Best Kid-Friendly Winter Train Trips Near Atlanta
Get out of town for the day or plan an overnight trip with these train experiences in Atlanta and beyond. Let your kids gain a new view of the outdoors and enjoy seasonal programs on your way. Reservations are required, so make your plans now.
Blue Ridge, Ga.
Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest for great mountain views. Start by entering the historic depot built in 1905 to board your train, the train tours go around the Toccoa River and to the towns of McCaysville, Ga. and Copperhill, Tenn.
Through Dec. 23.
Families will hear “Twas the Night Before Christmas” being read aloud, sing Christmas Carols and visit with Christmas characters including Santa. Each child receives a traditional BRSR memento, BRSR Christmas Activity Book and a candy cane.
Select dates through Dec. 31.
Hop on board for a 26-mile round trip winding along the Toccoa River in a vintage climate-controlled or open-air rail car.
Bryson City, N.C.
Over 50 miles of track through tunnels and bridges, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad takes you on a journey through scenic areas of North Carolina. Several themed trips available. Trips range from a few hours to a full day of adventure.
The Polar Express Train Ride
Select dates through Dec. 31.
Round-trip train ride with a Santa visit. Includes warm cocoa, carols and a treat while the Polar Express story is narrated.
Ride the Missionary Ridge Local, which travels through the Civil War era Missionary Ridge Tunnel. Discover railroad artifacts in an authentic setting to learn about the role of railroads in local history. Several other themed trips available.
North Pole Limited
Select dates Through Dec. 30.
Round-trip journey to the North Pole, featuring storytelling, light refreshments and an appearance by Santa.
Blowing Rock, N.C.
Hop on a train or a carnival ride, and don’t miss the live shows, farm animals and other fun activities. Several themed trips available.
Select dates through Dec. 30.
Meet Santa in his gingerbread home filled with candy furnishings, then take a night train ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Enjoy Christmas carols, tons of Christmas lights and then step into a snow globe filled with swirling snow.
Travel to Jimmy Carter’s childhood home by train, explore the museum and sample peanut butter treats. Even explore the Georgia Rural Telephone Museum. The variety of trips include stops in towns such as Americus, Leslie, Plains and Archery depending on schedule and time of the year.
Mistletoe Express Train Ride
Hop aboard with Santa and travel to Jimmy Carter’s hometown of Plains. Elves will pass out free candy canes and you will enjoy Christmas music along the way.
Closer to Home
Climb aboard the full-size locomotive from the 1940s with open-air cars that will take you on a five-mile excursion around the mountain. Marvel at beautiful views of Stone Mountain and the surrounding landscape. Included with daily Adventure Pass.
Walk around and explore the 90 pieces of historic steam and diesel locomotives. Kids can pretend to be a engineer for the day while they explore train cabooses, see giant wheels and more. Don’t miss the Second Thursday preschool program every month.
Experience the history of railroads in the South through models and hands-on activities. Kids can head to the telegraph stations to send messages via Morse Code or drive a replica train on their own. The Mommy & Me Preschool Program is every Thursday, and includes different themes each month.