All Aboard the Sullivan Express

My family and I took our first ever trip to the North Pole via Sullivan’s Express this past weekend to see Santa Claus himself.


We started our journey by checking in at Central Station located in the greenhouse. While waiting, the kids enjoyed the model train display and play area. Our train was on schedule and we happily boarded promptly at our reserved time.


The train, which consists of an engine and four cars, does not ride on a track, but on wheels. Each family rides in their own car. We have four children and brought along Nana, so there were three adults and four children riding in our car. We all sat comfortably, but definitely used up every inch of passenger space!

Related Article: Best Holiday Train Rides in Indiana

Having never been to the North Pole before, we weren’t really sure what to expect. The train traveled through bear country and made a detour –  through a grocery store of all places!  We saw reindeer getting in shape for the big day and elves working on Santa’s sleigh.

sullivan express


Before we knew it we were at the North Pole (I think the train must have had a special warp speed feature) where we were greeted by the jolly man in the red suit. Our kids were the first to see Santa when we were off the train. He greeted us immediately when we walked in the door, and then walked us over to his big comfy Santa chair. We took a lot of pictures and I felt happy and sad at the same time. Happy because we were with Santa and this is something special that we look forward to as a family every year and sad because I realized my kids are getting bigger. They all walked straight up to him with excitement to share their lists. There was not an ounce of trepidation.


For those of you with children who like the idea of Santa and then proceed to scream, cry and turn the same color as his suit when they realize you want them to go on their own to sit on this giant stranger’s lap – it will pass. One day, your child will walk right up to him with confidence and determination, eager to let him know all of their heart’s desires. I realized in the moment when my kids were all happily sharing their lists with Santa that my time with toddlers had passed. It was bittersweet.


After they finished sharing their lists (which included a kitty and a puppy – Santa’s face looks like mine did when I heard that), the kids colored while the other kids from our train had their turns visiting with Mr. Claus. We then boarded our train for our departure trip back to Sullivan’s.


When we arrived back at the station we enjoyed some delicious cookies from Sully’s Grill and did some shopping at The Yellow House. The Sullivan Express was truly a fantastic experience from start to finish. We all thoroughly enjoyed this memorable train ride to the North Pole to see Kris Kringle. I wonder if he will be bringing us a pet this year? Gulp.

For more information on pricing, and to order tickets, visit or call 317-255-5329.  Sullivan’s Hardware is located at 6955 North Keystone Avenue.

Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four spunky, sweet, kind and sometimes a bit wild children. She has a passion for the written word and thinks that libraries and bookstores are the coolest places ever. When not hanging out with family or writing, she can be found enjoying a good cup of coffee, running, spending quality time with friends, working on some type of project around the house, planning the family’s next trip to her favorite destination – Walloon Lake, Michigan, or very possibly – reading a book.

Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and outings with her children for Indy’s Child as a freelance writer and blogger and also keeps a personal blog,, that she has fun writing when time allows.

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