All Aboard for Family-Fun

Even though it is getting colder, there is still time to plan an outdoor trip the entire family can enjoy. In fact, New Jersey offers train rides throughout the state that feature many special events this holiday season.

The New Jersey Museum of Transportation in Farmingdale offers train rides through Allaire State Park every Saturday and Sunday until December 20. Check out the special Christmas Express where Santa Claus rides the train and talks to all children onboard, a holiday tradition for over thirty years. After your ride, explore Allaire State Park by foot and check out Allaire Village, a 19th century iron making town that offers tours, 1830’s games, historic interpretations, craft demonstrations and special presentations. Less than 40 minutes away, the Holiday Train Show in Bordentown City showcases an array of rare electric, diesel and steam engines, as well as an array of Buddy "L" trains from the 1920s, which were made for children to ride outdoors. 

Inspired by the hit movie and award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express at the Delaware River Railroad Excursions in Phillipsburg is an experience not to be missed. The trip includes a reading from the book, music from the movie’s soundtrack, hot chocolate and cookies, as well as a visit from Santa Claus. Pajamas are encouraged. In nearby Belvidere, stop by Mackey’s Orchard for farm market and hand-made ice cream with flavors such as Apple Cinnamon Pie and Chocolate Marshmallow.

The Black River and Western Railroad offers a North Pole Express, which provides a trip to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. Departing from Flemington Station, the North Pole Express is a special experience the entire family can enjoy and includes refreshments, sing-alongs and face painting. For more train family fun, visit the nearby Northlandz Museum, which showcases more than 100 trains navigating eight miles of track, as well as the world’s largest miniature railroad.

While in southern New Jersey, check out the Patcong Valley Model Railroad Club in Richland. The Holiday Train Show runs from December 5, 2015 to January 24, 2016 and features highly detailed HO scale train models that run through a realistic, beautiful scale scenery from Pennsylvania to New York. An event that’s great for the kids and free of charge.