All Aboard the Christmas Express

By Michael Berick

family fun los angeles

Santa will be taking a ride on the Irvine Park Railroad’s Christmas Train. PHOTO COURTESY IRVINE PARK RAILROAD

While it is well known that Santa Claus travels by sleigh, you might have second thoughts given all of the train-related events occurring this month.  

The Fillmore & Western Railway Co. (351 Santa Clara St., Fillmore; has four Christmas train options on its December schedule. Hop aboard the Christmas Tree Train and take a ride with Santa to pick out a pre-cut tree, dine with Santa on the aptly named Dinner with Santa train, or take a festive trip to Santa’s Village on the North Pole Express. There’s even the Return Santa to the North Pole train where you can accompany Santa as he returns home on Dec. 26. Tickets for the various rides range from $26-$55 for adults and $12-$30 for children. 

Families can also go on holiday train rides at the The Griffith Park and Southern Railroad (4400 Crystal Springs Dr., L.A.; from 5-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 5-9 p.m. Sat.-Sun. and school holidays (except Dec. 24-25) through Dec. 30. These 10-minute trips on scaled trains provide an amusing rail adventure, particularly for little ones, along a festive route decorated for the holidays. $4 per person. 

family fun los angeles

Holiday model trains will be on the move at the Muzeo. PHOTO BY PETER OLSEN


The Irvine Park Railroad (1 Irvine Park Rd., Orange; offers a child-friendly Christmas Train from 4-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. weekends Dec. 1-23, plus winter-themed activities including Frosty’s Maze and Rudolph Races. Train rides are $15 per person, and some activities require an extra fee. Trains lovers visiting Orange County will also want to visit Muzeo (241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim; to check out the “Holiday Model Trains” exhibit, which runs through Jan. 7 and costs $8 adults, $5 ages 4-12. 

One more stop on this holiday train route is the Orange Empire Railway Museum (2201 S. A St., Perris; Every weekend through Dec. 17, the museum’s Train To Santa’s Workshop delivers all sorts of Christmas merriment to passengers. Tickets are $20 ages 12 and older, $15 ages 2-11 and advance reservations are recommended.  

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