2022 Polar Express Train Rides, Holiday Express, Santa Trains, and Santa Trolleys

Indoor Places to GoWinter

All aboard! The Polar Express trains, trolleys, and rides are back in many towns for 2022. Unfortunately the Polar Express at the Chicago Union Station will not be happening in 2022, but we have you covered with more options. My kids are finally at the age of wanting to head to the North Pole to visit Santa, so I hope you enjoy and find a magical experience for you and your family. These events tend to fill up very quickly, and many are already full. However, some experiences do have spots left, so please check out the list below if you’re hoping to snag a ticket!

2022 Polar Express Train Rides, Holiday Express, Santa Train, and Santa Trolley

Polar Express Storytime Train (Itasca) (Sold Out)
December 10, 2022 and December 18, 2022
A storyteller reads The Polar Express as pajama-clad children and adults enjoy cookies. Once the train reaches the North Pole, kids will meet Santa and bring him back to Addison. Children age 9 months or younger do not need a ticket. $18/resident, $22/non-resident.

The Polar Express Storytime Train (Geneva)
December 3 and 4, 2022, 9:30am – 12:00 pm and 1:30pm – 4:00pm
Train departs to pick Santa and his friends. Lunch or dinner will be served at Aurelio’s Pizza. Every child will have an opportunity to share his or her Christmas wish list with Santa.

Polar Express (Lombard) (Sold Out)
December 4, 2022
Options for the day include:

  • Polar Express North Pole VIP Excursion: Three separate options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The day starts at Two Brother’s Roundhouse for a meal and a special visit from Santa. $60/person.
  • Polar Express Storytime Train: Morning and afternoon options available. Boarding at the Downers Grove station, head to the North Pole at Two Brothers Roundhouse for either a breakfast or lunch buffet in Aurora for games, pictures with Santa. Registration opens September 19. $60–65/person.
  • Polar Express Storytime Bus: Morning and afternoon options available. Travel by a decorated bus to the North Pole at Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora for games, pictures with Santa, and a buffet. $55/person.

Orland Park Santa’s North Pole Adventure (Sold Out)
December 9-10, 2022, 4.30pm to 6:00pm and 7:00pm-8.30pm
Santa will meet you at the North Pole with a special treat and activities. Participants build their own toy at the toy workshop. The program for 2022 does not include a Metra ride; however, participants will ride a trackless train around the civic Center Holiday Lights. Under 3 free; $35/non-resident children with discounts for residents and adults.

Oswego Polar Express
December 9, 2022, 4:30pm – 6:00pm or 6:00pm – 7:00pm
December 10, 2022, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, 4:00pm – 5:30pm, 6:00pm to 7:00pm
December 11, 2022, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, 4.00pm – 5:30pm, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Oswego Holiday Express is back, so put on your warmest apparel and enjoy the ride. Mrs. Claus will greet you along with a chance to meet Santa. You’ll also sip hot cocoa during the ride.

Happy Holiday Railway at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union
November 25-27, December 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18, 2022 | 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm and 6:00pm
Join the 40 minute train ride with treats, hot chocolate, a small gift, and Santa! Also, see the holiday lights at the boarding area and historic trains displayed in the barns. $22/person.

Wheaton Santa Express (Sold Out)
December 9-11, 2022 | 9:15 and 11:15 departures
Depart from the Wheaton Train Station for a magical experience which includes a story, holiday music, and treats. Each registered child receives a small gift from Santa and a goody bag. Tickets went on sale October 18 at 8:00 am. $20/person. Event is sold out.

Winfield Polar Express (Sold Out)
December 17, 2022 | 5:05 pm
Hop aboard the train, departing at the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve for cookies, hot chocolate, and the re-telling of the famous Polar Express. Train tickets cost $41/residents or $42/non-residents. Online registrations start August 3 for residents and August 10 for non-residents. Event is full, but there is a wait list.

Storytime Train (Sold Out)
December 18, 2022 | Option of 9:00 am or 1:00 pm
Departing from the Hinsdale Train Station and venture to the North Pole to meet Santa and his elves. A holiday buffet, crafts, magic show and more will be a part of the event. Train tickets cost $52 residents or $57/non-residents.

Santa Trolley (Sold Out)
December 4 and 11, 2022 | 11:00am – 1:00 pm and 2:00pm – 4:00pm
The annual event starts and ends at the Oak Park Conservatory. Games, fun activities, cookies, songs and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus can be expected at this event. Tickets range from $23 to $28.

Polar Express (Sold Out)
December 19 – 21, 2022 | 1:20pm – 4:00pm
Departing at Mount Prospect, the train will bring you for a journey with a stop at the North Pole for more winter fun. Priced at $20 per ticket.

Holiday Express – Blackberry Farm
December 1, 8, 9, 15 and 16 2022 | 5:00pm to 8:00 pm
December 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18, 2022 | 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
December 2, 2022 | 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Special Needs Night)
Blackberry Farm transforms into a winter wonderland with twinkling lights, festive holiday decorations and happy holiday music. Take a ride on the Holiday Express train and enjoy a hay wagon ride, too. There will be crafts, a reindeer food bar, story readings of holiday classics and a special visit with Santa.

Fox River Trolley Museum Polar Express (Sold Out)
November 26 & 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2022 | 3:00pm, 4:15pm, 5:30pm, and 6:45pm
This experience will see you on a train ride to the North Pole where Santa will surprise the kids by boarding the train. There will be caroling and sing-alongs with professional musicians to add more excitement. $44/person; all riders require a ticket, regardless of age.

Not scheduled for 2022

Chicago Polar Express
Unfortunately, the event planners have said that due to a shortage of railroad personnel, this annual event will not happen in 2022.

Check out our Kidlist Holiday Guide for more family fun during the holidays!

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