Christmas in the Twin Cities: Planes, Trains, & Sleighs

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We have a unique opportunity in the Twin Cities to enjoy the holidays on trains and planes and sleighs, and we’ve rounded up all we can find just for you and your family!

katc-family-fun-ad-01This post is sponsored by the American Swedish Institute.
‘Tis the season for holiday fun at the American Swedish Institute where you can enjoy many kid and family friendly activities including the Nordic Holidays exhibition of decorated rooms, Kids at the Castle playdates Dec. 9, 16 & 17, our Making Traditions weekend music/craft series, Lucia Celebrations, Santa and Tomte visits, FIKA’s food for kids, a Family Gallery and a FREE Holiday Open House on Dec. 14. For complete info., visit ASI at 2600 Park Ave., go to or call (612) 871-4907.

Now-2/25: Night Trains @ Twin City Model Railroad Museum • Saturdays, 6-9pm • $15/pp, family rates available, kids under 5 FREE • Enter a magical world of model trains. Overhead lights are turned down low and the models’ streetlights and buildings are glowing.

11/25-1/2:  Flyover Holidays @ Mall of America • Mon-Sat, 10am-9:30pm & Sun, 11am-7pm • $12.95-$16.95/pp • Ride will include a flight over America and an extended scene over Santa’s North Pole. Write letters to Santa and mail them on-site through December 18, see site for details.


11/26-27: Holly Trolley @ Como Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis • 12:30-3:30pm • $4/pp • Hop a holiday trolley with Santa and warm up by the fire. Additional dates: Dec 3/4.

12/1-4: North Pole Express @ Union Depot, St. Paul, ride times vary • $19.95-$23.95, kids 3 and under free • Take a one-mile train ride to the North Pole and write your letter to Santa on the way. Santa will board the train and ride back to the Union Depot, greeting kids and collecting letters with treats and other activities following. Rides also take place Dec 8-11.

12/3-4: Santa’s Train Shop and the Holiday Express @ Minnesota Transportation Museum, 10am-4pm • $5-$12/pp • The museum is transformed into Santa’s Train Shop with live music, face painting, train rides on the Holiday Express, pictures with Santa, and lots of museum fun. Additional dates for this event are 12/10-11 & 12/17-18.

If you are looking for the feeling of trains in your shopping experience, don’t miss the European Christmas Market at Union Depot, December 1-4 & December 8-11.

St. Paul, Union Depot

St. paul union depot

12/8-12/10: Canadian Pacific Holiday Train – The brightly lit train will roll into the following Twin Cities-area stations accompanied by live music from Kelly Prescott and Colin James:

  • 12/8 – Hastings, arrives 8:30pm
  • 12/9 – Cottage Grove, 5:45pm
  • 12/9 – St. Paul’s Union Depot, 7:15pm
  • 12/10 – New Hope, 2:20pm
  • 12/10 – Golden Valley, 3:35pm
  • 12/10 – St. Louis Park, 4:35pm
  • 12/10 – NE Minneapolis, 7pm

storytime-on-the-holiday-express12/10: Family Fun Twin Cities hosting Storytime on the Holiday Express  @ Minnesota Transportation Museum, 10am-1pm • $5-$12/pp • Join Joy, Anne, and Gianna as they read The Little Engine That Could and make an entertaining spectacle of themselves.

If it’s a horse-drawn sleighride you’re after, trot on over to our Twin Cities Holiday Festivals page – many Twin Cities-area communities are hosting their own holiday shopping galas downtown, complete with roving Santas, carolers and those sleighbells.

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About the author

Gianna Kordatzky

I am married to the craziest, most awesome man I know. We have four kids--Ranging in ages from 5-10. You can learn more about my life as a mother and wife at .

I love to throw parties and be with friends. I love to read my Bible and grow closer to God. I love to eat and exercise. I have learned to love coffee.
And I could really use a nap.

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