If you’re looking for a new festival holiday event for your train-loving family and friends – check out the Reindeer Express, an hour and 15-minute train ride from downtown Atlanta, Indiana to around 216th street and back to Atlanta. Executive Director Dea Holt has staffed with such a happy, welcoming crew – making the train ride a true family pleaser.
While on the cozy train, visitors enjoy caroling from Noblesville’s White River Sound, a Reindeer-shaped cookie (made by Taylor’s Bakery), letter to Santa form, and a DIY paper ornament craft. The holiday lights and décor make the 1956 train very festive! And before or after you depart, visit the red Monon caboose to meet Santa himself (Santa’s hours are 3-8 p.m. Saturday and 5-7 p.m. Sunday)!
The rides depart every 2 hours on Saturdays and Sundays through December 23. Visitors board in downtown Atlanta at 105 E. Main Street. General tickets for the Reindeer Express are $25 for adults and $20 for kids ages 3-12. Little ones ages 2 and under can ride free on lap.
VIP tickets are $40 for Bright Night and $35 for one of the daytime trips. It includes an adult beverage for adults and a hot chocolate for kids. It is also in our dining and lounge car that has booth seating.
Our top tips before boarding the Reindeer Express:
- Have your family use the restroom before boarding. There are restrooms just before you board—right next to the playground. There is a small restroom located on the train in case of emergency.
- Make sure your family is prepared to sit on the train for 75 minutes. We took our kids to the park before and after the train ride to let them get the ‘wiggles’ out, but we’d would also consider throwing some activities in my bag, too.
- Bottled water, kid-temp hot chocolate, sodas, local beer, and wine are available–along with Just Pop In popcorn (prices range from $1 to $5 per item). Have some cash on hand. (They did take our debit card, but they did not have a card reader the evening we were there.) It might make sense to also have dinner plans arranged, as well.
- When you print out your tickets, make sure your car number is printed out. We did not print the right receipt page (oops) and they did not know where to place us.
- All seating is on the upper level. Passengers should be prepared to climb a small flight of stairs. Also, if you get queasy on trains, be prepared. While the train is very comfortable experience, expect some back-and-forth rocking from the 1956 train.
More information about the Reindeer Express:
The Reindeer Express is run through the Nickel Plate Express. The Nickel Plate Express is located at 105 E. Main Street, Atlanta, IN 46030. For more information and to purchase advanced tickets, visit: www.nickelplateexpress.com.