The museum is open weekends in May.

Happy Holiday Railway

Happy Holiday Railway Santa Trains All Aboard for the North Pole!

Purchase Tickets Online

Happy Holiday Railway tickets for will go on sale on July 1st.

Embark on a magical 40 minute train ride through the winter countryside with Santa Claus himself!

  • Enjoy a 40-minute train ride for the whole family
  • See and visit with Santa Claus on the train
  • Treats and hot chocolate will be served
  • Gifts will be given to children on Santa’s “good list”
  • Holiday lights display at the boarding area including the biggest and brightest Christmas tree in McHenry County
  • Visit our indoor, heated Model Railroad Exhibit
  • See historic trains in the museum’s display barns 6, 7 and 9
  • Rides on historic Chicago streetcars included with your ticket
  • Free parking

Start a new Christmas tradition with your family this year!

Days for this event are Saturdays and Sundays, November 24th (Black Friday), 25th, 26th, December 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, and 17th. Trips take place at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm. (Rides at other times on all dates may be added later based on demand). Parking lot opens 30 minutes before the first trip and closes 30 minutes after the last trip returns. Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled trip. Ticket prices are $22 per ticket. Everyone past their second birthday must have a ticket. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable, all ticket sales are final. Many display buildings and portions of the museum grounds will not be open for this event. Parking is free.

The train ride will leave from the historic 1851 East Union Depot. Santa will ride the train with you. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available. Display Barns 6, 7, and 9 will be open. Additionally, streetcars will be in operation on our Trolley Loop, and our brand new Model Railroad exhibit will be open in the heated Multi-Purpose Building. Click here for a property map.

Tickets are available online. If you are unable to print your tickets at home, bring a copy of your order confirmation email to the museum store where you will check in for your ride.

Join us for the most exciting holiday train in the greater Chicago area! All Aboard!

Accessible Seating

This season, IRM is extremely pleased to offer ADA-accessible seating aboard our Happy Holiday Railway trains!
Thanks to our friends at Metra, the Museum has been able to rent of one of their ADA-accessible commuter coaches with an integral wheelchair lift, making it possible for those with physical limitations to enjoy the fun and festive holiday atmosphere aboard our special train.
This car will provide space for up to five wheelchairs, as well as up to 23 regular seats in the same section of the car for companions and family on each trip. In order to guarantee being seated together, tickets for the entire group should be purchased in a single transaction and select "companion seating" for all physically-able persons in your party.
Ticketing for accessible seating on each trip will close when either the wheelchair spaces or the companion seating is filled, so we encourage you to book early for the best selection of departure dates and times.

NO REFUNDS - except in case of event cancellation, ALL ticket sales are final.

Special Fare Days - No passes honored during this event
All schedules and equipment subject to change without notice.

Christmas train at the Illinois Railway Museum
Model railroad exhibit at the Illinois Railway Museum
  • Illinois Railway Museum
  • December 18, 2022
  • Sunday, 11:30AM to 7:00PM

Contact event manager

Thank you Kindly

Happy Holiday Railway

7000 Olson Road, Union, Illinois 60180, USA

Sunday, 11:30AM to 7:00PM
December 18, 2022


Happy Holiday Railway

7000 Olson Road, Union, Illinois 60180, USA

Sunday, 11:30AM to 7:00PM
December 18, 2022