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!
2021 Planes, Trains & Sleighs
Our options for Holiday trains, planes and sleigh rides are mostly back this year. We’ll have a few virtual events again this year, but if you want to get out and enjoy some beautiful holiday scenery, we’ve found some options for all kinds of transportation fun.
Holiday Flyovers & Flights of Fancy:
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! Sunday-Thursday, 11am-7pm & Saturday, 11am-8pm. $14.38-$19.99/pp (best prices online).
NORAD will have its official Santa Tracker back up and running on December 1, 2021. Nothing, not even Jolly Old St. Nicholas, gets by the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
Christmas Trains & The North Pole Express
Nov 6, 2021-Feb 26, 2021: 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 required: $15/pp, kids under 5 FREE.
Dec 4-5, 11-12, & 18-19, 2021: 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, $7-$15/pp; Family Package $45.00 Pre-Purchased Tickets Required.
Dec 3-5 & 9-12: 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 are $25-$60 (2 and under FREE). This event sells out fast.
Virtual in 2021: Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
“Canadian Pacific will host a virtual concert and donate to local food banks in communities across its network for the Holiday Train program’s 23rd year”. Read more here.
Year Round Train Fun: Minneapolis/St. Paul: A Train Lover’s Destination
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:
Afton Village Holiday – December 3 & 4, 2021
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 4, 2021
City Square Park, 350 N Chestnut St Chaska, MN 55318
Details for 2021 are still pending, but this annual event usually includes sleigh or carriage rides. Other traditional family fun has included Santa, music, crafts, bonfires and s’mores, and reindeer.
Christmas in Excelsior – Sleigh Rides: December 4 & 5, 2021.
This event goes every weekend in December, but if you want a sleigh ride or want to visit Santa, go the first weekend in December. Other family fun include the tree-lighting, carolers, and hot cocoa.
Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides – December 4 & 11, 2021
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.
Watch for this Trolley Fun in 2022:
Christmas Trolley’s were announced earlier this year, but have since cancelled.
Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, 4200 Queen Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Unfortunately all Holiday rides on the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line have been CANCELLED FOR 2021. We hope to see them back next year.
The North Pole Trolley in Excelsior has also been CANCELLED FOR 2021.
Don’t Forget Automobiles!
Last year, the community rallied with a host of Twin Cities Drive-Thru Christmas & Winter Events. We expect to see at least some of them back this year. 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.