If you’re looking for a festive holiday event for your train-loving family and friends – check out the Reindeer Ride Express, an hour and 15-minute train ride leaves from Forest Park in Noblesville, travels through Cicero and Arcadi, then back to Forest Park. See Santa’s workshop and cross over the beautiful Morse Reservoir while singing Christmas carols and sipping hot chocolate.
While on board
Experience the magic of the holidays on this enchanting 1950s train ride through the beautiful Hamilton County countryside. Get into the festive spirit by donning your holiday outfits and enjoying treats like hot cocoa and cookies, all while listening to cheerful holiday tunes.
Each ticket includes:
- A 75-minute train ride
- A festive cookie
- An opportunity to write a letter to Santa
And speaking of Santa, prepare for a special visit from the jolly man himself! Soak in the wonders of the holiday season as you travel across the scenic Hamilton County countryside.
2023 Reindeer Ride Express Schedule
- November 24: 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m.
- December 1, 8, 15, and 22: 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
- November 11, 18, and 25
- December 2, 9, 16, and 23
- All dates at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m.
- November 12, 19, and 26
- December 3, 10, and 17
- All dates at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m.
Special Bonus Day:
- Thursday, December 21: 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m.
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.
Rent the historic Monon caboose
New for the 2023 holiday season. The historic Monon caboose is now available for rent, accommodating private groups of up to 25 people. This unique car offers an ideal setting to embrace the festive season. Decorated with cheerful decorations, the caboose provides magnificent views of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, it features a unique holiday menu and a selection of beverages. The experience promises to be unforgettable for all guests involved.
More information about the Reindeer Express:
The Reindeer Express is run through the Nickel Plate Express. The Nickel Plate Express is located at Forest Park, Noblesville (825 Forest Park Drive, Noblesville). For more information and to purchase advanced tickets, visit: www.nickelplateexpress.com.
Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Fun around Indianapolis
Q & A about the Reindeer Ride Express 2023
You can find all commonly asked questions at nickelplateexpress.com/winter-train-rides/
Where does it board? The excursion boards in Forest Park, Noblesville. (825 Forest Park Drive, Noblesville). Check-in and warm-up at Hobbs Station at Forest Park Depot.
How long is the ride? The ride is an hour and fifteen minutes long and travels through Cicero and Arcadia. The train stops briefly at ‘Santa’s Workshop,’ courtesy of Gaylor Electric…the Noblesville-based company also decks the train out in approximately 2,000 Christmas lights! The train will return to Noblesville at the end of the ride. Passengers will not disembark at Santa’s workshop.
Can I purchase food and drinks?: Beverages and snacks, including adult beverages, are available on board!
Where do I park? There is ample & free parking available within Forest Park! Find a spot near the boarding tent and park your car. (Parking is located near the 3-way stop and the carousel)
Does the train have heat? The train cars have heat, but bringing layers to keep comfortable is still recommended. The system is old and on a cold day it is still drafty in the train.
Are there restrooms on the train? There are small restrooms on the train in case of emergencies. There are also restrooms located at Forest Park, about a block behind the boarding platform. Look for the white restroom building!
Can adults ride, too? Of course! Or, check out our holiday date-night ride, Holiday Cheer(s)! This adult-only ride features holiday cocktails, Christmas music, and snacks.