Looking for Polar Express types of holiday trains in Indy for the 2022 holiday season? We’ve been trying all the holiday trains in Indiana for some time, and we’re not even done yet! If we missed your favorite, let us know in the comments at the end. There are also a lot of other Indiana train rides and train activities near Indianapolis.
Be sure to book your Christmas train tickets as soon as you can when tickets go on sale! These experiences are extremely popular and often sell out quickly.
2022 Christmas Train Rides in Indiana
Our favorite time of year is winter and Christmas time! We live for bundled-up walks in the snow, hot chocolate, making memories, and feeling all the holiday love in the air. One of our favorite things to do during Christmas in Indy is to take a special ride on a train! There are tons of trains running through Central Indiana, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to ride a train with the big guy in the red suit! Oh, and because we know how important the details are for our readers, we’ve included the important stuff below. For more info, be sure to click the link to be taken to information about our visit, the event website, and photos and videos!
Sullivan Hardware and Garden
6955 N Keystone Ave, Indianapolis
The Sullivan Express (small, trackless train) will take you and your family on a memorable trip to see Santa at the North Pole! Travel through the outdoor garden center at Sullivan’s Hardware store. It’s been set up to be the perfect winter wonderland.
When the train arrives, your family will be seated together in one car. The short train ride is open-air, so be sure to dress for the weather! After leaving the station, the narrated train ride will travel through bear country, where you’ll encounter some friendly bears doing some rather unusual things. Upon your arrival at the North Pole, the kids can play in Santa’s workshop as your family takes turns visiting with Kris Kringle himself.
Seating is limited. The cost is a reasonable $65-75 per train car, which fits approximately 4 adults and 2 children, or a similar combination depending on ages and sizes. Tickets should be purchased in advance.
If your child is more interested in the train ride than meeting Santa (or if the traditional ride is sold out), guests also have the option of taking the Santa’s Outpost excursion. This ride is the same as the traditional version, but instead of disembarking at the North Pole, guests remain in the cars and Santa comes out to deliver cookies and take selfies. As a bonus, this ride comes at a discount: just $40 per car.
Nickel Plate Express
825 Forest Park Drive, Noblesville
Hop aboard the Nickel Plate Express Christmas Reindeer Ride, departing from Forest Park in Noblesville, Indiana! Guests will take a cozy 75-minute ride in the caboose to see Santa’s North Pole, while enjoying a cookie, listening to a holiday story, and singing carols! Kids will also be able to visit and take photos with Santa. Beverages and snacks are available to purchase on the train. There will also be a brief stop at Santa’s Workshop to enjoy.
Standard tickets are $49 for children and $54 for adults. Children under three may ride for free on a parent’s lap, and premium seating options are available for an additional cost.
The Polar Express Train Ride
Whitewater Valley Railroad
455 Market St., Connersville
Board the Polar Express at Grand Central Station in Connersville to pick up Santa Claus at the North Pole. Once on board, Santa will come and visit with each child on the train to give them the special first gift of Christmas. Hot chocolate and cookies are served on board by dancing chefs, and the sounds from the hit movie Polar Express will be heard. Your golden tickets will also be punched, for some added Christmas spirit, just like in the story.
2022 event dates will be November 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, and December 2-4, 9-11, 16, and 17.
The train ride is 1 1/2 – 2 hours long.
Tickets are on sale now online or by calling the Whitewater Valley Railroad Grand Central Station. Tickets are $39 per person, ages 2 and up. You’ll also find information about the $10 Santa Claus Limited Train Rides.
Polar Express Train Ride
French Lick Scenic Railway
8594 W. State Road 56, French Lick
The 2022 French Lick Scenic Railway Polar Express is sold out. Tickets for 2023 will go on sale on January 10, 2023.
Take a magical journey on the Polar Express, departing from French Lick, Indiana, while experiencing sights and sounds from the classic book and film. Just like the movie, cocoa and cookies are served by dancing chefs and guests enjoy a read-aloud of Chris Van Allsburg’s tale. Later, Santa makes his rounds through the train, delivering the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell for each child.
The ride lasts approximately 80 minutes. Pricing varies by date and seating class, but tickets begin at $35 per person ages 2 and up.
The Indiana Railroad Company
The 2022 Santa Train runs from December 2-4! This volunteer-run event is a crowd favorite for those who have been coming for years. You will get to watch the decorated train roll into the station, after visiting with Santa’s helpers ahead of time. You will also have the opportunity to mail your letter to Santa through the North Pole’s Express Mailbox. The stops on December 2 include Bargersville, Morgantown, and Helmsburg. On December 3, the train will be stopping in Solsberry, Bloomfield, Linton, Dugger, and Jasonville. Final stops on December 5 will mainly be in Illinois, with the final stop of the day in Sullivan, Indiana. This is a FREE event for all, but we highly recommend getting in line early! It’s a crowd favorite!
Please note that at the stop in Bargersville only, guests will NOT board the train for Santa visits.
Annual Santa Train
Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society
15808 Edgerton Road, New Haven
The Santa Train in New Haven runs four consecutive weekends beginning November 26 and ending December 18. Guests can explore Santa’s railroad workshop before boarding the train and enjoying a 25-minute ride. Coffee and treats are available for sale on board.
This affordable train ride is priced at just $9 per ticket and children 3 and under ride for free. Tickets must be purchased in advance and do sell out.
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum
507 Mulberry Street, North Judson
The Santa Trains are back this year, operating on three times daily November 26, December 3, December 10, and December 17. Times are 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Tickets are free for ages 2 and under, $14 for ages 3-15, and $20 for adults (ages 16 and up). Your ticket includes a 60-70 minute ride, a visit with Santa, and a gift bag for each child onboard.