Sullivan Santa Express Holiday Train Ride

We are thrilled to once again share this sponsored content with our readers. This is one of our favorite experiences for the season and with the reality of COVID, it’s the way we feel most comfortable visiting Santa this year.

Holiday train rides have become a huge hit with Indianapolis families. With so many Indy area Christmas train rides and Polar Express type of opportunities, you can find the perfect ride for your family. We’ve become big fans of the Sullivan Express Santa Train Ride because of the quality of the time we get to spend with Santa and the affordability for a large family. Tickets go on sale on November 1st at 4pm, so don’t miss out!

Sullivan Express Santa Train Ride

The Sullivan Santa Express is a small train, a little larger than what you’d see at the Mall and every ticket is a ticket for a whole train car. We generally fit 3 adults and 4 young kids just fine for the ride. If there are members of your family that don’t fit on the train (grandparents, etc., they are welcome to walk to the North Pole and meet you there.) The train takes you and your family on a memorable trip to see Santa at the North Pole. You’ll pass by elaborately decorated and themed holiday displays with some fun characters. The train ride is narrated and my kids love looking out the windows to see all of the things along the way.

 Every family has a non-rushed, semi-private time with Santa
 Enjoy beautiful displays and vignettes on your journey
 Kids will love the activity centers and exploring the holiday decor

GET TICKETS

COVID Precautions on the Train

Each train is thoroughly sterilized between passenger groups. Your family will ride back on the same train in the same car as they arrived, no transferring of trains. A 5th train has been purchased to give the team more time to sanitize.

There are separate entrances and exits for train passengers. Arrivals enter through Sulley’s Grill (same as past years). When departing from the train, passengers will exit through one of the atriums in the store where you’ll be able to see the popular miniature train and enjoy the holiday decor at Sullivan’s Hardware.

One recommendation is to buy tickets with people you know all on the same train. If you do this, try to do it all as one transaction with 4 tickets so that you can all be on the same train.

COVID Precautions at the North Pole

When you arrive at the North Pole, your train will wait outside for you. You will not pass other passengers or attendees.

They toy tables and communal toys will not be available this year. Children will be given a coloring page with their own package of crayons to color. A craft item will be given to each child.

The North Pole will be equipped with two UV light sanitizers that will constantly be moving air around.

What to Expect at the Sullivan Santa Express Train Ride

Your magical journey begins at Central Station, located in the Sullivan’s greenhouse at the 71st & N. Keystone location, where your family will check in. When the Sullivan Express Train arrives, your family will be seated together in one train car. You and your family will travel along your holiday adventure to the North Pole where Santa awaits your visit. The ride is open-air so dress for the weather!

The Sullivan’s Santa “experience” is sure to become one of your favorite family tradition just like it is ours. The narrated train ride travels through bear country where you’ll encounter some friendly bears doing some rather unusual things. Then you’ll come across the Candy Cane Factory scene. As the Sullivan Express leaves the woods, you’ll enjoy the smell of fresh greens as the North Pole-bound train moves through the Sullivan Christmas tree lot. As the train gets closer to the North Pole, there is a small problem that leads the train on a new course and some unexpected surprises… that you’ll have to see for yourself! I’m so excited to see the new additions made this year.

Socially Distant Santa Visit

Santa will be at his workshop desk working on his list. He will be seated behind a rail. They can chat with Santa one on one. Children will sit on Santa’s chair and Santa will be in the background.

Santa at Sullivan Hardware

Upon your arrival at the North Pole, the kids color and start a craft in Santa’s workshop as your family takes turns with 2-3 other families visiting with Kris Kringle himself. Afterward, you will catch the same train back to Central Station.

My kids love playing with the train tables and coloring, but our very favorite time is when we see Santa and share our wishes. We’ve never felt rushed or hurried during our time with Santa, and this is PERFECT for any kiddos that have some anxiety about meeting with him.

You’ll take your own photos on your own cameras or ask one of the elves to help you out. No photo purchases available or required.

Sullivan Santa Train Tickets

Make your reservation for the Sullivan Santa Express at SullivanExpress.com. Seating is limited. The cost is $70 per family. That’s right —the cost for the whole family, including parents, kids and grandparents.

o A purchase quantity of 1 includes your entire family… parents, kids and grandparents. Don’t purchase by the number of people in your
family…that will cost a lot more!!
o You be the photographer. You take all photos you want with your camera or phone.
o Once you leave the station your total time including travel time is approximately 25 minutes, which includes 15 minutes at the North Pole.

There are Open Rides when Santa is not at the North Pole. The cost is $5 per person (maximum $20 per family). No reservations are needed. First come, first to board. Pay at Central Station when you arrive. See the Open Rides times in the Sullivan Express Calendar at SullivanExpress.com

11 thoughts on “Sullivan Santa Express Holiday Train Ride”

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  5. I would like to take my family. Sounds wonderful! So our family would be 4 parents, 1 grandparent and 3 children. Is this $70? From your description we cannot fit all in one car so I was unsure of the wording. It does say your whole family. Please advise.

    1. Yes. It is $70 per family. As mentioned, anyone who doesn’t fit in the car can walk to the North Pole and join their family when the train arrives. Have fun! It’s a great time!

      1. That is disappointing no one wants to walk along they want to be in the car or in another car with part of their family so they can see the faces of their grandchildren while they’re doing the process so it’s one car with your whole entire family like you said but your whole family doesn’t fit in there so initially you have to buy two cars at $70 each in order to make sure you can all be accommodated if you want to ride correct?

        1. Correct. If your party does not fit in the train car and no one wants to walk, you would have to purchase another ticket. Our family is 2 adults plus a 10, 8, 6 and 4 year old, plus we bring nana and while it’s tight, we all fit.

  6. WOW $70. Thats a lot and quite a bit more than in the past, We really enjoyed the train in the past but will really have to think about this price. Why so much more? This increase really limits this activity for most familys especially during the pandemic. Really wish you”d rethink your price.

    1. Hi Sandra,
      The $10 price increase is to cover the extra costs and limited attendance due to COVID. This price is not our price. We are just writing the article to tell you about it.

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