Please note the 2019 dates are not yet available, if you have any questions call the Chicago Ridge Park District at 708-636-4900.

Clarendon Hills

Santa on the Claredon Hills Santa Train
Saturday, December 7th, 2019

Time: 1 pm - 3:30pm
Trip departs: Clarendon Hills Metra Station
1 South Prospect Avenue - Prospect Avenue at Burlington                                                                              Clarendon Hills, IL 60514
Sponsor: Clarendon Hills Park District
(630) 323-2626
registration required
Cost: $20 per person - children under one year of age are free
There will be a story on the train, hot chocolate and cookies. When the train reaches the North Pole—Aurora, Santa joins the group. He will be on the ride back for songs with the children and a chance for you to take pictures. Please note, this event is for Clarendon Hills residents only. This popular trip is sure to sell out early.









Santa on the Deerfield Candy Cane Train
Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Time: 1pm to 3:30pm

Trip departs: Deerfield Metra Station
860 Deerfield Road
Deerfield, IL 60015
Sponsor: Deerfield Park District
(847) 945-0650
advance registration required
Cost: $18.00 residents, $23.00 non-residents
This is a special holiday train trip for children up to age twelve. They will travel to the North Pole where they will meet Santa Claus. Refreshments will be served onboard. Advance registration is required for this popular trip. Remember to bring your camera. Space is limited!








Des Plaines

Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train
December, 1st & 8th, 2019

Departure times: 11:04 am to 1:44 pm and 3:04 pm to 5:44 pm                                                                          Check in at 10:15 am and 2:15 pm
All Trips depart: Des Plaines Metra Station
1501 Miner Street
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Sponsor: Des Plaines Park District
(847) 391-5700
registration required - Ticket purchase deadline is November 8th
Cost: $30 per person
The Polar Express story will be read as the train travels to the North Pole (Harvard, Illinois) where the children will stay on the train and meet Santa Claus. Santa will ride with everyone on the return trip. There will be holiday songs, chocolate milk, cookies, games and time for pictures and visits with the big guy in the red suit.









Downers Grove

Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train                                                                                                   Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Departure times: 8:45am, 10:45am and 12:45 pm - all trips sold out
Three trips depart: Downers Grove Main Street Metra Station
Sponsor: Downers Grove Park District - email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(630) 963 1300
registration required
Cost: Residents $30 - non-residents $45
Hop on the train in Downers Grove for the magical trip based on the book "The Polar Express"  by Chris Van Allsbur. On the way to the North Pole (Aurora) the "The Polar Express" story will be read and chocolate milk and cookies will be served. At the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus board the train and joins in the merriment for the return trip. Early registration is open to Downers Grove residents only, non-residents will be placed on a wait list until residents have been accommodated. Note: These trips are now sold out.









Elk Grove Village

Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train
Saturday, December 14th, 2019

There will be 3 departures on Saturday                                                                                                      Departures times: are at: 9am, 11am & 1pm
Trips departs: Itasca Metra Station
Irving Park Road (Route 19) & Walnut Street
Sponsor: Elk Grove Park District
(847) 437-9494
registration required - Deadline Nov. 11th
Cost: Residents: children ages twelve months & up $22, adults $18.                                                                     Non-residents: children ages two & up $26, non-resident adults $22.
Once again, kids get to hear the “Polar Express” story by Chris Van Allsburg have snacks and meet Santa at the North Pole (or Elgin if you prefer). There will be visits with Santa on the way back along with treats for the kids. Sign up early, this trip always sells out..


Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train
Sunday, December 1st, 2019

Times: Two departures - 11:12am and 3:12pm
Trips departs: Elmhurst Metra Station
128 W. 1st Street at York Road
Sponsor: Elmhurst Park District
(630) 993-8901
registration required - register early
Cost: $26 Adult resident; $32 Adult non-resident
$21 Child resident; $26 Child non-resident
The “Polar Express” story comes to life when the children get on the train to go to the North Pole—Elburn. There will be treats, Christmas carols, cookies and a special visit with Santa Claus on the way home. For children two and up. This events is sure to sell out, book early!


Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train
Sunday, December 15th, 2019

Times: Two departures - 9:30 am sharp and 11:20 am sharp
Trips departs: Hickory Creek Metra Station
9430 Hickory Creek Drive
Mokena, IL
Sponsor: Frankfort Park District
(815) 469-9400
registration date Saturday, November 4th
Cost: $16 per person residents  $21 non-residents
Listen to magical “Polar Express” story and enjoy cookies when the children and their parents ride the train to the North Pole where they will meet Santa Claus. He will return with time for pictures and yes, plenty of fun with the kids. This event is very popular check with the park district regarding booking.








Franklin Park

Santa on the Franklin Park Polar Express
Saturday, December 7th, 14th, and 21st, 2019

Times 2:30pm to 4:45pm
Trips departs: Franklin Park Metra Station
25th & Pacific Avenue
Franklin Park, IL 60131
Sponsor: Park District of Franklin Park
(847) 469-455-2852
registration required 
Cost: $11 residents
$21 non-residents - children under 1 are free
Take a ride on a holiday train and meet Santa Claus at the North Pole (Elgin). A story will be read, there will be carols and a special treat for each child from Santa, as well as milk and cookies. Santa will board the train for the return trip. Book Early, these trips fill up very quickly.








Santa on The Polar Express Storytime Train
Saturday, December 7th 
Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Times: 9:30am check in for the 1st trip Sat. & Sun.                                                                                         1:30pm check in for the second departure Sat. & Sun.                                                   
Trips depart Geneva Metra Station
328 Crescent Place
Geneva, IL 60134
Sponsor: Geneva Park District
For information: (630) 232-4542
pre-registration required
Cost: Resident children - $21 for 17 and under; Non-residents - $32                                                                Resident adults - $26 for 18 and older; Non-residents - $39
Ride on the Polar Express which goes to the North Pole where the story will be read, you’ll find Santa Claus, enjoy lunch or dinner at Aurelio's Pizza and to get pictures with the old guy. Register early - this program is very popular and will sell out.

Glen Ellyn

Santa on The Polar Express Storytime Train
Saturday, December ?, Sunday, December ?, 2019

Times: Saturday, December ,?h - 1:10 pm                  
Saturday December, ?, - 5:10 pm  -Sunday, December ? - 1:10 pm                                                                    Sunday, December ? - 5:10 pm
All trips depart: Glen Ellyn Metra Station
551 Crescent, Glen Ellyn
Sponsor: Glen Ellyn Park District
For information:
(630) 858-2462
registration dates residents Oct. 1st, 8:30am, non-residents Oct. 15th, 8:30am
Cost: $28 per resident child; $42 per non-resident child.
$16 per resident adult; $24 per non-resident adult.
Be sure not to miss the train for this trip to the North Pole. Guess what, the Polar Express story will be read to the kids who will receive their own copy of the book. Chocolate milk and cookies will be served and everyone gets to talk to Santa and sing holiday songs. Remember to wear your pajamas. For children age one year and up. The 2019 Glen Ellyn Polar Express dates will likely be announced in late September.