The Nickel Plate Express has once again impressed this “been there, done that” family, with their Reindeer Ride Express. This year you can take your family on a beautiful train adventure, boarding in Noblesville, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis in Hamilton County! Selected as one of our recommendations for Indy holiday events and activities that you need to buy tickets for right now, the Reindeer Ride is so much fun!
The Nickel Plate Express has found a way to bring families north for a train ride experience that is very different from any other offered in the Indy area. Comparable to similar Polar Express-themed train rides, guests board the train and are treated to an hour-long train ride with joyful carolers, dancing and singing hosts, and treats and sweets!
Nickel Plate Express Reindeer Express
Less than 45 minutes north of downtown Indianapolis, you’ll find Noblesville, Indiana, home to Indy with Kids favorite, Koteewi Run Snow Tubing Slopes. You’ll find many other awesome businesses that would be an excellent pit stop or a great place to visit while you’re in Noblesville.
Line up for your train ride about 15-20 minutes prior to your boarding time. You’ll climb aboard a restored 1950s train with a dining car (beer & wine available for purchase) and airplane-type seating, available in groups of four. My children love that the seats recline and have footrests, but the window seat is the coveted location. Food and beverages are available for sale onboard the train. Sugar cookies and snacks are a delicious staple on the Reindeer Express and my kids enjoyed every single morsel.
What could be better than riding a train with Santa himself? The Jolly Old Elf makes his rounds throughout the ride and each child receives a small gift and a cookie, included with their ticket.
The train will travel to the 150-year-old train depot in Arcadia, IN. The depot will be decked out in Christmas lights donated by Gaylor Electric to look like Santa’s Workshop. Mistletoe the elf will greet and wave at the kids while you stop briefly at Santa’s Workshop (passengers will not get off). There is singing and dancing and the bell ringing. Carolers go from section to section sharing their voices and children and adults are invited to join in and sing along.
Planning Ahead for Your Ride
Some of our favorite Polar Express-themed train rides, including the Reindeer Ride, sell out quickly! Plan ahead and book those tickets as soon as possible.
You can wear whatever you feel like wearing, but we opted for our matching Christmas jammies this year and we weren’t the only ones!
The Nickel Plate Express train is a hi-level train, meaning all seating is on the upper level and passengers will need to climb a small flight of stairs in order to board.
There are small restrooms on the train for emergencies, but you will want to have your littles take a restroom break beforehand at the station!
At the time of publishing, children’s tickets are $49 and adult tickets are $54. Children under 3 can ride on a parent’s lap for free. For current ticket prices and VIP car options, visit the Nickel Plate Express website.
Places to Eat in Noblesville Before the Reindeer Express
A great treat for our family is a stop at Rebellion Donuts. Rosie’s Place is open for breakfast and lunch and offers a fantastic menu and space for families to eat together. Chuy’s is another great restaurant where we’ve enjoyed dinner as a family.