3 fun trains in metro Atlanta


Santa Express Trains at Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Families hop on board this one-hour train trip, and the big red guy comes along for the ride. Along with Santa Claus, these daytime excursions feature his better half, Mrs. Claus, and other yuletide characters. Holiday storytelling, Christmas carols and more entertain tots throughout the trip. Kids have the opportunity to share their wish lists with Kris Kringle, and each child receives a Blue Ridge Scenic Railway memento, a Christmas activity book and a candy cane. These trips tend to book up fast, and the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway requires advance registration.

Select dates and times through Dec. 24. $22 children ages 2-12; $38 ages 13 and older. Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, 241 Depot St., Blue Ridge. 877-413-8724, www.brscenic.com.


Polar Express Adventure at The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

Just after the city of Kennesaw’s annual Christmas parade and tree-lighting ceremony, expect train-loving kids and their parents to flock to the museum. This annual nod to the popular children’s holiday tome and film finds guests rubbing elbows with a train conductor and hobo just like the ones found in the book. They can then watch elves whip up toys in a workshop, and the kids get in on the act and make holiday crafts. If young ones forget to bring a letter to Santa, no sweat. Everyone will have the opportunity to write one, and the group gets a special visit from Mr. Claus himself. Light snacks and hot chocolate will fill tummies. And a holiday-themed model train layout features a choo-choo chugging around its track.

6-10 p.m. Dec. 7. $5 ages 13 and older; $3 ages 4-12; free ages 3 and younger. The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, 2829 Cherokee St., Kennesaw. 770-427-2117, www.southernmuseum.org.


Polar Express Experience at Southeastern Railway Museum

Fans of the Christmas flick about a North Pole-bound train get the chance to watch the movie in a dream venue. Guests file into an antique passenger car for a unique viewing. Some of the events seen on screen come to life with the help of the museum’s staff. Hot chocolate flows, cookies will be up for grabs and each kid scores a surprise gift. Of course, Santa Claus will be in the house, er, train. Organizers ask guests to please register in advance, because the event typically sells out. Breakfast and lunch events with Santa ($16 per person) take place earlier in the day. Each includes a meal, a chat with Kris Kringle, a hayride and a train ride.

3:30 and 6 p.m. Dec. 7, 14 and 21. $20; free ages younger than 2 with a paying adult. Southeastern Railway Museum, 3595 Buford Highway, Duluth. 770-476-2013, www.southeasternrailwaymuseum.org.