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Santa Sightings in Connecticut

Holiday time in Connecticut can be especially festive, fun-filled and even magical if you happen to encounter Santa in your travels! And this season, Santa plans to makes stops at several of the state’s holiday railways. Holiday train rides often sell out, so to ensure a Santa sighting, be sure to make your reservations!

All aboard the Santa Special at the Essex Steam Train for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience. Enjoy the spirit of the season as you relax with family and friends aboard festive railcars adorned with vintage decorations. Kids can visit with Santa and see Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and Christmas Penguin – all on board to spread holiday cheer. And, each child will receive a small holiday gift from Santa's elves.

At Winterfest at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, delight in an antique trolley ride through the “Tunnel of Lights” while singing carols with the crew and other passengers. See the model trains, admire the seasonal decorations and even visit with Santa! Browse the gift shop for a souvenir or distinctive gifts.

Ride the North Pole Railway at Lake Compounce’s Holiday Lights and then warm up with a hot chocolate and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Spectacular dancing lights, the tallest Holiday tree in the state, strolling carolers with festive entertainment round out your evening.  You may even be the lucky one chosen to light the tree that evening!

This season, the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston offers two holiday adventures with Santa!  Climb aboard the Northern Lights Limited to Santa’s Train Workshop for an 80-minute evening train ride and festival of lights. On the journey, kids will see Santa, Mrs. Claus and Santa’s elves, and each child will receive a gift! Or, take a daytime train excursion on the Santa Express along with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the friendly elves, who will distribute small gifts to kids. The trip takes passengers along the scenic Naugatuck River in vintage 1920s coaches. Reservations are recommended for both; tickets sell out early.

For a wonderland of festive lights, the entire family will delight in Santa’s Trolley Winter Wonderland at Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven. Take a train ride that will remind you of “Christmas past” while enjoying complimentary cookies and hot chocolate. The kids can visit with Santa, and each will receive a small gift!

Take Santa’s Express at the Danbury Railway Museum to Ride a Vintage Train to Visit Santa Claus this holiday season. Meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves. Kids will receive a small gift. Enjoy exhibits in the restored 1903 station and rail yard, children’s activities, hot chocolate and more. Reserve your tickets soon!

For other Santa events and holiday fun in Connecticut this season, go to and visit our Facebook page at, Twitter page at, Pinterest page at and on Instagram at


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