2023 Christmas in the Twin Cities: Planes, Trains & Sleighs

Banner for Christmas in the Twin Cities: Planes, Trains & Sleighs on Family Fun Twin Cities website.

We have a unique opportunity in the Twin Cities to enjoy the holidays on Planes, Trains & Sleighs (mostly trains), and we’ve rounded up all we can find just for you and your family!

2023 Planes, Trains & Sleighs

Our options for Holiday trains, planes and sleigh rides are mostly back this year. If you want to get out and enjoy some beautiful holiday scenery, we’ve found some options for all kinds of transportation fun.


 

Featured Partnercrowd of people in costumes at the Game Show Studio

Game Show Studio is a 60-minute immersive game show experience led by our trained hosts and producers! You’ll enjoy three fun-filled games in a Hollywood-style studio while you compete against friends, family, or coworkers. Price Starting at $39.95/ticket


Holiday Flyovers & Flights of Fancy

Flyover Holidays

Flyover America, Mall of America, 5120 Center Ct, Bloomington, MN 55425
Flyover America traditionally becomes a holiday sleigh adventure in December. Stay tuned for more details! 2023 Details TBA. (best prices online).

Track Santa’s Flight Path

NORAD will have its official Santa Tracker back up and running beginning December 1st and running through Christmas Eve. Nothing, not even Jolly Old St. Nicholas, gets by the North American Aerospace Defense Command.


Christmas Trains & The North Pole Express

Oct 21, 2023 to Feb 24, 2024: Night Trains

Twin City Model Railroad Museum, 668 Transfer Rd Ste. 8, St Paul, MN 5511
Enter a magical world of model trains. Overhead lights are turned down low and the models’ streetlights and buildings are glowing. Saturdays 3-7pm. Pre-purchase on EventBrige: $15/pp, kids under 5 FREE.

Photo Credit: Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum

Weekends Dec 2-17, 2023: Santa’s Train Shop

Minnesota Transportation Museum, Jackson Street Roundhouse, 193 Pennsylvania Ave E, St Paul, MN 55130
The museum, located in St Paul, is transformed into Santa’s Train Shop with live music, activities, train rides, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and lots of museum fun. Weekends, 10am-4pm, $9-$18/pp or $50/family. Pre-Purchased Tickets Required.

Dec 1-3 & Dec 7-10, 2023: North Pole Express

Union Depot, 214 4th Street East, St Paul, MN 55101
Join Santa and friends on a short journey to the North Pole where you can visit special shops, the home of Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the elves’ workshop. Tickets $26+ (2 and under FREE). Sold out for 2023.

Dec 10-13, 2023: Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

The Holiday Train rolls through the Twin Cities from December 9th-13th in 2023. Read more here.

  • December 9, 2023: Hastings. CPKC Depot, 500 East Second Street, Hastings, MN 55033. 8:15-8:45pm.
  • December 10, 2023: Cottage Grove. South Seiben Bridge, 7064 W Point Douglas Rd South, Cottage Grove, MN 55016, 5:15-5:45pm.
  • December 10, 2023: St. Paul. Union Depot, 214 4th Street East, St Paul, MN 55101. Concessions, activities and concert 5-7pm. Train arrives at 6:45pm.
  • December 11, 2023: Golden Valley. RR Crossing Near 5701 Golden Hills Drive, Golden Valley, MN 55416, 5:00-5:30pm.
  • December 11, 2023: St. Louis Park. Library Lane & West Lake Street, Library Ln & W Lake St, St Louis Park, MN 55426, USA, 6:15-6:45pm.
  • December 11, 2023: Minneapolis/Columbia Heights. Lions Park, 37th Place NE & 37th NE McKinley St, Columbia Heights, MN 55421, 8:00-8:45pm.
  • December 13, 2023: Loretto. Railroad Crossing Hennepin County Road 19, Loretto, MN 55357. 4:30-5:00pm.
  • December 13, 2023: Buffalo. West Side of Tracks, 5th Street Northeast, 5th St NE, Buffalo, MN 55313. 6:00-6:30pm.

Bonus Family Fun: Combine this Christmas Tradition with another family favorite and tour some local Holiday Light Displays.

Trains

Year Round Train FunMinneapolis/St. Paul: A Train Lover’s Destination

Holiday Sleigh Rides & Hayrides

If it’s a horse-drawn sleigh ride you’re after, trot on over to our Twin Cities Holiday Festivals page for more ideas. These events have advertised wagon or sleigh rides:

Santa Sleigh Experience at The Hitching Company

The Hitching Company, 925 N. 5th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401410
Visit includes include crafts, a carriage ride, and photos with Santa. $19.95/rider (Under 3 free on lap). 2023 TBA.

Hastings Holiday Hoopla – November 25, 2023

Downtown Hastings, MN 55033
Oliver’s Grove Horse & Wagon offered from noon to 4pm during this all-day Small Business Saturday event.

Afton Village Holiday – December 1 & 2, 2023

Downtown Afton, MN 55001
Horse & Wagon rides are a feature of this old-fashioned event along the St. Croix river. Other family fun includes carolers, crafts, a tree lighting and vendors.

Hometown Holiday – December 2, 2023

City Square Park, 350 N Chestnut St Chaska, MN 55318
This annual event will include carriage rides. Other traditional family fun has included Santa, music, crafts, holiday lights, and a Christmas llama.

Deck The Halls – December 2, 2023

Sturges Park, 505 2nd Ave S Buffalo, MN 55313
Go on a horse-drawn wagon ride while celebrating the start of the Holiday season at Sturges Park. Santa and his reindeer will be around the park and the night ends with a tree lighting.

Planes Trains & Sleighs - 2020 Christmas in the Twin Cities, Minnesota

Photos with Santa and Holiday Hayrides – Nov 25 – Dec 17, 2023

Minnetonka Orchard, 6530 County Road 26, Minnetrista, Minnesota 55364
Combine your family holiday photo with a festive morning hayride to Santa’s barn for some hot cocoa or apple cider and a digital photo. If you prefer to visit and ride with the Grinch, come in the afternoons. Weekends, November 25-December 17, 2023; Santa: 9am-1pm. Grinch: 2pm-5pm. $35-$65/group. Book your timeslot here.


Holiday Trolley Fun

North Pole Trolley – Nov 24-26, 2023

Excelsior Streetcar Line, Excelsior, MN 55331
Take a trolley ride, sing Christmas carols and listen to holiday stories. $4/passenger. Noon-4pm.

Holly Trolley – Nov 25 & 26, Dec 2 & 3, 2023

Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, 4200 Queen Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
This Holiday streetcar ride with Santa includes toasted marshmallows and a visit with the big guy. Collecting Toys for Tots. $5/passenger. 12pm-3:30pm.

All Aboard For the Holidays – Nov 26, 2023

Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, 4200 Queen Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Celebrate the start of the holidays with a trolley ride. $3/passenger. 10-11:30am.

Vinternatt – Dec 2, 2023

Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, 4200 Queen Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
The historic Como-Harriet Streetcar is decorated for the season and luminaries light the tracks. Toast marshmallows and maybe see Santa.  $6/passenger. 6pm-8:30pm.

Anoka Tree Lighting Trolley Rides – December 2, 2023

Anoka City Hall Plaza, 2015 First Ave N, Anoka, MN 55303
Enjoy a horse-drawn trolley ride at Anoka’s tree-lighting festival. Other family fun includes Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday music, bonfires and food vendors. 3-7pm

Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides at Winterfest – Dec 9, 2023.

White Bear Lake Armory, 2228 4th St, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Part of WBL’s Winter Fest, bring a donation for the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf to ride a horse-drawn trolley around Downtown White Bear Lake. 11am-1:45pm.


Don’t Forget Automobiles!

We’ve collected a host of Twin Cities Drive-Thru Christmas & Winter Events. Viewing a winter wonderland from the comfort of your car is a wonderful option.  We also have our annual list of  Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays. These all make great drive-by experiences.

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