Have you ever taken the time to explore the Christmas trains near Johnson City, Tennessee? If you said no, why not? If you are ready to have the best Christms experience ever, you need to check out this list of the most enchanting Christmas Trains near Johnson City, Tennessee and take the Christmas ride of your life! A ride on a Christmas train is magical and memory-filled holiday activity that everyone should experience at least once.
Christmas in the Johnson City, Tennessee Area
Have you spent much time in the Johnson City area during the holidays before? If you said yes, then you know that we have a lot of great stuff here during the holidays. The area is full of stunning holiday light displays, holiday open houses, Christmas tree lighting events, musical revues and Christmas concerts, Christmas parades and so much more, including a few really great Christmas trains!
Why Should You Take a Ride on a Christmas Train?
The holidays are such a magical time for many families, but for many of us, the holidays also mean hectic schedules and added stress. On top of our typically busy schedules, the holidays mean that what’s left of our calendars is rapidly filling up with holiday events. I know that it is hard to justify adding one more thing to the list of things to do, but imagine this… Sitting down on a train ride with your family for an hour or two, just relaxing and taking in these precious moments in their childhood. Doesn’t this sound magical? That is exactly what can happen and why you should take a ride on a Christmas train. We all need a magical moment or two in our lives.
Plus, these trains are a fun way to experience the holidays in the Johnson City area in a whole new way. You can explore the area’s countryside, holiday decorations, and you will even get a chance to do other holiday activities at the same time! Most Christmas trains offer riders the chance to meet Santa Claus and others will have elves on board handing out kids. Some will even take you to a holiday marketplace so that you can shop for Christmas gifts. There are things to do for everyone!
The Most Enchanting Christmas Trains near Johnson City, Tennessee
The Polar Express trains have kind of set the standard on holiday trains in recent years, and the Polar Express with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad definitely belongs on top lists of Christmas trains to ride. It is the most popular Christmas train in the area (close to 100,000 guests rode this train in 2018). The Polar Express train ride departs from Bryson City depot and lasts 75 minutes. The ride will feature the soundtrack of the Polar Express movie, hot cocoa and treats for guests, and a visit from Santa once the train reaches the North Pole. Santa will board the train, and greet each child personally giving them their own special gift. The return trip will be filled with the sounds of the staff and guests singing Christmas carols.
Over in Blowing, NC you can visit Tweetsie Railroad for a fun filled Christmas celebration. Tweetsie Railroad is not the typical Christmas Train as you may think of it, however, it is well worth a visit. Tweetsie Railroad is a “Wild West Theme Park Adventure” that’s main attraction is a 3 mile train adventure, but during Christmas the park is completely transformed. You can enjoy an open-air ride in a train car pulled by a historic steam locomotive through the Blue Ridge Mountains while listening to Christmas music and enjoying the sights of fun Christmas displays and thousands of holiday lights. Once you have finished your train ride, hop out to visit Santa in his Gingerbread House, roast s’mores around an open fire, hop into a life-size snow globes for the ultimate holiday family photo, watch a live Christmas show, shop for holiday gifts and goodies, climb into a sleigh, and enjoy many more holiday activities.
During the holiday season, be sure to stop in Kingsport at Santa’s Depot for the annual arrival of the Santa Train. The Santa Train travels every year on a 110 mile journey from Pikeville, Kentucky to Kingsport on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The train and its celebrity guest makes 14 stops between the two locations giving out clothing, food, toys, candy and gifts to thousands of people. This holiday tradition is a great benefit to those in need, and a celebration that everyone can enjoy.
While this is not a Christmas train that you get to ride, it is an enchanting experience to help others. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
For those in the Chattanooga area, or those looking to take a day trip, you should really check out the Tennessee Valley Railroad’s North Pole Limited Christmas Train. The train will take you and your family to “The North Pole” via a train filled with storytelling, Christmas songs, holiday treats, views of holiday lights as they pass and more. Once you get to the North Pole, the kids on board will receive a special visit and gift from Santa. These rides are a little over an hour long, however, there are special overnight packages available too.
Looking for a fun holiday train ride for the adults and older kids? You can book a 2 hour holiday dinner ride on a restored antique dinner car!
Non-Train Ride that is Worth a Visit
If you aren’t a fan of trains, or, if you are simply looking for a more affordable Christmas experience for your family, I highly recommend the Holiday Light Bus Tour of Kingsport. This 3 hour tour takes place aboard a luxury coach with holiday music playing as you ride around the area viewing all of the best and brightest Christmas lights in Kingsport and its surrounding areas.
Have you been on a Christmas Train ride before? What did you like about them? Was there anything that you wish you would have known beforehand?